Brian Trotter of EPB Employees Credit Union Appointed to the CUNA Small Credit Union Committee

cuna-small credit union committee

The success of smaller credit unions is vital to the future of the credit union movement. The committee will be comprised chiefly of officials from smaller credit unions and will track issues affecting small credit unions. The committee will also promote unity between credit unions of all sizes and strive to defend against any and all threats to their cooperative, not-for-profit, democratic structure.

Credit unions in Tennessee are well represented by committee member Brian Trotter President/CEO of EPB Employees Credit Union.

Although there is no precise measure of “Small,” the committee will use $100 million in assets as a rough definition, recognizing that factors other than size may determine the characterization of a “small” credit union.

In addition to our advocacy work, the Committee works to identify the existential challenges facing smaller credit unions, and ideates and develops solutions and new resources to help address those challenges.

In recent years, the Committee has created a Succession Planning Guide for small credit unions, a self-guided strategic planning guide, and this past year the CUNA Small Credit Union Talent Strategy Guide that features insights from talent experts on how smaller credit unions can enhance the way they approach talent at their organizations. That new resource can be found here, and we encourage you to share this free guide with your members.

In 2022, the Committee has four goals that it hopes to accomplish:

  1. To play an active role in advocating for small credit unions at the federal level
  2. To create a resource to help small credit unions change their mindsets and begin planning for future relevance
  3. To build stronger relationships with our League partners
  4. To provide guidance to CUNA Strategic Services, which is working to bring to life a recommendation by the Committee to create buyers groups of small credit unions that would allow them to access critical services from business partners at reduced costs

1st Quarter CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference: Meeting with NCUA Board Chair Todd Harper

In the first quarter, the Committee held its annual in-person meeting at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, during which it met with NCUA Board Chair Todd Harper.

During that meeting, the Committee voiced its concerns over the NCUA creating a new rule around succession planning that could become burdensome for smaller shops that already feel a significant resource drain from compliance-related activities. The group recommended that the NCUA instead stress the importance of succession planning through guidance, rather than a formal rule.

The Committee’s input and feedback were also included in CUNA’s overall comment letter that incorporated input from CUNA and League members of all asset sizes, including from CUNA’s Subcommittee on Examination and Supervision.

During the meeting with Chairman Harper, the group also asked whether the NCUA would be watching trends in overdraft protection services that many small credit unions rely on as a valuable service to members and an important source of income. Harper shared that if overdraft protection programs are prohibited, credit unions must figure out how to become better lenders to recoup lost income.

Looking Ahead

Finally, in the coming months, the Committee will begin fleshing out a new concept around “shifting the mindset” of smaller credit unions to focus on a future of relevancy. The group hopes to create a new resource or program by year’s end that will help smaller credit unions both understand and implement this new concept.

If you have any questions about the Committee please contact Tom Sakash, CUNA Manager of Small Credit Union Initiatives, at tsakash@cuna.coop.

CUNA Small Credit Union Committee Members

Chair, Amy Brodersen, Family Focus FCU, Omaha, Neb.

Vice chair, Karen Madry, Afena FCU, Marion, Ind.

Linda Bodie, Element FCU, Charleston, W.V.

Ron Draper, Somerville Municipal FCU, Somerville, Mass.

Deborah Fears, Chicago Post Office Employees CU

Nick Fugal, Clarity FCU, Nampa, Idaho

Dale Hansard, Caprock FCU, Lamesa, Texas

Jennifer Haydon, Wisconsin Credit Union League

Robin Hollis, Illinois Credit Union League

Brady Howe, Cutting Edge FCU, Milwaukie, Ore.

Tina Jamo, Katahdin FCU, Millnocket, Maine

Roxi Jensen, Embarrass Vermillion FCU, Aurora, Minn.

Andrea Maxwell, KIT FCU, Louisville, Ky.

Helen Mickel, Tongass FCU, Ketchikan, Alaska

Joey Minton, Eagle Express FCU, Jackson, Miss.

Julie Pingel, Fort Dodge Family FCU, Fort Dodge, Iowa

Brian Trotter, EPB Employees CU, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Tom Sakash, Small Credit Union Initiatives Manager, CUNA

Mike Schenk, Chief Economist, CUNA