And the Winner Is...
by CUAD Communications

Photo above: Vice President Mike Pence takes the podium as the "Special Guest" at the GAC yesterday. 


If you guessed the special guest speaker at the GAC on Tuesday to be Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, then you were correct! Actually, CUAD received TEN correct responses, from which we randomly drew one winner for the $50 gift card. Congratulations to Derrick Hertz, CFO at Railway Credit Union in Mandan, ND. Your gift card is on its way!


During his address, Vice President Pence emphasized the administration’s and President Trump’s pro-credit union policies, including the rollback of the Dodd-Frank regulations. Vice President Pence is a longtime credit union champion and his participation at this year’s CUNA GAC reflects all the great work credit unions do every day to support our members’ financial goals. Credit unions remain strictly bipartisan, and CUNA’s advocacy engagement reaches policymakers on both sides of the aisle. “Credit unions have no greater champion than President Donald Trump, who has signed bills into law that cut financial red tape,” he stated. “Under this administration, we will empower you to do what you do best: serve your members and serve growing communities across America,” he concluded.  


Also on the main stage yesterday was Malcolm Gladwell, author of New York Times bestselling books, “The Tipping Point” and “Blink.” Gladwell was a much-anticipated keynote, as his work has been and continues to be thought-provoking and transformative. Like the credit union movement, his books aim to challenge long-held misconceptions.


“If you want to connect with consumers, don’t tell them about your products and services. Explain what you stand for,” he advised the audience. Gladwell offered advice on reaching out to consumers who may not have considered using credit unions and overcoming myths that exist about cooperative financial institutions. “You have to win over Americans’ hearts and minds, and correct myths in the marketplace,” he said. “Talk broadly about the values you hold and what you represent—that you’re all about community and service, and you’re willing to go the extra mile to form bonds that don’t exist anywhere else. We learn more from difficult situations than from easy situations. When we’re in a situation where we’re at a disadvantage, where we have some impediment to success, two things can happen: We fail, or are defeated by it, or in the act of overcoming that impediment, we become stronger.”


Credit unions are definitely becoming stronger with our new “Open Your Eyes” national awareness campaign gaining momentum around the country! A panel discussion on the awareness initiative was included in the morning events, and was moderated by Jill Tomalin, CUNA COO. The initiative is meant to change consumer perceptions that block their consideration of credit unions for financial services. It is different than direct response marketing and is meant to strengthen consumer perceptions as they see more and more content over time. During this panel discussion, a video collage of credit union leaders was shared with a message asking all credit unions from around the country to get behind and support the initiative. Jeff Olson was asked to be part of that video which was recorded last Sunday. We will share that video soon!  



Also during the panel discussion, early campaign results were revealed. Within a few short weeks, more than nine million digital impressions have been made with consumers. Four million people have seen the creative content and 1.5 million videos have been viewed to completion. These results are all higher than the campaign’s benchmarks. Panelists emphasized that this initiative needs system wide participation. Simply put, this campaign is building a bigger brand, where we create a whole new level of consumer interest that enhances the marketing work of individual credit unions. Just prior to the start of the CUNA GAC, more than 425 credit union organizations around the country had already pledged more than a $30 million to fund the campaign over three years. So far, the campaign is live in Minnesota and the Carolinas. In the Dakotas, we are continuing to garner support for the initiative. 


In other news, CUNA also announced election results for its Board of Directors Executive Committee Members. Brett Martinez, President & CEO of Redwood Credit Union (RCU), was elected as the CUNA Board Chair. Martinez addressed the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on Tuesday for the first time as Board Chair. Martinez is joined by other newly elected executive members, including Vice Chair Troy Stang, President & CEO of Northwest Credit Union Association; Secretary Brad Green President & CEO Listerhill Credit Union; Treasurer Tony Budget of University Federal Credit Union; and At-Large Member Lisa Ginter, CEO CommunityAmerica Credit Union. The newly elected members will serve the 2019-2020 term. 




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