MonDak Roundtable Wraps-Up with Glowing Reviews
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Credit union professionals from around the Dakotas and Montana gathered this week at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for the 4th annual MonDak Roundtable. This year’s event once again was well attended, with 90 individuals making the trip. Pre-conference sessions geared specifically for CEOs and board members began on Tuesday, with the general session kicking off on Wednesday morning.

First up on Wednesday was Ryan Donovan, Chief Advocacy Officer with Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Donovan provided an update on their current legislative, regulatory and state government advocacy efforts and what the Leagues and CUNA are doing to reduce regulatory burdens and legislative proposals that make it more difficult to serve their members. Stacie VanDenBerghe, CEO of CU Innovate, then led a session on the Top 10 Hot Topics for Credit Unions, learning how to stand out in the crowd, and what both small and large credit unions can do to create and implement positive changes.

Later, Mark Arnold, President of On the Mark Strategies, led the CEOs in a session on Developing the Ultimate Strategic Plan, while Stacie VanDenBerghe covered Board Best Practices with the volunteers group. The day continued with an Economic Update provided by Steve Rick, Chief Economist from CUNA Mutual Group, and popular repeat guest speaker. Of course, it would not be a “Roundtable” without an open discussion, where conversation flowed freely. The day concluded with featured speaker Rick Olson, Professional Training & Coaching Consultant. His closing message “Navigate Through Times of Change” left this group of credit union leaders with a better understanding of the change process, and the skills to navigate through.

Immediate feedback at the close of the event on Wednesday was extremely positive.

Melanie Stillwell, President/CEO of Western Cooperative CU (Williston, ND) has attended the conference for the past four years. “I believe it gets better every year,” she stated. “The presenters were very good this year, and I would definitely recommend this conference to other CEOs – it is well worth the time and money to attend, and the networking with other credit unions and meeting new people is always good,” she added.

Vance Reinbold, President/CEO of Capital CU (Bismarck, ND) was a first-time attendee this year. “I thought the quality of the presenters was very good, and the topics were all relevant,” he remarked. “I also really liked the group interaction that took place; I feel we all left with good takeaways. I would definitely recommend this conference.”

Lacey TerWee, CEO of University FCU (Grand Forks, ND) says she would also highly recommend this conference for CEO’s and board volunteers. “My favorite takeaways this year all related to staffing,” she remarked. “For example, what’s ignored is endorsed. For me, that meant that anytime you look the other way on a bad behavior, or don’t force a long-time employee to learn a new service, you’re endorsing that bad behavior. Also, hire the smile, train the skill, and attitude is non-negotiable.” Certainly, these are all little pearls of wisdom!

While the old saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” this is not true for our MonDak Roundtable! Each attendee is bringing new knowledge and skills back to the Dakotas to put to use at their credit union.

If you are a credit union CEO, manager, or volunteer who wants to learn new techniques that can help your credit unions grow and remain relevant, this event should definitely be on your educational radar for next year. Once again, we thank everyone who attended our conference. “Together, we are better!”


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