Course Descriptions

Curriculum is focused on: Advocacy, ALM, Innovation, Leadership, & Strategic Planning/Thinking

Curriculum is designed to help each student:

  • Gain knowledge and grow overall understanding of the credit union industry.
  • Further develop personal and professional leadership skills, fostering innovative thinking.

(In addition to live, classroom sessions, students complete a two-year strategic business plan on their own credit union, broadening their perspective of the overall organization.)

Courses are:

  • Offered in the summer unless otherwise noted.
  • Subject to change.

Course Descriptions

ALM Fundamentals

Howard Bufe - Credit Union Resources, Inc. (OnBalance)

A fundamental understanding of the financial management process is core to credit union success. During this class, Howard challenges students to see beyond their credit union size, complexities, or current position as he lays the foundation, covering:

  • Identification, evaluation, and implementation actions to control potential credit union risks.
  • Utilizing the process of Asset/Liability Management to achieve financial goals.

Key learning objectives include:

  • Goals of Asset / Liability Management.
  • How to read, review and analyze financial statements (i.e Call Report and Key Ratio Report).
  • Identification, calculation and communication of Key Performance Ratios.
  • The seven categories of risk for credit unions and their potential adverse effect on the credit union’s earnings and net worth.
ALM Key Concepts

Deborah Rightmire – Cornerstone Credit Union League (Asset Liability Management)

Debbie introduces students to the concepts of interest rate risk and liquidity management. During the course, she:

  • Reviews a list of key terms associated with these concepts.
  • Identifies IRR policy requirements.
  • Identifies liquidity policy requirements.
  • Provides direction on where to find data related to these concepts on the Call Report.
  • Reviews ALM concepts learned in first year classes.
ALM: The Final Frontier (Mid-Year Course)

Deborah Rightmire - Cornerstone Credit Union League (Asset Liability Management)

During this course, Debbie reviews the segments necessary to complete the Financial Management Strategic Initiative of the student project. Topics include:

  • Internal analysis
  • Objectives, strategies and tactical action plans
  • Cost benefit analysis process
  • Outline of entire project and relationship to Financial Management
  • Submission and approval procedures
  • Appropriate and inappropriate objectives
Attracting the Next Generation of CU Members: Opportunities for Marketing & Future Growth

Tim McAlpine - Currency Marketing

In this homogenous financial services marketplace, differentiation is key, and there has never been a better time to differentiate based on a business model that puts members first and aligns with the belief system of the next generation of credit union members. Tim brings real-life examples to the classroom, illustrating how credit unions can win in today's hyper competitive consumer finance space through smart marketing and execution.

Students will learn:

  • How the credit union philosophy aligns with today's young adults' belief system.
  • Practical real-world ideas and examples of credit unions differentiating and appealing to the needs of young adults.
  • How credit unions can get involved in new economic drivers like the sharing economy and collaborative consumption.
  • How education can form a meaningful part of your credit union's outreach in the communities it serves.
Benchmarking CU Performance (Mid-Year Class)

Katy Slater – Callahan & Associates

Delivering member value is essential to credit union success. Understanding the drivers, where your credit union is today and what its ambitions could be for tomorrow are critical for developing and achieving the organization’s vision.

Katy presents a picture of where credit unions are today in the market and the challenges and opportunities ahead, as she covers:

  • Credit unions’ impact in key markets – how does it vary at national and state levels?
  • Peer analysis – what criteria should be considered when developing peer groups?
  • Benchmarking – what are the key success measures?

Real life examples are used to illustrate how the big picture translates into business at the individual credit union level.

Building a Lasting Brand: Advanced Branding for CUs

Mark Arnold - On the Mark Strategies

Branding is more than just changing a few brochures or the look of a newsletter. Branding is much more! A true comprehensive branding program takes years to develop and impacts the entire organization. Your credit union needs a powerful brand to differentiate itself in today's marketplace. A credit union doesn’t just “do” branding one year and mark it off the “to do” list. Your credit union must “live” the brand every day.

Having led his previous credit union through a name change and ongoing branding efforts, Mark provides practical information on what to and not to do with your credit union’s brand, covering such areas as:

  • Maintaining Brand Consistency & Momentum
  • Lovemarks & Emotional Branding
  • Gaining Staff Buy-In
  • Brand Leadership in the 21st Century

Students leave the course with a core understanding of:

  • How to build a brand.
  • How to live a brand.
  • How to energize a brand.
Business & Technology Trends & Innovations: How CUs Can Compete to Win!

Mark Sievewright – Fiserv, Inc.

Mark reviews and discusses the primary business and technology trends that are shaping the future of financial services. He includes case studies, as well as an overview of recommended strategies and tactics, that can help Credit Unions "Compete to Win!" in the markets in which they operate. Mark provides perspectives on consolidation, convergence, member focus, delivery channels, the regulatory environment, product strategy, along with technology trends and opportunities.

Communicating Your Message, Sharing Your Meaning

Johny Garner - Texas Christian University

Communication is at the heart of every organization. Whether it’s communicating with staff, with a board of directors, or with members, great leaders are going to be great communicators. The first part of being a great communicator is being a good listener, learning to understand the needs and ideas of others. Johny will lead a discussion of bad habits of which we are all guilty and how to overcome those habits by practicing good listening skills. The second part of being a great communicator is being good at packaging what you say. There are lots of ways to get your message across, but often because of busy-ness, laziness, or just not knowing any better, we settle for ways that may not effectively convey our meaning. Johny will help us develop our ability to frame what we say for others. Finally, the best communicators cultivate effective communication skills in others. The session will conclude as Johny describes how you might share these ideas with your staff to help them better communicate with you, with each other, and with members.

Compliance I: Key Developments & Issues (New Course)

Mark Kazemba  – Blalack & Williams, PC

Customer Due Diligence: Are You Prepared?

Mark Kazemba, Attorney with Blalack & Williams, P.C., examines a plethora of rules and regulations for the compliance professional including, covers key compliance topics presenting risk to your credit union today, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Military Lending Act, and also discuss upcoming compliance requirements such as Customer Due Diligence and other recent compliance developments.

Compliance II: HR Trends & Challenges

Mike Blalack, Esq. – Blalack & Williams, PC

Mike covers up-to-the-minute human resource compliance issues, trends, and challenges in today’s business arena.

CU Philosophy: People Helping People

Gina Evans – Credit Union of America

"People helping people" is more than just a phrase. It is the philosophy of cooperation that credit unions were founded upon. Gina takes the students on a trip through time to gain a core understanding about credit union philosophy. Once the foundation is laid, she challenges students to take today's evolving financial services landscape into the credit union of the future, covering:

  • Credit Union Timeline- Review of significant events that have shaped our industry.
  • Cooperative Principles in Action – How they work in today’s environment.
  • Identifying our Positive Core - Greatest strengths, achievements and best practices.
  • The Future of our Cooperative Spirit – Envisioning the future and achieving excellence through innovation and change.
CU Security Issues

Idrees Rafiq – Credit Union Resources, Inc. (Financial & Technology Resources)

Today’s credit union is faced with an increased responsibility to exercise measures to ensure the security of its tangible assets, in addition to its non-tangible assets such as member and proprietary information. As a result, security needs to be ingrained into the organizational culture of every credit union and involved with every aspect of daily operations. Idrees draws on his vast background to update students on topics such as:

  • How easy it is to be breached - identifying security threats, and trends.
  • Tips and strategies to defend against security attacks like hacking and social engineering.
  • Managing and mitigating risk.
  • Physical, administrative, and technical security as described in NCUA Regulation 748 Appendix A and B.
  • Identifying regulatory and compliance related to security.
CUs' Strategic Advantage (Mid-Year)

Katy Slater - Callahan & Associates

Credit unions’ strategic advantage comes from being member-focused. During this session we’ll explore the forces impacting members and what they mean for your credit union. From better understanding member behavior, being mission-driven with financial wellness and community reinvestment to creating an innovative mindset – this session will cover the 5 Big Ideas for credit unions in 2017.

Developing Oral Communication Skills for the CU Executive (Summer & Mid-Year Courses)

Dr. Robert Smith – The University of Tennessee at Martin & Slippery Rock University

Group Facilitators

  • Dean Borland - Credit Union Resources, Inc. (OnBalance)
  • Jon Knoll - Credit Union Resources, Inc.
  • Lily Newfarmer - Tarrant County CU

In the information age, communication is survival and those who master oral communication skills command the respect of their peers and climb the leadership ladder. The ability to present yourself as a competent communicator increases with each step on that ladder. The primary purpose for this session is to develop confidence in your oral communication skills necessary to be a successful executive.

Course objectives:

  • To know the five steps for preparing every oral presentation you will ever make.
  • To be personally coached in your oral communication skills.
  • To be prepared for your oral presentation of strategic elements from your business plan project; and
  • To know how to handle with confidence a variety of situations that face the presenter when before an audience.

Dean Borland presents the second part of this course during mid-year classes, providing additional insights to help students prepare for their strategic issue presentations.

Developing Your CU's Strategic Business Plan (Summer & Mid-Year Courses)

John Vardallas – TheAmericanBoomeR Group
Lily Newfarmer (CL of 1999), CUDE - Tarrant County CU
Shawn Temple (Class of 2009) – Bossier FCU
Janine McBee (Honorary Alum), CUDE – Cornerstone Credit Union League (Training & Events)

A number of courses are spread across a two year period to explain expectations and help students complete their school project – a three-year strategic business plan based on each student’s own credit union.

The project is divided into sections for completion over a two-year period. The sections include (but are not limited to):

  • Mission Statement
  • Executive Summary
  • History of the Credit Union
  • Bonus Opportunities (Vision Statement, Core Values, Code of Ethics, Governance, etc.)
  • SCOT List (Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, Threats)
  • External/Environmental Analysis
  • Strategic Initiatives (minimum of 5 - one of which must be Financial Management.)

    Each SI includes at a minimum an Internal Analysis with:
    • A 2-year Objective (make sure this is measurable)
    • Strategies
    • Tactical Action Plans
    • Cost-Benefit Analysis
Developing Your CU's Strategic Business Plan: Introduction to Financial Management Strategic Initiative & Projection Fundamentals

Deborah Rightmire - Cornerstone Credit Union League (Asset Liability Management)

The course builds on previous Asset Liability Management courses, helping students prepare for their financial management strategic initiative (SI). Debbie:

  • Covers requirements for the Financial Management SI  
  • Introduces the projections process:
    • Reviewing a typical project outline for areas that should be addressed in the projection process - loan growth, fixed asset acquisition, fee income adjustments, expense control, loan quality control, HR changes.
    • Laying foundation for the completion of one year of the projection process using the spreadsheet application (Friday’s lab).
    • Emphasizing the market and non-market income/expense amounts.
Developing Your CU's Strategic Business Plan: Projections Experience Lab (Summer & Mid-Year)

Deborah Rightmire - Cornerstone Credit Union League (Asset Liability Management)

In a hands-on lab environment, students have the opportunity to use their credit union’s historical information to develop:

  • A projected balance sheet.
  • Income statement.
  • Resulting financial ratios.

Students also review objectives, strategies, tactical action steps, and cost-benefit analysis requirements to complete the Financial Management Strategic Initiative. A team of credit union professionals are on-hand to provide individual assistance.

Enterprise Leadership: Taking Your Leadership to the Top

Dr. Robert Smith – The University of Tennessee

Economic, demographic, technological, and global changes have converged to force rethinking of how consumer focused enterprises remain successful.

Moving up the career ladder, survival requires today’s leaders to know how to adapt and how to adapt their credit unions to transformational changes in the consumer climate. Nothing is secure. Planning is subject to more disruption than stability.

During this highly charged course, Dr. Bob:

  • Discusses seizing opportunity in an age of chaos and wicked problems.
  • Explores the unique skills required for effective senior leadership roles.
  • Addresses being an effective enterprise leader and preparing your plan for getting there.

Along the path, we will engage in some important myth busting of popular leadership axioms.

Students leave with commitments for action to advance your talent and achievements.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

Michael D. Kloiber - Tinker FCU

With attacks coming from all directions, protecting member financial resources is a primary responsibility with an ever-growing scope. Risk is consuming more and more of the focus from the highest levels of the credit union. During this course, Mike provides industry insights and expertise as he:

  • Provides a working definition of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).
  • Identifies risk issues.
  • Discusses establishing a ERM program, including implementation and operation.
Essentials of Negotiation: Negotiate Your Way to Success

Dr. Shannon Shipp - Texas Christian University

Shannon uses discussion and exercises to illustrate:

  • 4 Goals of Negotiation
  • How to Encourage Subsequent Negotiations
  • Bad Negotiating Outcomes
  • 7 Rules for Negotiating
  • When to “Get the Boss Involved:
  • Role of Reciprocity
  • Special Issues
  • Gender Differences & Strategies
  • And, more.
Ethical Decision Making

Dr. Shannon Shipp - Texas Christian University

Ethical decision-making by senior executives is constantly in the news. Customers and regulators expect ethical action by credit unions. During this course, Dr. Shipp discusses ways to anticipate and manage ethical dilemmas in a credit union context. The focus is on making ethical decisions in areas that are not required by law or specified by state or federal regulation.

Case studies and class discussions are incorporated to address:

  • How to be an ethical decision-making role model
  • How to train others to make ethical decisions
  • How to establish an ethical workplace

Students leave the course with an ethical decision making process.

Filene I: Innovation as a Strategy

Andrew Downin - Filene Research Institute

Innovation is a critical facet of strategy for credit unions. During this fast-paced, interactive, course, Andrew illustrates how to effectively innovate for financial services customers using the proven Filene Method. He covers such areas as:

  • Meeting the needs of consumers: where do credit unions fit in?
  • Human-centered design and the Filene Method.
  • Identifying consumer problems that inspire innovation.
  • Best practices in developing innovative solutions.
  • Assessing the feasibility of innovation.
  • The art of prototyping and gathering feedback: test, learn, repeat.
Filene II: Innovation as a Reality

Andrew Downin - Filene Research Institute

Now more than ever, credit unions are facing increased competition from both traditional and emerging competitors. To stay relevant and to maintain or grow market share, credit unions must meet the needs of consumers through innovative products, services, and business models. Andrew helps graduating students focus forward, covering such areas as:

  • Investment, risk appetite, and their impacts on change.
  • Building and leading a culture of innovation.
  • Capturing value in ideas through effective business model creation.
  • Applying the Filene Method to solve real-life problems (interactive workshop).
  • Overcoming organizational barriers to innovation.
Financial Industry Trends & Strategic Dialogue

Dean Borland – Credit Union Resources, Inc. (OnBalance)

As emerging credit union leaders, students are faced with addressing strategic issues in the development of their Southwest CUNA Management School project (a business plan on the student credit union) and application in the performance of their real-life duties. Dean reviews current economic and industry trends and projections, exploring challenges and opportunities to help position for future credit union success.

The recession of 2007-2009 left an indelible mark on the credit union industry and the US economy as a whole.

  • High unemployment, lingering weakness in residential real estate, and rising public debt, both domestic and foreign, hindered economic recovery and perhaps changed the financial services landscape for years to come.
  • Slow economic recovery continues but inevitable market interest rate escalation and the ever-increasing regulatory burden pose future challenges for credit union growth and profitability.

During this interactive course, Dean challenges students to raise awareness of external issues with potential to affect credit union performance and stimulate thought about how to best leverage or mitigate circumstance to advance the organizational business plan. Students:

  • Discuss the potential for the far-reaching effects of economic, demographic, and environmental change on credit union business success and consumer financial services in general.
  • Gain heightened awareness and understanding of trends and strategic opportunities / challenges will aid tenured and emerging leaders in planning.
  • Explore current:
    • Economic conditions and projections.
    • Credit union industry performance trends and projections.
    • Future potential regulatory challenges and opportunities.

Discussions are centered around strategic consideration and discussion of opportunities / challenges.

Finding Your Voice as a Leader: Your Personal Leadership Journey

Micheal Walls – CUNA Mutual Group

As a leader, future or present, it is important to know how you will lead and what your personal brand will be. During this interactive course, students are guided through the development of their own “Leadership Story”. They will be able to capture their personal mission, vision, guiding principles and words to live by. In addition, learning ways to build a story that can be told to others, capturing the key aspects of personal leadership philosophies and values. Pre-work will be provided.

Future Freak: Techs Transforming the Future of Payments & Financial Services

Lee Wetherington, AAP - ProfitStars, a Jack Henry Company

The future is always already here…if you know where to look. How might eye veins and behavior replace user names and passwords? Why might your kid’s allowance redefine the expectations of a new generation of consumers? How might electromagnetic loops make $8B worth of POS terminal upgrades unnecessary in 2015? What’s the difference between Apple Pay, Samsung Pay & Android Pay? How close are we to same-day or near real-time settlement in the U.S.? Why will EMV increase card fraud in the U.S.? And what exactly does all of this mean for credit unions and their members? Join Lee Wetherington, and get your future freak on.

Governance & CU Board/Management Relations

Howard Bufe - Credit Union Resources, Inc. (OnBalance)

Good governance relates to consistent management of the credit union. Consistency is accomplished by:

  • Defining the credit union’s strategic direction.
  • Formulating cohesive policies & procedures.
  • Providing proper guidance through adequate oversight and accountability.

By identifying and incorporating the key principles promoting good governance, a credit union is capable of creating the appropriate cultural dynamics for a productive board and CEO relationship.

Key principles cover such areas as:

  • Credit Union Principles & philosophy
  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Board Composition
  • Purpose & Strategy
  • Recognition & Management of Risk
  • Organizational Performance
  • Board Effectiveness
  • Macro/Micro Management
How Do Your Objectives MEASURE UP? (Mid-Year Course)

Howard Bufe – Credit Union Resources, Inc. (OnBalance)

Howard leads this interactive class through discussions about:

  • “Measurable"...What’s the Big Deal?
  • Criteria for Selecting Appropriate Strategic Objectives & Strategies
  • Six Forms of Measurements: Pros & Cons
Investments: Understanding the Trends (Mid-Year Course)

Steven Houle, CFA - Catalyst Corporate FCU

With strong share growth and flat to negative loan growth in recent years contributing to sizable growth in credit union investment portfolios, it’s important for students to have a basic understanding of investments.

Through class discussion and a case study, Steven will cover:

  • Credit union investment trends
  • Types of investments & risk factors
  • Investment strategies
  • Impact of current low interest rate environment on portfolio yields and net interest margins
Lending Trends, Challenges & Innovations

Larry Biernacki

Students gain from first-hand experience as Larry shares from his extensive lending background, discussing such areas as:

  • What’s Going on in Lending Land?
    • Indirect
    • Point of Sale
    • Home Equity
    • Mortgage Lending
    • Commercial Lending
    • Relationship Pricing
  • Challenges in Current Rate Environment
    • Production Concerns
    • Margin Issues
    • What If/Can You Run Out of Money?
  • Strategic Products for Building & Deepening Member Relationships
    • Indirect Lending vs. Point of Sale
      • Indirect Loans Don’t Build Relationships:
        To Market Successfully To New/Indirect Members
    • Profit/Yield Model Discussion (open spreadsheet)
    • Another Type of Point of Sale…Small Ticket Sales Finance
    • Getting Loans at New Account Opening
    • Building Relationships with Relationship Pricing
    • New Markets for Credit Unions?
    • Manufactured Housing
Mapping Your SCMS ROI: Execution Strategies

John Vardallas - TheAmericanBoomeR Group

  • ROI (abbreviation for Return on Investment): Main reason you attended, endured, and completed Southwest CUNA Management School.
  • Execution (noun): The art of getting things done back home via your Project road map:
    • meshing strategy with reality
    • aligning people with goals
    • achieving the desired results
  • Application (noun): Following the action steps.

You’ve attended the classes, prepared the two-year strategic business plan, and developed a tremendous network. Now the real work begins. It’s time to give your credit union a return on its investment (if you haven’t already). Work the plan by becoming a champion and forming the team to implement your strategies!

A well-crafted plan sitting on a shelf or idle in a computer has no value. Make it come alive:

  • Communicate the Plan
  • Know the Stakeholders, Identify Your Champions, and Create Ownership
  • Keep Planning Forward – Success is a Journey not a Destination
  • Know How to Read the Environmental Tea Leaves and Change or Skirt Direction
Paid to Think®

David Goldsmith – Goldsmith Organization, LLC

Pre-Arrival Assignment: Read the following chapters from Paid to Think: A Leader’s Toolkit for Redefining Your Future by David Goldsmith . Come to class prepared to discuss the following chapters:

1 – Enterprise Thinking (ET)
2 - Rethinking
3 – Developing Plans
8 – Enhancing Global Awareness
11 – Empowering Others

Effective the Week of June 9 - You're responsible for two postings each week on David's Forum:

  • One is to create a new topic about something you've read about in Paid to THINK.  This can be a concept or a tool. We'd like to know what you think, how it's worked, have you seen the lesson elsewhere, etc.
  • One is to comment on someone else's topic they've posted. You can write what you think would add value to the conversation
  • You can create more topics or comments than required above.  Knock yourself out!

In any organization it's leadership who's responsible for setting the strategy, developing the tactics, and following through on execution. The challenge for leadership is that not all plans go as planned. With volatile capital markets, politicians in Washington changing the rules daily, the economy on life support, personal finances in turmoil and high unemployment, what is a leader supposed to do to increase their membership, maintain a stable Credit Union, and continually deliver products and services that meet the needs of the membership? Hint: Follow the basic principles of Paid to Think®.

Leaders are the ultimate salespeople, whether or not they directly sell products and services. They must sell their credentials, their ideas and initiatives, and their organizations’ strengths and potential all the time to a wide range of “buyers” such as managers, front-line employees, bankers, officials, media, board members, consumers, colleagues, global contacts, vendors and so on. Yet, given the complexities of leadership sales, it’s surprising that most decision makers have never taken even a single sales course!

In this course, students learn:

  • A new road map for those in leadership that outlines 12 specific activities every leader should be skilled at to:
    • Create rapid growth
    • Increase customer and employee satisfaction, and growing overall value to the credit union.
  • Assumptions preventing you from making rapid progress towards your overall desired outcomes and what changes you can make to easily overcome these obstacles.
  • How to rethink the current strategic and tactical model to bring clarity to daily activities.
  • What leadership is responsible for delivering to insure that there are no fires, and progress is made daily.
  • The rationale behind the phrase, "All management exists in the future." and what you can do to bring even greater leadership to those you manage.
  • The secret counter-intuitive executive selling approach, providing audience members with proven tools and methodologies to achieve the types of immediate results that transform careers and organizations.

David packs volumes into this course, immediately changing you and your Credit Union forever.

Passion, Purpose & Performance: How Innovative Leadership Works in Today's CU

Dr. Robert Smith – The University of Tennessee at Martin & Slippery Rock University

The primary purpose of this program is to understand and experience the fundamental leadership requirements guiding strategic change within your credit union.  Because successful innovation is ultimately measured by execution and accountability, our program is fully anchored in pragmatic applications including numerous case studies to illustrate different leadership skills.  The final segment of our day together will be a discussion of who needs to be on your support team for advancing your leadership career as a leader of innovation in your credit union.

Course Objectives:

  • Developing a concept of pragmatic leadership execution;
  • Exploring unique individual leadership attributes and understanding how those might differ from the attributes of others;
  • Defining leadership through the theme of innovation and experiencing various forms of innovation in the workplace;
  • Establishing a rubric for understanding four different leadership talents, the requirements for developing each, and how one's own leadership growth will mature; and,
  • Focusing on career development and challenging each person to consider the final legacy they will leave as leader.
Ready, Set, GROW!

Julie Ferguson - JRF Consulting Services, LLC

In this high impact workshop, Julie will take you on a journey from the front line to the bottom line to help you become a relationship rockstar.  Discover a sales culture that transitions employees from order takers to performance makers.  Explore business development tools that formulate enduring, impactful partnerships that win. You'll maximize the power of relationships both internally and externally to fuel the growth engine of your credit union. 

Risk Management

Michael A. Petrone, CFE, CFSA - CUNA Mutual Group (CMG)

Managing credit union risks is a never-ending task. During this course, Mike uses step-by-step processes to discuss risk management principles and fundamentals used by successful credit unions around the world. He covers risks associated with wire transfer fraud, employment practice, robbery and burglary.

Mike presents a three step process to explore risk management:

  • Identify the risk
  • Measure the risk’s probability of occurring in terms of
    • Frequency
    • Severity
    • Control Measures
  • Control - A Five Step Program
    • Avoid
    • Reduce
    • Spread
    • Assume
    • Transfer
Scenario Planning - Striving to Stay Relevant in a Rapidly Changing World

Karen Houston-Johnson & Bob Rehm, CUDE (Credit Union Resources, Inc.)

Even though the worst of the 2008 financial crisis is more than a half-decade behind us, there’s still little belief that the world economy is ‘back to normal’.  Many of the challenges that fed the economic crisis in the U.S. still persist:

  • Unstable energy prices,
  • The potential for new housing bubbles,
  • Low interest rates,
  • Ineffective regulation
  • Global economic upheaval, and
  • Continued lack of consumers’ confidence in the economy.

Credit unions have largely weathered the storm, but that is not to say that we can rest easy.  The future success of credit unions depends on our ability to identify, track, and make sense of the MANY changes and forces at play both internally and in the external environment.

In this environment of increased uncertainty and complexity, strategic and future-thinking leadership is more critical than ever.  By examining alternative possible scenarios or futures and discussing them within your credit union, you can prepare for – and stay ahead of – the multitude of changes transforming the environment.

Karen and Jon will share the results of a recent report on “Scenarios for Credit Unions in 2020”.  They will provide valuable tools to assist students and their credit union teams at home in analyzing the four possible ‘scenarios’ presented in the report to determine how they affect the specific region and membership base of their credit union.

SCMS Summit (New Course)


  • Gina Wilson, Pres/CEO, Oklahoma Central CU (Cl of 96)


  • Curtis Collins, CUDE, Board Vice Chair, JSC FCU
  • Mike Kloiber, Pres/CEO, Tinker FCU
  • Lily Newfarmer, CUDE, Pres/CEO, Tarrant County's CU (Cl of 1999)
  • Craig Tabor, Pres/CEO, BlueCurrent CU (Cl of 94)

3rd year students, alumni, and guests come together for this CEO Roundtable style dialogue where participants have opportunity to share trending challenges and ideas, garning insights from experience.

Show Me the Money – A Payments Industry Overview (New Course)

Justin Lutes, AAP, NCP - Catalyst Corporate FCU

The payments industry is in a state of change like never before. Faster payments, Financial Technology and Mobile are just a few of today’s hot topics. During this rapid paced course, Justin Lutes, Catalyst Corporate’s Vice President, Correspondent Services, provides an industry overview. He’ll discuss payments history, current landscape, and what may be on the horizon.

Student Presentations: Credit Union Strategic Issues

SCMS Faculty Team & Alumni

Each third year student determines his or her audience – preparing to present as if addressing the credit union:

  • Board of Directors
  • Management Team

The student's mission is to simulate a real business environment and engage the audience by covering one key strategic element from his or her strategic business plan. The objective is to give a presentation to gain “buy in” as to why the strategic element is important to the credit union and / or to acquire funding.

Presentation Format:

  • Time: Minimum 20 minutes, maximum 25 minutes - plus a few minutes at the end of the presentation for questions and answers. The stated time factors may be adjusted to allow for class size, availability of reviewers, and time constraints.
  • Minimum of one audio-visual element.
  • Attire: Business Professional

When students are not presenting, they are to take the roll as an audience member seriously. If in your classmate’s environment, what might you want to know? What questions do you have about the issue presented? Do the recommendations sound important and reasonable for the credit union?

Presentation Room Set-Up: Each presentation group room has a podium, LCD projector, and white board. Student planning to use remote controls need to bring their own.

Students choosing to do a PC-based presentation should bring their presentation on disk or memory stick. (Be sure to have backup copies on disc and laptop. Some students get creative, network, and even back up each other's presentation.)

Students have the opportunity to see several samples before their third year.

Team Building (New Course)

Steve Rasmussen - True Sky CU
(Required reading: The FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS of a TEAM by Patrick Lencioni)

Teams have proven to be essential in attaining peak performance within organizations. An organizational culture, based on teamwork, is recognized globally as a “best practice”. To enhance productivity and remain competitive, organizations are increasingly fostering team based cultures and the coaching leadership style to attain enhanced execution and performance from their workforce.

Steve addresses the challenge of taking a diverse group of individuals and molding them into a team focused on a common goal. He incorporates cutting edge approaches, based on the best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni’s book The FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS of a TEAM - exposing students to the benefits and dysfunctions of teams. 

Course highlights include:

  • Definition of Teamwork
  • What Teams Need
  • How Teams Differ from Groups
  • Evaluating Your Team
  • The Five Dysfunctions of Teams and How to Reduce Them
  • How to Run an Effective Meeting
The Fed Simulation: Formulating Monetary Policy

Thomas Siems, PHD & Princeton Williams - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Students have the opportunity to play the role of a Federal Reserve Bank president in one of the aspects of an FOMC meeting: the policy go-round and Fed Funds rate and asset purchases recommenda­tion. After discussing the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate (maximum employment and stable prices) and reviewing macroeconomic data, students will read and evaluate the anecdotal information contained in the Beige Book. Then, students analyze current economic conditions, assessing possible economic, financial and international risks; recommending a monetary policy response. 

The Power of One: Impacting Tomorrow (New Micro-Course)

Courtney Moran, ICUDE - Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation

Course description underdevelopment. 

The Secrets of Good Writing

Paula LaRocque – Author

Business leaders say consistently that clear and effective written communication is their staff’s number one challenge. During this course, Paula offers a fresh and sensible way of thinking about workplace communication, whether for print, electronic, or oral presentations. She provides guidelines she developed during her 30-year career as a university educator and as a professional writer, editor, and consultant. Her easy-to-understand guidelines promote accuracy, clarity, brevity, warmth, and interest. Paula also discusses the most common errors in workplace writing, helping students develop an approach to writing that makes the difficult easy to understand.

There’s an App for That: How to Engage Members through Tablet & Smartphone Applications

Brett Wooden - Wooden Consulting, LLC

As credit unions begin to adapt and cope to the so called, “Post PC Era” how will their mobile applications on smartphones and tablets effect how they service and educate non-members and existing members?

Imagine what it would look like if a financial institution developed their own applications to educate, engage, and market to its members and non-members. Mobile devices and custom app development across multiple platforms will become critical in differentiating one financial institution from the next. As tablet devices surpass the sales of PC devices it will become even more important to strategize on the surpassing of online banking to people utilizing mobile banking.

Learning Objectives:

  • Types of financial applications for mobile devices that are currently present in the marketplace – key players, developers, and examples
  • How customization of applications can educate internal and external members
  • Learning how to decide it it is worth customizing an app or going with a standard template
  • A few applications and ideas to help teach internal and external members financial education through apps
  • Determining what your credit union can do going forward
Think Like a Freak: A Guide to Financial Innovation & Thinking Strategically

Lee Wetherington, AAP - ProfitStars, a Jack Henry Company

The public perceives financial institutions as “laggards in innovation.” No wonder. As regulated, risk-averse entities, financial institutions aren’t inclined to ‘fail fast and often’ as innovation requires. Moreover, many financial institutions dedicate their most skilled talent to complying with regulations rather than pioneering better user experiences and service. Even innovation ain’t what it used to be. Innovation today requires more than successful execution of product strategy and delivery; it requires successful management of ecosystems of vendors, partners, and regulators. Moreover, though strategy is best done from the future backwards, strategic foresight is often impaired by cognitive biases that skew our perceptions. Join Lee Wetherington for a sobering look at what it takes to innovate successfully in financial services, and learn what you need to know to assess risk accurately, focus resources smartly, and increase your credit union’s probability of success now and tomorrow.

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TCU Neeley School of Business