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

Adaptive Leadership in an Age of Chaos (New Course)

Dr. Robert Smith - The University of Tennessee

The world economy adjusted to the 2008-2009 recession with chaotic changes in the nature of the global workforce. We are in repeating cycles that destroy and create new jobs and career tracks. No sector, least of all the financial sector, is immune. Now is the time to take charge. This course provides practical, proven methods to take control over the development of your current and future employees, so they may be effective in service to your members.


Course objectives: 

  • To appreciate how the rapidly changing 21st-century workforce continues to destabilize the nature of work and what credit unions must do in response.
  • To develop sound planning for recruiting, retaining, and reenergizing your workforce for today and tomorrow.
  • To have a system for cultivating a rigorous continuous improvement process for your leadership team.
  • To have field-tested prototypes for regular assessment of your employees with methods for individualized internal leadership development planning.
ALM Fundamentals

Vicky Salkeld - Cornerstone Credit Union League

A fundamental understanding of the financial management process is core to credit union success. During this class, Vicky challenges students to see beyond their credit union size, complexities, or current position as she 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

Debbie introduces students to key ALM concepts including interest rate risk and liquidity management. The course:

  • Highlights the four primary goals of asset/liability management (ALM).
  • Discusses the impact of interest rate risk (IRR) on credit union earnings.
  • Identifies IRR policy requirements.
  • Highlights liquidity policy objectives.
  • Identifies typical sources and uses of cash.
  • Reviews a list of key terms associated with ALM concepts.
  • Provides direction on Call Report data related to these concepts.
  • Examines additional components of an effective ALM process.
  • Reviews ALM concepts learned in first year classes.
ALM Strategic Initiative: Requirements and Strategies (Mid-Year Course)

Deborah Rightmire - Cornerstone Credit Union League

Debbie reviews requirements for the Financial Management Strategic Initiative (FMSI) of the SCMS project:

  • Internal analysis
  • Objectives, strategies, and tactical action plans (TAPs)
  • Cost benefit analysis (CBA) process
  • Appropriate topics for objectives, strategies, and TAPs
  • Submission and approval procedures

She instructs on how to complete the projection process:

  • Use Excel Projection spreadsheet
  • Integrating impact of all five Strategic Initiatives into projection results
  • Two-year projection of balance sheet, income statement, key ratios
  • Submission and approval procedures
Automotive Data Analysis and Lending Trends

Phil DuPree - CU Direct

Phil provides an overview of key trends in the automotive finance industry, including:

  • Auto sales
  • Market share analysis
  • Risk
  • Pricing, and
  • Overall indirect lending methodologies. 

Understanding the data will enable credit unions to develop strategies to be competitive in the auto lending landscape.

Balancing Your Channels Strategy: How Digital and Payments Should Co-Exist Peacefully with Brick and Mortar (New Mid-Year Course)

Barbra Lowman, CUDE - Credit Union Resources, Inc.

New chief growth officer for Cornerstone Credit Union League and Credit Union Resources, Barb Lowman is a well-regarded industry thought leader who, in this insightful session, will explore the need for credit unions to strike a balance in their channels strategy. Lowman will touch on five key takeaways, including:

  • Knowledge is power—know who you serve and how they wish to be served;
  • A relevant digital bundle is becoming “table stakes”;
  • Focus is shifting to a blended digital payments strategy;
  • Adoption is vital to your success; and
  • Debunking the myth: credit unions will still need branches in the digital age.
Barrier Breakers: Collaborating to Success (Mid-Year / New Course)

Sam Taft & Maya Neuman - Callahan & Associates, Inc.

In this session, we’ll explore examples of how credit unions leverage the cooperative model to overcome challenges and find success. We’ll provide curated case studies to examine how collaboration can take place in all areas of an institution, spanning personnel, back-office operations, third-party vendors, and other critical areas impacting the industry. This session will inspire ideas for additional collaboration and spark discussion for all attendees to think differently in how they approach their role in the institution.

Basic Business Law: Trends and Tactics (New Mini-Course)

Brenda Barrett - Duggins Wren Mann & Romero, LLP

Effective leaders need to know fundamental legal principals to help them make day-to-day decisions and strategic choices with a long-term effect. This course offers knowledge that executives and managers will rely on in their decision-making processes. The course will cover:  

  • Basic forms of business organizations and how their differences factor into decisions when working with business partners and members.
  • Anatomy of a typical contract with a review of those provisions most commonly negotiated that have the biggest economic effect on the credit union’s bottom line.

The course will equip students with the general knowledge they need to understand basic terms and parties of the transaction and identify issues that warrant further review and analysis.

Building a Lasting Brand: Advanced Branding for Credit Unions

Mark Arnold - On the Mark Strategies

Branding is more than changing a few brochures or redesigning a newsletter. 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. Mark provides practical information on what to do and what not to do with your credit union’s brand, covering areas such as:

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

Students gain a core understanding of:

  • How to build a brand.
  • How to live a brand.
  • How to energize a brand.
Building Your Playbook for Strategic Growth (New Course)

Julie Ferguson - JRF Consulting Services, LLC

In this interactive, engaging course we’ll explore how transforming your sales and business development culture can fuel strategic growth.


An effective sales culture helps transform our member interactions from simply transactional to meaningful conversations that add value to their lives. Ferguson will provide the play by play that can to transition order takers into proactive partners, who value enduring relationships that result in a win-win for the member and credit union. 


How we build relationships and communicate the value of our organizations through business development outreach is constantly evolving. Opening more doors for growth opportunities requires savvy skills in the areas of prospecting, cultivating relationships, SEG development, community outreach, and lead generation. All of this and more will be discussed to help you build a business development playbook that propels growth. 

Business and Technology - Trends and Innovations: How Credit Unions Can Compete to Win!

Mark Sievewright – Sievewright & Associates

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.

c2c: Crafting Your Career Path Panel (New Course)

Hosted by the SCMS Alumni Association

Moderator: Mike Moyer, Red Crown FCU


  • Robert Hamer, retired from Mobiloil FCU
  • Brandon Michaels, JSC FCU
  • Tammy Passafiume, Diamond Lakes FCU

Get up close and personal with alumni and faculty during this open discussion. These mentors  will share their stories and answer your questions to help you hone and advance your credit union journey and plan your career path.

Callahan Peer-to-Peer Analysis: Experience Lab - Applications (Summer)

Maya Neuman & Aman Johal - Callahan & Associates, Inc.

Students dive into Callahan's Peer-to-Peer tools and resources, garnering insights as they prepare to develop a strategic business plan for their own credit union.

Through Peer-to-Peer, students have the opportunity to compare their own credit union to individual credit unions and banks, customized peer groups, and industry averages. The benchmarking possibilities are nearly limitless since Peer includes all the data points from the NCUA 5300 and FDIC call reports, not to mention numerous Callahan-created ratios that provide an even deeper look into your performance.

The multitude of filters provided help users make the most relevant comparisons possible. Display the information in a customized format, exporting data for the next board meeting or planning session. With Peer, you always know where your credit union stands.

Callahan Peer-to-Peer Analysis: Introduction (Mid-Year)

Sam Taft & Maya Neuman - Callahan & Associates, Inc.

In this session, students are introduced to Callahan’s Peer-to-Peer analytics software. During the course, they will learn how to:

  • Navigate the software
  • Create custom peer groups based on specific financial and geographic criteria, and
  • Utilize the software’s hundreds of built-in benchmarks, graphs and tables for their analysis.
Communicating Your Message, Sharing Your Meaning

Dr. Johny Garner - Texas Christian University
Communication Studies
Bob Schieffer College of Communication

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. 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. Finally, the best communicators cultivate effective communication skills in others. 

Pre-Arrival Assignment: Complete the Leadership Communication Survey.

Credit Union (Cyber) Security Issues

Idrees Rafiq – Credit Union Resources, Inc.

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.
Credit Union Investments Portfolio Management (Mid-Year Course)

Steven Houle, CFA, FRM - Catalyst Corporate FCU

Even though loan growth has dominating credit union balance sheet trends over the last four years, investment portfolio management remains critical to earnings, liquidity and risk management.  Having, an basic understanding of investments is critical for students.

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

  • Credit union investment trends
  • Permissible investments & security analysis
  • Investment portfolio strategies
Credit Union Philosophy: People Helping People

Gina Evans, CUDE – Credit Union of America

"People helping people" 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 of this philosophy. Next, 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.
Credit Union Strategic Issues: Student Presentations

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 15 minutes, maximum 20 minutes - plus 5 minutes 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.

Design Thinking: Finding New Ways to Visualize Our Credit Unions, Our Members and Ourselves

Kevin Moland, AAP – Jack Henry and Associates, Inc.

“Design thinking” is a solution-based way of approaching problems, people, and even life itself. Kevin incorporates a series of exercises designed to help students view their institutions from a new perspective, including an introduction to product management principles like competitive analysis and the crafting of value propositions. Students will also learn how to increase their capacity for insight, and study its role as a foundation for innovative action. The course also includes a personal case study that emphasizes the value of digital services in today’s financial services market, and considers the implications for small- to mid-sized credit unions.

During this course, students will:

  • Study basic Design Thinking principles and discuss how to apply them in a credit union environment
  • Examine how insight is formed and learn how “insight mining” can be used to solve business problems
  • Experiment with competitive analysis methods and the creation of value propositions
  • Review a case study related to digital services and member retention
Developing Your Credit Union's Strategic Business Plan (Summer and Mid-Year Courses)

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

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 Credit Union's Strategic Business Plan: Experience Lab - Projections (Summer & Mid-Year)

Deborah Rightmire & Vicki Harris - Cornerstone Credit Union League

In a hands-on lab environment, students have the opportunity to use their credit union’s historical information and an Excel spreadsheet application to develop 2 years of:

  • Projected balance sheet
  • Income statement
  • Reconcile of Allowance for Loan and Lease Loss account
  • 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.

Developing Your Credit Union's Strategic Business Plan: Introduction to Financial Management Strategic Initiative & Projection Fundamentals

Deborah Rightmire & Vicki Harris - Cornerstone Credit Union League

The course builds on previous Asset Liability Management courses and helps students prepare for their Financial Management Strategic Initiative (FMSI). Debbie:

  • Reviews requirements for the Financial Management Strategic Initiative (FMSI) of the SCMS project 
    • Internal analysis
    • Objectives, strategies, and tactical action plans (TAPs)
    • Cost benefit analysis (CBA) process
    • Appropriate topics for objectives, strategies, and TAPs
    • Submission and approval procedures
  • Instructs on how to complete the projections process
    • Use Excel Projection spreadsheet
    • Integrating impact of all five Strategic Initiatives into projection results
    • Two-year projection of balance sheet, income statement, key ratios
    • Submission and approval procedures
Driving Your Data Analytics Strategy (New Course)

Naveen Jain - CULytics

Data is the new oil. It fuels every aspect of a credit union business including member and staff engagement, back-office operations, product and services, delivery channels, and the technology foundation. Leading organizations are using data insights to grow revenue, contain costs, and drive operational efficiencies.

In this session, you will learn about the successes of data-savvy credit unions and how you can be one of them. By attending this course, you will gain a strong foundation and will be able to better position yourself for success within your organization.

Pre-Arrival Assignment: Complete the online Data Analytics and Digital Marketing Assessment prior to class.

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.
Ethics is NOT an Option

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.

Financial Management Simulation

Craig Piercy - University of Georgia

The Credit Union Management Simulation is a group exercise in financial decision making. Each team acts as the management of a simulated credit union and devotes attention to making various decisions during a sequence of simulated time periods. Thus, many years of operation can be simulated in a short period of time giving participants a sense of cause and effect of their decisions.

The simulation is designed to:

  • Provide top management decision-making experience.
  • Help you develop an appreciation of how key financial and economic variables interact.
  • Enhance your ability to use financial statements.
  • Provide a risk-free environment for experimenting with alternative policies.
Finding Your Voice as a Leader: Your Personal Leadership Journey

Micheal Walls – CUNA Mutual Group
Greg Inman, CCUE - Neighbors FCU

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. 

Governance and Credit Union Board/Management Relations

Robert Hamer
Retired President/CEO, Mobiloil FCU

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
HR Trends and 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.

Innovation as a Strategy (New Course)

Brandon Michaels - JSC FCU

By attending this course, you’ll learn about the importance of developing an innovation culture within your credit union. Oftentimes, credit unions struggle with the we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mentality. Michaels will help you break out of that mold as he shares:

  • Technological transitions and technology strategy
  • Knowledge and creativity in organizations
  • Managing innovation processes
  • Cross-functional cooperation.  

You’ll also learn how to identify different types and patterns of innovation, and how to sustain innovation within an organization.

Lending Trends, Challenges and Innovations

Larry Biernacki - Retired President/CEO, Arkansas Federal Credit Union

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 & Lessons Learned

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
Never Give Up: The Survivor Way (New Course)

Holly Hoffman - Professional Speaker & Author
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

As we survive life’s challenges, we come face-to-face with fear and uncertainty. Challenges may allow us to step out of our comfort zone and push ourselves above and beyond our own self-limitations. What makes us, is how we choose to overcome challenges. It’s our strength in times of dif´Čüculty that prove our character and self-worth. As Hoffman shares her experiences of being on a reality show, she’ll encourage you to think about how you decide to survive each day. She will inspire you to think about six words to develop your survival skills. With six simple words, you can take on any challenge with which you are faced. Adversity is not so much contending with problems as it is learning more about who we really are, and what is inside of us. Join Hoffman and explore true survival skills.

Panel - Avoiding Litigation & More (New Mini-Course)

Moderator - Brenda Barrett, Duggins Wren Mann & Romero, LLP

  • Faith Anderson, American Airlines FCU
  • Steve McConnel, WEOKIE FCU

Students gain insights from the frontline of defense on trending topics.

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

Dr. Robert Smith – The University of Tennessee

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. 

Course Objectives:

  • To explore your unique individual leadership attributes and understand how those might differ from others.
  • To establish a rubric for understanding the five different talents you must have to be successful.
  • Focus on your professional development and challenge you to consider the legacy your leadership will leave.
Powerful Presentations: Developing Oral Communication Skills for the Credit Union Executive (Summer & Mid-Year Courses)

Dr. Robert Smith – The University of Tennessee

Group Facilitators (Summer)

  • Millie Mayaka, SCMS Cl of 2013, CUCE - InTouch CU
  • Janine McBee, CUDE, CMM - Cornerstone Credit Union League
  • Lily Newfarmer, SCMS  Cl of 1999, CUDE, ICUDE - Tarrant County's 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.

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

Preparing for the Unthinkable: Credit Union Safeguards for Today's Branches

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

Tragic events in our communities involving workplace safety and physical security are forcing organizations of all types, including credit unions, to prepare for unthinkable situations. Unfortunate and traumatic events related to robberies and active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly.

During this class, Mike shares important components related to credit union and staff preparation, planning and training. He also covers internal controls, technologies, and action steps to consider as you prepare for tomorrow.

Retire on Track: Retirement Fair (New Course)

Courtney Moran – Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation


The National Credit Union Foundation in cooperation with the CUNA Mutual Group has developed a Retirement Fair, "Retire on Track", to assist credit unions help their members and staff better prepare for retirement. The award-winning fair is designed to have people think more carefully about the type of lifestyle they would like to pursue in retirement and then link it to their financial plan.

Scenario Planning & Mapping (New Course)

Dr. Troy Hall - South Carolina FCU

Planning for the future requires strategic thinking that can best be shaped through a formal Scenario Planning and Mapping process. It is important to include this strategic insight aspect into a robust business plan. When leaders have mapped probable scenarios that have the greatest impact to business, it is easier for the organization and the interconnecting systems to adapt to changes in markets, products and services, and utilization. During this session, participants will work in groups to identify trends, evaluate business and economic uncertainties, create scenarios, explore periphery indicators, and learn how to integrate these into the overall business plan.


Prework: Two weeks prior to the session, participants are required to email a list of three to four business trends each in political, economic, social, and technology that directly impact their credit union. These trends should be specific to the individual's credit union on a micro level. Macro-level trends such as unemployment and the growing national debt will emerge from the group discussion. Group activities will use this specific trend data to provide an applicable learning environment that produces meaningful and tangible results.

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.

The Elephant in the Room: A Conversation on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

Ronaldo Hardy, MSHRLD, CUDE, CUERME - Southwest Louisiana CU/DiverCity Solutions

Do you simply comply with the federal regulations that govern diversity and inclusion, complimented with an annual training video for each employee to view? Have you assessed the value of building diverse teams to catapult your innovative ideas?

Obtaining real diversity and inclusion ultimately depends upon the strength of the organizations investment and leadership’s commitment to creating sustainable and inclusive objectives. Many companies understand the legal requirements, but fail to recognize the advantages of putting these issues broadly on their agendas. A robust D, I, & E plan can positively affect talent acquisition, talent procurement, and marketplace engagement.

Let’s build collaborative framework to impact the internal dynamics, external relationships, and inclusion effect for your organization. Start your evaluation now!

The Evolving Member Experience (New Course)

Andrew Downin - Vantage West CU

Move over, member satisfaction scores and net promoter score ratings. Ease of use is the new metric to measure how likely your credit union is to gain your members’ future business. As technology enables consumers to have their needs met with ever-increasing speed, credit unions must keep up. In this course, students will explore the importance of focusing on member experience and how it can be leveraged as a competitive advantage.


Course objectives:

  • Understand consumers’ changing expectations and their impacts on credit unions;
  • Explore the process of diagnosing current member experience gaps and how to close them; and
  • Discuss emerging strategies to compete on a positive member experience.
The Fed Simulation: Formulating Monetary Policy

Jason L. Saving & Susan Kizer - 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. 

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Thank You 2019 Sponsors

Academic Fellow

CUNA Mutual GroupCredit Union Resources, Inc.Catalyst Corporate FCU

Academic Patron

Cornerstone Credit Union League

Educational Sponsor

Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation

Friends of SCMS

American Airlines FCU
Arkansas FCU
Blalack & Williams, PC
Bossier FCU
Callahan & Associates, Inc.
Credit Union of America
CU Direct

DiverCity Solutions
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
InTouch CU
JRF Consulting Services, LLC
Las Colinas FCU
Neighbors FCU
On the Mark Strategies

Red Crown FCU
Sievewright & Associates
South Carolina FCU
Southwest Louisiana CU
Tarrant County's CU
Tinker FCU
Vantage West CU