Smaller Credit Unions Benefit Big From Agenda and Networking Opportunities at Fall Leadership Development Conference 

The cooperative spirit of the credit union industry provides plenty of opportunities for smaller credit unions, with limited resources, to leverage experiences and knowledge from other credit unions in an effort to improve their success serving member’s needs. Sending board of directors or managers to the Fall Leadership Development Conference is an outstanding way to build relationships, gain ideas and provide valuable tools to prepare credit union leaders for the future.

Five years ago, MCUL & Affiliates reduced the registration rates for key events such as the Fall Leadership Development Conference and has maintained the lower prices so that participants from credit unions of every size may afford to attend. This year the event takes place Friday-Sunday, Sept. 13-15 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, near Traverse. Once again, funding is available from the Michigan CU Foundation to assist attendees from credit unions with assets of $50 million or less with their costs.

The event features plenty of valuable networking opportunities, making it easy for participants to meet one another, enjoy social activities and engage in conversations on common interests -- such as credit unions! Repeatedly, attendees rank the opportunity to talk to other board members from different credit unions as one of the most valued aspects of the event – and certainly ideal for those from smaller credit unions.

"Taking the Helm! Board Leadership During Extreme Change" will be the topic of the keynote presentation, being facilitated by popular speaker Jack Wolf. Participants will learn how to create consensus with other board members, while also determining what is strategic, what is not and how to take steps to becoming a more effective leader. Wolf then presents a two-part breakout session on "Clear Communication: The Key to Credit Union Success."

MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams will offer a welcome and provide an update on the latest League initiatives, as well as insights into current industry trends. And John Kolhoff of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Service and Martha Powell of the NCUA will be on hand for a "Meet the Regulator Panel."

Those interested in earning a CUNA Credit Union Leadership Certificate will have the opportunity to choose three Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) sessions: "Strategic Credit Union Leadership" (V700), "Directing Effective Teams" (V701) and "Maximizing Board Performance" (V702). Another VAP session, "Collections Course" (V202) is also on the agenda.
Directors who are looking to focus on important compliance sessions will be pleased to find topics such as: "Practical Policy Pointers," "It’s Going to Hit the Bottom Line: The Financial Impact of Regulatory Compliance," "Compliance Discussion," "Assessing Risk: It's the Law" and "Bank Secrecy Act for Directors." Also of note are breakout sessions on the topics of "Mergers," "Enabling Payments While Disabling Fraud" and a focus session on "Federal Charters."

As a community reinvestment initiative project, participants are being asked to donate a new piece of sporting equipment, such as a baseball bat or basketball, to the Volunteers of America Adopt a Family program.

Attendees are encouraged to bring along guest(s) to enjoy the scenic fall colors, comforts of the hotel and special activities. Complimentary guest activities include a "Gentle Yoga" session on Saturday and an opportunity to help wrap gift donations for Volunteers of America on Sunday. Guests also have the option of joining attendees for an afternoon excursion to tour the Grand Traverse Distillery and visit the Traverse City Farmer's Market, as well as enjoy the evening "Navigating the High Seas" dinner banquet, complete with dueling pianos for entertainment.

Registration is only $399 per person; those sending five attendees, pay just $350 for the sixth participant or more. Attendees interested in applying for financial assistance from the Michigan CU Foundation may simply check the box when registering. More information about the event is being mailed to credit union CEOs for distribution to their directors and may also be found online at