|L-R: James Likens, President of Western CUNA Management School (WCMS); Gigi Hyland, Executive Director of the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and former Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); Richard Johnson, long-time credit union leader and Board Member of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation; and Michael Steinberger, Dean of WCMS|
GIGI HYLAND TALKS PHILOSOPHY AT WCMS
updated 07/21/14 04:11 PM
Foundation Leader Addresses Colloquium
The foundational philosophy of credit unions isn’t dead. But keeping true to the movement’s ideology means staying nimble in how it’s executed and harboring an open mind to change.
With passion in her voice, Gigi Hyland expressed these feelings about the industry last week during the Richard Myles Johnson Colloquium in Credit Union Philosophy at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. The yearly event draws Western CUNA Management School students from throughout the United States and other leaders from the industry.
Hyland is executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), and most recently known for her work as a board member for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) from 2005-2012. Her words come 80 years after the Federal Credit Union Act was passed into law in 1934.
She said credit unions can grow larger and still keep their “people helping people” beliefs as long as their basic ideology and commitment to lifting the human condition doesn’t waver.
“Our business model can’t change. If that’s lost, then all the rest is lost,” Hyland said. “The challenge for all of you leaders is this: It’s important to listen to what your members need, what they expect, and what they demand.”
Without the credit union “prism” to see through, Hyland would’ve “been a different regulator” during her time at NCUA, she said. She was the only board member with direct credit union experience at the time.
Some noteworthy quotes and excerpts from her speech and question-and-answer session with the audience include the following:
In closing, Hyland added: “There’s no better time to be a credit union. There are 70 million Americans who are underserved or have no bank account at all. I’m asking you to think about who your members are, as well as the people in your community, and how you can help them.”