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Partnership FAQ: CA/NV Leagues & Utah Association Partnership

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, together with the Utah Credit Union Association, announced they have entered into an agreement to form a joint association support services organization.

To help member credit unions’ senior management and boards of directors gain a fuller understanding, please consult the Leagues’ answers below to the following frequently-asked-questions (FAQs):

Q: Why is this happening?
A: The landscape of the credit union advocacy system has been changing. This is a strategic decision to steer the evolution of the league system in a way that maintains the strength of local control and affinity, keeping the main focus on advocacy while allowing for the pursuit of scale and efficiency for credit union support services.

Q: How is this different? What is changing?
A: For California and Nevada credit unions, it will feel very familiar. This is an expansion of our cooperative circle to include another state. Each state will still maintain the governance of their respective advocacy operations while jointly operating all non-advocacy related association services. This transformation is positioned as a partnership rather than an outsourced, management agreement.

Q: Why not just merge?
A: We feel it is critical to protect and amplify local affinity in the government advocacy mission of leagues. It is foundational culture and emotion in the political and policy arena. We believe merging into regional or super-regional leagues therefore dilutes local control and impact. All other league services can and should seek efficiency. This model allows for both.

Q: What was your decision process?
A: Our industry is about collaboration. Discussions for using new collaboration to increase efficiency has been a key focus at several strategic planning sessions. In recent years, conversations on various joint options with Utah and CA/NV have been discussed with board support to do so. Each state board was jointly approached by our CEOs in 2023 with their observations and proposed solutions to the realities of the credit union market and the related association trajectory. For all three boards, the proposed solutions were sound and ultimately deemed both a strategic opportunity and a proper succession plan.

Q: What about existing leadership/staff?
A: Maintaining continuity of service to members of all three leagues is critical and there is ample talent in all the organizations. Retaining and optimizing that leadership and legacy will be a key priority. We will still need to execute on each organization’s 2024 plans, obligations, and budgets. We know there will be some redundancy. Where possible we will redeploy talent into this new model. This will be evaluated with care and equity, balancing the ability and needs of the employees with the strategic, future requirements of protecting and enhancing the credit union operating environment.

Q: How long will this transformation take?
A: We will continue to operate with the approved plans and budgets of 2024. Diana Dykstra is retiring on July 1st and Scott Simpson will officially assume president/CEO duties at that time. From this announcement through 2024, the combined organizations’ member observations and needs will be gathered, and organization assets and abilities evaluated. The new structures in this model will be built through the combined, strategic planning process beginning in Q3 of 2024. We may require some of 2025 to execute on this transformation.

Q: What about dues?
A: Each state will retain governance of their state’s advocacy operations through their respective board. This includes managing the financial requirement for that work through establishing a state-specific dues formula. The joint operation of the non-advocacy association services will have its own pro-rata shared budget, delivered to each league board for approval. For the member credit union, this will be seamless, and you’ll still receive only one invoice from your league.

Q: When will Scott Simpson be named CEO?
A: Diana Dykstra is retiring July 1st, and Scott Simpson will officially assume president/CEO duties at that time.

Q: What differences will credit unions notice?
A: Organizationally, it should feel very familiar. You are still a member of the same league as before. The joint operations are meant to be relatively silent and seamless. The sense of efficiency and combined resources should be evident over time.

Q: When does the new Partnership Alliance become official?
A: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the three boards on February 23, 2024. We are working under that agreement starting today and through our interim organizational period expected to go into early 2025.

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