CU*Answers hosts Annual Leadership Conference and Stockholders Meeting

CU*Answers, a 100% credit union-owned CUSO, held its 2018 Annual Leadership Conference and Stockholders Meeting on June 27th at the DeVos Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event brought together credit union leadership from across the country for a briefing on the organization’s overall direction and major projects for the coming year.

This year’s conference theme was “We Need a Hero!” As he introduced the theme to the group, CU*Answers CEO Randy Karnes said many people might assume it refers to how credit unions are heroes for helping members, or even that members, current and future, are heroes to credit unions. However, said Karnes, “The heroes we need for our future are the credit union’s owners, members who are vested in being part of the cooperative. We count on the fact that members are both consumers and owners, but do we act like it?”

The day-long conference was attended by 187 leaders from 93 credit unions, along with representatives from 25 vendors and 36 internal staff. This year Karnes was joined on stage by retired CEO of the State Employees CU in North Carolina, Jim Blaine, who was also the recipient of this year’s “Spirit of CU*Answers” Award honoring his long-time contributions to the credit union industry. Other topics included, Boot Camps: Where Do We Go From Here, Designing the Future of Internet Retailing, Designing Teller Platforms for our Future, and Designing the Future for Online and Mobile Tools.

At a separate session that evening, CU*Answers stockholders met for the annual board member election and to hear a recap of the CUSO’s financial position and projections for the fiscal year. Three credit union CEOs were chosen by their peers to serve a three-year term on the CUSO’s board of directors, during elections held at the meeting. Incumbents Thomas Gryp, CEO of Notre Dame FCU in Notre Dame, Indiana; and Scott McFarland, CEO of Honor Credit Union in St. Joseph, Michigan, will both serve another a three-year term on the CU*Answers Board of Directors beginning this October.

Newcomer Kris Lewis, CEO of Allegan Credit Union in Allegan, Michigan, was also elected to serve a three-year term on the CUSO board. Mr. Lewis fills a seat recently vacated by Don Mills, CU*Answers board member since 2010, who retires this year from the CU*Answers board, although not from the credit union community. Mr. Mills is the President/CEO of Alpena Alcona Area CU in Alpena, Michigan, and was a co-recipient of this year’s Robert H. Mackay leadership award.

This year’s Annual Stockholders meeting was attended by 81 people, representing 47 of the CUSO’s 136 owner credit union clients, with many more owners sending their vote electronically or by proxy.

About CU*Answers, Inc.

CU*Answers offers expertise in implementing technical solutions to operational needs, and is a leader in helping credit unions form strategic alliances and partnerships. CU*Answers provides a wide variety of services for credit unions including its flagship CU*BASE® processing system (online and in-house) and Internet development services featuring It’s Me 247 online and mobile banking. Additional services include web development, network design and security, and image check processing. Founded 45+ years ago, CU*Answers is a 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO providing services to credit unions representing over 1.9 million members and $19 billion in credit union assets. For more information, visit