In September of last year we featured an $8 million dollar credit union serving 900 florists out of a house in Roswell, New Mexico. The title of the piece was “Merger Should be The Last Resort – Collaboration is Key.” This month we sat down with Kenn Bell, President/CEO of The Florist Federal Credit Union to hear his story of how the CUSO model is so vital to his success.
We are excited to debut the Partner Connection Sessions at the 2016 NACUSO Network Conference for stories like Kenn’s. these sessions are the 6th cooperative principle in action: Cooperation among cooperatives. Our goal is to bring like-minded people together in the spirit of collaboration and innovation to help credit unions to not only survive, but to thrive. We hope you’ll join us. Now here’s Kenn’s amazing story.
PART ONE: Life Story and Experiences
Where did you grow up and what was it like living there?… Read more
Having been a proud banker for 20 years before migrating 12 years ago to the credit union side of the industry, I have had some first hand experience in making the transition from banks to credit unions. But I had it easy because I joined a brand new company, and had only to make a journey one day at a time. Today, though, bankers joining an existing organization need to ramp up more quickly. I remember my first week on the job, when I was fortunate to be invited by one of our founding credit unions to join a small group of industry leaders in Chicago. The group was gathering to consider some industry level collaborations and standardization opportunities in business lending. I had 20 years experience so I was confident about my knowledge, and arrogant enough to believe that mattered. The more I listened, I realized the less I knew.… Read more
Each month we highlight at least one NACUSO member by interviewing one of their top executives. It’s an opportunity to tell their story in a casual and fun way. This month we sat down with Jim Giacobbe.
What’s your current position and can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?
I am the President and CEO at the United Solutions Company. We are a CUSO that was started in 1983 to provide fin-tech solutions to the credit union industry. As the CEO, I wear many hats. I am responsible for communicating a clear vision and direction to our customers, employees, and board of directors.
My most important responsibility is providing clear and concise leadership for the fifty plus employees at United Solutions. I take this responsibility very seriously because I think there is an epidemic of poor leadership in this country. There are too many absent CEOs that either feel they have people in positions to make their decisions, or feel as though the industry has somehow passed them by. … Read more
When Anne Mulcahy took the helm in 2001, Xerox was teetering on the verge of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company had over $17 billion in debt and had recorded losses in each of the preceding six years. A recent reorganization in the company had not gone according to plan. Customers were unhappy and the economy had started to falter. Facing the overwhelming task of turning this once great company around, Mulcahy decided the best course of action would be… to ask for help.
How did that plan work out for her? She was able to return Xerox to the Fortune 500 with billions of dollars in profits and was named one of the top 10 most powerful women in the world.
There were four critical things she did to accomplish this amazing achievement.
… Read more
- She built a huge network of people that were interested in and invested in her success. Although there were a number of people that would have loved to see her fail, there was also a vast number of people that wanted her and Xerox to be massively successful, so she got these people on her team.
CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference is not to be missed. Over 5,000 credit union evangelists gather in our Nation’s capital to network, meet and greet, lobby, sing, dance, and of course eat! We’re proud to say that once again NACUSO staff and many board members were in attendance this year to meet with legislators and regulators to protect and further the CUSO movement.
As we entered the exhibit hall we were greeted by our Platinum partner CO-OP Financial Services with this compelling question:
This seemed to be the overall theme of the conference. A time of reflection and a time to look ahead and challenge ourselves. This year we honored credit union pioneers, like CO-OP CEO Stan Hollen, who will be retiring in May, and we celebrate the next generation of credit union leaders through the Cooperative Trust (aka “The Crashers”).
At the opening session CUNA President Jim Nussle delivered a very inspirational message in which he urged credit unions to become the disruptors that America is craving.… Read more