credit unions

The “R” in the DREAM Big Contest: Recreate and Reinforce

Kirk Drake (right) with Mike Lawson at 2017 NACUSO Network Conference

Last week we talked about the importance of differentiating with data … the “D” in Dream. Now let’s begin by talking about the Google machine. I cannot even remember my life before it? Did we go to the library to do research? Pull out our 10 year old Encyclopedia Brittanica? If you’re a Millennial reading this – Google it – it’s a thing.

Anyway- Kirk cracks the code on getting Google’s attention. Put simply, the ultimate goal is to have someone in your field of membership searching for a solution to a problem and bam – you have the answer and land on the top (or near) the first page of responses. So just for fun Google “good financing for a car loan in (insert your city name).” Was your credit union there? If so, congratulations. If not, why?

I don’t know of a credit union out there that doesn’t want to be known as the “trusted resource for financial services.”  How do you earn that trust? Not by product pushing and always leading with rate. Not with clever ads and shiny happy people on your website. It’s about identifying with your target audience and giving them resources, content, information and education, about stuff that has nothing to do with your products and services. A really good example is Point West Credit Union in Portland, Oregon. They were founded in 1932 to serve employees of Multnomah County. After the Great Recession of 2008 they focused their mission on community development. They received their CDFI designation in 2013 and merged two very small diverse credit unions in – NAACP and Hacienda Community.  In 2016 they funded $5.4 million in affordable loans to non-citizens! That’s a real differentiator. They have created a community within their community.  On Point West’s site they have a page dedicated to resources for non-citizens.

Read more on The “R” in the DREAM Big Contest: Recreate and Reinforce…

Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Stories From the Inside

Pat Connealy at the 2016 NACUSO Network Conference

Patrick Connealy at the 2016 NACUSO Network Conference

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 Patrick Connealy.

PART ONE: Life Story and Experiences

What’s your current position and can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?

I’m the Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking for the National Cooperative Bank and I oversee nine Business Development officers that cover a variety of cooperative business segments nationwide.

What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What are you most excited or passionate about?

I’ve been working with co-ops my whole life and have been with NCB for 30 years.  I started my career in the agriculture co-op banking business and spent seven years with them including three years with the Farm Credit Administration. I moved to NCB in 1986 when the bank was six years old. We fill the financing gap for co-ops that are not agricultural or electric co-ops.  I am most passionate about the long term customer relationships developed by NCB- some of which have been with us since 1980!

Read more on Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Stories From the Inside…