Potpourri - Bankers Opt for Grassroots Too: CUTimes25
It’s time for another look in my potpourri folder to see what accumulated that in some way relates to previous columns or odds and ends that might be of reader interest.
- Like this tidbit: Bankers are climbing aboard the grassroots bandwagon, but it’s their own bandwagon, not ours. ABA Bankers Weekly, house organ for the American Bankers Association, has offered to put staff at member banks on the mailing list at no charge. Their reported reason was the need to increase knowledge and understanding of industry issues by bankers at the grassroots level.
- A final footnote to my “get young people involved” column: John D. Deese became president of THE Credit Union of Palm Beach County when it was a million dollars in assets and he was 20 years old. Today he’s 32, still the president and his outside activities include chairmanship of the Florida Credit Union League. The credit union is now $24 million in assets and growing.
- Recently I cited some rising and declining convention figures. Here’s one that won’t surprise you. The US League of Savings Associations, largest trade group serving S&Ls, meeting in always popular San Francisco a few weeks ago drew a mere 948 attendees, down from 1,449 the previous year. Industry suppliers seem to have lost faith in the S&L industry’s future at an even faster rate. The number of exposition booths plummeted in one year from approximately 1,300 to less than 350. Ouch!
- The name Lawrence B. Lindsey isn’t household word yet, but it soon will be. He’s the acknowledged “point man” for the White House’s efforts to reform depository insurance programs. He’s 36 and a former Harvard University professor. Stay tuned.
- “It’s man’s world” is a tired cliché that justifiably raises the hackles of women everywhere. That’s why I almost hate to point out that men are replacing women in key credit union president posts at a growing rate, but especially so at large credit unions that over the years became identified with female CEOs. These well known ladies were replace by men when they retired: Frances Lesnieski, Michigan State University FCU, East Lansing; Betty Gregg, Desert Schools FCU Phoenix; Ruth Kelly, University of Notre Dame CU, South Bend Ind.; and Louise Hinton, Gainesville Florida Campus FCU. All were replaced by very competent executives, but if this pattern, if I can call it that, continues, credit unions will lose another uniqueness, namely, a much higher percentage of female CEOs than banks and S&Ls. Frances, Betty Ruth and Louise built their credit unions, all education based from ground zero to national status. Is that the only way a woman can become president of a large credit union? Is the “glass ceiling” syndrome beginning to affect credit unions too?
- Keep your eye on Columbus, Ohio. It’s now home base for the elected heads of two major industries much in the economic news, real estate and the U.S. League. Harley E Rouda, 61, became president of the National Association of Realtors, the trade group representing over 800,000 people, at the mid November convention in New Orleans. In his full-time job he heads HER Realtors, a 22-office firm with nearly 500 sales representatives. In his part-time position with NAR, he has set as one of his top priorities the lobbying of the Resolution Trust Corporation to convince it to provide direct financing to homebuyers. In competition with the private sector, we assume? The newly elected leader of the U. S. League mentioned above is Donald Shackelford, 53, chairman and CEO of State Savings Bank. Despite the work “bank” in its name, it’s a $1.6 billion asset S&L. Among his predictions that came out of an early October interview by a Wisconsin newspaper are these two: first, his industry will survive, but like many once large and strong airlines, it will be much smaller; and secondly, after al the noise quiets down, and all the bills are introduced in Congress, don’t expect a lot of changes. We’ll see! Ironically, Columbus is a hotbed for credit unions that, we suspect, will be keeping a watchful eye on, and keeping in close touch with Messrs. Rouda and Shackelford.
- Credit unions have been so enormously successful because they built “a better mousetrap.” Can somebody ever come up with something better? It’s hard to see how, but then the credit card folks thought that too, until AT&T came along with what increasing numbers of the public appear to think is a better mousetrap the AT&T Universal Card. The first million accounts were signed p in 78 days. The total is now over six million and still growing. Beware of resting on CU laurels!