NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (5/14/08)--Change for the credit union industry must come from within, not from outside pressures or influences such as mergers and charter conversions, fear of other financial institutions or the fallout from others' subprime lending, says Dan Clark, The New York Times best-selling author. Clark, a contributing author to the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, presented the keynote session at the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO)'s 2008 Annual Conference in Las Vegas April 28. It is organizations like NACUSO asking members to fundamentally change from the inside that provides the real power to make a difference, Clark said. He told the more-than 400 attendees to stop worrying about mergers and start figuring out how to work collaboratively. To be relevant to current and future members, he said, the industry must look inward at what it does from the grassroots level. Credit union and CUSO leaders must not assume that people, especially young people, know the difference between a credit union and a bank, Clark said, recommending the industry educate people and prove the credit union difference through its actions. According to NACUSO President/CEO Thomas C. Davis, who opened the conference, there is a "need for CUSO members to drive credit union success. That's why we are in business." Describing the current state of the credit union industry as the best and worst of times, Davis said helping credit unions do those things that address tough industry issues will create an upturn in the inflection point of the industry life-cycle, enabling credit unions to begin a whole new growth curve. He noted the credit union industry can break with tradition, change its collective habits and collaborate to succeed much quicker than before. "Collaboration isn't just for today; this is for future generations. The decisions we make for the future of our industry, today, will echo in eternity."