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Jolette named WOCCU chair
BARCELONA, Spain (7/29/09)--Barry Jolette, president/CEO of San Mateo CU in Redwood City, Calif., has been named chair of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). Jolette succeeds Melvin Edwards, who has represented the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions on the WOCCU board of directors for the past 11 years. Jolette was named chairman during Tuesday’s general session at WOCCU’s World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain. “Thomas Edison once said, ‘If we do all that we are capable of doing, we will astonish ourselves at what we can accomplish,’” Jolette said. “I've always been astonished at how far credit unions have come and how much value you bring to your members.” Joining Jolette are:
* First Vice Chair Manuel Rabines, Peru; * Second Vice Chair Grzegorz Bierecki, Poland; * Treasurer Mark Bailey, Ireland; and * Secretary Penny Reeves, Canada.
Click to view larger image Barry Jolette, new World Council of Credit Unions chair, (left) accepts the chain of office from former chair Melvin Edwards at the World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Click to view larger image Eric Dillon, chief operating officer of Servus CU, Alberta, Canada (left), Mark Degotardi, panel moderator, and Luis Pastor, president/CEO of Latino Community CU in Durham, N.C., discuss growth during Tuesday’s general session at the World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
Other changes to the WOCCU board were announced at the conference. Edwards and Neil McDonald announced that they would resign their positions as directors at the close of the World Credit Union Conference. Their terms, which will expire in July 2010, will be filled by Yvonne Ridguard, Jamaica, and Marlene Shiels, Scotland. After the new board was presented, Luis Pastor, president/CEO of Latino Community CU, Durham, N.C., and Eric Dillon, chief operating officer of Servus CU, Alberta, Canada, explained how credit unions began serving Hispanics and youth members. “We didn't know the challenges that we faced,” said Pastor, whose credit union was established to help stem the tide of growing violence against Durham's Latinos, many of whom carried cash because they lacked relationships with financial institutions. “I was asked if I had a plan B in case of failure, but I didn't even have a plan A.” What Pastor did have, he said, was a ready market waiting to be served. Latino Community grew quickly in size and sophistication, earning a Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Organization from the National Credit Union Foundation in 2003 for making financial services available to Durham's Latino community. At Servus, Canada's third-largest credit union, concern over the graying of its membership prompted the establishment of “Young and Free Alberta.” The award-winning program reaches out to potential members, age 17-25, through an approach characterized by specific marketing imagery, products catered to younger members, an increased online presence and a spokesperson recruited from the same demographic group. “These were members who did not want to belong to their parents' or their grandparents' institution,” Dillon said. “We created a credit union within a credit union.” Both speakers said earning trust with their specific market segments was a critical factor for growth. They also cited a need to understand the nature of the “community” that each credit union was attempting to serve. “The definition of the term ‘community' has changed, especially for young people,” said Dillon. “Your community is no longer made up of the people next door; today, it's wrapped around personal values and the concept of people helping people.” “Young and Free Alberta” has spawned similar programs in Texas and South Carolina.
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