BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/21/14)--A contingent of 10 officials from five Costa Rican credit unions and FEDEAC, the Costa Rican credit union trade association, gained insight on effective lobbying and formulating a unified message during a four-day visit with the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Costa Rican visitors also toured the state Capitol, met with the governor's staff and toured three Tallahassee area credit unions.
During the visit to the Florida Capitol, the league showed Costa Rican credit unions how the committee process works and then how the final vote takes place on the floor. While meeting with Gov. Rick Scott's staff, the credit union officials toured the lieutenant governor and governor's offices. They met with Scott's Director of Legislative Affairs Darrick McGhee to learn more about the governor's priorities, the issues facing the state and how the league interacts with government offices.
"The league really wanted to give our Costa Rican credit union partners an upfront look at how we lobby our state lawmakers," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "By showing the Costa Rican officials how we formulate our messages and then having them go to the capitol to see how the process ties together, they gain a better understanding of how a unified message can influence policy."
Discussion during the visit included how the league interacts with the Legislature on behalf of credit unions, how it organizes grassroots campaigns and how it taps credit unions to assist in the lobbying process--all practices the Costa Ricans were looking to bring back to their country.
The three credit unions the group visited were: Tallahassee-Leon FCU, with $43 million in assets; First Commerce CU, with $400 million in assets; and Envision CU, with $279 million in assets. Each stop gave the Costa Rican credit unions an opportunity to see how each credit union takes part in advocacy on the state and national level. Costa Rican credit unions were interested in the U.S. credit unions' technology, specifically mobile banking and remote deposit capture.
During four day of meetings with League of Southeastern Credit Union, a contingent of Costa Rican credit union representatives meet with members of Florida Gov. Gov. Rick Scott's staff. (League of Southeastern Credit Unions Photo)