WASHINGTON (2/26/14)--Channeling architect Daniel Burnham, National Credit Union Administration board member Michael Fryzel urged 2014 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference attendees to "Make no little plans. They have not the magic to stir men's blood."
Credit unions are an unbeatable idea, the idea of people helping people get the funding they need to buy a home, purchase a car, send a child to college, and achieve a secure retirement, National Credit Union Administration board member Michael Fryzel tells a Tuesday session at CUNA's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference. (CUNA Photo)
Burnham was instrumental in transforming an area of Washington dominated by marshland and railroad stations into the National Mall, one of the nation's jewels. Fryzel urged attendees to similarly make big plans of their own.
"The National Mall is pretty much finished," Fryzel said. "The credit union movement is not."
He urged credit unions to increase membership, provide opportunities for financial literacy and continue offering better rates on loans and savings while helping Americans prepare for retirement.
Fryzel acknowledged the credit union system faces challenges. He specifically identified burgeoning technology, increased regulatory burden, competition with banks, and the blind-siding nature of change as ongoing challenges.
He encouraged credit unions to make themselves "battle ready" and continually prepare for all challenges. "I believe you are as great as any challenge you face, because nearly all challenges are not natural disasters but human-caused," Fryzel said. 'Because they are human-caused, they can be human-fixed."
Again, Fryzel summoned history as a teacher. He cited the credit union movement's founders, who also faced "stiff winds" of adversity.
"If this movement were to suddenly disappear this morning," Fryzel said to his Tuesday morning credit union audience, "it would start right up again tomorrow."
"Why? Because it is a good idea, an unbeatable idea, the idea of people helping people get the funding they need to buy a home, purchase a car, send a child to college, and achieve a secure retirement. That is the banner you carry forward. Carry it higher and straighter."