Chapter 7: Quiet Turbulence: Advice for Financial Officers of Not-for-Profit Financial Institutions
7 Quiet turbulence: advice for ﬁnancial oﬃcers of not-for-proﬁt ﬁnancial institutions Ronald Dulek Fall of 2007 marked for me a decade of service as a board member of a mid-size ($200m +) credit union. As I searched for words to describe that decade of experience, the phrase “quiet turbulence” continued to pop into my mind. No matter how diligently I sought other descriptors, “quiet turbulence” kept returning to my head. I ﬁnally decided to accept the descriptor and “give it some thought.” The ﬁnancial industry as a whole has undergone radical transformation over the last decade. The credit union movement has not been immune to these changes. Electronic banking, internet banking, new kinds of ATM’s, telephone banking, “pﬁshing” and email fraud have altered the costs and the avenues through which credit unions today reach out to their members. Additionally, Sarbanes-Oxley, which technically does not apply to credit unions but whose guidelines credit unions are encouraged to follow, and the Patriot Act, along with other rule changes, have complicated the regulatory landscape where credit unions reside. Yet while the above-mentioned changes, along with signiﬁcant industrywide consolidation, have made headlines for banks and other for-proﬁt ﬁnancial institutions, credit unions have undergone almost exactly the same changes – along with one even more signiﬁcant change – with almost no fanfare. Thus, in the midst of these traumatic changes, credit unions continue to “plug along” with their democratic one-person/one-vote annual meeting philosophy. The turbulence certainly has been silent. From the...
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