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America's Credit Unions

Business & Economics Podcasts

America's Credit Unions is a weekly podcast featuring credit union people and credit union ideas.


United States


America's Credit Unions is a weekly podcast featuring credit union people and credit union ideas.






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Sponsored: Growing deposits

Credit unions need a sustainable approach to growing deposits. One component of that is the use of high-yield accounts, says Alisha Crafton, chief growth officer at Kasasa. In this episode, sponsored by Kasasa, Crafton examines the company’s use of data and analytics, industry trends, the concept of “phantom growth,” deposit growth strategies, and more.


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Sponsored: Housing finance update

Housing finance and affordable housing take center stage on this week’s episode, sponsored by the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB). Ryan Donovan, president/CEO at the council, updates listeners on a recent report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and discusses how FHLBs support mortgage financing, the council’s Affordable Housing Program, success stories from this program, and more.


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Strategic M&A Vision: Planning for Credit Union Growth

Join Michael Bell from Honigman LLP for an exciting discussion about growth planning. Mr. Bell provides a glimpse of his practice helping credit unions navigate the world of mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Bell shares his expertise regarding strategic planning and growth, key considerations for the merger process, and perspectives on field of membership and chartering. Key Takeaways: Bio: Michael Bell Mr. Bell serves as Chair of the Financial Institutions Practice Group at Honigman. He represents financial institutions throughout the United States and has completed over 40 M&A transactions in the past five years. In 2011, he pioneered a new option for credit unions to achieve rapid growth with the first purchase of a whole bank by a credit union. For the past decade, he has completed the majority of credit union purchases of banks and has become the nationwide leader and go-to legal adviser in this space. Mr. Bell has also helped credit unions acquire other businesses, including insurance and investment companies, trust companies, real estate brokerages, mortgage originators and specialized lenders. He additionally advises financial institutions on all regulatory matters at the state and federal level. Mr. Bell has extensive experience counseling individual entrepreneurs through publicly traded companies on strategies such as non-organic growth and strategic planning.


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The strategy behind succession planning

Succession planning is about strategic oversight and ensuring your organization is relevant and future-focused. In this episode of the podcast, Susan Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Stankovic and Associates, talks about the importance of having an organization-wide succession plan, why taking a forward-focused approach is critical, how succession planning fits into the credit union’s strategic plan, and more.


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Sponsored: Digital-first financial health

Credit unions have a renewed focus on fostering member’s financial health and, increasingly, those efforts are digital and mobile-first, says Nicole Harper, director of corporate strategy at Jack Henry. In this episode of the podcast, sponsored by Jack Henry, Harper examines credit unions’ role in fostering financial health, financial wellness trends, available mobile-first resources, challenges to promoting financial wellness, success stories, and more.


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How to develop the next generation of leaders

Brian Fassett, Advantis Credit Union’s director of learning and development joins today’s episode of the America’s Credit Union podcast to share how the $2 billion asset credit union in Portland, Ore., goes about finding and developing prospective leaders within the organization. Jon Sexton, senior vice president of Culture and Leadership Development at Vibrant Credit Union, will follow with a deep look at identifying potential leaders and training them through the organization.


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CFPB’s Section 1033 Open Banking Rulemaking

Join this panel discussion with Meredith Fuchs, General Counsel at Plaid, and Ben Maxim, Chief Digital Strategy and Information Officer at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, highlighting initial takeaways from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rulemaking to establish open banking and implement section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Fuchs and Maxim cover the benefits and challenges of building APIs to share consumer financial data and how your credit union should be evaluating this transition to open banking as the CFPB works to finalize its rule. Key Takeaways:


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Proving the credit union difference

Credit unions deliver billions of dollars in financial benefits to both members and nonmembers—and now we can prove it. The Credit Union Impact Dashboard from America’s Credit Unions provides an easy, interactive way to demonstrate how credit unions outperform their peers. It updates in real time to tell the credit union story, measure their transformative power, and showcase how they outperform other financial institutions. In this episode, Schenk and America’s Credit Unions Senior Economist Ligia Vado explain the dashboard and what it can do, the importance of quantifying the credit union difference, and more.


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GAC 2024 highlights, part 2

Find the first crop of stories from America’s Credit Unions’ 2024 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on last week’s podcast, where credit union leaders discussed small credit unions, member service, fintech, advocacy, and more. We’re back at it this week with America’s Credit Unions’ Samira Salem, Northwest Community Credit Union’s Jose Garcia, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ Mike Reuter, Defense Credit Union Council’s Tony Hernandez, and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White. Listen in as America’s Credit Unions Deputy Editor Bill Merrick and Associate Editor Brock Fritz talk with these credit union advocates about diversity, equity, and inclusion; advocacy, servicemember credit unions, and more.


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GAC 2024 highlights

Highlights from the 2024 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Conversations with some of the more than 6,000 credit union leaders who attended the year's premier advocacy event.


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Celebrating women

During March, people celebrate Women’s History Month, reflecting on the courage of women from past generations and celebrating how their efforts molded women into who they are today. In this episode, Melanie Kennedy, president/CEO at Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union in Farmers Branch, Texas, talks about Women’s History Month, women who have inspired her, her role as a leader, advice for the next generation of leaders, and more.


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A new league mission

Following the formation of America’s Credit Unions, the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) has redefined its mission to focus on three pillars, according to Brad Miller, AACUL president, and Pat Conway, AACUL chair and president/CEO at the CrossState Credit Union Association. Those pillars are connecting with the new national trade association, serving as a voice for credit unions on legislative and regulatory issues, and collaborating with leagues across the country. In this episode, Miller and Conway discuss how these pillars will shape AACUL’s advocacy approach and efforts, the need for collaboration, what the formation of America’s Credit Unions means for leagues and AACUL, and more.


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A revamped, reenergized GAC

The credit union movement is preparing for its annual trip to Washington, D.C. The 2024 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), scheduled for March 3-7, will look a bit different, however. What can attendees expect from the first GAC under the banner of America’s Credit Unions? A revamped, reenergized feel, according to America’s Credit Unions’ chief association services officer Todd Spiczenski. Spiczenski stopped by the podcast to share all the new features and speakers, and describe the familial, collaborative atmosphere that has made GAC the movement’s banner advocacy event.


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Sponsored: How to grow strategically

Community financial institutions are facing stiff competition. How can they outdo their competitors, navigate the changing financial environment, and bring in new deposits? America’s Credit Unions Digital Media Design Specialist Yeekeng Yang welcomed Kasasa CEO Gabe Krajicek on the podcast to answer these questions and more. They discuss challenges facing credit unions, the importance of adapting to change, how to address liquidity issues, and how Kasasa helps community financial institutions grow core deposits.


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Addressing economic disparities

Filene Research Institute’s Racial Economic Equity Incubator seeks to address economic disparities and deliver resources, support, and capital to communities of color. Filene Senior Incubation Manager Horacio Garcia-Korosec stops by the podcast to describe the incubator, credit union participants, and the need to address economic disparities. This Black History Month episode also features two credit union advocates: Michigan Credit Union League Director of State Advocacy DaeSean Ashby and First Harvest Credit Union Board Chair Loretta Winters. Ashby shares how he uses his voice to uplift and advocate, while Winters discusses her role as president of the Gloucester County NAACP and her passion for improving communities.


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Forecasting the 2024 economy

Fresh off its first-ever economic forecast, America’s Credit Unions’ economics team hopped on the podcast to set the stage for 2024. What do they expect this year? Will the U.S. face a recession? What’s happening in lending? How are credit unions’ balance sheets? Dawit Kebede, Curt Long, Ligia Vado, and Mike Schenk answer those questions and more, with their baseline forecast calling for modest economic growth of 1.5% in 2024.


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Financial well-being roundtable

Financial well-being is a hallmark of how credit unions serve their members and communities. In this episode of the podcast, three credit union leaders explain the importance of financial education and how their credit unions improve members’ financial lives. Our financial well-being roundtable hands the microphone to: Chris WolgamottMeritrust Credit UnionCassandre CassamajorSkyPoint Federal Credit UnionAutumn SolomonCarolinas Telco Federal Credit UnionThe trio has an open conversation about why credit unions make it their mission to foster financial well-being, why it's an important mission, how their credit unions have made an impact, member stories, and more.


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Sponsored: Reimagining the technology ecosystem

Credit unions are committed to serving the needs of their members. But what happens when those needs and expectations change? Evolving with those changes requires modern technology, according to Jack Henry™ President of Credit Union Solutions Shanon McLachlan, who joined the podcast to discuss how credit unions can reimagine the technology ecosystem.


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Marketing innovators

In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, associate editor Brock Fritz talks to Colleen Desselle and Rachel Bond about their innovative approaches to marketing and business development. While Desselle and Bond hold different roles, they have at least one thing in common: the Marketing & Business Development Council recognized both with top honors this year. Desselle received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Bond was named the 2023 Community Impact Professional of the Year. Desselle shares her family history of credit union service and explains how she’s grown the credit union’s marketing and business development efforts over the years. Bond details her approach to financial education, community outreach, and partnerships.


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Women in leadership

Women are much more likely to hold the top spot at credit unions than they are at banks, according to “Women in Credit Union Leadership,” a report from CUNA. Two outstanding credit union CEOs join the CUNA News Podcast to talk about women’s leadership: Leigh BradyState Employees Credit UnionLinda WhiteCredit Union Women’s Leadership AllianceThey speak about their journeys to the CEO chair, challenges they faced, what sets female leaders apart, advice they have for women who aspire to take on leadership roles, and more.