Posts Tagged ‘Spokane’

Purposeful Partnerships

August 4, 2010

I’m excited for tomorrow’s EverythingCU.com webinar, Purposeful Partnerships. Josh Allison, Relationship Management Officer for Horizon CU in Spokane has an exciting and dynamic program.

The description: By changing our business development and youth education message and method, we can shy away from the vendor stigma and move quickly to that of a cherished community partner. Business Development is more than donuts and handshakes and youth education is more than classroom presentations. By using financial literacy as our conversation catalyst, we become the solution for a problem that is permeateing our schools, our businesses and our families – financial stress.

If you attend this webinar, you’ll learn:
• How to rethink the idea that “membership is THE main employer benefit” worth promoting
• Understanding the true leverage of credit union philosophy in action
• How to move from “vendor” to “valuable” status with your school and business partnerships
• How to transfer the trust created by your classroom educator to the branch staff

You can see all the credit unions attending this webinar here!

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Spokane/Seattle/Port Angeles… and back

October 14, 2007

Phoenix RisingI had a wonderful time during my Northwest tour last month. I had so much on my agenda that I haven’t had a chance to upload all the photos and blog it until now. After attending the WCUL’s convention in Spokane, I had a few days to myself before I needed to be in Spokane again to facilitate United Health Services CU’s brand launch party. So I headed over to the Olympic Peninsula since I had enjoyed the beauty of its nature when I spoke there along with Doug True back in May, stopping off in some cute Washington towns like Ritzville and Ellensburg and along the way. I had done some research online, and discovered a great kayaking tour near Port Angeles. They had recently been reviewed in the Seattle P.I., and the trip did not disappoint, seeing much marine life including several great blue herons and otters. After enjoying a pint at the Water Street Brewing and Ale House in Port Townsend, it was time to head back to Spokane.

Me and GaryOn the way back, I met EverythingCU member Gary Walcott for coffee at Vivace in Seattle. One thing I LOVE about his CU, School Employees CU of Washington, is that they do NOT offer money market accounts nor CDs. EVER. PERIOD. It’s simply a part of the culture there; if they were to offer those things, they could not offer as a great at rate as they do on their loans to their teacher members. I love that they are staying true to themselves and their members, and their reason for being. Gary told me about some alternate, more scenic routes to Spokane than taking I-90. So I set out on US Highway 2, and really enjoyed the sites that that route brought me. I compiled the best photos from my 11 day trip in a group on Flickr, including Stevens Pass, Leavenworth, and the ginormous Grand Coulee Dam. I had no idea that the Grand Coulee Dam is the largest concreate structure in the U.S., and all the pyramids of Giza could fit inside it. Then it was time to be back in Spokane for the brand launch party.

Brand launch party in Spokane tonight

September 19, 2007

Dishman HillsEverything is coming together for United Health Services CU’s brand launch party this evening! It’s being held at Dishman Hills in Spokane, a park that I discovered online and checked out virtually using Google Earth before checking it out in person. We’ve got our brand manuals and goodie bags for all the staff…. should be fun!

Don’t change your name to an acronym

September 14, 2007

Soooo many credit unions are jumping on the acronym bandwagon. Yes, the words “credit union” are a mouthful, and even worse are the “Federal Credit Unions” who are legally obligated to use all three words in their name. But please, resist the temptation to shorten your name to acronyms. We see it all the time. Unfortunately, this change makes your name more generic and therefore more forgettable with your members and potential members. STCU, BECU, BCU, DCU, DFCU, MECU, GECU, just to name a few of the large ones.

But here’s a new angle on why you should be extra careful before deciding to shorten your CU’s name to its acronym. Think about what it is going to sound like when you call up a member on the phone. Think about what it is going to sound like when the receptionist answers the phone… which will happen 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 times per day. We all know how funny Washington Telephone Federal Credit Union looks when they shorten their name to WTFCU. But here’s a new twist that I learned from my new friend Matt Vance who I met last night at the Washington CU League’s annual convention in Spokane. He works at Industrial Credit Union, and they have recently made the decision to refer to themselves as ICU. It can be interpreted in at least two different ways. It could be “I see you.” Or, it could be short for Intensive Care Unit. Imagine Matt’s dismay when he caused panic in a vendor by calling her back and saying, “Hi, this is Matt from ICU.” The vendor’s first reaction was panic, thinking that her husband, who was in the hospital, had taken a turn for the worse.

When it comes to using the acronym instead of your full credit union name…. just say no!

Ginny Brady, UFirst Boardcast

September 13, 2007

The highlight of the afternoon had to be Ginny Brady. Just as Shari Storm of Verity CU is the first CU employee to blog, I would wager that Ginny Brady is the first Board Member of a CU to blog. I had learned of Ginny’s blog via OpenSource CU, but I had never put two and two together to realize that Ginny was in upstate New York, about a four hour drive away from Western Mass. The real delight of the session was learning that not only is Ginny blogging her credit union’s annual meeting, and putting photos from it on Flickr, she’s explaining how to use Google maps to create personalized mashups. Wow. I complimented Ginny on being more advanced than her CU’s marketing agency. I think that blogging is a natural fit for the cooperative, democratic nature of CUs and their boards. CU Board members sincerely want to represent their members. How better to do that than to engage them via a blog? So if you are a credit union professional or board member, and aren’t currently blogging, the real question is why not? There is no better way to engage your membership in dialogue, at the same time letting the members know what you and your CU are up to.

Scott, William, Trey, Brent, and Shari in SpokaVegas

September 13, 2007

Thursday in Spokane started off with a bang… I bumped into Shari Storm, VP of Marketing for Verity CU, and author of the first blog in CU land. I first met Shari in Suquamish in May. Also in the morning, Scott Bedbury, author of a New Brand World, gave the morning’s opening talk, followed by a great skit orchestrated by Trey Reeme and Brent Dixon. I also got to talk more with William Azaroff, creator of Vancity CU’s Change Everything program. And I was glad that Chuck, Cynthia, Mark, and Gail of United Health Services CU in Spokane had the opportunity to hear Scott Bedbury reinforce the brand principles that we’ve been working with them on since March of this year.

In the afternoon, I was delighted to learn about all of the great things that William’s Change Everything blog is doing in the Vancouver region. Having Vancity Credit Union be naked to the world is not without its challenges, and it was fascinating to learn how he’s dealing with that.

Washington CUs descend upon Spokane

September 12, 2007

After giving a talk about Bringing Your CU into World 2.0 to the Credit Union Association of Oregon in Tigard, I flew up to Spokane to join the festivities at the Washington CU League’s annual convention. Upon checking in at the conference hotel, I immediately recognized Trey Reeme of Trabian and OpenSource CU in the hotel lobby, and said hi before he had to go prepare for his talk the following morning. Trey let me know that Robbie Wright was still up and about, and so I also got to finally meet him in person, as well as fellow Trabian, Brent Dixon. Also in the mix were Matt Vance, Marketing Director for Industrial CU, David Bennett, Director of Public Relations for the league, Benny Haagen, Director of Lending for Educational Community CU in Everett, and Gaye White, Branch Manager at Peninsula Community Federal CU on the Olympic Peninsula.

Till next time, Spokane!

July 23, 2007

SkyAfter saying goodbye to my friends at Spokane Federal CU, it was time to wrap up my Spokane adventure with a much deserved round of eighteen. I had gotten a recommendation for Hangman Valley Golf Course from a waitress at Luna on Tuesday night, and the course did not disappoint. It is located in a beautiful valley just a couple miles south of the south hill section of Spokane. I couldn’t help pulling over to take a shot of the beautiful valley and clouds en route.

Hangman Valley Golf CourseThe course itself was nicely set into the valley with a couple of par-5 tee boxes situated about 100 feet above the fairway below. Too bad I couldn’t manage to get a golf ball into ’em! This was my first time golfing in the Northwest, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with Hangman Valley for my first time!

Sunset in SpokanePhew, what a whirlwind week in Spokane! Till next time, in September…

Thank you, Spokane Federal Credit Union

July 22, 2007

Spokane Federal Credit UnionThank you, Krista Felker, Pamela Kippes, Deb Olson, and Charlotte Nemec, for hosting my webinar on Thursday. It was fantastic to re-connect, and meet such great members of EverythingCU.com. I really appreciated having an audience while I delivered my Bringing Your CU into World 2.0 webinar for you and 25 other credit union professionals all over the country. It was such a treat to be able to broadcast the webinar from Spokane Federal Credit Union’s boardroom during my Spokane week which included two days of brand consulting for United Health Services Credit Union.

Webinar at Spokane Federal Credit UnionSpecial thanks to Krista for supplying me with a lovely stand so that I could have my laptop near eye-level while delivering the presentation. Also, big thanks to Dan Reynolds for moderating the webinar so nicely from the EverythingCU.com homefront in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Also in attendance from Holyoke were Matt Taggart and Adam Lueb, giving shout outs to all of our credit union friends.

Afterwards, Krista, Pam, and Deb were gracious enough to select and accompany me to a fantastic little restaurant called Downriver Grill for lunch. The chicken taco salad really hit the spot!

United Health Services CU brand coming together

July 20, 2007

I’m beyond pleased with the way in which everything is coming together to launch United Health Services CU‘s brand in September. We’ve got our launch party date set, and after two days of planning, we’ve developed our action plan so that our new products & services, our marketing, and our launch party, will all coincide. It’s been really great to work with President/CEO Chuck Zeller, VP Marketing Cynthia Pace, VP of Lending Mark Smith, VP of Operations Denise Bernard, VP Finance Gayle Furness, and Business Development Specialist Chad Heaton. They are such a positive and enthusiastic team! I’m so excited for United Health Services CU as an organization, their energetic staff, and most importantly their members, for even greater levels of success with the brand kick-off.