Posts Tagged ‘UFirst FCU’

Luis Barros launches CU 2.0 blog

May 7, 2008

Welcome Luis Barros, board member of $430m Merrimack Valley FCU in Massachusetts, to the credit union blogosphere. Luis has launched the blog Credit Union 2.0. I had the pleasure of meeting Luis at a session on CUs in World 2.0 that I presented at the Massachusetts Credit Union League HQ in Marlborough in March.

Luis has extensive experience in web 2.0 technologies in the health care industry, and is on the technology council of his credit union. He’s got some great ideas for helping his CU utilize these tools. Luis is a graduate of the Sloan School of Management at MIT as well as the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

He joins Ginny Brady of UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh, NY as the two CU board members to be blogging in North America.

Congratulations Credit Unions, on a Century of Service

March 12, 2008

I have the great honor and pleasure of talking to credit union professionals all over the nation. The subject of the proud history of CUs, holds special meaning to me because I had worked with the movement for about ten years before I learned ANYTHING about its incredible history. I certainly had no idea that the movement started in my backyard, a hop skip and jump across the border, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

I gave a talk on social media and World 2.0 this morning to a group of about forty credit union marketing professionals from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire at the CU League’s headquarters in Marlborough, Mass. I asked about the movement’s founding, and it was wonderful to get a detailed answer. In our presence was a representative of that very first CU, Andrea Pruna of St. Mary’s Bank. Not only did she know the date by heart (November 24, 1908), but she let us know about a wonderful section of their web site devoted to this, the Centennial Year of Credit Union service. I encourage everyone to check out Celebrating 100 Years for a terrific look at the amazing road we’ve traveled so far.

This is one of the reasons I’m especially excited that BarCampBank NewEngland will be held in America’s Credit Union Museum on April 5. The museum is the actual house where St. Mary’s Bank first began operations 100 years ago, out of the home of Attorney Joseph Boivin, who served as the CU’s President. If you listen very carefully, you may hear the whispers of the generations that have preceeded you when you stand in the parlor of the building.

Shout-outs to so many of the fabulous credit union marketers who came today. Thanks to Jon Reske and Anne Pinkerton from UMassFive College FCU, Mark Vautour from Telephone Workers CU, Deena Bernier from NMTW Community CU, and Debra Perrin from Southern Mass CU. I’m not good with names, so I haven’t remembered those who I met for the first time, but thank you also. It was fun that we had four one-billion-dollar CUs represented as well, Greylock FCU in the Berkshires, HarborOne CU in the South Boston area, DCU of the Worcester area, and Navigant CU in RI. Thank you to Rob Kimmett for organizing a great event and inviting me, and it was wonderful to catch up with CU whirlwind Bonnie Doolin.

My presentation today included demonstrating and explaining Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and showed examples from Shari Storm and the Verity CU team, William Azaroff of Vancity CU and Change Everything, Ginny Brady, board member of UFirst FCU with the Boardcast, and Tim McAlpine of Currency Marketing with Larissa Walkiw, spokesperson for Young and Free Alberta, and her infamous Credit Union Difference video part one, currently at 16,228 views. On the topic of Facebook, I have started writing a paper on the Facebook as Marketing Engine and plan on publishing excerpts to this blog. For those interested in checking out twitter, here’s the one-page PDF of Twitter Tips.

I also touched on Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P Lending), Prosper’s amazing growth rate, and how CUs can participate by getting in touch with Doug True, SVP of Lending, at Forum CU. Doug has been instrumental in having P2P Lending company Zopa partner with CUs to offer NCUA-insured loans and investments.

The Boardcast gets a new look

February 12, 2008

Nate Duval, designer extraordinaire for EverythingCU, has given Ginny Brady’s Boardcast a brand new look. Ginny is the CU movement’s first board member to blog, on behalf of UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh NY, and we’re excited to have a hand in helping her with this update.

Nate did a terrific job in interpreting Ginny’s desire to have a clean, new modern look, that had its own identity, yet related in look to UFirst FCU. My favorite aspect of Nate’s new design is by going with a white background, the design now reinforces what is a central principle for the Boardcast — to bring the ideas, thoughts and concerns of the Board of Directors out in the open — to allow for true conversation between Board and concerned members, something which seems very natural for a democratically elected Board to do. In other words, shining a bright light on what has previously been a closed-door environment.

We here at EverythingCU sincerely hope that Ginny’s Boardcast starts a trend with Board of Directors at CUs across North America, and indeed around the world. The fact that we had the privilege to work with Ginny was itself due to social networking. I first had the privilege of meeting Ginny in Spokane, where she was presenting her blogging experience on a panel alongside William Azaroff and Trey Reeme at the WCUL’s annual convention. When I realized that Ginny’s home base was but a four-hour car ride from EverythingCU headquarters in Western Mass, I knew a visit was in order. When I visited Plattsburgh, I learned that EverythingCU was already known to the credit union, especially rock star Adam Lueb who had smoothly assisted UFirst FCU with upgrading their online switch kit when they redesigned their web site.

Successful World 2.0 Hands-on Workshop in Lake George

December 5, 2007

Explaining World 2.0Just got back from a fun, intense day of leading a workshop for the NYSCUL Adirondack and Capital Region Chapters on Bringing Your CU into World 2.0. This was a laptops-up, hands-on workshop, and it was a resounding success. As part of the workshop, we twittered with several people who couldn’t be at the event, including Ginny Brady, Ron Shevlin, Jeff Hardin, and even Brent Dixon, who we conversed with while he was with 20-year-old Board Member Justin Ho in Austin TX for the YES Summit. Via twitter, Brent asked our collective workshop in Lake George if we had any questions for Justin. Linda Dickie, of Hudson River Community CU asked what the average age of Justin’s board was. I twittered that question to Brent, who in turn asked Justin. Brent twittered back to us that the answer was 57. (A very young number according to our Lake George friends.)

Laptops Up at Lake George NYIt was fantastic to take the mystique out of World 2.0 by demonstrating how quick, simple and free it is to sign up for these tools and sites. Attendees now have the foundation for how to succeed and win in this new World 2.0 we are living in.

Also, huge props go to Linda Bourgeois and Jody Carpenter of UFirst FCU, for organizing the event and making today possible. In addition, a big thank you to EverythingCU’s Dan Reynolds and Adam Lueb, who demonstrated EverythingCU’s webinar interface and online switch kit, respectively (and for taking some great pics of the workshop). And it was indeed great to meet Charles Folensbee, Matt Barbell, Kim Reilly, and Kip Summerlin in person at last, and to reconnect with Walt Everhardt, VP of Marketing for First New York FCU, who has been blogging for several months now.

Demonstrating blog commentingI will be doing this workshop throughout 2008 to help CUs across the country experience first-hand how easy it is to get going with World 2.0. If you know the education director at your state’s CU League, please email me and I will email you back a PDF containing the info that is covered in this hands-on workshop that you can, in turn, forward to him or her. If you attended this event, in-person or virtually via twitter, please comment here! Here are some Twitter Tips. Also, if you send me your email, I’ll send you a PDF of the slide deck. Let me know what we could have done better, or what topics you’d like to see covered more, or less of. More of Adam’s great photos of the event available here.

Live World 2.0 workshop in Lake George NY

November 30, 2007

Myself and the EverythingCU team is getting pumped for a live, hands-on World 2.0 workshop taking place in Lake George, NY next week on Wednesday, December 5. The combined chapters of the Adirondack and Capital Regions of the NYSCUL are hosting us. We’ve instructed all the participants to BRING THEIR LAPTOPS. We’re not just going to be talking about World 2.0 and social media/networking, we’re going to be DOING IT. We’re so excited about the sites and tools we’re going to be covering. It will be an eye-opening experience for all the attendees, and will hopefully catapult their respective CUs into this new wired digital age. It’s exciting! And we’re so excited to be meeting several long-time EverythingCU members, including President Charles Folensbee of Saratoga Community CU. Walter Everhardt, VP of Marketing for First New York FCU is going to be there, along with President Linda Bourgeois, and Director of Marketing Jody Carpenter of UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh. Ginny Brady, blogging Board Member of UFirst FCU will be with us virtually via twitter, as will our own Matt Taggart and Nate Duval…. can’t wait! Dan Reynolds and Adam Lueb will be assisting me in person. If you can’t make it, please join in via twitter…. here I am on twitter.

UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh

October 26, 2007

UFirst Federal Credit UnionI had the great pleasure of meeting Virginia (Ginny) Brady (far right), Linda Bourgeois (far left), and Jody Carpenter of UFirst Federal Credit Union in Plattsburgh, New York, yesterday. I first met Ginny in Spokane in September, where she was invited to speak to the Washington Credit Union League’s annual convention because of her experience blogging. To the best of my knowledge, Ginny is the first member of a credit union board of directors to blog. Her blog, the Boardcast, has just celebrated its one year anniversary. Her blog covers a range of issues pertinent to members from the Board’s perspective. She is a pioneer because she is using this technology to inform and converse with members. As a Board member, who is acting to guide the credit union in the members’ best interests, I think having a Board blog is a great thing. How better to represent the membership than to inform them what is going on, and invite their feedback? All credit union boards, and even management teams, ought to consider blogging with their members.

Linda, UFirst’s CEO and Jody, Director of Marketing, are doing some really neat things as well, especially with youth financial literacy outreach. In addition to her CEO duties, Linda was recently chosen to be president of the Adirondack Chapter of the NY State CU League. And UFirst’s new branch is elegant, and warmly professional. In all, it was a wonderful visit and I look forward to returning to Plattsburgh in the near future. It was also inspiring to learn that Linda comes from a family with a rich tradition serving Canadian Caisse Populaires. This is also the first time I have visited a credit union where we were both eager to take picture of the visit for each of our blogs! You win, Ginny, you blogged it first! 🙂

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.