<![CDATA[Mitchell, Stankovic, and Associates - MEDIA ]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 05:10:16 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Social Disaster Recovery Is Critical to Credit Unions’ Mission]]>Sun, 15 Apr 2018 21:09:54 GMThttp://mitchellstankovic.com/media/social-disaster-recovery-is-critical-to-credit-unions-mission
By Susan Mitchell

Disaster recovery plans are standard business practice for most financial institutions. The regulators require certain templates and back-up systems to ensure business continuity. A planned response for social disaster recovery is critical as well. Social disasters can be so intrusive, widespread and damaging to an area, they can alter the face of the community radically for potentially longer than a few weeks or even months. Think 9/11. Think Katrina, Harvey and Irma. Think Las Vegas and school shootings. Think California wildfires. What can credit unions do for their communities aside from the transactional aspects of the member relationship? Consider a system for social disaster recovery.

Redwood Credit Union President/CEO Brett Martinez told me regarding the California wildfires, “We’ve been affected in every way imaginable, and probably some you can’t imagine.” About 7,000 homes were destroyed within a three-mile radius of RCU’s headquarters, some financed by the credit union. Twenty-three of the homes caught in the devastation were those of RCU employees. Plus 150 credit union employees were evacuated from their homes. The credit union put employees up in hotels, bought them food and even provided a temporary daycare for employees while schools were shut down a few weeks.

​Ventura County Credit Union was also affected, with smoke so bad the credit union closed its headquarters twice, according to CEO Joe Schroeder, in addition to half of its eight branches. “While you want to serve members, the health of the employees takes top priority,” Schroeder noted. Heavy smoke is literally a moving target, so you can’t plan for everything. He added advanced planning allows you the time and mental capacity to make decisions regarding the immediate situation at hand.

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<![CDATA[Underground: The Case for Credit Union Diversity and its Business Benefits]]>Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://mitchellstankovic.com/media/underground-the-case-for-credit-union-diversity-and-its-business-benefits
 The Underground Community sat down for a Q&A with Teresa Freeborn, President/CEO of Xceed Financial Credit Union about diversity in business.

  1. How does Xceed Financial Credit Union tackle the issue of diversification? Who leads it, and how is it communicated and executed upon?

Diversity has always been a priority for me and for our Board, so at Xceed I’m the one who leads the charge. Several years ago, as I became weary of being one of the few females in every CEO meeting I participated in, I started speaking out on the lack of diversity I was seeing, and in particular the dearth of women in leadership. Back then, we started keeping our own stats and I’m very proud of where we stand now. Our workforce is 64% female and 36% male. In terms of ethnicity, some groups are over-represented at Xceed vis a vis the national census, but our ethnic make-up more closely mirrors Los Angeles County where we’re headquartered. In terms of age diversity, we’re pretty well distributed across age groups though we skew a bit younger than the U.S. labor force overall.

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<![CDATA[ICYMI: The Underground Collision and Action Plan in a Nutshell]]>Thu, 05 Apr 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://mitchellstankovic.com/media/icymi-the-underground-collision-and-action-plan-in-a-nutshell
By Sarah Snell Cooke, Principal, Cooke Consulting Solutions

The Feb. 25 Underground Collision was standing-room only. We were excited to see so many bright, innovative minds in one room, packed with people who care about the future of credit unions! With every Collision we strive to get the credit union community thinking and acting on matters that are typically fodder for the impromptu hallway conversations by placing them on the center stage.

While opening the event, Dr. Brandi Stankovic explained that she’d asked several credit union executives in preparation for the Collision, “What pisses you off?” The unanimous response was they wanted less talk, more action. Credit unions must Learn, Love and Kick ASS! That’s what the Underground exists to accomplish. Here’s a roundup from the event, action items we intend to take and links for further reading.

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<![CDATA[Wake Up: Move Past the Bank Bashing, #FakeNews Vortex]]>Wed, 28 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://mitchellstankovic.com/media/wake-up-move-past-the-bank-bashing-fakenews-vortex
In light of the #fakenews phenomenon, credit unions are wondering how to share their story and position themselves as trusted advisers when the very institution they’re using to convey the message—the news outlets—are falling out of favor with many Americans.

CUinsight Founder/Publisher Randy Smith is concerned about being able to grab readers’ attention from the start. Recent studies have shown that consumers have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. The media has to do something to bring readers in, so they give headlines a little sex appeal, but taken too far, those headlines are lambasted as sensationalism to drive clicks. Editors don’t want the reader disappointed when they click through, but at the same time readers could miss valuable content if they don’t pay attention to the story because of a dull headline.

The news media are definitely stuck between a rock and a hard place, but gameFI Co-Founder Matt Davis said it’s not just attention they’re competing for—it’s revenue. Readers expect content for free and 10 years ago, news outlets gladly gave it because they charged advertisers based upon clicks, but simple clicks don’t cut it anymore. Advertisers bartered harder and harder (and discovered the power of producing their own content) as readers grew fickler until no one wanted to pay news services anymore. A couple of the biggest outlets have clawed some subscriber-based revenue, but Davis’ overall point was: If you want a truly free and independent press, pay for it!

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<![CDATA[Credit Unions Must Dig Below Prime Scores for Riches]]>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://mitchellstankovic.com/media/credit-unions-must-dig-below-prime-scores-for-riches
By Sarah Snell Cooke, Principal, Cooke Consulting Solutions

Find Purpose and Double Down

At the recent Underground Collision in Washington, D.C., participants seemed to be asking, ‘Even if we are willing to serve nonprime consumers, how can we in the regulatory environment?’

One CEO in attendance tried many ways to serve migrant field workers in his field of membership, but at the end of the day you can only devote so much time and resources. It’s an uphill battle with the regulators, too. “NCUA won’t fine you; they’ll shut you down,” he asserted during the table discussions.

Credit unions are well positioned to serve the most vulnerable consumers, both philosophically and as a business. Credit unions, however, have been pushed into a corner as prime lenders, forcing many eligible members to look outside to payday and other predatory lenders. So, how can credit unions can make their mark, generate the residual public relations, word of mouth marketing, and goodwill by creating programs that serve those with credit scores of less than 600 that is also compliant and good for credit unions’ business?

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