The World Council of Credit Unions Global Women's Leadership Network southern Nevada sister society joined forces with the California/Nevada credit union league southern Nevada chapter. The groups welcomed Natalie Buckel a local leadership expert working with Jimmy John's franchises. The meeting was held at Credit Union 1 on Thursday, April 16th.
The session was filled with dynamic discussions and activities. Assisting management and staff on how to stay motivated, proactive, positive, and happy. Identifying what are the key elements for group motivation as well as individual motivation. We also discussed extrinsic rewards vs. intrinsic rewards. This is an identification process to assist in targeting the best possible strategy for an individual employee. Finally, we discussed implementation of motivation strategies that will provide empowerment to the front of house team members that will alleviate your management team from the day to day issues that arise.
After 24 successful years at the helm, Charlie Fulks will be stepping down as president and CEO of CUProdigy (www.cuprodigy.com) later this year.
Fulks, who founded what then was known as Credit Union Data Processing, Inc., in May 1991, will remain with the company through September as it transitions to a new leader. Las Vegas-based credit union consultancy Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates is conducting the search for CUProdigy’s next CEO.
CUProdigy currently serves 15 credit unions, representing $1.85 billion in total assets and 203,000 credit union members.
According to Fulks, two-and-a-half decades later it was time for a change – for both him and the company.
“I do not have anything lined up, but I felt it was time to move on and find something else,” he said. “It is a leap of faith for me. I feel the company needs fresh leadership to take it to the next level. It is a good move for the company. The company has changed over the past 24 years, and I feel a fresh outlook will be beneficial to CUProdigy’s continued success.”
Robert Taylor, chairman of the board for CUProdigy and president and CEO of Idaho State University Credit Union, Pocatello, Idaho, thanked Fulks for his years of service.
“Charlie Fulks has been dedicated to CUProdigy and the credit unions it serves for nearly two-and-a-half decades,” said Taylor. “I speak for every member of the board of directors in offering our gratitude for his leadership, vision and energy. He has put CUProdigy on a great path, and I am certain he will be a tremendous success at whatever he does next.”
A Career Of Helping Credit Unions Succeed
Fulks graduated Brigham Young University with a BA in economics in 1985. His first job was as vice president and controller at Bonneville First Credit Union in 1986.
“I asked myself, ‘What do I do with an econ degree?’ Fulks recalled. “I did not know a lot about credit unions other than having been a credit union member once upon a time.”
Because computer programming had long been a hobby of his, when an opening came up at a company known as Information Now, Fulks jumped at the chance. There, he worked on software that supported the company’s 33 credit union clients.
A year and a half later, Information Now went bankrupt. A users group of the company’s software turned into what became known as Credit Union Data Processing. Said Fulks, “Having worked in a credit union, I realized if the users group could form and own the company, it could be in a better position than me trying to form a company. We knew a CUSO would be a strong business model. It was more difficult to form a CUSO back then compared to now. We had to explain the power of owning the company ourselves.”
Building From The Ground Up
The early years of Credit Union Data Processing were “very interesting,” Fulks recalled. At first it was just him working from home, until eventually he hired a second person. As the company continued to grow, he and the management team decided to take a long vision as to what the company wanted to do.
“The idea was to educate credit unions on using the software,” he said. “When the bank that owned the software out of the bankruptcy refused to sell, we wrote our own software.” In 1996, it had the first version of its own software that it could sell. The company converted all of its credit unions to the new version. “We did a good job of serving credit unions. We saved them a lot of money,” Fulks said.
The one problem: CU Data Processing still was using character-based software. In 2007, Fulks said it was clear it no longer could sell a character-based system; it needed to be graphics-based. He said that was the “biggest turning point” for the company. “We asked our owners what they wanted us to be. They invested in writing a new software package from the ground up.”
That software became known as CUProdigy, and in 2014 the company rebranded as CUProdigy. “We feel it is the best software out there in the industry,” said Fulks. “It is the best because it was written from the ground up, rather than fixing old software. We had no restrictions. It took a lot of time, but once the base was in place we were able to build on it and become a true open system.”
Fulks said CUProdigy software is written in Java, but it also uses Google Web Toolkit and other elements that are not often found in the credit union industry. “It works, it is fast, it has lots of abilities. It is very responsive and easy to use. We have an interface engine that allows our software to interface with debit and credit card systems, mobile banking, even online loan origination systems – all the third parties credit unions need to be able to talk to.”
Fulks said his proudest career achievement is pulling credit unions together over the years and getting them to work on a collaborative level to create a very robust system. “It enables them to do their job and be stronger together. There are a lot of technology companies that do patches, but we created a core system.”
Next for Fulks will be spending time with family. “I have a special needs son, a daughter getting married this year and a couple of grandchildren,” he said.
CUProdigy is a credit union core software CUSO, formed in 1991. The group’s eponymous core software product, CUProdigy, is made up of the very latest in browser‐based technology. With its modern architecture and full feature list, CUProdigy is changing the way credit unions operate while redefining the core software industry. For more information, please visit: www.cuprodigy.com
The CO-OP THINK Conference is the most dynamic and thought-provoking gathering in the industry. If you have never attended before, first… where have you been the last 6 years!? This conference offers leading edge speakers (like Tony Hawk, Wozniak, or Sir Ken Robinson), innovative discussions, and some of the coolest networking opportunities (um, scavenger hunt in N’Oleans?).
I am stoked to see what 2015 has in store.
Each year to begin the conference, CO-OP THINK offers sessions with industry speakers focused on specific challenges and opportunities that impact the credit union industry. This year I will be leading and facilitating the SOCIAL VALUES track. Join me to discuss how credit unions as well as business partners are fostering a deep engagement with consumers by living and communicating their commitment to a shared social cause.
From 1:30 to 5:30 in the SOCIAL VALUES track, you will enjoy….
The cooperative spirit of credit unions stems from a deep relationship with a core purpose: Reaching members and communities of people that truly want to help one another. So in preparation for our upcoming sessions, I picked the brain of several of my credit union friends to find out their perspective on the importance of a social mission. Turns out, social mission and values impact on credit unions is multi-faceted. Here is what I learned…
In a world of regulatory pressure, rapid paced technological advances and a competitive financial landscape, mission driven growth and a strong commitment to serve is the only way to do business. Our credit union is an extension of our membership: What is important to our members is important to us. –Brad Houle, CEO, CAHP Credit Union
Marketing and outreach efforts should have a strong focus on community advocacy, no matter how you define the community. Social Media advertising tools should not be exclusively an avenue for your products and services, but rather avoice for social awareness. –Matt Reber, VP Marketing & Business Development, Columbine Federal Credit Union
Honestly, I can’t see how a business can thrive long term without a strong social mission. To me, the basic question every business needs to answer is what problem are you solving? If you can answer that, you are on the right track. We believe inthe innate goodness of people, and want to help them out in any way we can. –IeChen Cheng, CFO, Boulder Dam Credit Union
Organizations should value hard work, integrity and delivering excellent member service… it is good business. I wouldn’t work somewhere without this focus on having a positive impact on people. The credit union industry is full of genuinely kind, good people who want to help others! –Felicity Guerin, CU4Kids Development Manager, CUNA
Now, get your booty to Colorado Springs. See you in a couple weeks!
Mitchell Stankovic and Associates,
Together we made a difference! On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff of Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN), we thank you for volunteering at AIDS Walk Las Vegas 2015. More than 6,000 walkers participated in the 25th Annual AIDS Walk on April 19th at Town Square. We are delighted to report that we raised a total of over $400,000!
Your help as Volunteer Manager and Coordinator and all-around trouble shooter is invaluable, and we appreciate having you as a member of the team!
Your support will help our programs continue to improve the lives of over 3,500 men, women and children affected by, or infected with, HIV/AIDS. Our programs support people living with HIV/AIDS by helping them manage their lives, manage their disease—and give them a better chance of being integrated back into the community, back into the work place, back into lives with a future.
Caring people, like you, have enabled AFAN to fight HIV/AIDS in our community for 31 years. Only with your involvement and support can we truly continue to make a difference.
With our warmest regards,
Evan Walsh, Crystal Kovacs, Terry Guesman and Keith Wilcox
AFAN Development Team
Brandi Stankovic, Senior Partner, represented Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates as a keynote speaker for the Women's Leaders at the Mountain West Credit Union Association in Phoeniz, AZ. She led the group in interactive dialogue and discussion regarding the most valuable people; specifically how to be an MVP and how to inspire the MVPs in your life. In business, we refer to MVPs as our top performers; male and female leaders who have that magic stuff or mojo that drives them to achieve success; the ones who impact the bottom line or who can turn around a low-performing team and help them achieve their goals and exceed their targets. During the session, Brandi also shared the efforts of the World Council of Credit Union's Global Women's Leadership Network that strives to provide women with the opportunity and resources to make measurable differences in each other's lives, as well as in the lives of credit union members and in their communities.