2012: A Year For Cooperative Resolution

Five questions to help credit unions think about how they will embrace the promise and challenge.


Welcome to the New Year! Economic, political, and social circumstances are certainly promising for cooperative efforts, but so are the challenges. Here are five questions to ask your leadership, staff, and Board to ensure your credit union is thinking about how to embrace the cooperative spirit in 2012.

    1. As the presidential political contest accelerates with rhetoric that is increasingly dividing voters and the nation, how can cooperatives re-assert their common purpose?
    2. As regulatory resolutions continues to cascade, will we have the courage to remember that following rules is not how life works, especially for those wishing to make a difference?
    3. As the occupy protest and other events of discontent with the status quo emerge, can we recapture the movement spirit that created the system we lead today? Can credit unions become an occupy destination?
    4. As the country continues to invent the next economy, can we create innovative solutions for members rather than focus on preserving past advantage?
    5. As our individual and member circumstances wax and wane, can we assert the common values that bring us together to manage for both current and future generations?

In 2012 the world is up for re-invention in many different ways. Credit unions are an example of changes coming from small initiatives, which imitated, can become the fashion. At Callahan & Associates, we will continue to tell the member story, the credit union story – your story. More importantly, though, we want to create ways to empower your voice.

Our resolution is to help the credit union industry make this a year in which cooperative solutions become an inspiration for you, your members, and the American community.


Jan. 5, 2012


  • I agree the US and world economy is ever changing. The needs of credit union members are also changing. Some of the former prime members have become non-prime and even sub-prime members as a result of the mortgage crisis and economy in general. Many of these members are no longer serviced by their own credit union. Trying to buy a car when you were once a prime member and now are non-prime is almost imposible at reasonable interest rates. Credit Unions need to continue servicing these once prime members. These are not the normal sub-prime consumer. These are good members that pay their bilss, but due to circumstances beyond their control have been reclassified as non-prime due to a FICO score. Credit Unions should start the year by assisting these members when their needs arise.
    Frank Mercer