Different by Design

A spirit of self-help and common effort cre­ates unique value for members and the economy.


For 26 of credit unions’ 100-year history, Callahan & Associates (the people behind CreditUnions.com) has been the primary source for complete and objective data on credit union perfor­mance. We started with the Credit Union Directory in 1985, launched desktop software with Peer-to-Peer in 1990, and debuted CreditUnions.com — and this (now) daily e-newsletter — in 1999.

But longevity is not the basis for credit unions’ or Callahan’s continuing efforts. Rather, it is the promise that credit unions bring for the future. They continue to create common wealth that serves millions of members today and then is passed on to new generations.

The events of the past year, documented in the 2011 edition of our flagship Credit Union Directory, have provided an opportunity to draw impor­tant lessons. One is the amazing results shown when people are given respon­sibility to manage their own financial resources and direct their use for com­mon benefit. The positive performance of member-owned institutions, three examples of which run on CreditUnions.com this week, has validated the criti­cal role of cooperatives within America’s financial system:

  • An interview with Kent Hartzler, CEO of Mennonite Financial (now Everence Federal Credit Union), on how it serves a distinct FOM;
  • A video interview with Cathie Tierney, CEO of Community First (WI) on its high school education efforts;
  • A profile of Educators Credit Union’s Fast Lane Financing program that rewards employees based on how much money they can save members in interest payments.

These stories are just three examples of why millions of members’ believe being part of a cooper­ative system is a better way to manage their financial resources. It is this “difference by design,” the spirit of self-help and common effort, that cre­ates unique value for members and the American economy. That’s why we chose that theme for this year’s Directory, shipping next week. Have you reserved your credit union’s copy?


Oct. 27, 2010



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