Tag Archives: Board of Directors

Q&A with former USACU Board Member Brian McConnell

Brian McConnell took a few minutes out of his day to share about his experience as a member of the Board of Directors for USAgencies Credit Union…

 

Brian and familyWhy did you become a member of the Board of Directors at USAgencies Credit Union?

I was working as a civil engineer and recently completed my MBA in finance when I joined the Board.  I thought becoming a board member would give me an opportunity to continue learning about the financial industry as well as apply what I learned in business school, neither of which I was able to do in my day job.  I was right!  In addition, I felt that I could add a younger perspective than the other board members which would be helpful for attracting younger members to USACU.  Having board level experience on my resume so early in my career was a huge plus for me too.

 

How old were you when you joined the USACU Board?

27 years old

 

What skills (personal or professional) do you think you’ve gained from your experience on the Board?

I learned so much about the credit union movement and our place in the financial services industry.  Before my time on the board I didn’t properly appreciate how much credit unions do for their members.  Besides gaining knowledge about credit unions, I honed my skills at analyzing USACU’s financial statements, which has helped me professionally as I transitioned my career from engineering to finance.  More importantly however, I learned a lot from the other board members and USACU management.  They were all leaders in one way or another, so I tried to observe them as much as possible, especially early in my term on the Board, to learn different approaches to leadership.  When I joined the Board I didn’t have experience professionally operating at a strategic level which the Board must do.  It wasn’t for a few years after I joined the Board that I began interacting with executives more regularly in my career.  I credit my Board experience with increasing my comfort working with high level executives.

 

In your opinion, who should consider becoming a Board Member at USAgencies Credit Union?

In my opinion, nearly anyone would benefit from joining the USACU Board.  For instance, people that want to make a difference in the lives of USACU members truly can have a positive impact on our members as a board member.  People that want to learn about the financial industry will get an opportunity to do so on the Board.  People that want to try something outside of their career comfort zone or even think they may be interested in a career change into something related to the financial services industry could benefit from USACU Board experience.  If someone wants to gain more business acumen, the USACU Board is a great way to do it.  Those are just a few examples of who I think would benefit from the Board experience.

 

How long have you been a member at USAgencies, and what do you love about your credit union?

I’ve been a member at USACU for just over 10 years.  Unlike other financial institutions I have worked with, USACU is very approachable and accessible.  If you have a financial need or issue, you can pick up the phone or stop by the branch and talk with someone that can help.  I haven’t had that same experience at any other financial institution.  I am confident that they act with my best interest in mind.

 


USAgencies Credit Union currently has a couple of open Board positions. If you’re an enthusiastic USACU member, and interested in serving on the Board of your Credit Union, please contact us. We’d love to talk with you about it!

We are also looking to build a pool of future leaders through our Associate Volunteer Program.

Learn more about volunteering for USAgencies Credit Union’s Board of Directors.

 

The Benefits of Volunteering

From our friends at Idealist.

(It really is okay to ask, “What’s in it for me?”)

Volunteering can be far more than simply doing a good deed.

In fact, volunteering can be a great way to develop skills, learn more about career options, make friends, garner new professional contacts, get exercise, spend time outdoors/with animals/with kids, or even just shake up your routine.

Yet volunteers rarely speak of the benefits of volunteering to themselves — maybe it feels a bit too self-centered, or too far from the altruistic vision of the selfless volunteer.

But who says that doing good and enjoying yourself while meeting your own personal/professional goals can’t happen at the same time?

Part of finding the right volunteer opportunity is being honest about what you hope to learn and accomplish.

If in the process of meeting your personal and professional goals, you are also serving as an effective volunteer, helping to meet the goals of your particular volunteer project or role, and/or helping to move an organization’s mission forward, it’s a win-win situation.

Personal and professional benefits of volunteering

With that in mind, here are some of the personal and professional benefits one can gain from volunteering:

Skill development
Always wanted to learn about sustainability and conservation methods? Have experience creating podcasts and would like to try using them as an advocacy tool for a nonprofit? Volunteering helps you learn new skills, keep skills sharp, or use existing skills in new ways.

Career exploration
Regardless of your age or career level, volunteering will introduce you to new professional paths.

Volunteering can be an excellent way to learn more about a particular role or sector (particularly if you are coming from a for-profit job and hoping to switch to non-profit or government), workplace or office culture, or cause.

Also, never underestimate the power of networking; volunteering offers the opportunity to cross paths—as well as, in many cases, quickly bond—with people from across your community, including many with whom you may otherwise not have had contact.

Personal growth
Lifelong learning includes hands-on experiences as a volunteer which can teach you about issues ranging from adult literacy to public health to animal welfare.

Need a break from your day-to-day life? Recharge by walking dogs, playing basketball with kids, or taking tickets at a film festival. Need to work off some stress? Consider some of the more labor-intensive roles like helping to remove invasive species or chopping out non-native trees and bushes.

Lastly, don’t forget that sometimes it just feels good to be valued; as a volunteer you can contribute unique skills, experiences, and perspectives. For example, you might be great at using online sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Many organizations are looking to branch out into social networking to help connect with new audiences; as a volunteer, you can be the in-house expert to get them started.

Socialize
In addition to professional networking, volunteering can be a fun, meaningful way to make new friends. New to the community? Looking to branch out socially? Simply looking for something to do with new people? Volunteer and get to know others who care about the same issues that you do.

Have an impact
Last but most certainly not least, volunteering is one of the best ways we know of to make a difference in your community. Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.

 

Did you know you can become a volunteer at your favorite CU?

It’s true–USACU is guided by a group of Volunteers! If you’d love to join in and help set the tone at one of the best member-driven cooperative credit unions in the Pacific Northwest, click here to learn more.

Interested, but not sure you’re ready to become a full-fledged Volunteer? Check out our Associate Volunteer program.

Questions?
Call: 503.275.0300

Click: info@usacu.org

Letter from the CEO

As a Credit Union, we are a not-for-profit organization, owned by our members. As a member/owner of the Credit Union, you get a say in what happens here. That’s what’s so great about Credit Unions, and makes us so different from banks and other financial institutions. Another thing that makes Credit Unions different is that we are run by a group of volunteers, who are elected by our membership. Just who are these volunteers? They are members, just like you! Our Board of Directors is made up of a group of passionate, committed members who meet monthly to help move us in the right direction.

Not sure if you’re ready to become a full volunteer at USAgencies Credit Union, but would like to become more involved? We also have an Associate Volunteer Program, which gives you exposure to different areas of operation and prepares you for what you might expect upon becoming a regular volunteer.

If you’re interested in giving back to your community by volunteering at your Credit Union, we’d love to talk! Email us at info@usacu.org or visit usacu.org/volunteers.

Jim Lumpkin, President/CEO, USACU

Jim Lumpkin
President/CEO
USAgencies Credit Union