2017 Annual Meeting & Convention recap


The 2017 Annual Meeting & Convention wrapped up at the Sagamore Resort yesterday. Over the course of four days, attendees celebrated the New York Credit Union Association’s 100 year anniversary and this year’s Convention theme, “A History Worth Repeating.”

Nearly 800 credit union professionals, volunteers, executives and service providers attended this year’s Convention, which was held June 1-4 at the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing.

Attendees began arriving Thursday afternoon for the first day of the CUNA Mutual Group Golf Tournament to benefit the New York Credit Union Foundation. Over the course of two days, golfers and sponsors helped raised $31,000 for the charitable arm of the New York credit union movement.

“The New York Credit Union Foundation’s mission is to foster the financial independence of all New Yorkers through credit unions,” said CUNA Mutual Group’s Chris Guild. “It is a simple yet bold mission that CUNA Mutual Group supports 100 percent. That’s why we’re proud to serve as the title sponsor each year for the CUNA Mutual Group Golf Tournament to Benefit the Foundation.”

The event continued Thursday evening with the EXPO and Welcome Reception, which included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and three hours of networking with leading service and technology providers. The day concluded with a packed Cheers and Beers networking event sponsored by the Young Professionals Commission.

Association Board Chairman Mark Pfisterer, president/CEO of AmeriCU Credit Union, officially opened convention Friday morning.

“As board chairman, I have seen firsthand the Association’s efforts to advance the state credit union movement, day in and day out, year after year,” said Pfisterer. “But this milestone is not just about the Association; it’s about every single person in this room. Because just like the Association, all of you work day in and day out, year after year to serve your members, and ultimately advance our statewide movement.”

Association President/CEO William J. Mellin then took the stage to share his opening remarks. Mellin recounted the founding of the Association and the state credit union act, based on historical documents and archives. After looking back on the state credit union movement’s history, Mellin encouraged the group to look forward.

“Those early credit union pioneers knew that in order to grow, in order for a true movement to take hold, they needed an Association that was built on a spirt of cooperation and mutual support,” he said. “We continue to be an organization that runs on cooperation, mutual support and on unity. And we continue to carry out that mission that was agreed upon 100 years ago – to unite and to serve.”

Mellin’s remarks were followed by a presentation from CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who provided an update on the credit union system and the credit union movement’s national advocacy efforts.

Decorated Navy SEAL and bestselling author Marcus Luttrell then took the stage to share his inspiring life story, which began in a small town in rural Texas, brought him to the brink of death in Afghanistan and Iraq, and finally back to the U.S., where he has made a name for himself as a sought after speaker. Luttrell also recounted the harrowing events of Operation Red Wings, during which U.S. forces suffered many 19 casualties and Luttrell—who was critically wounded—emerged as the lone survivor.

Friday afternoon also included an awards luncheon to honor the recipients of the New York Credit Union Association’s Recognition Awards, as well as several educational Learning Labs.

Later in the evening, attendees joined Association staff in recreating a historic photo on the front lawn of the Sagamore.

A cocktail reception and the CUPAC Silent Auction capped off the evening. The popular event raised more than $11,000 for the state credit union political action committee.

Saturday morning began with an economic update by Tom Slefinger of Balance Sheet Solutions. Slefinger’s presentation focused on the Federal Reserve’s impact on the slow economic recovery, and he examined how the Trump administration’s policies might hinder growth.

Convention attendees then heard from inspiring presenter Kevin Brown, who challenged the group to go above-and-beyond in their service to members.

“Heroes understand that it’s the extra mile and what they do different, it’s the ‘wow’ to exceed expectations, it’s how they go over the top with what they do, and they do more than they are paid to do,” he said.

Record-breaking astronaut and Navy Captain Scott Kelly wrapped up the Convention general sessions with another inspiring story, explaining how breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable goals helped rise from troubled student, to Navy captain and eventually a NASA astronaut.

Saturday evening included more networking and relaxation during the Association’s centennial gala. The event included a live big-band and a performance from the Singing Waiters musical group.

Convention officially concluded Sunday morning with the 2017 Annual Meeting, where the results of the Association’s board elections were announced.

“The 2017 Annual Meeting & Convention was a celebration of the history of the New York state credit union movement and our many accomplishments over the past century,” said Mellin. “But more importantly, it was a chance to look towards the future and look at what the next 100 years might look like. Thank you to all who were able to share in this historic anniversary with us.”

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