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September/October 2017 Issue: Front Page > Feature

What We Learned at Forum'17
Forum ’17 was held August 16th – 18th at the Embassy Suites in Franklin, TN. A recap of the week:

Craft Love Group Craft Love Workshop Attendees
Wednesday began with a morning of golf at Vanderbilt Legends Club. While the golfers hit the links, another group spent the morning at a DIY Workshop at Craft Love. This workshop was a one-of-a-kind experience where the morning was spent hammering, drilling, and painting our very own wooden masterpiece to take home. We then ended the afternoon with VolCorp’s Annual Meeting where Board Chairman, John Jacoway, and our CEO, Jeff Merry, discussed VolCorp’s strong financial position and emphasized how “each member is an essential piece” of the VolCorp family. The value that each credit union brings to VolCorp was symbolized by the lapel pins that were handed out to each attendee following the meeting. Board election results were also announced with both members and officers being honored.

Ben Brady & Jason Duke Ben Brady and Jason Duke
Thursday was a full day of pre-conference training sessions, speakers, and the exhibitor area. The morning started off with Ian Lampl from LoanStreet walking us through the loan participation process and how your credit union can use this unique platform to succeed in the marketplace. Next, Dale Goode from CULIANCE gave us a brief overview of the EFT and Network processes along with ways to save on interchange fees. Jason Duke and Ben Brady of White Mile Consulting then provided us with a lively demonstration of how cyber-threats can significantly impact your credit union and the importance of having an effective cybersecurity program to combat these threats.

Kevin Brown Kevin Brown
After lunch on Thursday, we officially kicked off Forum’17 with motivational speaker, Kevin Brown. As you may recall, Kevin was our closing keynote from Forum ’16. Due to popular demand, we brought him back and he provided yet another inspiring message. Kevin spoke on the “ART” of Great Living and how to turn life’s messes into a masterpiece. He explained how everyone’s life is like a blank, white canvas and it is up to us to paint the life we want. According to Kevin, we must Aspire to do great things, Risk becoming more of who we were born to be, and Transform the moment by using creativity to find solutions to our most pressing challenges.

The final speaker for Thursday was Ty Parker, a nationally recognized speaker on financial compliance topics. Ty began the session by asking members of the audience which check issues they wanted him to address. He responded by discussing a myriad of advanced check loss issues and described how they could be prevented or recovered. A Reg CC update was also provided.

Thursday evening was a fun summer night at Homestead Manor. The elegant barn was the perfect setting to visit with old friends while enjoying an enchanting family style meal of herb-encrusted pork chops and herb-roasted chicken. After dinner, guests spent the evening enjoying games of life-size Jenga, corn hole, ladder ball, and bocce ball. A DJ dished out the tunes and really knew how to get people dancing! As if an evening at The Barn was not enough, the fun continued in the After Party room back at the hotel.

Kevie Mikus Kevie Mikus
Friday was the final day of the Forum. Kevie Mikus, Area VP of HR & Compensation Consulting for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. kick-started the morning session. Kevie’s presentation not only included beneficial information on how to create an “employment brand”, but also on how it’s equally important for your credit union to establish your “marketing brand” for recruiting purposes. She then went on to describe a model for assessing and rewarding key talent and utilizing best practices and trends to create a competitive advantage for your credit union.

Michael Parrish DuDell, an entrepreneur and bestselling author of the Shark Tank books, was our closing keynote speaker. Michael’s high-energy keynote focused on how best to understand and engage with a new kind of consumer – Millennials -- (those born 1982 – 1996). He began his address by introducing us to millennials, the largest generation ever to come along. He explained the societal influences in their lives (especially technology) and how they have come to demand hyper connection and instant gratification. At the end of his presentation, Michael left everyone with an important idea to think about – how will credit unions connect with this new generation to build future-focused, successful organizations.

Annual Meeting Annual Meeting
In summary, it was a terrific conference enjoyed by all who attended. In fact, we’d love to relive it again! And for those of you who couldn’t attend, we hope to see you next year!

Plans are already underway for Forum’18, which will be held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville. Please save the dates of August 22-24, 2018! More details will come early next year.

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