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Chapter Officers Get Update on Chapter Structure Changes, League Board Expectations

May 30, 2013 by Lewis Wood

Each of the current 10 chapters must adopt new bylaws prior to the League Board's April 2014 meeting. Member credit unions within the current chapters will vote on any revisions to chapter bylaws. The League Board still approves the bylaws of all chapters. Once these new bylaws are adopted by the chapter's membership and approved by the League Board, the various chapters and their member credit unions will be able to decide how they wish to organize going forward.

Twenty-eight chapter officers, representing all 10 League chapters, gathered in Richmond Wednesday to review recently approved changes to chapter organization and to brainstorm ideas for improving educational offerings, boosting community involvement and mobilizing grassroots advocates.

Provisions governing chapter structure were stripped last month from the League's Bylaws by a vote of the membership. The elected League Board will now set chapter structure as Board policy to provide chapters greater flexibility in how they organize, while providing credit unions the option of joining any chapter in which they have a branch office.

"Our Chapter Task Force did a remarkable job of drafting a plan to give chapters the flexibility to mold and shape their organizations to better meet the realities of today's credit union system," said League President Rick Pillow. "This reality includes the fact that the number of credit unions is dwindling, many of our credit unions now have operations that stretch across multiple chapters areas, and in some cases, there's interest in pursuing mergers among the chapters.

"Our message to the chapter leaders was a simple one: we firmly believe there is a role for chapters in providing education and networking opportunities, supporting our governmental affairs efforts, and pursuing community involvement initiatives," noted Pillow. "But the Chapter Task Force and the League Board also understood that the old chapter system was too inflexible to allow chapters to evolve."

Although League Board policy now dictates certain requirements in the formation of chapters - election of a governing board, chapter objectives, and notification requirements for the chapter annual meeting - most other issues related to structure are left to the credit unions that form a chapter.

Each of the current 10 chapters must adopt new bylaws prior to the League Board's April 2014 meeting. Member credit unions within the current chapters will vote on any revisions to chapter bylaws. The League Board still approves the bylaws of all chapters. Once these new bylaws are adopted by the chapter's membership and approved by the League Board, the various chapters and their member credit unions will be able to decide how they wish to organize going forward. This could include continuing as they have within their current geographic area, merger with an adjoining chapter or chapters, or even dissolution.

Some chapters have already held discussions about future organization; others will form committees to revise their bylaws in the coming months.

"Member credit unions now have the tools to rewrite chapter structure so that it truly reflects the needs and expectations of the credit unions that form the chapter, while still ensuring the chapter objectives prescribed by League membership and the Board are fulfilled," said Pillow.

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