CU Leaders Network, Compete, Engage, & Glean from Speakers

2022 Shapiro Summit attendees tackled real-world small credit union situations with an interactive game of “what would you do” and other scenarios, as well as gleaning from some of the industry’s most innovative speakers.
2022 Shapiro Summit attendees tackled real-world small credit union situations with an interactive game of “what would you do” and other scenarios, as well as gleaning from some of the industry’s most innovative speakers.

More than 80 industry leaders from nearly 30 credit unions and affiliates attended this year’s 15th Annual Shapiro Summit at JW Marriott Anaheim Resort in Anaheim, CA, which provided a wealth of information designed to help credit unions under $200 million in assets solve real-life issues — including staffing issues, succession planning, due diligence, risks, safety, and so much more.

(View this year's Shapiro Summit photo gallery, organized by the Shapiro Group Advisory Committee and hosted by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues).

Headlining this year’s conference was National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Todd Harper. The chairman said he was honored to engage with small credit union leaders as the industry remains focused on serving all types of communities across the nation. He applauded the hard work, due diligence, and innovative decisions those in the audience were facing each year as they continue serving their members. He also addressed the topics of mergers, succession planning, interest rate risk, and cybersecurity.

Topics for Shapiro Summit were created by credit unions, for credit unions. They included economic and interest rate insights, interactive collaboration solutions gaming on real-world issues and scenarios, what's ahead in federal government affairs, innovative lending solutions geared specifically for credit unions, CEO retirement succession strategy at all levels, and more.

Attendees also heard from California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra, who thanked small credit union leaders for taking the time to come engage with their peers, as well as gained insights during a federal legislative update by Leagues Senior Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Jeremy Empol.

Additionally, a special panel graced the conference with a discussion surrounding the importance of succession planning at all levels of a credit union. With more than 100 years of combined experience, the panel was comprised of Upward CU CEO Linda White, Kaiperm CU CEO Karen Introcaso, and Humanidei + O'Rourke CEO Jill Nowacki. At the culmination of the event, the Shapiro Advisory Committee honored White and Introcaso on their upcoming retirements, which gained a standing ovation. Introcaso also provided her strategic succession plan to all Shapiro Summit attendees.

Other presenters (and a few insights from their discussions) included:

  • Economic and Geopolitical Impacts in 2022: Bill Hampel (former chief economist and policy officer for the Credit Union National Association and current independent credit union industry economist) — Approximately 60 percent of the audience thought the U.S. economy is currently in a recession, but 40 percent did not. “We’re in a technical definition of a recession — two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth,” Hampel said. “However, the recession dating committee is the official arbiter of determining a recession. Their definition is a significant, widespread, and persistent decline in economic activity, as well as other factors. Ergo — we are not in a recession, yet. There will likely be a mild recession, however, in the first quarter of 2023.”

  • Managing Risk in a Rising Rate Environment: Steve Waddell (senior ALM consultant for Catalyst Corporate FCU) — “Interest rate risk is here, and from my perspective, higher rates should be a good thing,” Waddell said. “A big part of your balance sheet should be capital. If rates are higher, your earnings should be higher because you’re earning on your assets.”

  • Better Lending Decisions: Mike de Vere (CEO of Zest AI) — No consumer should have to wait long for a car loan approval, according to de Vere. “There are so many opportunities you can’t even see, and there is bias in the old processes. Imagine a new way of scoring members without bias, with more accuracy and almost instantly,” de Vere said. “When people needed lending the most, many lenders usually shrink their lending instead of adapting.” He asked the audience if credit unions have ever considered how much in dollars it takes to initiate an auto loan, and how much time it takes. “Machine learning is able to look at data over time, and these are things that your best underwriting person might be intuitive at — however, the artificial intelligence model is more exact, based on raw data, engineered variables, and more.” On average, auto loan approvals increase 21 percent, personal loans by 31 percent, and credit cards by 19 percent.

Small credit union CEOs and other leaders also enjoyed networking opportunities during a beautiful rooftop welcome reception, as well as bowling at Splitsville Bowling Alley in Downtown Disney. Eight teams took to the lanes to see who was the top-bowler, with some fierce excitement, fun networking, and tons of engagement!

THANK YOU to the corporate sponsors of this year’s Shapiro Summit:

Shapiro Summit, hosted annually by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Leagues’ Shapiro Group, is THE exclusive gathering of small credit union minds and the only event on the West Coast designed for credit unions that are $200 million assets and under. Boasting a 98 percent average approval rating, this unique annual conference is one of the most anticipated events of the year.

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