This article originally appeared on Randy Karnes’ blog, Tell Me Why I’m Wrong

For a future that would get our NCUA leaders focused on comments like Jelena McWilliams

This week, June 19, you will see that CU*Answers is trying to rally NACUSO to help us push CUSOs towards some big projects. My favorite is an effort by CUSOs to impact the selection process for the NCUA board of directors. For ten years, or more we have not seen a NCUA board member step up and rally a single project that was designed for a growth initiative, for a cooperative consumer-owner initiative, or for any initiative that was pointed at the chance to expand our members’ sense of well-being. We simply suffer the government’s assigned “snow fence installation crew” – the people that wrap us in safety and soundness and corral us behind fences designed to stave off storms. Leaders are needed with new mindsets and sincere intent, because they have felt stifled in their lives too.

We need a counterbalance to the two new directors, and we need it soon, before we all pass away from boredom and the ground hog day effects of “been there, done that”. It is time to select someone that is pro-cooperative business models, understands a CUSO’s drive for cooperatives, and someone that might put some heart into the game to inspire our faith in the heart of the NCUA. Can that start with a person, the next appointee, or will it wait for us to push harder to change the selection process? I say try both. Push for an immediate talent to join the other two, push for someone like Sarah Canepa Bang, or even Sarah Canepa Bang… And prepare for a long process to influence the way the next ten administrations select our directors.

We have work to do if we are to ensure that we might have a chance to match the talent and sentiments of Jelena McWilliams on her best day. Here is to better days ahead.

Read the remarks by FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams at the CATO Summit on Financial Regulation, “If You Build It, They Will Come”; Washington, D.C.


  • Randy Karnes

    From 1994 to 2021, Mr. Karnes was CEO of CU*Answers, a credit union-owned CUSO that provides core processing, consulting, management, and technology services. An active participant in the credit union industry since 1985, Mr. Karnes currently serves on the Boards of Xtend and eDOC Innovations and formerly served on the Board of Callahan and Associates for many years. Mr. Karnes has an infectious vision and drive for bringing credit unions together to explore the power of collaboration in entirely new ways. His enthusiasm for imagining and building new credit union business models has been helping to change the way many credit unions will approach serving members now and in the future.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *