Matt Davis, the Credit Union Warrior asked 11 people that he trusts to “tag” a speaker. Someone that is not a part of the usual speaker circuit. These speakers were asked to spake for love – aka as travel expenses. The exotic location? Fishers, Indiana.

No golf.

No spa.

No fancy resort.

125 people showed up this morning to FORUM Credit Union to hear 11 amazing speakers. No board members, a few CEOs but mostly middle management. Many are here on their own dime. There’s free wifi in this state of the art meeting space. We have a Twitter hashtag #cuwcs. There’s going to be a rockband contest tonight. Many are blogging and rumor has it CU Times is providing a video stream.

Our opening speaker just opened up with one slide that simply says “SEX”

This is going to be a weird day – stay tuned.

10:05am (Eastern)

Robbie Wright just finished up. Kicked it off with some pretty in-your-face opinions which got the audience riled up. In a good way.

Now Ondine Irving is telling her amazing story. About how Twitter connected her with Suze Orman and Oprah. Guess what? Twitter.

11:18am (Eastern)

Joe Staples, Interactive Intelligence is on stage showing us amazingly scary statistics on social media. Twitter is the new way to communicate according to the stats – and the brilliance? Brevity. 140 characters. Get to the damn point.

1:08pm (Eastern)

Rebecca Corliss, HubSpot just showed a video of her singing Alanis Morrisette’s angry ballad You Oughta Know but the target of the angst was not the trashy boyfriend whore – it was traditional marketers!

2:21pm (Eastern)

Two words. Ed. Brett. No slides. No fear. Challenged the crap out of us. Service, not really important – if you’re not good at banking, service doesn’t matter. Your members only need you when they need you. They don’t want you. Especially don’t want you on Facebook.

The mood in the room is shifting from conference to “Come to Jesus.” Can I get an Amen?

 

DAY TWO:

8:54am (Eastern)

Tim McAlpine kicked off day two with an acknowledgement of Matt Davis’, (The Credit Union Warrior) commitment to this conference and to the movement. I have felt for some time that the Warrior is Edward Filene reincarnated (minus the wealthy Boston merchant detail). One of the reasons Mr. Filene was so successful so quickly with the concept of a financial cooperative – he funded the efforts himself. Because he was not beholden to dues or an employer, he was free to say what needed to be said. People no doubt criticized him, but he did not care. His passion overrode his ego.

Matt currently works for the Filene Research Institute. Only seems fitting. And to their credit and in the spirit of our founder, they have given him the freedom to do and say what needs to be said and done.

This conference is just the beginning. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s challenging the status quo, and not by an angry mob (like I’ve seen recently in response to the corporate recapitalization) but by people who truly believe in our business model and see it losing ground.

If we do not youth-a-nize American credit unions we will literally die of old age. I’m one of the oldest people at this conference. Ironically I am exactly the average age of American credit unions members: 48.

Yesterday we were challenged by many speakers outside of our industry. And last night we spoke of such taboo topics as:

Why don’t we have term limits for boards?

Taxation. Some believe credit unions should be taxed.

The failed attempts at a national brand campaign. The consensus was this is a waste of money and time.

I’m looking forward to today – stay tuned…..

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