Provided by Frank Padak, 2nd Vice Chair, DCUC Board of Director and President/CEO, Scott CU
With all of the changes occurring in our industry this year (Co-Op & PSCU Merger, CUNA & NAFCU Merger) I thought it might be fun to reflect back on my time as a DCUC Board Member and the changes I have had the privilege of being a part of.
When I was first elected to the Board, DCUC was led by Arty Arteaga and the Council had recently invested in AFFN in 2002, allowing for a direct investment and future revenue share in AFFN LLC by the Defense Credit Union Council and the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA). In 2007, AFFN LLC welcomed in FIS as our strategic processing partner.
Another significant accomplishment that DCUC led, in coordination with NAFCU, was successfully establishing the 12 United States Code 1770, “Allotment of Space in Federal buildings or Federal land.” This permitted on base credit unions to lease land or office space without charge for rent. Huge financial benefit for on base CUs...remains strongly in place today.
During Arty’s leadership, he enhanced DCUC’s reputation and became a trusted partner at all levels of leadership—strategic, organizational, and direct—by building relationships and remaining proactive with DOD executive, senior, and liaison personnel; Treasury; sister trades, DCUC members; partners such as Military Saves, BBB Military Line, Military Child Education Coalition, CFPB...and as a member of President Obama’s PACFC, Artega forged relationships with some of Obama’s heavy hitters.
DCUC’s efforts were focused on our members so they could take care of and provide our Nation’s treasure—our troops and their families—the finest of quality financial products and services. Whether we concentrated our efforts in areas such as DOD’s policies, the code of federal law/regulations; financial readiness/education or educating our members, via, DCUC conferences/meetings—stateside and overseas, our members were always top of mind.
When Anthony Hernandez (Tony) became the CEO, he brought a new energy and vision to the Council, and he has been the right person to build off of the great work Arty and his team had done. Tony immediately worked with the DCUC’s Board to build a comprehensive 5-year plan that included supporting the areas Arty had worked on while also expanding the scope of work the Council did to support our member credit unions.
Under Tony’s leadership, we are seeing the next evolution of our Council. Tony has been very intentional with the Council, becoming even more entrenched in the legislative process to protect our members from ill-conceived rules and regulations, and to support those initiatives that will benefit our members.
We recognize that most, if not all, credit unions are serving active duty and retired military and their families. With DCUC being the expert in DoD rules and regulations, we have begun to expand our marketing to further share our value for all credit unions. We see the opportunities to broaden our impact by helping every credit union in serving our Armed Forces and veterans.
Tony, like Arty, continues to work with DoD liaisons, the Offices of the Military Departments Financial Operations, and the Offices of Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller (USD-C) and Personnel & Readiness (USD P&R), ensuring key policies pertaining to credit unions operating on Military Bases remained intact and vigorously defended as the Department implemented major changes to the DoD Financial Management Regulation (DODFMR) and codified the same in the Code of Federal Regulations. Some of the major policies included:
In closing, during my tenure on the board, DCUC has been blessed with two outstanding leaders, both of whom are passionate about our troops, their families, and the success and viability of the council. Change is inevitable. DCUC has continued to evolve to meet the needs of our member credit unions and will continue to evolve as challenges and opportunities present themselves.