We’ve been through a public health crisis, intense social unrest in the face of extreme injustice, an unstable economy that threatens both our personal and professional worlds, and social isolation on a level we’ve never experienced before. This has taken an emotional toll and put strains on our well-being in every sense of the word.
While there are more questions than answers right now, there is something that I have observed during this time that I am thankful for. I believe credit unions have never been more needed – and the cooperative finance model has the power to shape the future and hold together the fabric of our communities.
There has never been a greater need for credit unions
Over the years, there have been so many moments of celebration in our great credit union industry. Yet this year has presented us with one crisis after another, shaking our public health, economic, social, and political systems to their core.
Like times of past recessions and disasters, we have seen the resiliency of this industry... credit unions were born in the midst of a crisis.
Like times of past recessions and past disasters, we have seen the resiliency of this industry and how impactful credit unions are in the healing of their communities. Credit unions were born in the midst of a crisis. So, when I hear people asking about how this industry will survive these tumultuous times, I think it is the wrong question. A better one might be to ask what will be born from this.
It will take energy, inspiration, passion and strength. We’ve already seen so many credit unions doubling down on their mission and purpose. And if we can look past the now and see ahead to the future, we will see that this is our moment to stand tall. Not just for our communities but because we have an opportunity to be part of shaping what comes next.
Leading through uncertainty by finding balance
This year, like no other, has brought forward the tension we face daily between our heads and our hearts. In times of crisis, the tension created by competing priorities can be overwhelming, but it can also lead to greater clarity of purpose. It is the actions we take in each present moment that give life to our mission, while tomorrow yields new opportunities for us to create brighter futures for the people we serve.
Thank you for the work you have done this year –your leadership has helped our industry find balance in the face of uncertainty and create new opportunities to grow while supporting the well-being of our communities.
It is clear that you stand committed to your business and to your community, and Filene stands committed to you in finding solutions to the complex problems we will continue to face together as we shape a new future and new moments for celebration.
Gathering resources to create what’s next
Together we have a chance to build something that wasn’t there before. Filene has insights, tools, ideas and the connections you’ll need to get rid of what doesn’t serve us, create what needs to be, and make the future better.
We won’t know what the answers are before the questions present themselves, but no matter the challenge, if we look past the turmoil today, we can figure out together what needs to be done in the future to grow our organizations and lift our purpose.
Cheers + best,
President + CEO
Filene Research Institute