LAS VEGAS-At the National Directors Conference here, Credit Union Journal asked attendees if they were taking steps to actively recruit younger board members. Here's what some had to say:

Danny Holst, Director
Central Star CU, Wichita, Kan.

It definitely is something we have talked about. Each year we host a Member Appreciation Day, which this year was at the Wichita Zoo. We had a table with staff asking members if they had any interest in volunteering. We will look at those people for the board or for our various committees.

We as a board have a lot of gray hair, myself included, so we are actively seeking younger people. If we are really sold on attracting Gen Y to be members of the credit union, the board must have that input and perspective.

Jennifer Dixson, Director
Landmark CU, Danville, Ill.

Myself and another young member are on the board and we are very passionate about the issue. Both of us bring new ideas. The other board members are accepting of us, but change comes slowly. The credit union changed CEOs last year. The old CEO had been there a long time, but the new CEO is a younger gentleman and that has made a difference.

The board is talking about strategic goals and reaching younger people who do not know about credit unions. We are stepping up our marketing to grow loans, and we know it is younger people who are buying cars so we have to reach them.

Stewart Isaac, Director
Hartford Municipal Employees FCU, Conn.

We have an active recruitment process and we try to keep new people coming in to the board. Terms are three years, but they are staggered, so every year spots are open for election. We let the entire membership know about the board elections.

Denise Wheeland
VP of Operations
Providence FCU, Milwaukie, Ore.

We are all employees of Providence Health Care, which is a huge organization in five states, as well as the credit union. So whenever there is an open position it is advertised to the membership.

We require resumes, interviews, a whole formal process. It works very well for us-we have a wonderful board.

Doug Esmond, Director
First Service CU, Houston

We have 11 board members, and the old ones do not want to leave and we do not want to expand, so we do not know what the answer is. It takes a lot of guts to run off a board member. With that said, we work hard to have the cutting-edge technology younger people want, and we are aware of important issues facing the credit union.

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