Are you ready to be a lending thought leader? Maybe writing this column is for you.
While I don’t like to think about it too often, I must face facts: Retirement is in my foreseeable future. It won’t happen in the next year, but it won’t be five years away either. While I’m working on a succession plan here at Ent Credit Union, it would be great to find someone with a passion for lending who’d like to carry my torch for writing about lending.
The Value of Writing a Regular Lending Column
I didn’t enter the credit union movement almost 34 years ago with plans to write, yet I was influenced by the former CEO of FAIRWINDS Credit Union, Ed Baranowski. Ed was a big believer that the credit union motto of “people helping people” extended to credit unions helping each other. He was on the CUNA board for several years and also did consulting, speaking and teaching for the credit union movement.
It was Ed’s inability to take on a particular speaking and training engagement that led him to recommend me to do a three-day session on collections for the New York Credit Union Association in 1991. That was the start of my interest in helping my peers in the credit union world that continues today. Over the years, I have authored well over 100 articles (some of which are in this collection) and several whitepapers that have been published by various credit union organizations. For over a decade, my favorite topics were risk-based pricing, portfolio analysis and other technical, difficult-to-tackle topics. I now find myself leaning towards leadership issues in lending.
I think writing on lending has forced me to become more open-minded. As I’ve written before, I tend to be a bit stubborn about lending. I’ve been in the business for now almost 39 years, with 34 of them at the executive level in the credit union movement. Seeing that the last three to five years of my career have seen a flurry of activity when it comes to the growth in digital lending and the challenges of COVID-19, it’s been anything but the “same old, same old!” Writing about lending has certainly kept me and my perspective fresh!
An added bonus from my writing is that I actually find it relaxing. A few people have questioned how I find the time to write these articles. Writing about what’s going on in the office certainly helps me come up with lending leadership, and I find my writing tends to be more productive at the end of a workday. I get things off my mind—and off my chest—by writing about them, unwinding before I get home. My wife is certainly appreciative that I am not grumpy when I arrive at the house!
Why You Might Want to Be the Next Writer of This Column
If you have a passion for lending and you think you have something to contribute to the credit union movement through writing, I’d like to help you get your start. Perhaps you can write an occasional guest article for this space. I can be a sounding board for your ideas and help you organize your thoughts. We can collaborate on our respective lending operations, which should help generate article ideas for both of us. Whether you have the aspiration to be a future CEO or would like to be one of the recognized leaders in lending, this might be your opportunity to take the next step in your adventure.
If you’re interested in discussing opportunities, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CUES member Bill Vogeney is chief revenue officer and self-professor lending geek at $8.7 billion Ent Credit Union, Colorado Springs.