Article

From John: Talent Development for Execs New to CUs

adding a new block representing new executive
John Pembroke Photo
President/CEO
CUES

2 minutes

New guide welcomes industry outsiders and helps them ramp up.

The credit union landscape is rapidly changing.

The competition for top talent is fierce.

Combine these two thoughts and it’s not surprising that some credit unions are widening their executive searches, interviewing leaders from outside the industry and sometimes hiring them.

In an upcoming CU Management magazine article on this trend, CUES member Dan McCarthy, CHRO of $483 million/70,000-member Del-One Federal Credit Union, Dover, Delaware, says:

“I think every industry can sometimes get too caught up in industry experience when they hire to fill positions. It’s not like you’re born with credit union experience. I am the firmest of believers that you hire first for cultural fit, second for talent, and then third for industry and technical skills. Talented people who are a cultural fit can be top-level contributors in any organization.”

Notably, McCarthy joined Del-One FCU in April 2019 from his previous post as COO of a regional real estate development and construction company.

CUES recently took a deep dive into the experience of leaders who’ve been hired in from outside. The result is a new benefit of CUES membership, “Welcome to Credit Unions: A guide for executives who are new to the CU industry.”

If you’re hiring leaders from other industries—or if you’re drinking from the new-to-CUs fire hose yourself, this guide is designed for you.

The printable PDF starts with an explanation of the basics of credit unions in both the United States and Canada, including their “people helping people” philosophy, the legal foundations on which they’re built, and the strategic challenges and opportunities they face.

Credit union leaders interviewed for the guide describe their experience in coming in from other industries. All say they love where they have arrived and talk about what helped them adjust to the differences—and to be the most effective in their new roles.

To help leaders new to our industry get familiar with credit union lingo, the guide includes a list of key terms—spelling out credit union regulatory agencies, associations and organizations; key laws; and such common but industry-specific phrases as “credit union service organization.”

CUES is here to help credit union leaders and aspiring leaders—whether new to CUs or industry veterans—reach their fullest potential. Check out all our membership options and offerings.

Since joining CUES in March 2013, John Pembroke has played a leadership role in developing and launching a new direction in CUES’ strategy, branding and culture. Under his guidance, CUES has revamped its membership structure, launched new institutes and introduced Elite Access Virtual Classroom, an innovative blending learning offering. Additionally, CUES has expanded its market further into Canada and the Caribbean. Pembroke’s experience includes 25 years in financial services, marketing and e-commerce. He also has served as chief marketing officer at PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Fla. Pembroke holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing and Policy Studies from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago. Pembroke also serves on the board of directors of the Goodman Community Center, Madison, Wisconsin, whose mission is to strengthen lives and secure futures.  

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