While most financial institutions are owned by stockholders, credit unions operate differently.
As a member of a credit union you’ve probably heard the phrase “member-owner” or something about how the credit union is “member-owned.” Well, it’s true!
What you might not be as familiar with is how your credit union is run by members, too. As a member you’re entitled to vote on certain issues. One of these crucial voting issues is who to elect as a member representative to serve on the AgFed Board of Directors.
Every member’s vote counts
Like most all credit unions, AgFed’s Board of Directors are volunteers who are elected from the general membership, so they have to be a member in order to run for the director position.
As a member, every person on the board of directors has a vested interest in the credit union and how the decisions they make affect the members. They have a larger voice in how the credit union operates now, but they have to work with the other board members to agree on what must be done. They have to balance their responsibilities as a director with their own interests as a member.
All together, it’s a pretty smart way to ensure that your credit union stays focused on its members.
The role of the Board of Directors
For the average credit union member, it might not be obvious what the Board of Directors actually does.
While the specific duties are too involved to discuss here, the Board of Directors are the people responsible for the direction the credit union is heading. They call the shots, and while the specific jobs might be delegated to certain staff members, the Board of Directors bears the responsibility for how the credit union grows and changes.
There are also other provisions, like how the Board of Directors has to act in good faith and in the best interest of the membership. They have to be impartial and operate in accordance with the Federal Credit Union Act, as well as other applicable laws. And of course, they have to understand the finance and accounting practices that they’re overseeing.
Beyond the nuts and bolts of the credit union’s day-to-day operations, the Board of Directors acts as more of a governing body. These high-level concerns include things such as strategy, oversight, and accountability. They have to be concerned with the institution’s future, and plan the direction for the credit union as a whole.
Directors act as a voice for the members
By voting for their pick for the Board of Directors, AgFed members have quite a bit of say in the direction of the credit union. The only real difference between a director and a regular member is the director has the passion and experience that aligns with AgFed’s mission, which makes them a good pick to be a leader. After all, the Board of Directors are members too, and care about what’s best for the membership.
Once elected, directors spend a lot of time thinking about the credit union’s future. Part of determining that future is communicating with the other members. They do this in a lot of ways, but one of the ways our Board does this is in the Annual Report, where they compare our last year’s performance with that of previous years.
Part of this year’s Annual Report is a letter from the President/CEO Margie Click and the Chair of the Board of Directors, Elard J. Phillips. If you’d like to read the letter and the report, you can find them here.
Here at AgFed, we’re very fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented Board of Directors!