In the dynamic landscape that is our financial industry, credit unions stand out. They are the Member-centric institutions that prioritize the well-being of their Membership above all other considerations. SingerLewak partner and credit union expert, Sheila Balzer, is often the first to tell a client’s C-Suite executives that central to the success of their Members is a financially literate, financially savvy Supervisory Committee and Board of Directors. Fortunately, to that end, a customized training session is a phone call away. “We’re in an era of complexity,” Sheila explains, “complex financial instruments, quickly evolving regulatory requirements. For any credit union to stay robust and remain out of the weeds, it needs a Board and Committee that understand more than just the basics.”

Not satisfied with simply pointing out the need, Sheila actually takes her message on the road. She visits current and prospective SingerLewak credit union clients, bringing members of their Supervisory Committees and Boards of Directors her expertise in 2-to-3 hour sessions. While this type of training is available online and in person from other companies, most of those options aren’t as comprehensive and will typically include a fee. Sheila and SingerLewak offer this training free of charge; a nod to the philosophy of people helping people, and a complimentary contribution to the client’s continued success.

The importance of having decision-makers equipped with a decent depth of financial understanding can’t be understated. According to Sheila, their knowledge helps safeguard the C-Suite occupants. “The more people know and understand, the better the likelihood they’ll ask salient questions, and make better decisions,” she says.

Supervisory Committee Members and those who sit on the Board are typically talented, experienced professionals, community leaders, who are eager to volunteer their time. However, according to NCUA regulations, (depending on the characteristics of a credit union’s field of membership), Supervisory Committee members are not required to have an audit or financial background. That, Sheila believes, is not necessarily a negative.

“These people have diverse backgrounds, different levels of education, and a variety of professional experiences. They bring a lot to the table.” At the same time, Sheila is only half joking when she adds, “But, if you have a leak in the kitchen, it’s good to get advice from someone with a knowledge of plumbing.”

Many who volunteer are too embarrassed to admit they aren’t aware of a regulation, don’t know a formula, or aren’t familiar with a concept. According to Sheila, “We shouldn’t expect them to be authorities on credit union financial matters,” adding with a smile, “And we can’t expect them to parse a 300 page report either.” What Sheila can do is help give volunteers a better grasp.

Richard Bollig, Chair of the Audit Committee for Partner Colorado Credit Union, has a “perfect fit” background for a Supervisory volunteer. He was a financial analyst for the U.S. Postal Service. After retiring from USPS, he did taxes for more than 300 clients for over a decade. Sheila has held training sessions for Partner Colorado and Bollig says her instructional abilities are a “gift.” “She knows her stuff so well,” Bollig says, “and delivers it in a way that others soak it up. She’s great at making complex stuff clear. I don’t hesitate to recommend her training sessions.”

The SL Credit Union Services Group would be happy to provide a free consultation. Reach out by filling in the form below.