|"The credit union system is part of who I am. I offer a rich blend of academic achievement, practical application and real-life experience. I will continue championing the values that make Servus strong and serve intent on building an innovative financial institution that embraces entrepreneurship and co-operative values."|
Statement of intent
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” (Steve Jobs)
Our future is Innovation! In an industry undergoing unprecedented change we can shape the look and feel of the financial services we receive. We are the entrepreneurs of the sector! I have grown up in the Credit Union system – it’s part of who I am. We achieve success by investing in our staff, our communities, and you!
As Dean of the Donald School of Business, graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Carver Academy on Policy Governances, I offer a rich blend of academic achievement supported by practical application and real-life experience. In 2006 I was honoured to be recognized by the World Council of Credit Unions as a Future Young Leader in the World Credit Union System. I believe with recognition comes the responsibility to step up a build a credit union focused on the needs of Alberta’s youth, families, our employees, and the businesses that drive our communities. I ask for your support to continue championing the values that make Servus strong. I will serve intent on building an innovative financial institution that embraces entrepreneurship and co-operative values.
Servus’s vision is “Servus Credit Union builds a better world – one member at a time.” As a director, what would you see as your most important contribution to achieving this vision?
Leave the day-to-day management to our Executive Leadership Team and challenge the organization to look five, ten and twenty years into the future. With countless forces promoting the status quo I get excited by championing bold ideas that look beyond today, push through the noise and chart a course that creates real value for our stakeholders. We have a rich history of pioneering new products (daily interest savings, early repayment of mortgages), services (ATMs, Telephone Banking) and have been partners in building communities. I will advocate that we accept the responsibility of being one of Canada’s largest credit unions and push our sector to innovate and lead in meeting the needs of the marketplace. We can be nimble, creative and a fast responder to the needs of the members we serve. These are the factors that best allow us to “build a better world one member at a time.”
What distinguishes a credit union from the chartered banks?
The intertwined nature of membership, shareholder and customer wrapped into one. It is easy to criticize the banks to make ourselves look or feel good however the beauty of membership is that it’s not necessary. Chartered banks serve a large constituency in Canada and sometimes they deliver products or services difficult for credit unions to match, however, by the very nature of their corporate structure there are times when the needs of customers are at odds with the needs of their shareholders. What distinguishes credit unions is that, when applied appropriately, we have the competitive advantage of aligning customer needs with shareholder returns. The more business our members do with Servus, the greater the return they create for themselves through Profit Sharing and other tangible benefits. The more focused we are in helping members unlock the value of doing business with Servus Credit Union, the better served they will be.
What are the key issues or challenges facing the financial services industry today and how could Servus deal with them?
1) Technology. We have to keep up. We have to keep you safe. Some might suggest we build “walls” to protect our interests. We can prosper by developing partnerships and alliances that promote collaboration that expands our knowledge, increases options and reduces/mitigates risk.
2) Level Playing Fields. Driven by technology, it seems anyone thinks they can be a financial institution, which is well and good when everyone is playing by the same rules. Servus members should not fear new competitors; in fact, competition should make us stronger. Working with lawmakers to ensure we all follow the same rules is what makes for a sustainable financial sector.
3) Evolving Economy. There are countless forces at play shifting the dynamics of Alberta’s economy. Our success lies in understanding what our members need to be successful and finding creative solutions to help them achieve their goals. When they succeed – we succeed!
What knowledge, skills and experience would you add to the collective board team to help Servus Credit Union into the future?
1) Governance. I am a practitioner and student, not only as a board member but as a consultant and executive leader. I understand where governance ends and management begins. Thanks to Servus, my skills were enhanced through the ICD Program. In the last three years I invested in completing the Carver Academy on Policy Governance taught by John and Miriam Carver.
2) Strategy. No role is more important than a boards’ ability to identify future states and allocate resources to support various scenarios. During my career I have supported strategy development as an executive manager, elected credit union official and as Chair or Co-Chair of numerous community activities.
3) Finance. With an education in business, years of experiences in credit unions, an entrepreneur and now as the Dean of a business school, I understand the key financial factors impacting Servus and can make strategic decisions that consider the financial implications.