Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

You only turn 100 once

November 24, 2008

It’s another very special day in the CU movement today….

The very first credit union was established 100 years ago today in Manchester, New Hampshire. It’s called St. Mary’s Bank, and you can visit the place where the U.S. branch of the movement started on that same spot in what is now America’s Credit Union Museum. I’ve been there several times, and trust me, if you are at all passionate about the movement, you need to visit the mecca and see and feel where it all began… the mill where the first members worked (mostly French Canadians who came south from Quebec in search of a better life) is still two blocks down the hill from that house.

Here’s an article that CUNA ran today.

I think it’s very appropriate that this day often falls on Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to give thanks to our country, our employers, our members, our families, our friends. So I’ll take this moment to give thanks to the thousands of credit union professionals who make EverythingCU the outstanding community that it is.

What is your credit union doing to celebrate this historic occasion? What does the future look like for credit unions for the next one hundred years?

BarCampBank New England – Intimate equals awesome

April 7, 2008

America's CU MuseumWell, BarCampBank NewEngland finally happened. It was an incredible occasion, and a huge thank you to the 15 people who made the event everything I’d ever hoped for it, and then some. Fifteen people from all corners of New England, and other parts of the globe (Ontario and British Columbia), made the trek to America’s Credit Union Museum. I’m glad we held the event here, because prior to it, all but one camper did NOT know of its existence. Which is especially surprising considering that the CU movement in the U.S. originated here in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the first CU law, the first CU league, etc. were all established in Massachusetts.

Since this was a small gathering, I’ll say a few words about each of the special people who came.

Peggy Powell gives the tourPeggy Powell – Director of America’s CU Museum gets major karma points on at least four counts: 1.) normally only official CU orgs get to hold events in the museum, but she made an exception for us; 2.) she came in on a Saturday because she’s the only employee; 3.) she gave us a tour despite earlier having a bum wheel requiring ice and elevation, and 4.) she put up with us temporarily converting the 3rd floor into a concert arena for a game of Rock Band on the dual projector multimedia system.

Lunch CrewRon Shevlin contributed wonderful insights as always, and wrote a terrific blog entry about BCBNE here. My favorite quote from Ron came at dinner afterwards when we were discussing bankers in the CU movement: “Just because you change churches doesn’t mean you change religions.” During the day, my favorite insight was that it’s not about your story (meaning the business or organizations’ story), it’s about the story that members/customers tell themselves, and how you fit into that story. And social media is about creating new stories with them. Ron is writing a chapter for the book Age of Conversation Two, and I can’t wait to read his contrarian take on web 2.0. I am eagerly devouring Ron’s first book, Everything they’ve told you about Marketing is wrong.

The wisdom of GeneGene Blishen – I heard about what a great person Gene is from following BCB Seattle remotely, tweets, and blogs. Now I understand why. Gene is a treasure of the CU movement, is genuine, profound, and walks the talk. His blog is called Tinfoiling. Gene also wins the “furthest travelled” award since he came here on the way back to British Columbia via vacation in Denmark. A really cool thing that Gene shared with us is that Mt. Lehman CU has two event tents available for members to use (for weddings, parties, etc.). It’s a small way that Mt. Lehman gives back to its membership and also weaves itself into those important events in its members’ lives.

David - The Man of a Thousand TabsDavid Inverarity – I didn’t know of David of Ontario before BCBNE, but I am very happy to have met him. Ron nailed it when he described David as a Tour-de-Force. He’s a whirlwind and provided the funniest photo of any BarCampBank EVAH. I love that David not only brought his PowerBook, but also his Macintosh Air and iPhone. (And made use of air-quotes frequently.) I’m still not sure what to make of his challenge to try to remove his MacBook Air from the building and he wouldn’t make a move to stop them. Perhaps it de-materializes if someone other than David tries to touch it? Ron thought it would make an excellent frisbee if thrown from the third story window.

Andy LaFlammeAndy LaFlamme – I had been looking forward to meeting Andy ever since his outstanding blog, The CU Loop, came on the scene. Andy has a cogent write-up of the day as well. A special thank you to Andy for so many great photos and recordings of the day.

Adam Lueb & Andy LaFlammeAdam Lueb – A special thank you to Adam for making the journey to Manchester from Western Massachusetts despite not feeling 100%. Adam keeps EverythingCU.com humming despite our best efforts to overwhelm him with new stuff to make that resource even better.

Ginny & LouiseGinny Brady – Ginny continues to delight me with her progressive thinking, and to be the beacon of truth and justice for board members to truly represent the members’ best interests. After a full year of blogging via The Boardcast, still the only board member to be creating online dialogue with members via a blog as far as we know. I hope her example paves the way for more board members to engage in dialogue via this avenue. And don’t even get me started about how awesome this photo of her and Louise is. Shout out to Ginny, Linda, Jody and UFirst FCU for sponsoring breakfast. Ginny gave a great description of the events at The Credit Union World’s Best Kept Secret.

Charlie Kroll & Peggy PowellCharlie Kroll – Came up from Providence, Rhode Island, representing online account opening and funding operation Andera. Charlie had outstanding questions and insights throughout the day. Here is Charlie’s blog entry on being pleasantly surprised by BCBNE.

On the TourDave DelVecchio – Thank you to Dave for coming to the camp, also from our area of Western Mass. David saw me give a talk to the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the MA CU League and does tech implementation and support for many F.I.s in the region. He gave us some insight into the big I.T. issues organizations are wrestling with.

In the "Waiting Room"Mark Vautour – Another young CU marketing professional learning more about the movement every day, who was not aware of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire CU movement’s origins the existence of America’s Credit Union Museum despite working at a Boston area credit union. I got to visit Mark at halftime of my first-ever in-person Celtics game at Boston Garden because we both have the Celtics fan Facebook application. Props to Mark for setting up and handling the event’s registration on Eventbrite.

Deb and the topic/schedule wallDebra Trautman – Was the only camper who was aware of America’s CU Museum before the BCBNE event because she had received an award there for her work for the Maine Credit Union League. Debra, like many of us outside major cities on the East Coast, was not familiar with the BarCamp format, and now that she’s experienced BCBNE, is eager to share it with more Maine credit unions.

Jeanine PerroneJeanine Perrone – Represented Marquis software. It’s great to know there are people who work for CU vendors who are this interested in the movement. Jeanine is also formerly an employee of a credit union.

Christian discusses CU mergersChristian Mullins – Provided wonderful and detailed insight into credit union mergers, and why they are happening at a rate of about one per day. (46 so far this year alone). He had detailed knowledge of a big one happening in his former area in Madison, Wisconsin

Morriss Partee, Jeanine Perrone, Joe Mello  & Andy LaFlammeJoe Mello – Arrived in time to catch the second half of the day’s topics. I had met his brother, Steve Mello, in San Francisco the previous Saturday at BarCampBank SF. Joe and Steve are doing some exciting work in the world of wireless banking.

I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves, learned a lot, were re-inspired about this crazy CU movement experiment, and made valuable new connections with like-minded people. I know I did.

If you are an employee of a credit union or league, and want to continue this conversation with thousands of other CU professionals, check out EverythingCU.com. (Full disclosure: we created EverythingCU.com as a resource for you to connect with your peers nationally and worldwide, so we might be biased.)

Shameless self-promotion, part two: I was agog when I first visited America’s CU Museum nearly two years ago. I have since discovered that many in the CU movement don’t know about it, or the history of this amazing movement. To do my part in stamping out ignorance everywhere, I am available to deliver a concise, relevant presentation that connects the dots between this movement’s humble origins and how we came to be where we are today. Send me an email if you’re interested in having me deliver this presentation to your credit union, league chapter, or league.

For more photos of the BCBNE event and the museum, visit the BCBNE group flickr pool.

Please share YOUR thoughts on the day, and what you got out of it, here and on your own blog/twitter/flickr/facebook/crowdvine/wiki.

Three BarCampBanks in Three Weekends

March 27, 2008

I’m excited to be attending three BarCampBanks over the next three weekends. I thought it was going to be just two, until BarCampBank founder Frederic Baud discovered that Jonah Keegan is putting together BarCampMoneyNYC on April 12. Jonah embarked on this endeavor without knowing about the BarCampBanks on the docket. And he’s glad that his event is now part of this movement. Dan Reynolds and I are getting on a plane bright and early tomorrow morning for San Fran. For those who want to follow along, here are the info/networking pages for each event. CrowdVine is designed for attendees to connect with each other before, during and after the event, but if you want to virtually follow, feel free to join in there.


BarCampBank SF – March 29
Wiki: http://barcamp.org/BarCampBankSF
CrowdVine: http://bcbsf.crowdvine.com
Facebook: event page


BarCampBank NewEngland – April 5
Wiki: http://barcamp.org/BarCampBankNewEngland
CrowdVine: http://bcbne.crowdvine.com
Facebook: event page


BarCampMoney NYC – April 12
Wiki: http://barcamp.org/BarCampMoneyNYC
CrowdVine: http://bcmnyc.crowdvine.com
Facebook: event page

The quality of people, ideas, topics, and sessions on the agenda is amazing. Check out the links above if you don’t believe me. I am preparing to be floored at these events, and will try to blog, tweet, and photograph as much as I can. If anyone has any questions for any of the attendees at these events, please feel free to share them with me and I’ll relay to the best of my ability.

Special thanks to EverythingCU.com designer, Nate Duval, for the spectacular logos for BarCampBank SF and BarCampBank NewEngland.

Congratulations Credit Unions, on a Century of Service

March 12, 2008

I have the great honor and pleasure of talking to credit union professionals all over the nation. The subject of the proud history of CUs, holds special meaning to me because I had worked with the movement for about ten years before I learned ANYTHING about its incredible history. I certainly had no idea that the movement started in my backyard, a hop skip and jump across the border, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

I gave a talk on social media and World 2.0 this morning to a group of about forty credit union marketing professionals from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire at the CU League’s headquarters in Marlborough, Mass. I asked about the movement’s founding, and it was wonderful to get a detailed answer. In our presence was a representative of that very first CU, Andrea Pruna of St. Mary’s Bank. Not only did she know the date by heart (November 24, 1908), but she let us know about a wonderful section of their web site devoted to this, the Centennial Year of Credit Union service. I encourage everyone to check out Celebrating 100 Years for a terrific look at the amazing road we’ve traveled so far.

This is one of the reasons I’m especially excited that BarCampBank NewEngland will be held in America’s Credit Union Museum on April 5. The museum is the actual house where St. Mary’s Bank first began operations 100 years ago, out of the home of Attorney Joseph Boivin, who served as the CU’s President. If you listen very carefully, you may hear the whispers of the generations that have preceeded you when you stand in the parlor of the building.

Shout-outs to so many of the fabulous credit union marketers who came today. Thanks to Jon Reske and Anne Pinkerton from UMassFive College FCU, Mark Vautour from Telephone Workers CU, Deena Bernier from NMTW Community CU, and Debra Perrin from Southern Mass CU. I’m not good with names, so I haven’t remembered those who I met for the first time, but thank you also. It was fun that we had four one-billion-dollar CUs represented as well, Greylock FCU in the Berkshires, HarborOne CU in the South Boston area, DCU of the Worcester area, and Navigant CU in RI. Thank you to Rob Kimmett for organizing a great event and inviting me, and it was wonderful to catch up with CU whirlwind Bonnie Doolin.

My presentation today included demonstrating and explaining Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and showed examples from Shari Storm and the Verity CU team, William Azaroff of Vancity CU and Change Everything, Ginny Brady, board member of UFirst FCU with the Boardcast, and Tim McAlpine of Currency Marketing with Larissa Walkiw, spokesperson for Young and Free Alberta, and her infamous Credit Union Difference video part one, currently at 16,228 views. On the topic of Facebook, I have started writing a paper on the Facebook as Marketing Engine and plan on publishing excerpts to this blog. For those interested in checking out twitter, here’s the one-page PDF of Twitter Tips.

I also touched on Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P Lending), Prosper’s amazing growth rate, and how CUs can participate by getting in touch with Doug True, SVP of Lending, at Forum CU. Doug has been instrumental in having P2P Lending company Zopa partner with CUs to offer NCUA-insured loans and investments.

Upcoming conferences

March 11, 2008

I have news that is disappointing to gnomes throughout CU-land: EverythingCU will not be holding a Triple-B in 2008. It’s not that we don’t want to; I personally can’t wait to continue what we started in 2005 in Portland and continued in 2006 in Baltimore. But as you can imagine, putting on a top-notch event of the quality and innovation that our gnomes have come to expect from us is a rather large undertaking. Not to mention that because most CU budgets are set near the end of the year, we really need to announce an event no later than November a year in advance in order to insure the best chances of a good turnout. It has also been a huge compliment to us that other CU organizations have copied some elements of the Triple-B in putting on their conferences. But needless to say, we are working on the next innovation in event experience and will deliver something even more outstanding and relevant than our competitors.

So let me recommend some conference alternatives this year, all of which I will be at except the CMBDC conference.

Massachusetts CU League Marketer’s Networking Roundtable tomorrow, March 12 – Marlborough, MA.

CUNA Marketing & Biz Dev Council Conference – March 16-19, Nashville

BarCampBank SF – March 29 – UC Berkeley’s Wozniak Lounge in Soda Hall, Berkeley, CA

BarCampBank NewEngland – April 5 at America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, NH – The EverythingCU.com crew is planning a spectacular ending to the day.

BarCampMoney NYC – April 12 – Midtown Manhattan, 40th floor – We should have a spectacular view to go along with the spectacular conversation.

CUES Experience – May 13 – 16 – Minneapolis – I’ll be leading the PixelFarms Interactive tour, and look forward to seeing both William Azaroff and Ron Shevlin present.

MAC Conference – May 21-23 – Newport Beach CA – EverythingCU.com will have a booth at this one.

Georgia CU Marketing Conference – June 6 – Lake Lanier Islands, GA – I’ll be conducting a World 2.0 and PR workshop.

BarCampBank Dallas – TBD in June

Forum’s Partnership Symposium – October 1-2 – I look forward to being Shevlinated at that one. I hear it doesn’t hurt too much.

On the drawing board: BarCampBank Charlotte for the second half of 2008.

For those interested in learning more about social media, I recommend you also watch for any PodCamps or Facebook Developer Garages happening near you.

New BarCampBanks update

October 18, 2007

I just had a great Flashmeeting with Frederic Baud in Paris and Matt Iverson in the Bay Area. (Love the Flashmeeting interface…. good stuff.) Frederic is interested in helping Matt get BarCampBankSF off the ground, and helping me get BarCampBankNewEngland off the ground. So here’s what came out of the virtual meeting:

BarCampBankSF: Matt Iverson of BoulevardR has interest from Jason Knight of Wesabe, as well as the Mint people and Bryan Sims of Brass, in being a part of the event. That should be enough to get the ball rolling. He’s thinking about doing it on the Sunday before President’s Day, so that’s February 17. He’s looking for local Bay Area help in organizing the event and finding a venue, and he’s thinking about holding it in or around the UC Berkeley campus.

BarCampBankNewEngland: I’ve talked with Peggy Powell, the director for America’s Credit Union Museum, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the site of the very first CU created in the United States, and we’re looking good for holding the event there. I think it’s mahvelous that we will be discussing the current revolution in personal finance at the site where the CU revolution in personal finance was launched 99 years ago. At this point, I’m thinking April 26, 2008, and would love any input/feedback on that date for coming to New Hampshire for the event.

I’ve got interest from several parties for being a part of this event, including Ron Shevlin of Epsilon, Peter Glyman and Shawn Ward from Geezeo, and Doug Williams, and possibly Trey Reeme, and Matt Dean of Trabian. If you would like to participate, please put your name down on the BarCampBankNewEngland page.


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