Philanthropy is an important part of SRM’s own mission. We believe in giving back and we know that a number of our clients feel the same way. That is why we decided to co-host an event that recently took place in scenic Seward, Alaska. It was an educational program, Earning Your Independence, and joining us as co-host were investment advisors, Performance Trust. The goal of the program was to bring together executives who were interested in education, adventure, networking and raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Performance Trust anchored the event. With nearly 25 years of experience teaching the finance of banking to executives all over the country—including the CUNA Investment Certification School and soon the Pacific Coast Banking School—they had the expertise and respect needed to attract the participants that would make this gathering a success.
“We are fortunate to have some great relationships with Alaska credit unions that wanted to participate in the program and host other credit unions,” said Will James, Vice President at Performance Trust. “I think we were able to assemble an excellent agenda that not only incorporates strategic decision making, but also community involvement.”
It was a packed few days. Here’s a recap:
Day 1: Fundraising. A Children’s Miracle Network Fishing Derby kicked things off. The biggest fish would secure $6,500 to be donated in the name of one participating credit union. Sixteen anglers worked the lake for 12 hours. Around midday, Chad Shane of Canvas Credit Union pulled in a monster. At 77.4 pounds, he held off the competition to have the funds be contributed by his credit union to Children’s Hospital Colorado. The outing was a perfect blend of team building helping break the ice (no pun intended) among participants, all for a good cause.
Day 2: Education and networking. The curriculum for day two covered a range of topics from comparing unlike cash flows to defining member value versus the dogma of banking to financial education outreach programs for local communities.
SRM’s own Ken Hayes presented to the group on best practices for vendor management. Cassie Linn and Troy Sheldon from Alaska USA covered accounting efficiencies. Al Strawn, CEO of Matanuska Valley FCU, shared his institution’s plan for educating 100% of graduating seniors on financial decision making. The day ended with a group hike to see Exit Glacier and with a group dinner back at the lodge.
Day 3: Getting down to the numbers. Our final day was dominated by a detailed case study on the impact of balance sheet decisions, including the allocation of value from the credit union to its core/non-core members. This process led to an active discussion on decision making across the industry and how to better quantify the decisions we make.
At the end of these discussions, a small group hit the waters again for some salmon fishing that, unfortunately, did not lead to much catching. Yet, as has been noted by many, fishing is about more than catching fish; the beauty of the Alaskan summer certainly got that message across to our group.
There will be more news in coming months resulting from these important efforts in Alaska. Stay tuned and, of course, please contact SRM or Performance Trust for more information.