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2017 Conference Sessions and Speakers


The 2017 Directors' Forum included a variety of plenary and breakout sessions on topics of relevance and importance to system directors. The guest speakers, moderators and panelists are carefully chosen to contribute a wide array of expertise and experience to the subject-matter.


Plenary 1: DNA Assessment: Trends & Implications

Presenters: Korinne Collins, CCUA and Andrew Levison, Above & Beyond

CCUA Cusource completed a research project with York University’s Schulich School of Business to identify the profile of a top performing credit union directors “DNA”. Korinne Collins, CCUA and Andrew Levison, Above + Beyond, will share the DNA components and share a sample profile. They will review the trends identified nationally and discuss the implications. Delegates will have the opportunity to purchase and complete their individual assessment with their profile being emailed to them prior to attending. This will give participants opportunity to identify their individual strengths and opportunities for growth to be a top-performing director. There will also be opportunity to sign up to purchase an individual debrief. 

Plenary 2: Board Succession Strategies

Moderator: Tanya Gracie, Your Credit Union

Panel: Sheila MacKinnon,  Shibley Righton LLP; Chris Mendes, Libro Credit Union; Linda Treen, Oshawa Community Credit Union 

With the rapidly changing landscape and complexity of credit union oversight, it is imperative for boards to ensure strong governance through strategic succession planning. Do our credit unions represent the face of and expertise of our membership? This session brings together experienced panelists to drive discussions on how to meet these goals. The Moderator will draw out the wealth of knowledge on this topic from both the panel and the delegates in attendance. 

Plenary 3: Case Studies in IT Governance

Presenter: Doug MacDonald, MNP LLP (Note: registered participants to receive a 1/2 CE credit through CUDA for this session, but must sign-in at the course)

As a Director, you know that IT governance is a critical function for your credit union. Whether it's a failed core banking system replacement or a cyber-breach that exposes your members' information, IT introduces a number of risks that must be managed effectively. But how do you exert effective controls if you aren't an expert in technology? This workshop builds on last year's "IT Governance: Myth or Reality" overview session to explore the role of Directors in an effective IT governance environment. We will start by reviewing the IT Governance Framework and the roles & responsibilities of Directors vs. Executive. However, the majority of this session will be spent debating IT governance issues in a guided group setting. Featuring an all-new set of real-life cases, we will explore major IT Governance themes including Cyber breaches, core system selection, oversight of major projects and governance of System collaboration efforts. Participants will gain experience making IT governance decisions with limited information in a dynamic, interactive setting.

Breakout 1: Board Chairs' Session

Facilitator: Tim Foster, Northern Credit Union & DF Executive Chair

There will be two parts to this year’s Board Chair Session, which is scheduled for two hours. In keeping with the 2017 conference theme, the first half will focus on “Chair Succession” and the mentoring of future chairs of credit unions and caisses populaires. A discussion will take place with all sizes of credit union/caisse populaire leaders, to see what is already being done in the system and what can be done better, to ensure the stable leadership of our governance structure moving forward. The second half of the session will include a discussion on the future of the Board Chair session, possible topics for 2018, as well as the development of a “Chairs’ Network.

Breakout 2: Credit Union Directors Under 40 (CUDU40) Collaboration (NEW ADDITION!)

Facilitator: Chris Mendes, Libro Credit Union

As Credit Unions grow, and time commitments increase, it may make it less attractive for younger credit union members that already have busy lives, to seek a Board position. Although experience is valued at the board table, it’s important to hold a range of diversities which include age diversity in order to keep ideas fresh and collaboration between new and outgoing directors. This is an open forum for our young directors 40 and under, to be proactive in attracting and engaging young board members in our credit unions and to help contribute more at the board table. This is the first time meeting and additional topics can be discussed if time permits, as well as topics can be set for future forums. A summary of the discussion will be provided to the group and anyone else upon request. 


Plenary 4 (Keynote Address): C1's Payment and Innovation Strategy Update

Keynote speaker: Rick Hoevenaars, Central 1 Credit Union

Board Chair Rick Hoevanaars will update directors on what’s happening in the system in both the Ontario and B.C. landscapes, with a focus on Central's new Payment and Innovation Strategy.

Plenary #5: What Role Can Credit Unions Play in Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Succession?

Moderator: Russ Christianson, On Co-op/Rythm Communicatoins

Panel: Pierre Benoit, Caisse Populaire de Trillium; Peter Hough, Affinity Consulting/Co-opZone Developers Network; Rob Wellstood, Kawartha Credit Union.

Like all Canadians, credit union members are aging, and if they own a small to medium size enterprise (SME) and are considering retirement, how are we helping them? Support for succession planning for our SME members is a key service we should be offering, to keep the wealth within the credit union system and the local communities. Traditionally the only options considered were passing it on to the kids, selling if you can find a buyer or closing down. A proven viable option is selling to the existing employees in the form of an employee-owned Co-operative Corporation. This panel will explore the issues that credit unions need to address to help their members negotiate this complex business transition, as well as share some examples of successful succession planning strategies. 

Plenary #6: DF Open Forum

For the first time, the Executive will be hosting an “Open Forum” session on the Saturday morning of the Forum. Facilitated by Kim Andres of Andres Consulting, delegates will be asked to consider he value they get from attending the annual Forum, as well as its future direction and focus.

Plenary #7: Highlights & Takeaways

Alisdair Smith, one of the nation’s most sought-after facilitators, will conduct his traditional overview of the conference, sharing his insights gathered from all the sessions, speakers anddiscussions, for delegates to take back to their organizatons. This wrap-up is meant to both challenge and stimulate thought and future action from the audience.


Use the international co-op logo

Sep 15, 2015 - If your co-op has a print or electronic newsletter, include the co-op logo in a corner. Use it to accompany your own look, logo and image.

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2018 CDF Banquet & Fundraiser

Oct 12, 2018 - Credit union and co-operative leaders, directors, members, employees and stakeholders...join us for a special celebratory event that supports a great cause!

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