Credit where credit is due

Credit where credit is due

Darbe, Alan



UNA & Affiliates has sponsored a group of six councils to help credit union people network, exchange ideas, and connect with their peers throughout the country. These councils are organized around the interests and issues of marketing, lending, technology, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, and human resources.

The CUNA Technology Council (CTC) has a number of tools to help meet these goals: an online discussion group, professional development opportunities, online newsletters, and white papers.

In 2001, the CTC instituted a best practices award to recognize information technology (IT) professionals’ outstanding accomplishments. The awards recognize CTC members who have developed exceptional solutions to difficult problems in their credit unions. The awards are evaluated on their strategic objectives, creativity, and how well they met their objectives.

At its Summit in Seattle in August, the CTC presented its best practices awards to three individuals in three categories:

Priscilla Johnson, vice president of information systems for Detroit Edison Credit Union, received a best practices award in the technology implementation category. Johnson developed an intranet called “The Force.” The intranet was designed to address these strategic objectives:

1. Provide easy access to a maximum amount of credit union information;

2. Make sure that information is accessible, current, and able to be updated at any time;

3. Provide connections to business sites;

4. Help bridge the communication gap when half the credit union’s staff relocated.

The second award went to Tim Ungacta, e-commerce applications developer, Ent Federal Credit Union, Colorado Springs, in the Web solutions category. Ungacta developed an auto auction Internet site to help dispose of repossessed or surrendered vehicles by letting members bid on these vehicles. The auction has increased the amount of money Ent Federal receives on each vehicle. To date, more than 30 vehicles have been sold and an additional $150,000 in new loans has been booked using the Web site.

The third award went to Darrel “Yoda” Murff, senior technology officer, Texans Credit Union, Richardson, Texas, in the delivery systems category. Murff created an application to allow frontline staff to easily access member data to increase cross-sales opportunities. Texans looked at different options before determining the best option was to develop the platform in-house. The system will let staff suggest products and services based on data the system contains about the member. It can also generate reports providing results for incentive programs.

The other finalists were Brian Warfel, Power 1 Credit Union, Hialeah, Fla.; Tony White, Ent Federal Credit Union, Colorado Springs; Chuck Purvis, Coastal Federal Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C.; David Searle, Mountain America Credit Union, Salt Lake City.

The awards for 2003 will include the same three categories plus a fourth category for IT planning. This category will recognize an individual with an exceptional plan in one of the major IT functions: strategic planning, disaster recovery, and systems architecture.

Alan Darbe | State Employees CU

ALAN DARBE is vice president of information services for State Employees Credit Union in Lansing, Mich.

Alan Darbe is a member of the CUNA Technology Council’s executive committee. For council information, call 800-365-9655, ext 4018, or visit Darbe can be reached at 517-267-7272 or at

Copyright Credit Union National Association, Inc. Oct 2002

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved