Bon Mots IV-The Power of Local

“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.”   Joan Didion


Maurice Smith, CEO, LGEFCU:  “What if credit unions could crack the code for sustainable, scalable wealth-creation for disenfranchised communities? It’s really anchored in the notion that we as credit unions should focus on the people who need us the most.”


Linda Bodie CEO of Element FCU as reported by Denise Wymore:

Bodie:  “I can offer a lot more products, services and solutions even though I’m small. There’s no reason to sit back and not do something because of your size. Size doesn’t matter … not when you have the power of a cooperative system.”

Denise: Here are the three things your credit union can learn from the team at Element FCU:

  1. Bigger is NOT better. In spite of what our industry is obsessed with.
  2. Live the 6th cooperative principle: cooperation among cooperatives to gain economies of scale. There are alternatives to mergers if we just work together!
  3. Stay loyal to your brand and your target. Make your competition irrelevant by doing something that your competitors WILL NOT copy.


Notre Dame FCU President/CEO Tom Gryp: “Our ability to pay above-market wages to our incredible partners (employees) is a direct reflection of the loyalty and support of our members. My deepest thanks go out to our growing membership base, who without their ever-increasing utilization of our services, none of this would be possible.”


Jared Brock, self described  authorPBS documentarian, and cell-free futurist podcaster; a “free market” sceptic on “what we desperately need right now:”

Invest in your community — IE, start a family business, co-operative, community-owned company, not-for-profit, for-benefit, or partnership with one or more competent entrepreneurs with complementary skillsets such as:

  • Local, sustainable, organic food producers.
  • Local, sustainable, organic hemp clothing manufacturers.
  • Geothermal, mini-wind turbine, and micro-hydro installers.
  • House renovators to transform aging units into ultra-efficient eco-homes.
  • Builders of owner-occupier-only houses, neighborhoods, and cities. (We need to build 750+ million houses in the next 28 years or three billion people will be living in slums in our lifetime.)
  • Experienced political operatives to fundraise and start new, pro-democracy, pro-sustainability, anti-corporate political parties.

The reality is that we need a generation to build companies that give instead of take, that contribute instead of extract, that cement communal stability instead of undermining its foundations.

I sometimes wish we could get rid of grow-forever corporations and move forward solely with local/regional companies and partnerships and co-ops and for-benefits.


In The Speechwriter (2015), Barton Swaim remarks that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, whom he worked for, “knew bad writing when he saw it, except when he was the author.”


Weekend listening, 5 minutes.  Ancin Cooley, credit union consultant:  “give someone else a shot at leadership before merging.”


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