About I’m Just a Member Now

In 1977 I began an eight-year career as a credit union regulator. First as supervisor of credit unions in Illinois, followed by federal oversight as NCUA’s Director of the Office of Programs (CLF, NCUSIF, and Exam Policy) in Washington DC.

These experiences inspired Ed Callahan, Bucky Sebastian (my regulatory colleagues) and me to start Callahan and Associates in 1985. Our intent was to help credit unions take advantage of the unchartered opportunities provided by the deregulation of the US’s depository financial system in the 1980s.

Our experiences taught us that cooperative design is unique. It provides singular focus on the member value. More importantly, it confirmed the critical reality that the member relationship is the foundation of credit union sustainability.

Enhancing member participation in credit unions is vital to maintaining a distinct cooperative choice for consumers.

This blog shares my passion and observations about cooperatives’ roles for consumers in the American economy. I highlight the responsibility of all participants in the credit union system to enhance the ever-expanding legacy of our common wealth paid forward for future generations.

Now, as just a member, these comments are fueled by the gratitude, compassion, and vigor of all the compatriots who have journeyed with me over the past four decades.

About Chip Filson

A nationally recognized leader in the credit union industry, Filson is an astute author, frequent speaker, and consultant for the credit union movement. He has more than 40 years of experience in government, financial institutions, and business. Filson’s breadth of experience makes him an authority on a range of topics, including analysis of credit union trends, credit union public and market-facing opportunities, and strategies for enhancing member value. His contributions to the cooperative movement have been demonstrated with his analysis and advocacy for the corporate credit union system, NCUA’s Corporate Stabilization role, and the need for regulatory reform.

Chip co-founded Callahan & Associates. Filson has held concurrent positions at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) as president of the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) and Director of the Office of Programs, which includes the NCUSIF and the examination process. He holds a magna cum laude undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University. After being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he earned a master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University in England. He also holds an MBA in management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School in Chicago.