(Rome, Italy) - L.R. "Bobby" McVeigh led his last AGM tonight as board chairman of World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU), using the opportunity to thank those who helped and supported him the past two years, with special thanks given to WOCCU's Madison staff for their hard work over the past eight months when the organization was between chief executive officers. He also acknowledged the smooth adjustment new CEO Pete Crear has made in his first 35 days and expressed his certainty that Crear would lead the organization with excellence.
During the chairman's report, McVeigh discussed WOCCU's development projects, describing his visit to Ecuador with the board as "the experience of a lifetime." This year McVeigh also visited Belarus and Ukraine, marking the first time a board chairman visited either of these countries for official meetings. "2004 was about the credit union difference," he said, encouraging more outreach to Pacific rim countries next year. He praised the International Partnerships program as "one of the lifebloods of WOCCU." Early in the day, the Texas Credit Union League and the Jamaica Credit Union Cooperative
officially signed an agreement to become partners. McVeigh announced that Credit Union Central of British Columbia and Hong Kong would also sign a partnership before the end of 2005.
Despite all of the good news, McVeigh reminded the audience that the movement still has a long way to go. Though it managed to respond to last year's devestating tsunami, McVeigh guaranteed he could "find you a tsunami every week" in the forms of disease, poverty and starvation. Before turning over the floor to World Council CEO Pete Crear, McVeigh ended on a word of hope, expressing his pride in the young participants of the WYCUP Program and calling them "excited, energetic and very bright."
Crear followed by giving the CEO's Report, which focused on the importance of education. "I don't think you could ever overestimate the power of knowledge," he said, praising WOCCU's technical conferences. He praised the success of the Africa SACCA Congress, which trained 300 leaders from 19 countries across Africa in the areas of good governance, strategic planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and more. He also briefly touched on the significance of advocacy efforts in the EU and the growing International Partnerships program, noting, "It takes partnerships and alliances to ensure our future growth."
For the remainder of the meeting, finances and bylaws were discussed, and appointments and retiring members were announced. This year, Catherine Roberts and Gary Plank were each reappointed by CUNA, to serve until 2007, and McVeigh was reappointed as a director by Credit Union Central of Canada, to serve until 2007 as well. Barry Jolette, board treasurer, addressed the crowd on finances, announcing that proposed dues for 2006 will remain the same as in 2005.
The WOCCU AGM concluded with the presentation of recognition plaques to two directors who are retiring this year, Dave Chatfield of the US and Neville Parsons of Australia. McVeigh presented each of these directors with a parting gift and thanked them for their dedicated service. After the conclusion of the meeting, the WOCCU board held a recognition meeting. The results of that will be announced at Wednesday's session.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.