Representatives from the Federation of Romanian Credit Unions (FEDCAR) in a recent visit to Ohio included (from left) Chairman Serban Nicolae, Director Cristian Florin Bota, CEO Florin Simion and Director Sandu Marian Scirlet (not pictured).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Federation of Romanian Credit Unions (FEDCAR) visited credit unions in Ohio (USA) last week to learn modern marketing strategies to help their credit unions build visibility and membership with limited resources. The Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) hosted FEDCAR officials through World Council of Credit Unions' International Partnerships Program.
As part of their partnership agreement signed in 2011, OCUL provided marketing training geared toward bringing more credit unions into FEDCAR's membership. Training focused on techniques to improve member products and services, raise visibility and overcome perceptions that Romanian credit unions are remnants of Soviet rule.
FEDCAR officials visited Corporate One Credit Union employees to learn about products and services provided by corporate credit unions. Pictured left to right are Scirlet, Nicolae, Bota, Corporate One Chief Technology Officer Kurt Lykins and Simion.
In addition to meeting with OCUL representatives, the Romanian delegation visited several other credit unions ranging from the state's largest, Wright-Patt Credit Union, to the newest and smallest, Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union. Additional visits included Corporate One Federal Credit Union, Directions Credit Union and CSE Federal Credit Union. Each credit union presented a different set of useful marketing strategies and tools for FEDCAR, according to John Florian, OCUL vice president of government and political affairs.
"Since FEDCAR's primary objective was to learn best practices in marketing, we asked some of our best Ohio credit union marketing professionals to share their most effective promotional strategies, and they did a fantastic job," Florian said.
Throughout the visit, FEDCAR officials learned about a wide variety of credit union marketing initiatives, including product lines targeting youth members and a local reality TV program with a financial education spin. FEDCAR CEO Florin Simion said they plan to adapt and apply many of the things they learned to their own credit union system.
"We have learned a lot about their marketing products, projects and day-by-day activity," Simion said. "We participated in presentations regarding what is to be done for more visibility in the community, how to better assess people's needs and how to serve them better."
Joining Simion on the visit were FEDCAR Chairman Serban Nicolae and board members Sandu Marian Scirlet and Cristian Florin Bota. OCUL hosts included Paul Mercer, president and CEO, and Florian. Victor Miguel Corro, World Council vice president of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions and director of the International Partnerships Program, coordinated the visit.
"Regarding our visit to Ohio, I have to say it was a real success," Simion said. "It was a real lesson of how marketing and promotions have to be conducted in a credit union. We will surely use all the information gathered during our visit."
OCUL delegates will visit FEDCAR and its credit unions in Romania in mid-2013 for additional marketing training. OCUL also plans to provide lobbying support for better credit union legislation in Romania, according to Florian.
Learn more about World Council's International Partnerships Program at www.woccu.org/partnerships.
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.