LAS VEGAS—CU Direct kicked off the first full day of its Drive ‘19 Conference here, and attendees hearing strategies on how to boost auto dealer relationships and maximize lending efficiencies. The company also announced results of board elections.
During the meeting, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle presented a morning keynote address related to CUNA’s Open Your Eyes awareness and brand consideration campaign, stressing as he has at other meetings the importance of credit unions speaking with a strong collective voice.
In an always popular session at CU Direct meetings, attendees also heard from a panel of car dealers sharing their perspective on working with credit unions on host of issues related to floor planning and lending.
Mason Trullinger, VP of residual risk management at Credit Union Leasing of America, spoke to the meeting about how to improve lending efficiencies.
During afternoon sessions, a panel of experts discussed how new digital dealerships are emerging, such as Carvana, Fair and Roadster, and how those companies are affecting the auto shopping and lending process. Attendees also received a briefing on the state of the automotive market from Karl Kruppa, automotive solutions consultant at Experian Automotive.
The meeting was also reminded Wednesday of the power of credit unions in the automotive space, as CUs’ overall share of the auto lending market continues to grow. CU Direct lenders, as a group (1,100 credit unions on the CUDL platform) continue to be the number-one lender in the country, having maintained that top status for more than two years. Through February 2019, CU Direct CUs have experienced -5.8% growth, but lead all other top 10 ranked lenders in total loans generated, including Capital One Auto Finance, Toyota Financial Services, Chase Auto, and Ford Motor Credit, the company said.
Board Election Results
During the meeting at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, CU Direct announced that its board of directors have elected Keith Sultemeier, president and CEO, Kinecta FCU, as the company’s new chairman. Sultemeier has served on CU Direct’s board since 2013. Jim Laffoon, president and CEO of Security Service FCU was named vice chairman, and Erin Mendez, president and CEO of Patelco Credit Union, was named secretary and treasurer.
Re-elected to new three-year terms: Mendez, Benson Porter, president and CEO of BECU; and Nader Moghaddam, president and CEO of Financial Partners Credit Union.
Bob McKay, president and CEO of Anheuser Busch Employees’ CU, has been appointed as a director on the board, after serving as an associate director since August of 2017. McKay fills the vacancy created by outgoing director Chuck Purvis, president and CEO of Coastal Credit Union.
During the company’s shareholder’s meeting, CU Direct’s president and CEO, Tony Boutelle, along with the board, recognized outgoing chairman, Nader Moghaddam, for his leadership, dedication and distinguished service as chairman from 2017-2019.
“CU Direct and our board of directors wishes to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation to Nader for his leadership and guidance,” said Boutelle of Moghaddam. “His commitment to CU Direct’s advancement during his tenure as chairman has been very important to the company’s success.”
Moghaddam remains a director on CU Direct’s board, which he has served on since 2011.
Other Board Members
Also serving on CU Direct’s board are:
- Donna Bland, president and CEO of Golden 1 Credit Union
- Sterling Nielsen, president and CEO of Mountain America Credit Union
- Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union
- John Lund, president and CEO of America First Credit Union (ex-officio)
- Jeff March, president and CEO of Citadel FCU (ex-officio)