An Overlooked All-Star Opportunity, And More

By Frank J. Diekmann

Diekmann Frank

It seems incredible that with all the attention and effort credit unions put into financial literacy and education, an All Star opportunity is going missed.

David Robinson, the retired NBA All-Star, is one of the few professional athletes whose achievements following his career really exceed those from his playing days with the San Antonio Spurs. 

The Admiral, as he was known from his college career with Navy, has championed childhood education and his Carver Academy now runs 61 schools across Texas with 40,000 students enrolled. The goal by 2022 is to have 100,000 kids in its schools “and if we meet our goal we will send everyone on to college.”

But when I asked Robinson during the recent NACUSO annual meeting at Disneyland about financial education at those schools, he said it’s not currently “part of the curriculum in a specific way.”

“I’ve seen some people do it well and I’d like to do it better,” Robinson acknowledged. “I don’t think we do it to a level these kids need.”

Robinson 2

David Robinson speaking to NACUSO.

San Antonio is home to a robust credit union community in addition to the Carver Academies. Since we’re talking financial math here, perhaps someone should put two and two together.

You can read more about what Robinson had to say to credit unions here.

The Magic Isn’t ‘Magic’

Speakers from the Disney Institute appear annually before audiences of credit union audiences eager to soak up some of the iconic brand’s “magic.” And each time they do they stress one theme: all the “magic” is actually a lot of “method” and “work.” 

That was the message again from David Kimbrell of the Disney Institute in remarks before NACUSO’s annual meeting at, fittingly, Disneyland. You can read more about it here.

But here’s some of what you won’t find in that main story, as shared by Kimbrell”

  • There are 13 amusement parks of varying sizes in Southern California, including Disneyland and California Adventure. The combined attendance of the other 11 does not equal that of Disneyland each year.
  • Have lower level employees at your credit union who think they don’t matter? Then absorb a lesson from Disney’s street cleaners. “Of all the things Disney is known for, the number one reason people come back is how clean we keep it,” said Kimbrell. “Cleanliness translates as organization and safety for people who want that in their lives. Is it easy? No. But the method we apply works and It creates magic. So, is the perspective that you just put a pan in one hand a broom in the other and you sweep streets? No. If they understand they are part of the chain of excellence and know their real purpose is to create happiness, then they just happen to have a broom in one hand.”
    Disney Institute
  • Kimbrell said he began at Disneyland 38 years ago as a captain on the Jungle Cruise attraction, and estimates he went on approximately 15,000 round-trips. “The first 2,000 were really cool,” he joked.
  • Why should you pay much attention to that new member who has maybe a checking account and isn’t really a prime target for a loan? Kimbrell shared the story of buying a car when he was young and only had money for the cheapest new car on the lot. “Does a new car dealer treat me as a $21,000 transaction, or as a $400,000 transaction, as I could be coming back during my lifetime to purchase additional vehicles?”
  • Spoiler alert! What follows could ruin your day. Kimbrell said there is one potential downside to working at a Disney property—losing your mind. Kimbrell pointed out that if the song “It’s a Small World” comes on your radio, “You can change the channel or turn it off. But if you’re working at the attraction…” And if that song just popped into your head, you were warned.
    Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 12.06.18 PM

Freedom! Hey, What’s With Those Four Horses?

One speaker at recent meeting used Braveheart as the model credit unions should follow. Um, not sure he watched the movie all the way to the credits, as it didn’t particularly end well for Mr. William Wallace. 

Plain Language Always Works Best

In a trend among credit unions, for the second consecutive year Raleigh, N.C.-based Coastal Credit Union here has replaced the traditional annual report with its 2017 Member and Community Impact Report. The report shares its financials, which are broken out in pie charts labeled “How We Earned It” and “How We Spent It.” (Which probably helps the board, too.)

Frank J. Diekmann is Cooperator-in-Chief at and can be reached at Frank@CUToday.infoor @FrankCUToday.

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Copyright Year: 2019
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