Adaptation is in our DNA

first_img 89SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield Adaptation: “the result of an evolutionary process in which individuals within populations evolve traits over time that are better suited to their environment.”Successful adaptation happens when specific traits emerge that increase a species’ chances of survival. Adaptation also applies to credit unions and the credit union movement as a whole.First, a biological example from the animal kingdomDuring the winter of 2013-2014, the southeastern United States – specifically along the Texas-Mexico border – endured an extreme cold snap. This severe weather event had a radical effect on the Green Anole Lizard. During the cold snap, which would typically kill off most Anoles, scientists observed over the span of just a few months how the population underwent a dramatic genetic transformation in response to the unusual temperatures, paving the way for future generations of Green Anoles to survive cold weather. [1]It’s extreme events like this one that produce the strong selection response to adapt – or die. These populations of Anoles adapted and will live another day.Credit unions can (and do) adapt and thriveJust like the animal kingdom, credit unions adapt to survive. The credit union movement today is a prime example. Most of our credit unions have been chartered for at least 50 years (many more than 80). That’s a considerable period of time for any business. To get to this point, each credit union had to adapt over time. But adaptation is not a “one and done” process – it’s an ongoing process to adapt in response to our changing habitat. And our habitat is changing more rapidly today than ever before. I suspect five years from now, the number of credit unions will drop by one-third. Truly, the future is reserved for credit unions that adapt and change. This applies to credit unions of any size.Members Credit Union (Cos Cob, Connecticut) is a current best-practice credit union that had to dramatically change its priority target market in order to adapt to significant environmental changes. MCU is a $29-million credit union located in one of the most economically polarized areas of the country: Greenwich, Connecticut. The credit union was chartered in 1935 to serve the educational community and served this group well for many years. However, during the past decade, the credit union has struggled to grow due to increased competition and an aging membership (sound familiar?).Four years ago marked a reflection point for the credit union’s leadership. They realized that if they wanted to remain relevant, they would need to make some changes (i.e., adapt). This adaptation included finding a new target market group within their field of membership, with high consumer-loan demand to serve. Leadership identified a lower-income, Latino target market in their field of membership that was underserved and largely unserved. This lower-income, minority group was the polar opposite of the predominately white, middle class (and aging) membership they had experience serving for 80-plus years. It was a sober realization that a lot needed to change to serve this new demographic. But leadership was energized by the prospect of serving a population who really needed a credit union – their credit union. If successful, they would have a market with less competition, greater potential for growth, better earnings, and, most importantly, greater service and community impact. Long story short, during the past three years, MCU has adapted its lending practices to better support risk-based lending. They have become knowledgeable in immigration matters to better serve non-citizens with accounts and loans. They committed to having ALL staff becoming CUNA FiCEP Certified Financial Counselors so that each employee had the tools they needed to teach and coach a new, underserved market. Their efforts expanded staff and board diversity and increased community partnerships to reach this new market. And to more fully demonstrate their commitment to serving their growing Spanish-speaking community, the entire non-Spanish speaking staff volunteered to take Spanish language classes to improve their ability to communicate with the people they value and serve.Like most $29-million credit unions, MCU lacks many resources afforded to larger credit unions, and it would have been easy to give up. Rather than faint at the prospect of more work, this credit union – from the board to member-facing staff – were motivated by a desire to help people, and not only survive but thrive in their ability to serve the next generation. There has been a significant cultural shift (it’s an amazing place to work), ROAA has doubled since 2017, used auto loans have increased 80 percent, and net membership growth is a positive 2.6 percent. The credit union pursued a methodical and prudent process to accomplish this significant strategic shift. It’s managing growth, limiting loan losses, and increasing average loan yield. It’s so popular now, new members are driving across the county to get to the credit union’s only branch office. During 2018, the credit union was nationally recognized by Inclusiv with the Juntos Avanzamos (Together We Advance) designation, acknowledging its commitment to serving its local Latino community. During 2019, its success was further validated by the U.S. Treasury CDFI with a $120,000 grant that will be used to hire an additional loan officer to keep up with consumer loan demand.Loan growth is generating extra income. The extra income is being reinvested into marketing, technology, and human resource development to ensure the credit union can continue to adapt as quickly as possible. Truly, Members Credit Union is an inspiration and best practice, showing that even the smallest of credit unions can adapt and remain relevant.Why it mattersThe environment we operate in is changing rapidly. I’ve seen a lot of changes during my 35-year credit union career. The changes we’re experiencing today are probably the greatest the credit union movement has ever faced. The good news is that consumers, especially the lower-income and working-class (a growing market segment), still need credit unions. I would argue that with the continued income polarization and a shrinking middle class, credit unions have never been needed more.It’s the beginning of a new decade. Now is the time for an honest assessment. If your credit union is not consistently growing or generating the level of revenue needed to invest in tomorrow, what are you willing to do or change to be successful? If your leadership and culture are willing to adapt and change, there are many opportunities out there – but, like anything worth having, it won’t be easy.Credit union pioneer, Edward Filene summed up the need for adaptation best: “Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better.” All credit unions, regardless of size or business model, need to be in constant search for something “still better” to compete and ensure our credit unions and the movement we serve are still here to welcome in the next decade.[1] Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Modern Interpretation of History – Open Interpretation Center in Klis

first_imgAt the foot of Klis Fortress, one of the most significant symbols of turbulent Croatian history, the long-awaited Interpretation Center was opened, where computer 3D holographic projections show visitors the extremely rich historical and cultural heritage of the region, but also its recognizable gastronomic and oenological features.   The project of a summer stage at the fortress worth 5.3 million kuna is being prepared, and already this June the Municipality is announcing a tender for the sale of land intended for construction of an attractive hotel, which aims to attract future investors and offer additional tourist facilities. The connection of modern technologies and historical-cultural heritage results by an innovative interpretation of the past areas of the Municipality of Klis and offering a high quality experience of the destination. The Klis Fortress is visited by an increasing number of domestic and foreign tourists every year, so last year a record of 70.000 visitors, mostly thanks to the project of revitalization and restoration of the Klis fortress, which became planetarily recognized thanks to the filming of HBO’s series “Game of Thrones”.  In order to display “Revived histories”, this project started four years ago when the Municipality of Klis and the Klis Entrepreneurship Incubator applied to the tourism development fund at the relevant ministry. The project also includes exterior lighting of buildings in the very center of the place with a display of known locations and the possibility 3D mapping on the outer walls of the interpretation center thus, without additional interventions in the space, an attractive visual content is obtained. RELATED NEWS: “We are extremely proud that we can offer added value to everyone who comes to Klis and visits the Klis Fortress, one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in Croatia, through the Interpretation Center. This is a place where visitors to Klis will be able to get important information about the specifics of the region, modern centuries-old history of our region, but also where they will begin their research and learning about all the values ​​of the destination and what we offer. By caring for heritage, we valorize our greatest historical and cultural wealth and invest in its further development, so that, thanks to EU funds, the beautiful Klis walls will soon be illuminated by new LED lighting, giving them a completely new perspective. “, said the Mayor of Klis Jakov Vetma during the opening ceremony of the center.  In the Klis Interpretation Center, visitors can immerse themselves in incredibly realistic and visually attractive depictions from the glorious past of Klis, once the first Croatian capital and the royal capital of the Trpimirović dynasty. Apart from history lovers, the content of the Interpretation Center will be interesting for tourists who will get the necessary information about the entire tourist, eno-gastronomic, accommodation and cultural offer of the Kliška region by simply using touch screens. Find out more about the sale of land for hotel construction in the attachment. Klis Fortress attracts more and more tourists every year These funds are further invested in projects aimed at raising the standard of living of the local community through the arrangement of kindergartens and schools, sports facilities, transport and tourism infrastructure, incentives for young families who want to work and live in Klis and encourage and develop new economic and entrepreneurial initiative, Vetma points out and adds: “As a cult place of the Croatian past and the starting point of national history, Klis deserves to restore the status of a city that it once had and become a historic city and tourist destination where guests will stay even longer. In Klis we do not strive for mass, but thoughtful and sustainable tourism, and although we are most recognizable by the Klis fortress, we plan to develop in other segments of the tourist offer because we have the potential – from geo-traffic advantages, culture, agritourism, potential eco-ethno villages, adrenaline parks…”, Vetma pointed out and announced new investments. The number of visitors continues to grow, so, compared to last year, a record year, in the first 5 months of this year, Klis recorded an increase in the number of visitors by more than 60%, while the fortress’s revenues exceeded the amount of HRK 3 million, which is an exceptional result for a municipality with just over 5 inhabitants.  The project of adapting and equipping the existing facility into an interpretation center is valuable million of which 410.000 were co-financed by the Ministry of Tourism, with 150.000 the project was supported by the Split-Dalmatia County, while the remaining amount was financed by the Municipality of Klis. JAKOV VETMA, KLIS MUNICIPALITY: IN CASE OF CONTINUATION OF EXCELLENT TOURIST RESULTS, WE WILL REDUCE THE PRICES OF KINDERGARTENS IN KLISlast_img read more

Four talking points as Arsenal throw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Watford

first_imgEmery struggles to find the right balanceIn Arsenal’s game against Liverpool at Anfield last month, Unai Emery opted to play with a midfield diamond in support of a speedy front two of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe in the hope of catching the league leaders on the break.Although Arsenal ultimately suffered defeat, it was a ploy that showed promise with the willing Pepe, in particular, relishing the opportunity to scamper after long balls forward. Another aim was to pack the midfield in an attempt to go toe-to-toe with Liverpool’s energetic pressing game.Against Watford, Arsenal’s first away game since that trip to Merseyside, Emery elected to play a diamond again, with his two most creative players – Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos – shoehorned into the same side, with Granit Xhaka and Mateo Guendouzi providing the industry. Instead, Sokratis passed the ball straight to Cleverley inside the area and the former Manchester United man swept a well-taken first-time finish under Leno to not only bring Watford back into the game but change the entire complexion of the match.From that point on it was one-way traffic, with Watford outnumbering Arsenal’s number of attempts on goal from 23 to four in the second period. Eventually, they got what they deserved with Roberto Pereyra netting the equaliser after another dreadful piece of Arsenal defending.For the second time in his four-game Arsenal career, David Luiz conceded a penalty after lazily dangling a leg out to bring down Pereyra and the Argentine, deputising for Watford’s regular penalty taker Troy Deeney, made no mistake from the spot.AdvertisementArsenal might possess one of the best attacks in the Premier League but their defence is simply not up to top-four standard.Watford show signs of life under FloresBefore the season started, Watford were considered to be in the group of teams in with a chance of breaking the top-six duopoly in a year in which both Manchester United and Chelsea are in the process of major re-modelling projects.However, a dreadful start to the campaign had them rooted to the foot of the table by the arrival of the first international break, culminating in the sacking of Javi Gracia who had overseen a gradual deterioration in results over the course of this calendar year.It took less than half an hour for Watford to name Gracia’s replacement and there was plenty of surprise when it was revealed that Quique Sanchez Flores would be returning, just over three years after he was sacked. Skip Ad Coming Next PLAY Quique Sanchez Flores was back in the Watford dugout three years after his departure (Picture: Getty)Flores had been dismissed due to a perception that his brand of football wasn’t entertaining enough but judging on his first game in charge that may not be the case this time around. Watford were for the most part sensational.There is plenty of attacking talent in this Watford squad, with the likes of Gerard Deulofeu, Roberto Pereyra and the exciting Ismaila Sarr, all well capable of providing moments of magic, while Abdoulaye Doucoure is unquestionably one of the best central midfielders outside the top-six.On this evidence, Flores might just be able to get them all firing once more and should that occur, Watford will fly up the Premier League table again in no time. This really should have been their first victory of the campaign. by Metro Skip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice in the first half at Vicarage Road (Picture: Getty)With Lacazette sidelined, Aubameyang returned to his natural position and he demonstrated his killer instinct in front of goal with two predatory finishes. The first was wonderfully executed as he swivelled on the half-turn to collect Sead Kolasinac’s pass behind him, before firing a low shot into the corner.The second was a typical poacher’s finish as he ghosted into a position at the far post to tap in Ainsley Maitland-Niles pass across the six-yard box. Those goals were Aubameyang’s 36th and 37th in his 54th Premier League game.It’s a phenomenal strike-rate from a player whose efforts in English football appear to have been under-valued outside N7. 1 min. story SPONSORED Read More Read More Read More 1/1 About Connatix V67539 Full Screen Read More Read More Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Video Settings Advertisement Arsenal threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against Watford (Picture: Getty)Watford showed fighting spirit in abundance as they recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Arsenal in a breathtaking clash at Vicarage Road.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given Arsenal a seemingly comfortable lead at the interval with two typically ruthless finishes before Arsenal shot themselves in the foot by gifting their hosts two goals in the second period.Sokratis Papastathopolous’ errant pass was seized upon by Tom Cleverley to score before David Luiz conceded a penalty which was converted by Roberto Pereyra.Here are the four main talking points from the game…ADVERTISEMENT Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Oliver Young-MylesSunday 15 Sep 2019 6:44 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link788Shares Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE / Four talking points as Arsenal throw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Watford Aubameyang shows he’s the main manArsenal suffered a blow before the game with the news that Alexandre Lacazette would be absent due to an ankle injury picked up in the north London derby. The Frenchman is one of Arsenal’s most influential players, but when he plays it often means Aubameyang is shunted out to the flank.AdvertisementAdvertisementAlthough Aubameyang is accomplished when playing out wide, he is infinitely more dangerous when deployed through the middle. That was evidenced against Spurs when Aubameyang fired off three shots in the final 23 minutes after Lacazette had gone off, compared to one in the 67 minutes before with him on the pitch. Dani Ceballos struggled to exert his influence on proceedings (Picture: Getty)It was a slightly surprising decision, considering Watford’s new boss Quique Sanchez Flores is renowned as a defensive coach and as such, Watford’s defensive line would have been situated far deeper than Liverpool’s was, thus denying space in behind for the forwards.More of an issue, though, was the balance in midfield which looked all wrong in the opening stages. Ozil struggled with the pace of the game and Watford were able to bypass Arsenal’s midfield at will and pepper shots on goal, having four in total in the opening 20 minutes.AdvertisementAdvertisementAubameyang’s goal against the run of the play altered the pattern of the first half but regardless, Emery would have seen enough to know his away game strategy still requires fine-tuning.Arsenal’s defensive woes continueOne of the main changes that Emery instigated when he assumed control of Arsenal after Arsene Wenger was to encourage his goalkeeper and defender’s to build from the back by playing short passes into midfield.Over a year on from Emery’s appointment, though, and Arsenal are still not particularly adept at it. Mateo Guendouzi twice ceded possession inside his own penalty area and was fortunate that Watford were unable to capitalise.Despite those near-misses, Arsenal continued to try and play out from defence and eventually they paid the price for it. Bernd Leno knocked the ball square to Sokratis and the Greek defender attempted to find Guendouzi on the D. Advertisement Top articles Commentlast_img read more

Calif Insurance Commissioner Calls Blue Shield Rate Hike Unreasonable

first_imgCalif. Insurance Commissioner Calls Blue Shield Rate Hike ‘Unreasonable’ This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The state’s top insurance regulator criticized proposed rate hikes of as much as 20 percent for 268,000 individual policyholders, but he and other state officials don’t have the authority to reject the increases.Los Angeles Times: California Insurance Commissioner Chides Blue Shield Over RatesFor the second time in two days, a state regulator criticized Blue Shield of California for an “unreasonable” rate hike affecting tens of thousands of individual policyholders. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Thursday that the nonprofit health insurer’s latest rate hike of as much as 20 percent for about 268,000 individual policyholders was excessive. But he and other state officials don’t have the authority to reject changes in premiums (Terhune, 3/7).San Francisco Chronicle: Health Premium Increases Meet ResistanceHundreds of thousands of Californians covered by the state’s largest health insurers are facing double-digit premium hikes, and regulators and consumers are pushing back. On Thursday, the state insurance commissioner said Blue Shield of California’s proposed health premium increases – averaging 11.7 percent for most policyholders, but nearing 20 percent for some – were unreasonable. “California’s health insurers are proposing double-digit increases in spite of the fact the data doesn’t support them,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. He said the department’s review of the March 1 increases for 268,000 individual policyholders showed Blue Shield overestimated how much medical care its consumers would use (Colliver, 3/7). Also, insurer profit in Oregon stays flat –The Lund Report: Oregon Insurer Profits Remain Thin In 2012Was 2012 the year of the health insurance upstart? While Oregon’s two largest plans either shed members (in the case of Kaiser Permanente) or barely grew (Regence BlueCross BlueShield), two smaller companies made strong inroads within the market, according to annual reports released in the past week by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Regence and Kaiser continue to each outweigh any other plan in the state by more than a quarter million covered lives. But PacificSource Health Plans appears willing to post financial losses to woo customers away from the competition. Reporting a 2012 net loss of $25.9 million – about $60 per person covered – PacificSource grew enrollment by 10.2 percent, or more than 20,000 people. Much smaller ODS Health Plans, meanwhile, managed to stay profitable while attracting 11,185 new members, a 17.6 percent climb (Sherwood, 3/7). last_img read more