Leaders Share Ideas, Inspiration, Best Practices at 'Chapter Forum'

Chapter Forum panelists
(Clockwise) Leaders of four different chapters—Central Valley Chapter Board Chair Randy Icelow, Tri County Chapter Board Chair Carlo Galioto, Orange County Chapter Board Member Carmen Clark, and East Bay Chapter Board Chair Steve Larranaga—discussed how their chapters pivoted from in-person meetings to holding successful virtual events during Virtual Chapter Forum 2020.

More than 70 individuals representing League chapters throughout California and Nevada gathered online Oct. 14 for this year’s Virtual Chapter Forum, a morning filled with inspiration and the sharing of ideas and best practices.

Kicking off the event were leaders of four different chapters—Central Valley Chapter Board Chair Randy Icelow, East Bay Chapter Board Chair Steve Larranaga, Orange County Chapter Board Member Carmen Clark, and Tri County Chapter Board Chair Carlo Galioto—discussing how their chapters pivoted from in-person meetings to holding virtual events that attracted large audiences, including from outside the host chapter’s area.

Larranaga said the East Bay Chapter board wanted to hold events that not only would engage credit unions but also vendors. It held two lunch-n-learn events: an advocacy panel and the workshop on virtual etiquette. Clark described how the Orange County Chapter changed its popular annual CEO Panel from being in-person to a virtual event. And Galioto explained the Tri County Chapter’s two virtual events—Cooking for a Cause and a Rubber Duck race—were unique in that they spoke to the issues caused by the pandemic. The virtual cooking class raised money for Loma Linda Children’s Hospital (to help buy iPads so that kids staying at the hospital could still communicate with family members who couldn’t visit) while the race raised money for chrome books for local schools for students to use for distance learning

“Both events were catered to give back to the community,” Galioto said.

The Central Valley Chapter invited other local businesses to attend its communications interactive workshop. Some of those who did also sponsored the event—the money was donated to a local youth volleyball organization. The workshop speaker, who did the event for free, is a volleyball coach so it was a way to say thank you to him, Icelow said.

Meeting Professionals International Senior Vice President of Experience and featured presenter Annette Gregg spoke on “Courageous Leadership in Disruptive Times”. She said the pandemic and economic crisis create what is called a “VUCA” (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) situation.

Gregg added that you counter volatility with vision, meet uncertainty with understanding, react to complexity with clarity, and fight ambiguity with agility. “VUCA” provides people—and credit unions and chapters—a great opportunity for reinvention.

“Change is constant so how can we take our team, our company, our chapter to the next level?,” she said. “How can we reinvent ourselves?”

You will get through this time, Gregg encouraged the group, “with clarity, connection, and confidence (your team, members) need to get to a brighter future.”

Attendees also held group discussions on how to find “opportunities in disruption” and drawings were held throughout the event. Participants received Starbucks gift cards complements of Alliance Reverse Mortgage.  

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