CU Water Cooler

Your Members and What Matters

William AzaroffComment

Vancouver is a rainy place. People think Seattle's rainy, but after living in both places, believe me, Vancouver is way rainier. Look it up.

And so our summers are sacred. People get through the wind and rain and a little snow (yes, we're weather wimps in the Northwest) and look forward to a beautiful summer, which erases our memories of the months of gray and wet.

Given this climate, it's surprising to me how much I look forward to the CU Water Cooler Symposium every year. It's in October, and we're only in May, but I'm already psyched about it. And I still have a gorgeous Vancouver summer right there in the middle.


I'm working on my presentation, and I just finished a pretty good draft. It picks up on what emerged as a major theme last year, which is the direction credit unions are headed today, and the role we play (or could play) in society to create more inclusive, sustainable local economies. I'm hoping last year wasn't a fluke (I'm guessing, given the amazing people who show up every year, that it wasn't) and that we continue this much needed conversation.

"My session is called Your Members and What Matters and I'm focusing on what credit unions can do (must do) to course correct and be relevant today."

I'm using my slot as the opener on the first day to kickstart this conversation again. My session is called Your Members and What Matters and I'm focusing on what credit unions can do (must do) to course correct and be relevant today. I'm using some of what Vancity has done with our Good Money brand and involvement with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values to illustrate what can work, and adding some of my own thoughts and philosophical musings as well.

If you have suggestions or thoughts about what you’d like to hear as I finish crafting the presentation, let me know in the comments below.

So, let's all have a great summer, enjoy the weather, and then reassemble back in Nashville (register here) in October for a great two days of debate, discussion and connection over how extending cooperative credit in communities can make a meaningful difference in people's lives.


William Azaroff lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is Director, Business & Community Development at Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union. William works on a team overseeing Vancity's entire granting slate to develop members' communities, improve financial literacy, develop new businesses creating positive impact and, ultimately, to grow the Vancity brand and business.