MOUNT VERNON — Florin Simion, representing the Federation of Romanian Credit Unions, was the guest of CES Credit Union Thursday as part of a program conducted by the World Council of Credit Unions Inc.
“He (Simion) is from Romania and he is the executive director of a federation of credit unions,” said James McLaughlin, director of marketing at CES. “It is similar to what we have here and he is trying to start that in Romania.
“What we are doing is brain-storming. He is trying to glean some ideas from us: What are our challenges that we have getting the word out about credit unions? Of course, their economy is not much better than ours right now, so we are looking at the longer term and how to build the system up over time.”
President and CEO of CES Credit Union Kelly Schermerhorn spoke about what was discussed with Simion.
“We are hoping to identify with the Romanian (credit union) system — what are their goals and what are their priorities,” he said. “And maybe how we can rally our resources in Ohio and join with them and help them leap frog some of the developmental stages and just get in there quicker.”
“This comes through a program of the World Council of Credit Unions,” said Joshua Fetting, program specialist for the WOCCU. “We partner with trade associations and credit unions in the U.S., and with trade associations and credit unions in other countries, basically for the knowledge transfer of best practices and really for the benefit of the members. So this is one example where we are trying to start a new partnership between the Ohio Credit Union League and the Federation of Romanian Credit Unions, which Florin represents.”
Simion found the process valuable.
“I came here to meet our colleagues and friends in the credit unions,” Simion said. “We are all sharing the same values. So I came here to find out what their challenges are and what they are trying to do to meet those challenges. We have talked about promotion, about marketing, about products and about involvement in local community activities. And we found out we have a lot of things in common. We are getting some good ideas here.”