WOCCU’s international partnerships program grew in 2007 with the addition of six new
partnerships: Dominican Republic/Wisconsin, Caja Morelia-Valladolid (Mexico)/North Carolina, Peru/Vermont, Solomon Islands/Idaho, and Russia/Louisiana. First steps
were also taken by four other pairs: Antigua/Arizona, Belize/Southwest Corporate, Brazil/Florida, and St. Lucia/Michigan. Additionally, the Virginia
League is considering a partnership with Estonia. By the end of 2008, the program could potentially have 30 formal partnerships (up from 12 in 2005).
Sophisticated operational and technical
exchanges are virtually the norm in all partnerships. With increased interest in international
transactions and technology-driven operations in credit unions, many U.S. league
partners are now playing a key role working with WOCCU to provide operational
expertise, share their experiences and offer advice on information technology
requirements to developing partners. Of the 25 official partnerships and the 4 in
progress, 65% conducted significant exchanges in 2008.
The program has enjoyed increased media attention in the United States. Several articles, press releases and other
communications were published in both the trade and mainstream media. Nearly 25% of all press releases generated by
WOCCU in 2007 were directly related to partnership activities. WOCCU has utilized these relationships to
showcase how credit unions can lead the globalization of today's
economies in a way that perfects the services offered to members and
improves their ability to increase income, build wealth and improve financial
The department has also utilized its blog to share the most up-to-date
information. Pictures, visit highlights
and links to press releases are included in the blog. The blog has been transferred to its new home
on the recently re-launched WOCCU website (www.woccu.org).
One of the year’s highlights was
the implementation of the International Partnership department’s new annual
program, the Hispanic Marketing Immersion Program. The program is designed to transfer knowledge
credit unions facing a more diverse pool of potential members. Program activities allow participants to live,
learn and grow in Mexico
while learning marketing techniques for reaching out to the Hispanic
demographic. The participants take
intensive Spanish language courses, live with a Hispanic host family, enjoy
cultural activities and partake in practical internships with a local credit
union. This year’s program included 18 participants
from several U.S.
leagues and credit unions.
Another important event was the 3rd
International Partnerships Briefing and Hike the Hill on October 19 in Washington, D.C. Nineteen credit union leaders from United States
credit union leagues and the World Council shared the progress of their
individual partnerships and used the meeting as a forum for best
practices. During the briefing,
participants discussed how to best convey partnership benefits to their
constituents, how to make partnerships more inclusive, what works in the
program and what can be improved. A
special presentation on the Costa Rica/Alabama partnership was given by Oscar
Hidalgo Chaves, CEO of COOPESERVIDORES in Costa Rica.
Partnership efficiency is a continuing goal for the department. Partners work with WOCCU to conduct planning
sessions to set annual goals and work plans for their partnerships. Periodically, each partnership conducts a
feedback session to measure work plan effectiveness so that priorities and
activities are continually evaluated and realigned. This ensures that the partnership remains
focused and that both partners feel that the relationship adds value to their
As of December 2007, WOCCU’s international partnership
portfolio included 25 active partnerships and 4 progressing toward formal
Please contact Josh Fetting at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-395-2060 to request the full annual report with blog and press release archives and one will be sent to you via mail or other electronic source.