2020 was a time of unparalleled stress-testing on the credit union system; yet credit unions’ resolve, perseverance, creativity, and capacity for adapting unlocked a new level of resilience that would become the new benchmark.
Uniting & Inspiring Credit Unions
to Advance the Greater Good
Delivering Solutions to Help
Future-Proof Credit Unions
Empowering Credit Unions to Make
a Difference in Their Communities
rose to the challenge
of the pandemic.
Just as credit unions rose to the occasion for their members and communities, the Cornerstone League focused on business continuity, budget recasting efforts, relevant communications to members, and continued advocacy on behalf of credit unions.
Our top priority was providing critical information to credit unions quickly and accurately.
When the Pandemic Leaguer was decommissioned, we launched Caroline’s Corner to cover:
• Ongoing pandemic impact
• Advocacy efforts
• Related high-level touchpoints
Back to Top
We instituted a Pandemic Leaguer and created the Pandemic Resources webpage to give credit unions easy access to valuable resources, including:
• Regulatory guidance
• Legislative updates
• Financial services webinars
Cornerstone conducted outreach to members and potential members to foster and sustain the high level of awareness that impacts and grows the movement while helping our fellow humans, including:
It seems auspicious that the timing of our 2020 Cornerstone League rebrand took place during a period of transformation for the entire country.
We rebranded by unifying our League, Resources, and Foundation brands, refreshing our logos, and launched a new website.
Click for more info.
Though the 2020 pandemic grounded many of our in-person member engagement activities, we never lost our connection to members. In fact, our connections couldn’t have been more necessary for the unusual times we were living in. Engagement consultants acted as the primary point of contact between Cornerstone and member credit unions to help them achieve success.
Cornerstone offered engagement initiatives designed to:
Enhance credit union success and sustainability
Engender drive for mentoring and collaboration
Empower individual achievement
Elevate greater consumer awareness and consideration
Children’s Miracle Network: Credit Unions for Kids
Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”) Hispanic outreach
Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union Campaign
The Cornerstone Chapters Program,
which emphasizes political advocacy, community
involvement, and leadership development, went
through a reorganization in 2020. Responsibility for
Chapters moved from the advocacy department to the experiences
and events team.
E&E team achievements for 34 Cornerstone Chapters in 2020:
• Updated the Chapter Leaders Handbook and website page.
• Established a dedicated email to streamline information:
• Produced the monthly Chapter Report.
• Facilitated monthly liaison meetings to realign stakeholders
using the same playbook.
• Held quarterly calls with chapter leaders to provide updates
and a featured speaker to create networking
and collaboration opportunities for chapter boards.
• Turned Chapter Leaders Conference into a virtual event.
• In 2021, Chapter Leaders Conference will be 2.5 days of
virtual programming featuring speakers, breakout sessions,
prize drawings, and more.
The Councils Program leaders adapted to the pandemic in 2020 by connecting credit union professionals and volunteers with specific industry topics and issues related to their areas of expertise.
The members of each council:
The Marketing and Business Development Council hosted a live virtual watch party for its Pinnacle Awards presentation.
Continued to provide valuable webinars for their members.
regional lunch meetings to virtual, allowing additional
Campaigned to encourage more participation in their respective
2020 Cornerstone Compensation Survey
The compensation survey assists credit unions
in compensation decision making, obtains
salary data on 55 credit union positions,
and includes information such as
insurance and retirement benefits,
paid leave, and bonuses.
Quarterly Peer-to-Peer Reports
The quarterly peer-to-peer report is a custom report for affiliated CEOs which tracks performance over the previous quarter based on 25 metrics.
The economic report provides a quarterly review of the economic effects for credit unions over the previous quarter on a regional and national scale.
Quarterly Personalized Performance Reports
Tracking performance over the previous quarter using 25 metrics, the quarterly personalized performance report is a custom report
prepared for affiliated CEOs, and is
available as a PDF and
Daily Rate Map
The daily rate map is an interest comparison tool updated daily and is accessible by affiliated CEOs on the Cornerstone website.
Retail Fees Reports
Housed on the Cornerstone website, the retail fees reports are for CEOs and include average retail fees charged by banks
and credit unions on a regional and national scale.
SBA Lending Poll
A pandemic-related poll regarding risks related to the SBA Paycheck Protection Program.
COVID Impact Surveys
In conjunction with AACUL/CUNA, compiled year-end data related to CU services to understand CU challenges
and influence lawmakers
and decision makers.
Issued in April 2020, the pandemic poll provided insights into the effects of the pandemic on credit unions and members, and how they coped.
and Statistics in 2020 conducted and
published 19 dues-supported reports
and surveys, plus the daily updated Rate Map.
Sister Societies are Global Women Leadership Network chapters established around the world to make a local impact on women's issues, and in 2020 Cornerstone supported the expansion of Sister Societies to credit unions in the region.
7 CHAPTERS in the Cornerstone region
120 Sister Societies
North Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth), Oklahoma City, South Texas (Houston), Tulsa, Waco
[Click for more]
The Cornerstone League Young Professionals (YP) program empowers credit union leaders ages 18 to 40 to develop leadership and career advancement skills and engage in some of the credit union movement's most important advocacy campaigns and social responsibility endeavors. While the annual YP Conference was postponed due to the pandemic, YP advisors and members stayed connected and strong.
1,114 member YPs
From 178 credit unions
Representing 28 chapters
Cornerstone League provided ALM tools, resources, and training to ensure credit unions remained financially viable through adequate capital, stable earnings, sufficient liquidity, and interest rate risk management.
In 2020, Margot Strong joined the Cornerstone team as the ALM and financial analysis director. She provides analysis, instruction, and guidance in asset/liability management to help facilitate credit unions' financial well-being. She served Cornerstone members – particularly small credit unions – by conducting ALM webinars and workshops, and by providing continuing guidance related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Operations & Engagement VP
After supporting and serving the needs of small credit unions for several years, Kati Buchanan was promoted in 2020 to new
operations and engagement VP.
Cornerstone League provides many resources to help address small credit unions’ unique challenges and opportunities, including relevant education and training, regulatory and compliance assistance, hot topic notifications, and operational guidance.
Cornerstone also facilitates small credit union committees throughout the Cornerstone region.
The credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ is much larger than one person, one credit union, one community, or one region. It’s all of us being intentional about collaborating, extending our reach within the movement, and supporting a singular vision to achieve growth and prosperity for credit unions and their members.
In the early days of the pandemic, legislation was enacted quickly. The Cornerstone advocacy team worked diligently to ensure credit unions were deemed essential workers and financial first responders. This effort led to the creation of our "Credit Unions Are Essential" video, which thanked our credit union members for their tireless and incredible service to their communities.
Because the nation was in crisis and all eyes were on state capitols and Congress,
Cornerstone Advocacy played an outsized role in 2020.
Keeping Credit Unions
Top of Mind
Our powerhouse advocacy team worked tirelessly to ensure that our members had an advantage as lawmakers hastily wrote provisions to assist Americans during the crisis.
In 2020, a lot of state and federal legislation was written and enacted very quickly, resulting in confusion and unintended consequences.
Cornerstone’s advocacy and regulatory teams worked diligently to deconstruct the new laws and regulations, answer members’ questions, and ensure members obtained a complete understanding of the new legislation and how it affected their credit unions.
Texas Credit Union Association
VICKY SALKELD DAHINDEN
Arkansas Credit Union Association
Oklahoma Credit Union Association
Chief Advocacy Officer, EVP
Legislative & Regulatory Director
Program continues to give members access to complimentary and low-cost education and professional development.
There are nine specialized councils with a total of
from 272 credit unions.
[Hover for more]
Our Cornerstone Foundation launched an innovative Pandemic Response Strategy in April 2020 to address issues caused by the pandemic and create a sense of community and financial well-being.
No one expected a pandemic
The Foundation’s Pandemic Response Strategy comprised four components:
A no-cost Financial Counseling Certification Program, or FiCEP.
A Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors Toolkit
Free one-on-one financial counseling for up to one year
Affordable e-learning through three financial capability providers
The FiCEP training gives students the knowledge and skills to help members experiencing financial difficulties.
Armed with new knowledge, students can help members and the credit union by reducing delinquencies and charge-offs and growing product and service revenue.
In 2020, 361 credit union professionals took advantage of FiCEP training, with an additional 33 seeking recertification.
Of the 361 students, 331 earned their Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor designation.
in 2020, thanks to the generous donations of various supporters.
An important role for the Foundation is supporting Cornerstone-region credit union communities during and after natural disasters. The Foundation also offers support through the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) or in partnership with the National Credit Union Foundation's CUAid.
Tropical Storm Imelda Assistance
Hurricane Laura Assistance
Ice storms, house fires, oil/gas plant explosion and hurricanes Delta and Hanna:
20 Phase I grants $16,400
Phase I grants $78,725
Louisiana CU League $5,000
17 Phase II grants $60,000
Click on each icon for more information
• Personal protective equipment
• Online loan applications
• Floor decals
• Electronic signature pads
• Video conference licenses
• Mobile banking upgrades
• Professional cleaning
• COVID relief-related grants
• Chapter grants
• Audit grant assistance
• Website upgrades
• Equipment purchases/upgrades
• Hispanic outreach grants
• Training calendar grants
• Credit Union Development
Educator workshop (CUDE) scholarship
• Small CU committee virtual workshops
• BALANCED Life Reality Fairs and
• Community Outreach Programs
• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
• Save to Win Program
• Stock Market Game
• BALANCE Phone Counseling for
• MEE Competition
• Credit Mountain - Credit
28 CIF Investors
more than $8 million in combined CIF investments.
This unique program offers a benefit to credit unions as well as to state and national programs. The shared investment return provides interest income for participating credit unions, the Cornerstone Foundation, and the National Credit Union Foundation
[Click icons to see more]
Two Cornerstone Resources information security pros became
Certified Ethical Hackers
and can now perform
Penetration Testing: A CU Must-Have
The innovative penetration test provides actionable intelligence to measure a credit union's vulnerability and reveal its cybersecurity effectiveness or inadequacy.
Disaster-proofing your business, so your strategy is protected for the future.
Identifying potential leaders, so you can groom them internally or search for them externally.
Creating a structure for training and development, so you can help employees acquire needed skills and experience.
Maintaining brand identity, so you can ensure future leaders share company values and understand your brand promise.
plan for the
you can ensure smooth transitions and grow intentionally.
Cornerstone Resources now offers a suite of commercial lending solutions to enrich the value-added services you provide your members.
CORNERSTONE RESOURCES was recognized by Callahan & Associates who ranked our Audit and Consulting Services No. 6 in the nation on its 2020 list of top 10 auditing firms (serving credit unions with more than $40 million in assets). We were also ranked No. 4 across the entire southeast region.
Our EXECUTIVE SEARCH & PROFESSIONAL RECRUITING team extended Cornerstone Resources’ reach to 37 states.
We expanded our Disaster Recovery and Pandemic Planning services.
Whether in anticipation of the next hurricane or tornado, Cornerstone Resources is ready to partner with credit unions to provide sound business solutions.
• Digital remote services for all risk analyses, regulatory
training, and executive recruiting and professional
• A new website to showcase the many
outstanding resources available to members,
including industry-leading education.
To help you choose the right solutions, we perform an impact analysis of your risk management practices and the risk profile of your MBL portfolio.
Our analysis considers
how your MBL program fits with your strategic goals and considers your membership base, business loans, internal expertise, policies and procedures, soundness of underwriting, credit administration, and appetite for commercial risk.
For credit unions that want to start a member business lending program, Cornerstone Resources can help establish your MBL program, train your staff, and provide consulting to develop value-added services.
Audit & Consulting
We have always been very satisfied. Audit and Consulting Services is very knowledgeable and a great asset to our credit union.
Information Security & Compliance Consulting
Top shelf work and professionalism.
Cornerstone Resources was very knowledgeable, patiently explained answers to my questions, and was very accommodating with my schedule.
Risk Management provides a valuable and beneficial service being outsourced, as opposed to dedicating a full-time employee in-house.
EXECUTIVE SEARCH & PROFESSIONAL RECRUITING
Our CFO was retiring after 49 years. She was our rock, and we needed to get her replacement right. We turned to Cornerstone Resources, and we could not be more pleased with the process and most importantly the results.
—Space City CU
In addition to our time-tested premier partnerships…
• Cornerstone Resources welcomed seven new strategic business
• As always, we research and vet every organization to ensure they:
– Are positioned to help credit unions reduce risk
– Provide efficiency through digital channels
– Align credit union operations and strategy around remote and
—Laredo Fire Department FCU
—Summit Credit Union
—Texoma Credit Union
Cornerstone Resources was fast and professional. They took the time to understand our needs and helped us target the right candidates. I wish we would have used them sooner.
—Chocolate Bayou FCU
Because the nation was in crisis and all eyes were on state capitols and Congress.
Oklahoma Credit Union Association
Chief Advocacy Officer, EVP
When it was clear the pandemic would ground our Hike the Hill trip to Washington, D.C.,
our advocacy team resolved to continue the momentum we’d gained via dozens of virtual meetings and townhalls with regulators and lawmakers.
Out of that commitment, Cornerstone took advantage of the congressional August recess to host our first virtual Hike at Home.
VICKY SALKELD DAHINDEN
Arkansas Credit Union Association 501-683-6508
Back to League
Texas Credit Union Association
Our legal team fielded questions on regulatory issues and kept members current on changing laws, pending proposals, and nuanced regulations to prevent negative impact on your reputation and financial well-being.
We amped up online compliance support and resources. In InfoSight, we created a “COVID-19” channel with topics on the CARES Act, employer resources, fraud alerts and prevention, Main Street Lending, the Paycheck Protection Program, and other regulatory relief measures.
Cornerstone hosted or participated in dozens of townhall virtual meetings with lawmakers and regulators about what Congress was thinking and planning, and we reemphasized credit union concerns about pending legislation.
Cornerstone worked with Texas Credit Union Department on the public hearings of the Sunset Commission. The Commission recommended continuance of TCUD for another 12 years as an independent regulator, and the 87th Texas Legislature approved via
Despite financial pressures on the credit union system, advocates delivered on a majority of their PAC promises.
More than 100 credit union leaders from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas gathered virtually to advocate for the movement and nearly 11 million credit union members in the Cornerstone region.
More than 35 lawmakers, regulators, and special guests addressed Cornerstone’s priority issues and made this event a rousing success.
(POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE)
Cornerstone League offers an extensive array of compliance services, training and education, and resources to help you understand the ever-changing rules and regulations and remain compliant.
Associate Regulatory &
Regulatory & Compliance Counsel
STATS: annual average
Information Central hotline contacts with 1,400 members, 25% regarding COVID-related issues
6 compliance workshops/webinars
40 compliance articles and blog posts
50 InfoSight e-newsletters
21 weekly Pandemic Response roundtables
As a member of Cornerstone, you benefit from your league’s expertise, vision, intel, and reach in state and national advocacy. You also benefit on a federal level through our partners in Washington, D.C. Together we have created a sustainable ecosystem of thriving credit unions.”
Secured a video of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson praising credit unions for their work during the pandemic
Supported passage of
Oklahoma legislation that provides employers a degree of liability protection against any COVID-19-related lawsuits
from members, employees,
Formed a partnership with the state that designated Oklahoma credit unions as
a location to certify absentee ballots
Clarified with Texas state regulators that home equity loans could be closed in the parking lot of the required place of closing
Worked with the Supreme Court on the garnishment
issue to ensure the Court did not impose new burdens on credit unions regarding stimulus money
Lobbied for credit unions’ essential services classification
Designating Oklahoma credit unions to certify absentee ballots
Worked with the Texas Credit Union Department during Sunset Review process
Arkansas and Oklahoma suspended or limited their biannual budgetary sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic and then reconvened for special sessions only.
Texas did not have a legislative session in 2020,
as elected officials meet every other year
Window into 2021: Texas Win!
The 87th Texas Legislature in 2021 used the Sunset Commission’s published report of findings to decide on TCUD’s continuation. Thanks to Cornerstone’s outstanding staff and consultants, we achieved our goal of continuing TCUD for another 12 years as the regulatory authority for state-chartered credit unions in Texas.
our top priority in Texas was ensuring the Texas Credit Union Department continued as the independent regulator of credit unions for another 12 years.
we conducted advance work with TCUD on a self-evaluation report containing recommendations and on interviews with the Sunset Commission. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our work was conducted virtually.
Beginning in 2019