Super CUSOs

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
By Theresa Witham

2 minutes

We’re trying something new—and we think exciting—this month in Credit Union Management and online at

We’re taking a deep look at credit union service organizations and ways they make credit unions better.

In our special supplement this issue, we examine the “secret powers” of three CUSOs and the behind-the-scenes work they do to make their credit union owners super successful.

One of the greatest things about CUSOs is that they can serve so many roles and purposes. For example, Member Support Services was born when three New Jersey CEOs came together to reduce back-office operating expenses. “When you go out as, in effect, a $1 billion credit union instead of three smaller organizations, you command more respect in negotiations and get better pricing from vendors,” says CUES member Thomas O’Shea, CEO of $182 million Aspire Federal Credit Union, Clark, N.J.

Another example of CUSOs greatness: Together two Florida credit unions opened the Frenchtown Financial Opportunity Center in June 2016. Why is this important? It’s the only branch in a low-income area of Tallahassee where payday lenders and pawn shops were previously the only financial options. Read about both of these CUSOs, plus one more this month.

In addition, we have lots more content about CUSOs on We examine the work that mortgage CUSOs are doing. We look back at the origin story of one of the credit union industry’s most successful CUSOs: CU Direct, a CUES Supplier member in Ontario, Calif. And in another online article, we explore the CUSO environment in Canada, where CUSOs are also streamlining owner CUs’ operations and helping them better serve their members.

This outstanding content leads into a CUES Elite Access™ Virtual Classroom course about setting up CUSOs and innovating with them. Led by Denise Wymore, membership and advocacy development officer at NACUSO, Newport Beach, Calif., and Guy Messick, president of Messick, Lauer & Smith PC, Media, Pa., this two-part virtual course includes classroom participation and a between-segments assignment. Best of all, it will be open free to anyone who wishes to attend!

Find all the content mentioned above and more at

As wonderful as CUSOs are, that’s not the only topic we’re tackling. Here’s a sampling of what else we have for you this month.

Biometrics are coming! Last year, letting members access their mobile banking with a fingerprint was a “nice to have” feature, says Eric Goscicki, manager/mobile strategies at CUES Supplier member PSCU, St. Petersburg, Fla., Next year, members will consider it a “must have,” he predicts. 

What are the elephants in your board room? The topics described are especially challenging for CU directors to discuss, according to Rick Powers, national academic director at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Toronto, and lead faculty for CUES’ Governance Leadership Institute™.

Finally, two articles look at career growth. “Destination CEO,” and “Mad for Marketing”.

Did you enjoy our deep dive into CUSOs? Let me know by writing

Theresa Witham
Managing Editor/Publisher

CUES Learning Portal