The newly formed trade group representing credit unions in six western states will be called GoWest Credit Union Association.
The organization resulted from the combination of the Mountain West Credit Union Association, which represented credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming, and the Northwest Credit Union Association, which represented credit unions in Idaho , Oregon and Washington.
The two groups voted to approve a merger effective June 30 and announced the new name on Tuesday. The six-state trade association will represent more than 300 credit unions and their 16.5 million members. The name is a nod to a famous quote attributed to writer Horace Greeley: “Go west, young man.”
Troy Stang, president and CEO of the GoWest Credit Union Association, said the group has learned to bring together modern resources and ensure they are effective in the many areas where public policy has an impact. on the operating environment of credit unions.
“Time and place have proven this to be an effective strategy, and our association members have fully embraced it and are leaning into it,” he said in an interview.
The search for economic efficiencies was not the driving factor behind the decision to form the new association, Stang said, but rather a desire to create a fast-track and proven advocacy model focused on the local situation.
Additionally, the combined group can respond more quickly to the sheer volume of complexities, challenges and opportunities that credit unions face, with more “power” and a sophisticated set of solutions, Stang said.
Despite its new size, the group will be careful to maintain its “hyperlocal” advocacy and an influential voice will be a direct result of its unique value proposition, he said.
“We are part of the state league system of credit unions that works in tandem with” the National Association of Credit Unions. “A comprehensive advocacy strategy is key. Collaborating with our members and with leagues in states we don’t serve and partnering with CUNA — that’s the beauty of the credit union movement,” Stang said.
Additionally, the newly merged organization announced its new foundation and service company, GoWest Foundation and GoWest Solutions, respectively.
Other business groups are also joining forces in the United States. The Cornerstone League and Heartland Credit Union Association boards last month approved plans to Advance with the due diligence process, and a letter of intent has been signed by both organizations.