No Mission Without Margin

class photo of Spring 2023 CEO Institute I: Strategic Planning at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
By Jennifer Stasio

2 minutes

This CFO was inspired by CEO Institute I.

As a leader, I am fortunate that my credit union identified greater potential in me and afforded me the excellent opportunity to attend CUES’ CEO Institute at various upper-echelon business schools. The Wharton School of Business is one of the most renowned business schools in the United States. Founder Joseph Wharton had the vision “to prepare graduates with the breadth and depth of knowledge to become pillars of the state, whether in private or in public life.” The business school has taught many influential students, including businessman, investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett and the late Ann McLaughlin, a former U.S. secretary of labor. 

Getting the opportunity to attend CEO Institute I: Strategic Planning at Wharton was an honor. Having time with the professors was very inspirational. The program is designed to make us think about how we can improve things, not just individually but for our staff and members too. I completed the instruction with a renewed passion for credit unions and continued leadership success. 

As a former banker and CPA, I have an eye for the bottom line and the margin. But credit union executives always strive for the mission, not just the margin. In this context, I found the discussions about mission versus margin particularly intriguing. The professors showed us there is no mission without margin, which is so true. Mission, rather than the margin, drives credit unions, but the mission can only be achieved if there is a margin. This is significant to everything I do in my role as CFO. 

The material in this program was relevant to what we are all experiencing today. Not only can my classmates and I bring education back to our credit unions to help us thrive, but we also can bring an extensive network of executives we can call upon to collaborate and continue the cooperative movement.

CUs are people helping people, true cooperatives. CUES’ CEO Institute enhances this and allows us to collaborate and share ideas while learning from some of the best professors. I left inspired and motivated to use everything I experienced to further the CU mission and increase our margin! I look forward to continuing CEO Institute next year.  cues icon 

CUES member Jennifer Stasio is SVP/CFO of Southeastern Credit Union, Valdosta, Georgia.

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