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Fryzel Tells Credit Unions, “Make No Little Plans” When Facing Future Challenges

WASHINGTON (Feb. 25, 2014) – NCUA Board Member Michael E. Fryzel told more than 4,000 credit union industry representatives to think broadly and boldly when facing challenges that lie ahead and draw on the movement’s traditions and experience to better serve its members.
Citing Daniel Burnham, an architect instrumental in creating the National Mall and, later, the Chicago World’s Fair, Fryzel urged his audience to “make no little plans.”
“Think big, like people did before you.” Fryzel said. ”You can do big things. Large challenges arise all the time. It’s up to the people who are challenged to devise the plans and carry them out in a way that wrestles them to earth.”
Fryzel delivered his remarks to the annual Governmental Affairs Conference hosted by the Credit Union National Association. The full text of his speech is available here.
Fryzel said people in the credit union movement will have to draw on another American tradition, self-reliance.
“One thing is certain,” he said. “No one is going to wrestle those challenges for you. You are going to have to do it for yourselves. You are in a struggle of survival of the fittest.
“Establishing a collection of credit unions out of practically nothing other than a desire to help people was a great challenge,” Fryzel said. “Growing a system of a few thousand members to nearly 96 million members was a great challenge. Reversing the outcome of a Supreme Court decision was a great challenge.”
The creation of the National Mall was one of several examples Fryzel used to illustrate his theme. He also cited President Lincoln and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, later a president as well, and their determination during the Civil War.
Fryzel closed by reminding his audience the credit union movement is “an unbeatable idea.”
“Determination anchors our national character,” Fryzel said. “I believe you are as great as any challenge you face. You are heirs to a tradition of men and women meeting challenges. Take heart from all the men and women who have come before you, building our nation’s credit union movement. Think of the immense good they have done. It takes vision and it takes work, but you are the heirs of creative and hard-working men and women. You can do it.”

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 101 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At and Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.


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