Rob Paterson

Board of Director’s Report

Rob Paterson

2021 was a strong financial year for Central 1 and for the credit union system. This was my first year as Chair of the Board of Central 1, and we continue to find success despite unprecedented and challenging circumstances.  As a Board, we are focused on ensuring Central 1 manages its resources effectively and remains relevant and responsive to our members’ needs. This past year, our first order of business was to hire a permanent CEO.

Confidence in Leadership

After conducting an extensive executive search, the Central 1 Board of Directors and I were thrilled to announce the appointment of Sheila Vokey as our permanent President and CEO in January 2022. We undertook a comprehensive process that included thorough stakeholder engagement to ensure we heard the voices of our employees, members and clients.

The feedback we received reinforced our belief that Central 1 needs a CEO who is a successful, strategic and empathetic executive who has been involved in various transformation journeys, while also bringing diversity within our financial services industry. In her time as Interim President and CEO, Sheila led our organization with integrity and thoughtfulness, demonstrating a passion for organizations with a social purpose like ours while creating momentum for Central 1 as we focus on modernization and system transformation.

We received overwhelming support for Sheila from the system, with direct outreach from many members who shared their positive experiences with her. The Board and I stand behind her fully as she leads Central 1 forward.

Diverse and Balanced Representation

In 2021, we welcomed five new members to the Central 1 Board of Directors, bringing a strong diversity of culture, experiences and backgrounds. We have made a concerted effort to ensure our Board reflects a healthy and balanced representation of our membership, ensuring the regional voices of credit unions large and small are heard and taken into consideration. The Board is committed to a transparent and positive culture, encouraging open dialogue so that we may represent our members and the system effectively.

A Renewed Focus on Purpose and Strategy

We are now in year two of Central 1’s Corporate Strategy and we have an exciting and challenging year ahead of us. Our purpose is our North Star: grounded by our role to enable a thriving credit union system, we cooperatively empower those who deliver banking choice to Canadians.

Our core has been and will always be the credit union system. We recognize the opportunity before us to lean on each other and collectively pull together the value we know you are asking for from us. We started our transformational journey in 2021 and that important work continues to be an area of focus for us in 2022. We have clear strategic priorities and initiatives that will enable to build foundational strength while continuing to offer exceptional products and services that our members and clients value.

Evolving our Governance

In response to members’ requests to take a closer look at our governance practices, the Board also thoroughly and thoughtfully examined the pros and cons of some of our current Rules, by-laws and practices. Two important topics that emerged were the mandatory capital call and the double majority voting requirement for changing Central 1’s Rules. With management’s support and analysis, the Board’s Risk Review and Investment and Loan Committee (RRILC) and Conduct Review and Corporate Governance Committee (CRCGC) thoroughly reviewed the feedback and findings on governance from the past years and more deeply explored these two topics. Members will have the opportunity to reflect on that analysis and vote on two resolutions at our upcoming AGM.

With Thanks

Finally, I would like to take a moment to extend my deep gratitude to our members for their support and confidence, and to our employees for their dedication to our members. I would also like to sincerely thank our departing Board members – to Mary Falconer for her amazing contributions as Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, and to Bill Kiss for nine years of service and his leadership as Chair, Vice Chair and multiple committee chairs over the years.

As we move forward to meet the disruption and challenges ahead of us in the financial industry, Central 1 is focused on delivering results that benefit the whole system and the long-term viability of Canadian credit unions.

Sincerely,
Rob Paterson

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