Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mediterranean CU Cruise

Thanks to a column by Stuart Perlitsh, CEO of Glendale Area Schools FCU, I was informed about a credit union education junket.

CU Conferences is hosting a 10-day Mediterranean Odyssey Credit Union Educational Cruise Conference aboard the Holland America ship ms Noordam from August 2, 2010 to August 12, 2010.

The educational cruise includes stops in Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Malta, Tunis, Florence, Naples, and Rome.

The cost per participant ranges from $2995 for an Inside Stateroom to $4695 for Deluxe Verandah Oceanview. Spouse or guest rate runs from $995 to $1495. These rates do not include taxes and fees of $377.40 per person.

Some within the credit union industry are questioning the wisdom of having such a cruise. Stuart Perlitsh wrote:

"Did Congress envision the savings credit unions realize from our federal tax-exempt status would be spent cavorting around the midnight buffet on Mediterranean cruises? Facing certain unknown NCUA assessments, is now the time to cruise the Mediterranean? The future of the credit union industry faces real threats; is now the time to cruise the Mediterranean?"


  1. At the surface this seems like a big time waste of a credit union's money along with their member's savings. However, I would make the argument that many of the attendees would not have gone to something like this if it were not for the appeal. I can assume that some of the information these individuals would learn at something like this will lead to either savings for the credit union or increased revenue. This of course is impossible to quantify, but the implementation of a successful idea in general will typiclly fully recover any kind of cruise expense.

  2. A Credit Union ExecutiveJuly 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Credit union executives are skilled and innovative when seeking out value-added, alternative ways of obtaining education. Credit union league meetings, CUNA council memberships, trade journals, and web-based seminars are commonly used for the kind of information provided on this “educational cruise”. It'd be a shame to consider the only way to motivate CU executives to perform their fiduciary duty of seeking out continued learning is to dangle an exotic cruise in front of them. I wonder if the execs who attend this cruise would do so if they had to justify it the need to spend members’ money (credit union capital) on this, and what financial gain came of it, to all of the credit union members or to congress to defend the responsible use of their tax-exempt status.

  3. if a director doesnt go to "something like this, if not for the appeal", then that tells you its a waste of money. a director shouldnt need to be "lured" to a learning opportunity". a cruise?. many directors are disgusted by this.
    be interesting to see the travel budget of cu directors compared to the "pay" of community bank directors. bet youd be surprised. take a look at the arrowhead article by heather anderson in cu times. note the travel budget and director/senior management compensation figures...for a cu cratering and losing money.



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