Meet the Speakers

March 23rd, 2015 by

MACU has conducted interviews with a few of our prominent speakers….this is just a sneak peek of a couple of the speakers you will meet and hear from at the event on May 25 – 27 in Kelowna.

Andrew Davis


What was your first job?

After graduating from Boston University, I immediately started working in the television business. I produced two local television shows. One was a nightly call-in talk show focusing on Boston-area political issues. The second was a weekly medical call-in talk show.

What would you be doing if you were not in marketing?

If I wasn’t wandering around the world speaking to marketers and publishers, I’m pretty sure I’d be living in the British Virgin Islands running a boat charter. (I’m a sucker for clear blue water and the boating lifestyle.)

What is the biggest challenge you see in 2015-2016?

For credit unions specifically, I think the biggest challenge we’re facing in the next twelve months, is to differentiate our services in ways that take advantage of our most valuable asset: our members. We have to stop telling people credit unions are different and start showing them we’re different.

Ken Wong


What was your first job?

Depends which job you mean…First part-time job was at 8 years old…delivering newspapers. First summer job was in a factory as a stock room boy. First full time job was as a research analyst at the Conference Board of Canada. First entrepreneurial job was as co-owner of a musical instruments store and school. First sports job was playing semi-pro baseball in South Carolina.

What would you be doing if you were not in marketing?

One of teaching statistics; something entrepreneurial; high school guidance counsellor and athletics coach

What is the biggest challenge you see in 2015-2016?

The uncertainty regarding the price of oil and thus the Canadian economy. Uncertain economic times present a major challenge for marketing since marketing expenditures, even for (what is really an) asset-building activity like brand development is considered an expense item for tax purposes and financial reporting. It also creates a problem for pricing and margins which further constrains not just marketing but the ability of the firm to “keep the promises made via marketing communications”.

Want to have the opportunity to hear more?

Register Now!Online Registration Software by Event Wizard®

Showcase the Credit Union Difference…

March 23rd, 2015 by

We won’t serve you lobster and scallops, but promise this day to be a great one!

This year, on Monday May 25th, the Marketing Association for Credit Unions is bringing back the ever popular MACU Masters marketing competition.

This competition is fashioned after “The Apprentice” TV Show, where four teams, armed with seven marketers and one graphic designer will have 6.5 hours to create marketing and communications materials for two selected non-profit organizations in Kelowna.

Two teams of marketers will work on behalf of The Wish Comes True Society and another two teams will work on behalf of Inn From the Cold – Kelowna.

Each team will be given a detailed creative brief by presenting sponsor Arcas Advertising that will outline what the charity is looking for. This could be in the format of communications plan, layout and low cost ideas on how to engage the prospective target audience.

At the end of the day the teams will be judged on overall program design, artwork and how well they met the organizations needs.

This competition has received rave reviews by those that have participated in the past.

“It’s a great experience – challenging, fun, a little gruelling – you use more skills than just your marketing and design savvy, you use your people skills too. It’s like being thrown on an island and you can’t get off until you come up with a great idea together! And knowing that the work was going to those in need was a bonus”

“I thought the whole day went exceptionally well. The only way I would rate anything excellent would be if you served lobster and scallops for lunch.”

You can register for the MACU Masters independently of the conference if you choose. Space is limited to 32 people. Register today to lend a hand and help showcase the Credit Union Difference.

Back by popular demand

January 26th, 2015 by

During the 2015 Strategic Marketing Conference we will be hosting an Idea Exchange once again.

• Allow for small groups to talk about a particular topic of interest
• Provide an opportunity for a supplier or credit union to share their success story
• Give delegates further networking opportunities

7 discussion group tables
• Delegates will be asked to sign up for a discussion table prior to the conference.
• Discussions will last 45 minutes. Each table facilitator will do a 5 minute intro on the topic and then will lead the group.

Have something you’d like to share?
• This can be a credit union or supplier that has something great they think that people can benefit from hearing.

Submit your proposal online today.

“Fine Speakers, Fresh Insights”

November 11th, 2014 by

Enterprise Magazine, recently published an article titled “Notes from MACU” that recaps the 2014 conference and highlights some of the hot issues that credit union marketers are currently facing. g



Change for Children

September 14th, 2014 by

In May, Peter Van Stolk, creator of Jones Soda and now CEO of,  spoke to participants at the Strategic Marketing Conference.  Peter shared with the group how he rejected traditional PR and marketing tactics yet was still able to attract endless media attention. His session was extremely well received and delegates walked away some thought starters for their own organizations.

Peter donated his entire speaking fee to an organization called Change for Children (CFCA). CFCA is an Alberta based charitable organization with over 30 years experience working with partners in Latin America and Africa to alleviate poverty. With the money received, CFCA was able to purchase Eco Stoves.

CFCA Thank you

We received this lovely thank you note and plaque and wanted to share it with you! Thank you for helping contribute to this donation.




Visual Communications and Graphic Design Services

July 14th, 2014 by

The Marketing Association for Credit Unions (MACU) is seeking a proposal from qualified individuals or companies to provide Visual Communications and Graphic Design Services

Questions relating to this Request for Proposal should be directed to:

Rachel Cleland

Proposals should be submitted to MACU by August 22, 2014.

The Art of the Rebrand

June 10th, 2014 by

During the 2014 Strategic Marketing Conference in Montreal, QC MACU held an Idea Exchange session that allowed the delegates to get together into smaller groups and discuss topics that were important to them.

Catherine Downes and Lianne Darby of BlueShore Financial presented “The Art of the Rebrand” .

They shared the story about how NorthShore credit Union became BlueShore – one of the most innovative and premium boutique financial brands in North America. The following are some notes on that discussion.


This credit union is situated in a highly competitive area so had the challenge of coming up with how to differentiate themselves.

This was a 3 year project with a 2013 launch date. They wanted to create a high touch approach and utilized the financial spa concept.

There were 9 internal marketing department employees that worked with their agency, digital agency, brand strategist, suppliers, videographer etc. to develop the new concept and name and ensure it aligned with the business process.

The name “BlueShore” was kept confidential and an internal program had to be designed so that staff understood why this was being kept a secret.

You will notice that the BlueShoe logo and colours are similar to that of the old brand NorthShore. This was done intentionally as they didn’t want to abandon their historic roots.

BlueShore did make the decision to adopt the word “Financial” and drop “Credit Union” They did this as the felt credit union can be misunderstood, particularly with new immigrants. The decision was made, not to abandon cooperative roots, but more to not alienate new groups of members. “Financial” worked better in focus groups, both for banking and wealth.

Member Notification
Not all members are fully invested in their financial institution so BlueShore found the rebrand as a way to re-introduce themselves. A personalized letter was mailed to each member, two weeks prior to the public launch. This included a brand booklet and details on the launch. This provided staff the opportunity to deal with any issues in advance.

The Launch
Launching a new credit union gave them the opportunity to do a big reveal. The majority of the staff did not know what the new name was or anything about the new branding. Employees were taking “off-shore” to a convention centre and provided with dinner, entertainment and given a preview of what was to come. All but, 30 of the 325 staff attended the event.

The first day as the new entity, each employee received a package with updated supplies (business cards, name tags, supplies etc). Everything they required to work as a BlueShore employee was included.

Every staff member must go through a ½ day brand education session. This will ensure they have the confidence needed to have dialogue about the changes.

The entire rebranding process took close to 10 years and involved many moving parts. For more details please visit the presentations section in the members only portion of the website.


May 30th, 2014 by

2014 AIME Gala

The Marketing Association for Credit Unions (MACU) presented its 24th annual Achievement in Marketing Excellence (AIME) Awards to credit unions and suppliers from across Canada during the gala dinner celebration at the 2014 Strategic Marketing Conference.

Delegates were able to view all submitted entries throughout the duration of the conference and had the opportunity to vote on their favourite entry, which was awarded the People’s Choice Award.

The AIME Awards recognize the best and the brightest achievements in marketing, advertising and communications. This year’s awards competition received over 160 entries from credit unions, centrals and suppliers from across Canada.  Entries were received amongst 14 different categories including: Annual Report, Shoestring budget, Radio, Coordinated Campaigns and Television.

The AIME awards are rated on a point system, with finalists graded as gold (AIME) and runners-up, (AIM) according to excellence. In addition, there is one credit union entry awarded as Best in Show, for having the highest overall score and one credit union entry receiving the People’s Choice award, as chosen by their peers.

Judges awarded one Best of Show, 31 AIME, 38 AIM and one People’s Choice Award.

Deanna Basso, Marketing Coordinator at HMECU and Tom Hewlett, President of Signature Group Inc were the MC’s for the evening and Rodrigo Padilla, Senior Marketing Consultant, Marketing Strategy at Canada Post and Danièle Grégoire, Senior Manager, Agency Strategy with Canada Post presented the awards to the winners in front of their peers at the AIME gala dinner on May 27th, 2014.

Award Winners: 

  • Atlantic Central (NS) – 3 AIM
  • Beaumont Credit Union (AB) – 1 AIME, 1 AIM
  • BlueShore Financial (BC) – 3 AIM
  • Central 1 Credit Union (BC/ON) – 4 AIME, 2 AIM
  • Christian Credit Union (AB) – 1 AIME, 1AIM
  • Coastal Community Credit Union (BC) –  1 AIME
  • Community First Credit Union (ON) – 1 AIME, 2 AIM
  • Copperfin Credit Union (ON)-  1 AIME
  • Credential Financial (BC) – 1 AIME
  • DUCA Financial Services (ON) – 1 AIME, 1 AIM
  • Entegra Credit Union (MB) – 1 AIM
  • First Calgary Financial (AB) – 1 AIME, 1 AIM
  • First West Credit Union (BC) – 1 AIME, 1 AIM
  • FirstOntario Credit Union (ON) – 2 AIM
  • Integris Credit Union (BC) – 1 AIM
  • Island Savings (BC) – 1 AIM
  • Lakeland Credit Union (AB) 1 AIME
  • Libro Credit Union (ON) – 1 AIM
  • Mountainview Credit Union – 1 AIM
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Credit Union (NF) – 1 AIME, 2 AIM
  • North Peace Savings & Credit Union (BC) –  1 AIM
  • Northern Credit Union (ON) – 5 AIM, 11 AIME
  • PenFinancial Credit Union (ON) – 1 AIM
  • Prospera Credit Union (BC) – 1 AIM
  • Solutions Centre (BC) – 1 AIM
  • Sunova Credit Union (MB) – 1 AIM, 4 AIME
  • Synergy Credit Union (AB) – 2 AIM
  • Vancity (BC) – 1 AIME, 1 AIM
  • Wainwright Credit Union (AB) – 1 AIM

Best of Show went to Sunova Credit Union (MB) for their Coordinated Campaign entry “Avoid a mortgage apocalypse.” People’s Choice went to DUCA Financial Services (ON) for their Website entry “Website Re-launch”

The 25th Annual Strategic Marketing Conference and AIME gala will be held in Kelowna, BC May 25 – 27th, be sure to save the date!

From the mouth of Jay Baer…

April 15th, 2014 by

On Wednesday May28th Jay Baer will be in Montreal sharing with delegates how you can become a Youtility! Watch the video below to hear more about what Jay will be sharing with you….

Haven’t registered yet? No worries, click here to register TODAY.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Strategic Marketing Conference

March 4th, 2014 by

In addition to being located in “Canada’s Cultural Capital” and having access to the greatest poutine in the world here are 10 more reasons you should join us in Montreal for the 2014 Strategic Marketing Conference – presented by Ipsos.
Top 10 Reasons


Covering Canada's credit union marketing industry with news and events. Edited by Rachel Cleland.