Westby Cooperative Credit Union was organized by a group of farmers in 1939 in Vernon Country, Wisconsin. Today, Westby has seven offices in southern Wisconsin, $330 million in assets, more than 150 employees and 23,000 members. We spoke with Westby’s Executive Secretary Brenda Noggle and Vicky Inman the Internal Auditor and Compliance Officer about their experience adopting OnBoard. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity and length.
Before you adopted OnBoard, how did you deliver and prepare your board materials?
Vicki: It was all through paper packets that we would make up for our directors. We would prepare the paper packets for our board meetings on the second Tuesday of every month. That means on the first Thursday of every month we would compile all the various reports for the board, create the agenda, and mail out the board packets that Thursday. That way they would have time to read and review those packets before the meeting.
Brenda Noggle: What would happen is after mailing out the board packets is that we would receive a lot of new information, the agenda would change, and I would have to make more paper copies the night before the meeting. This caused the directors to have to fumble through the additional papers and the packet to keep up with what was being discussed. That’s when we realized we needed to do something to allow our meetings to run smoother, to be more productive.
So you weren’t emailing the additional material? How long did that cause your meetings to last?
Brenda Noggle: Right, I had to make new copies the night before. They had no advanced notice of the changes before they came to the meeting. Typically they lasted anywhere between four and five hours.
Were there any other factors that influenced your decision to get OnBoard?
Brenda: We had planned to go paperless, and were working on it for a year. The amount of paper we were using in the board packets was a major obstacle. We were using paper for all our meeting. For example, it was often a ream or more of paper for every member on the audit committee.
Have you rolled out OnBoard to all of your committees then?
Brenda Noggle : Yes, the audit committee, executive management meetings, our ALM meetings, and our education meetings. We were using paper for all them.
Vicki: On the audit committee we often have seven or eight audits a month, and that’s a ton of paper. Every month. And the directors wouldn’t get the audits and reports until the start of the meeting. The beauty is that now they have the opportunity to view the audits before they even come to the meetings.
“The beauty is that now they have the opportunity to view the audits before they even come to the meetings.”
What would you identify some highlights of OnBoard?
Brenda: I was just amazed at how fast it was to get everything put together. In fact, the day of our first board meeting with OnBoard, I was working at adding something to our agenda, and I slipped and accidentally deleted everything. Within 10 minutes time I had everything back and ready to go. It saved a ton of time to get all the packets put together and now I know everything is assembled and ready for our directors.
What as your first meeting using OnBoard like?
Brenda: For our first meeting, last month, we used both paper and OnBoard, because it was our, just in case OnBoard didn’t work for our directors we could slip back into paper. But we didn’t have to do that. They sat there diligently with their iPads in front of them, and they were determined to make it work. It proved that we could go paperless.
Were your directors anxious about adopting OnBoard? That is, what’s the background of your directors as far as technology is concerned?
Vicki: Slim to none! We had a couple board members without internet, before they got their iPads.
Brenda: At the end of the meeting one of our directors stood up and raised his hand and said “We did it!” We have since had other meetings where they are using their iPads, our directors are all coming in and getting signed in and navigating right to where they need to go. They are working with the software and it has given them a sense of accomplishment. I told them this will be new for everyone, don’t let yourself get frustrated. It’s just so easy, I know the more we use it the easier it is going to get for everyone. I know we are going to look back and say wow, paper packets were so cumbersome.
“At the end of the meeting one of our directors stood up and raised his hand and said “We did it!”
What advice would you share to a team that was just starting OnBoard
Vicki : I would stress is that they should go to Passageways University. When we got to Passageways University, we took the iPad and it was hands on, we could see and create material. That’s how you learn. Webinars are great and it shows you what products do. But going to Passageways University and have a hands on experiences, that was just great.
Brenda: Being at University and learning what OnBoard can do for you makes a huge difference. The one-on-one experience is priceless.
Vicki: Your customer service is great!
About The Author
- At OnBoard, we believe board meetings should be informed, effective, and uncomplicated. That’s why we give boards and leadership teams an elegant solution that simplifies governance. With customers in higher education, nonprofit, health care systems, government, and corporate enterprise business, OnBoard is the leading board management provider.
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