first_imgSpeaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, today reiterated that it will be incredibly difficult for the Vermont General Assembly to act in 2010 on the question of continued operation of Vermont Yankee unless a power purchase agreement between Vermont utilities and Entergy is filed with the Vermont Public Service Board before November 1, 2009.  In addition, the legislative leaders again noted that before the General Assembly acts there needs to be a requirement in place for Entergy to have enough assets to pay for restoration of the site upon the closing of Vermont Yankee. It would be irresponsible for the General Assembly to make a decision regarding the continued operation of the Vermont Yankee plant without a full understanding of the economic impact that it will have on Vermonters during these touch economic times, said Senator Shumlin. With the market price of power currently at 4.1 cents a kilowatt hour, the claim by Entergy Louisiana that Vermont Yankee will be the cheapest source of power for Vermonters remains to be seen. We have been clear through legislation and communication with Entergy Corporation that the decommissioning fund shortfall needs to be resolved and the Purchase Power Agreement needs to be in place before the General Assembly can act on whether or not Vermont Yankee can continue to operate beyond 2012, said Speaker Smith.  We remain firm on these two points.Source: Senator Shumlin’s office. 10.7.2009last_img read more


first_imgA recent article in Fortune starts with a terrific and compelling statement: how to fix a $400 billion image problem.Wow. The image problem in question belongs to the new F – 35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s newest entry in combat aircraft. Beset by problems such as years behind schedule, billions over budget, technical setbacks and, apparently, being outfought in air combat tests by the very jet it is supposed to replace, the F – 35 has a slew of brand issues. An Air Force general spoke about the troubled brand image of the aircraft in terms all too familiar to many credit union professionals, using language like “perception problem,” “information gap,” and “… getting out there and telling the story is part of what we need to continue to do.”Besides “fixing the glitches,” what is the military’s response to this branding problem? Roadtrip!That’s right – the Pentagon plans to take the F – 35 aircraft on a series of public airshows throughout the spring and summer. The strategy is to get the aircraft in front of as many people as possible, wow them with its capabilities and hope for an uptick in public sentiment and support. Whether or not that works remains to be seen.Many credit unions can relate to the issue of “perception problems” when it comes to their brands. If your credit union brand was in trouble and you decided to take it on a public relations roadtrip, what things would you want to communicate to the public?Obviously, you would want them to know that your brand is authentic. Your members and potential members must rest assured that the brand promise you make is the service and experience they will receive every time they interact with you.You must also ensure that your board, executive management team and staff are brand delivery channels and are all on the same page when it comes to the brand and support it fully. If the people at the top don’t support the brand, why should anybody else? The answer: they won’t.You would want them to know your brand is worth the premium they pay for it. Nobody wants to feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick when it comes to a business relationship. Your brand must wow members at all times in order to reassure them that they are in the right place for the right service at the right time in their lives. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing them to the competition.Lastly, your tour must assure the credit union brand resonates with members. In this case, resonating means fully empathizing with your members, understanding the lives they live, the financial challenges they face and the solutions they want and need.And the solution here is not product-focused. Don’t spin your wheels (or burn your jets) thinking internally about your specific products and services. Rather, think in terms of what the members need. They want a new car. They want a home mortgage. They want a checking account that won’t fee them to death. Sure, you provide the products to fill those needs. But think about the member’s perspective. Looking at your credit union from their viewpoint will help you better sharpen the edge on your brand’s resonance.Of course, credit unions don’t have the luxury of a full-blitz summer goodwill tour, wrapped up inside the super-coolness of an air show. But what you can do now is think about your brand, before it reaches the troubled phase, and tweak it as needed until it reaches maximum performance. Or, as Maverick and Goose might say: does your brand feel the need — the need for speed? 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: www.markarnold.com Detailslast_img read more