Joe Karlin

Joe Karlin

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Joe Karlin has worked with or at credit unions his entire career. Starting as a CPA with Deloitte, he audited in the financial services industry, including credit unions, corporates, leagues, and banks. Joe spent nearly 15 years in the corporate system, working in operations and at executive levels. For the last 14 years, he has consulted with credit unions and CUSOs.

Joe’s specialties include strategy and execution, all aspects of commercial and consumer lending, delivery channel optimization, and CUSO operations and management. His experience in strategy
and execution includes strategic planning, management succession, and regulatory issue resolution. Joe’s experience in commercial lending ranges from assisting credit unions in evaluating the launch of new commercial lending programs, implementing commercial lending programs, evaluating CUSOs for underwriting and servicing, reviewing existing programs, to conducting loan reviews. His consumer lending experience includes emphasis in indirect auto lending, unsecured lending, and private student loans.

Speaking Topics

Helping Your Employees Maintain a Positive Mental Outlook

Employee mental health is critical for the success of your organization.  Our employees face so many stresses, both at work and outside of work. The past several years saw a 25% increase in anxiety and depression.  Anxiety and depression cause serious negative impacts, including productivity losses, health implications, higher healthcare premiums, and workplace incidents.  Learn some of the surprising ways anxiety and depression can rear their heads, and what you can do to help your team thrive in today’s difficult environment.

Moving From Despair, to Surviving, to Thriving

We’re not supposed to bury our children.  Our children are supposed to bury us.  Joe shares the journey of losing his 17-year-old son to suicide and crawling out of that deep, dark hole. Eighteen months after his son’s death, the stress of the event led to Joe suffering a heart attack. Following those events, Joe had a decision to make – wallow in the pain or make a difference.

As Joe and his family continued their healing – both emotionally and physically – they moved to surviving, and then eventually to thriving. Joe shares lessons learned in surviving a horrific event and provides practical application for challenges and situation you face.

Shifts Impacting Lending, and What We Can Do to Prepare

A number of changes in technology, consumer behaviors and demographics have impacted and will continue to impact lending. These changes will impact loan demand, loan types needed, defaults, and yields. We’ll explore the impact of these changes on your Lending portfolios, volumes and yields, and what we can do to proactively prepare.


Turning Non-Members into Borrowing Members

When liquidity is flush, deploying that liquidity is critical to strong earnings. But finding avenues for that liquidity can be an endless pursuit. We need not rely only on indirect auto lending or mass advertising to find new loan opportunities. Loan opportunities abound to target potential members/borrowers. These include originating or purchasing auto refi loans, loan consolidation opportunities, and unique community outreach solutions.


What are my Loan Portfolios Truly Contributing to my CU’s Bottom Line?

We put in significant effort to underwrite our loans in a prudent manner, with pricing on our loans strongly influenced by the market. This can create disparity (or a lack of visibility) between the risk from making those loans and the return on those loans. As a result, we could be taking risks beyond the return provided, or we could be missing additional volumes because we haven’t priced our loans aggressively enough. In this session, we’ll learn how to stratify your loan products in different subsets to better understand how they are contributing – or not – to your CU’s bottom line. Specifically, this session will introduce and discuss two methodologies: Net Contribution Analysis by Sub-Portfolio and Static Pool Analysis.


A Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse… How to Prepare Your CU for its (Possible) Arrival

To say that modern technologies have impacted our way of life is a drastic understatement. Amazon has changed the way we shop. Uber and driver-assist have changed how we travel. GrubHub and UberEats, the way we eat; smart phones, the way we communicate (and bank). And future capabilities – such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – promise things we can scarcely imagine. Past technologies and consumer behaviors have already impacted CRE (think shopping malls and empty Sears stores). With all these coming changes, what will be the impact to commercial real estate (CRE)? Find out what you can do to protect your CRE (i.e. branches) and your commercial loans supported by CRE. As well, we’ll discuss what you can do to prepare for members’ changing consumption preferences.


Turn your Branches into Real Assets

No doubt, the branch environment is changing. We need them, but their importance is changing and their usage shrinking. That was true before the pandemic, and even more so now. We’ll explore alternatives to maximize the value of our branches while minimizing their cost.


Delivery Channels

The delivery channels we relied on in the past to connect with and serve our members are changing. Branches first gave way to online, then online to mobile. The burgeoning channels (such as digital and P2P) threaten to interlope further on our relationship with our members. Yet none of these channels have disappeared; instead we must continually add new channels to our ever-expanding list of solutions. We’ll discuss strategies to ensure we understand the environment, explore channels we may not have considered, and position our CU to survive – and thrive – in this new environment.


Parched for Information in a Sea of Data

Data utilization is one of the hottest buzz phrases around. Too often, though, the deluge of data overwhelms our teams, and we fail to turn the mountains of data into information. In other instances, the data is historical only, and fails to inform us on prospective trends. Finally, the data may be too broad, and paints pictures of broad groups but fails to inform us on smaller segments of our members where we could make meaningful changes/actions. In this presentation we’ll discuss the five-step process – plan, assemble, deploy, analyze, repeat – your credit union can take to turn data into forward-looking and actionable information.


Credit Union Hierarchy of Needs

Just as Maslow identified humans’ hierarchy of needs, credit unions, too, have a hierarchy of needs. Joe has leveraged a career-worth of experience working with and at credit unions to create this model. These seven categories of needs fall into three categories: Alive, Survive, and Thrive. Moving up the levels from mere existence (Alive) to subsistence (Survive) entails a focus on not only our products and services but also our delivery channels. Many institutions are firmly planted in this category. Those that have transitioned to the final level – excellence (Thrive) – have engrained values throughout the credit union and have cast a vision for the future. This presentation will address the common pitfalls to avoid the complacency of the Survive level, and the different steps we must take to move up to the Thrive level.


Jana Say…What?

Je Na Sais Quoi. This French phrase translates literally as “I don’t know what.” It is used to express an indescribable, distinguishing feature or quality. In the business world, customers of companies such as Apple and Tesla often state that the companies exhibit je na sais quoi (Ok, maybe not necessarily in those words!) It goes beyond their products, beyond customer service, it’s…well… that certain “I don’t know what” that makes their customers loyal (and vocal) advocates. We’ll discuss what it takes to make je an seis quoi part of your members’ description of your credit unions.


Strategy: Important. Culture: Critical

Credit unions spend significant time and focus on strategic planning, which is vitally important. We then subject those plans to the culture of our organization with minimal consideration. Joe provides concrete examples of financial institutions with solid strategies tripped up by bad culture. He provides the formula and tools to assess, remedy, and re-assess our culture across all aspects of our staff, members and community.


True Connection with your Community

Some credit unions do a great job of connecting with their community. For others, it’s just part of their name. With experience as an elected city leader, executive director of a community-focused non-profit, and an owner of several small businesses, Joe speaks to building true community connection. He provides examples of how your credit union can better connect with their community in true and impactful ways.

What a middle-aged, white guy learned about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Joe shares his experiences with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As a “middle-aged, white guy” who grew up in middle America, discrimination was discreet, but present nonetheless. A tragic family event in 2011 changed Joe’s life forever, as well as his perspective. Joe is using his leadership positions as a businessman, credit union network contributor, and elected city official to make a ripple in his corner of the world. Hear what you can do at your credit union and in your community to do the same.


CUSO… Lessons Learned (the Hard Way)

Things don’t always work out the way you think they will. Actually, let’s rephrase that…Things rarely work out the way you think they will. From selecting a poor partner, shifting customer/member behaviors, and regulatory oversight, one CUSO’s incorrect assumptions and ill-selected approaches led to significant angst…and financial losses. By sharing our experiences, we hope to help you and your CUSO learn the lessons we learned the hard way.

Speaking Topics

  • Helping Your Employees Maintain a Positive Mental Outlook
  • Moving From Despair, to Surviving, to Thriving
  • Shifts Impacting Lending, and What We Can Do to Prepare
  • Turning Non-Members into Borrowing Members
  • What are my Loan Portfolios Truly Contributing to my CU’s Bottom Line?
  • A Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse… How to Prepare Your CU for its (Possible) Arrival
  • Turn your Branches into Real Assets
  • Delivery Channels
  • Parched for Information in a Sea of Data
  • Credit Union Hierarchy of Needs
  • Jana Say…What?
  • Strategy: Important. Culture: Critical
  • True Connection with your Community
  • What a middle-aged, white guy learned about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • CUSO… Lessons Learned (the Hard Way)