Dear Members:

As I turn the page of my calendar to June, I’m looking forward to all the things that summer brings. Along with cookouts, swimming, camping, fireworks, and everything that’s made more enjoyable by warmer weather, I intend to (hopefully) carve out some time to enjoy one of my favorite past times: reading. Whether for business or pleasure, I relish learning from and immersing myself in a good book. And, since it’s that time of year to share summer reading lists, the ELT and I have compiled what’s on our to-be-read (TBR) lists for the next few months.

Professionally, I plan to finish reading “The Product Samurai” by Chris Lukassen. The changing payments landscape has allowed us to think differently about what our credit unions need from us, and this book is all about mastering the strategic role of product development and developing great products that truly meet users' needs. On the flip side, a credit union leader recently told me that I should read seven fiction books for every business book that I read, so I’m taking her advice. I’ve always loved John Grisham’s legal thrillers, and I plan to read his new book “The Boys from Biloxi.” It’s a story about two sons of immigrant families who grow up as friends but ultimately find themselves on opposite sides of the law.

As for the next six fiction books, maybe I’ll try one of the following recommendations from our executive leadership team (or from any of you who may reach out with must-read titles). We occasionally turn the spotlight on our ELT, and I thought you might enjoy seeing what they plan on reading over the next few months. Whether you prefer traditional books or audiobooks, maybe you’ll see something that piques your interest.

Michael Gampp, EVP, Chief Risk Officer: Next on my list to read is “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. I have heard Daniel interviewed in several podcast episodes and find him both extremely intelligent and interesting. He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his work in applying the psychology of judgment in decision-making, and he was one of the pioneers who created the discipline of behavioral economics through the integration of psychology into economics.

Tammy Cantrell, EVP, Chief Product Strategist: For professional growth, I will not be reading a book but rather many articles to receive Professional Learning credits and Standards, Ethics and Regulations credits so that I can maintain my membership with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society® of Columbus. These lengthy articles cover a wide range of topics from derivatives and fixed income to equity and corporate finance. For fun, I will be reading “Diana, William, and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother” by James Patterson. I have always admired Diana’s beauty, charm and poise as a person, and James Patterson is one of my favorite authors. This is definitely a different style of writing for him, but I’m intrigued.

Prashanta Pradhan, EVP/Chief Information Officer: Currently, I'm listening to “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It is hard to change long-established habits, and this book teaches you how to hack your behavior to establish lasting new habits (hopefully good ones). A book I’ve already read but that I highly recommend is "The Innovators Dilemma" by Clayton Christensen. I have never heard someone explain innovation and transformation better. I also am enjoying the “Dublin Murder Squad,” which is a six-book series by Tana French. It is an amazing escape. Each book focuses on a different case from the perspective of a different member of the same squad. I love the Irish dialects and the plot twists.

Paul Hixon, EVP, Chief Member Engagement Officer: I’m currently reading a lot of travel books as I prepare for my retirement, but, like Prashanta, I am also enjoying Tana French’s “Dublin Murder Squad” series; I just recently started the first book called “In the Woods.” It’s a New York Times Best Seller about several murders set in Ireland. 

Denise Brown, EVP, Chief Financial Officer: I typically have a book I read at night before bed and then another one that I listen to when I walk the dog, garden, do laundry, drive, etc. Lately, my selections have been historical fiction set during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era. Once I find a genre or author I like, I will typically read/listen to that same genre or author until I’m burned out and then look for something new. For the near future, as a huge Stephen King fan, I’m looking forward to the September release of his new book called “Holly.”

No matter what you’re looking forward to this summer, I hope you can carve out some time to enjoy it. 



Melissa Ashley