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Book Reviews

Reviews for: GRACE

Deana Martin (daughter of Dean Martin) – Author, Singer, Actress, and Radio Show Host (Music of Your Life)

Review date: 08/06/2007

You are really quite a romantic.  Grace is a wonderful book about love with suspense and intrigue which should be made into a movie.

Reviews for: Love – 40

Melanie – (Apalachin, NY USA) Accounting Professional

Review date: 05/07/2002

This book was a different writing style than I was used to, so it was a new experience in reading.  But once I started, I couldn’t wait to turn the page to see where it was going.  Love-40 is full of conversation and action.  It kept you interested, as if you were actually part of the conversation.  The emotions of the characters flowed off the pages and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see how close I was to having it figured out by the end of the book.  This is a book I want to re-read.  I can’t wait for his next book.

Tom SZaroleta of The Florida Times-Union

Review date: 05/20/2001

Lennie Mason, the central figure in Wendell Fountain’s first novel, has busted a thousand criminals druing his career as a Jacksonville police officer.  So many, infact, that he has no idea which one is stalking his family and friends.

When someone from Mason’s past kills his partner, threatens his son and assaults his friends secretary, Mason goes on the hunt, assisting the department’s best detective to track down the killer.

The hunt takes him from the streets of Jacksonville to rural Iowa and back.  Curiously, most of the novel is set in Jacksonville, but Fountain chose to use fictional landmarks and street names.  Local readers won’t recognize their own town.  “I think it adds a little more mystery to the book,” Fountain said.

Fountain began work on the book in 1995.  He has written several non-fiction business guides, but this is his first work of fiction.

His main character, Mason, would fit right in on a TV cop show.  He’s a family man but all business when he’s on the job.  Far more interesting is the relationship between Lennie’s tennis buddy, Winston, and Angie, the secretary in Winston’s psychology office.  There’s a sexual tension between the two that simmers throughout the story.

Love-40, which can be ordered through or through any local bookstore, is graphic at points when the stalker attacks the people Lennie loves.  It would be a fine summertime beach read.

Reviews for: ACADEMIC SHARECROPPERS: Exploitation of Adjunct Faculty and the Higher Education System

Barbara Wolf – Producer and Director of the 1997 –DEGREES OF SHAME Part-Time Faculty: Migrant Workers of the Information Economy – Cincinnati, Ohio

Review date: 01/10/2005

While making it abundantly clear that one doesn’t have to be a ‘bleeding heart libral’ to be profoundly angry over the treatment of contingent faculty, Dr. Fountain nailed the problems encountered when students are uncritically viewed as customers and when distance learning is used as an educational rather than a training tool.

Reviews for: THE CREDIT UNION WORLD: Theory, Process, Practice–Cases & Application

Credit Union Times, February 28, 2007

Review date: 08/13/2007

SHREWSBURY, N.J. — Industry leaders employ a variety of methods and techniques to position their organizations for success. Wendell V. Fountain’s new book, The Credit Union World: Theory, Process, Practice Cases & Application, attempts to hone in on some of these practices to give credit unions the edge to succeed.

First some background on the author. He is president and principal consultant of Fountain Associates, Inc., a business and management firm. He has considerable credit union experience from the boardroom level. From 1982-2007 he served on the board of VyStar Credit Union, holding various offices. Since 1996, he has pursued post-doctoral studies at Harvard Business School, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Wharton. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in human resources management and a doctorate in business administration (D.B.A.).

Fountain begins the book with a historical look at credit unions here and abroad. He introduces the forefathers of the industry and explains their contributions to what we know today as credit unions. Fountain does a good job illustrating what factors helped create the credit union philosophy.

Once the historical foundation of credit unions is established, Fountain turns to strategy. He focuses on the elements that he believes ensure a credit union will thrive in the future, and the everyday methods for maintaining a successful institution. He delves into everything from board/management relations to human resources and marketing. While some of the information will be common knowledge to those from within the industry, Fountain touches on nuances of human nature that may negatively affect management situations.

As a board member at VyStar Credit Union for 24 years, Fountain’s strategies for directors are given with a sagelike eloquence. He illustrates what areas board members should intervene and what should not be on their radars, sticking to the established theory of boards setting the policy and management working day-to-day to carry it out from an operational standpoint.

Fountain offers ways for a CEO to work with board members and take their advice, while explaining which elements of the credit union the board members should focus on and which ones they shouldn’t—a very delicate balancing act. The fictional situations at the end of each chapter offer a way for credit union professionals to take a step back and determine what methods are effective and what should be avoided.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is Fountain’s ability to interject the effects human nature can have on the way a credit union is operated. He offers up seemingly obvious management scenarios where the course of action appears clear, but counters with logical accounts of how a situation can quickly turn because of human nature.

He shows how essential elements of a credit union, such as marketing and branding, can easily fall by the wayside if the marketing staff can’t make their case strongly enough or the CEO is unable to show how these areas are critical to the overall success of the credit union.

And while his book definitely touches on ingredients that may be left out of the creation of a successful credit union, at times, Fountain’s own opinion wasn’t strong enough.

Fountain struggles with the nonprofit, people-helping-people nature of the credit union industry versus the need for credit unions to operate using proven business practices from the for-profit world. He never actually decides whether credit unions are an industry or movement, always referring to it as a “movement-industry”. But at the same time, he encourages credit union professionals to take advice from for-profit businesses and other industries since most goals are the same: customer/member satisfaction; larger customer/member base; and offering customer/members services that they want, need and demand; etc.

For both new and seasoned credit union industry members this book recommends ways of running an institution that could be beneficial for solving already existing problems or preventing common problems from arising. Fountain often forces the reader to see things they might not have noticed before and to look at situations in a different light—something that can benefit all credit union leaders.

John A. Vardallas, CAE, CUDE–Founder/CEO The AmericanBoomer Group

Review date: 11/29/2006

An excellent contemporary and insightful look into the credit union movement Past and Present.  A must read for credit union industry professionals and volunteers.

Larry Myers – Chairman Stratetgic Planning Committee VyStar Credit Union of north Florida

Review date: 11/23/2006

Sit down with Dr. Wendell Fountain, a credit union insider, as he talks with you about the leadership and management of credit unions.  Read along with him, as his years of research & experience are transferred to you as the chapters literally flow off the pages and into your thought processes.  This book is the ‘Reality Show’ for the CU World!!  His case studies reflect real-life insight into differing views & opinions of today’s CU situations.  What took me 15 months of HRM graduate school to learn, he covered in one chapter. . . . this is a complete year of graduate business school.

Bob Hoel, Ph.D Executive Director, The Filene Research Institute–Madison, Wisconsin

Review date: 11/16/2006

The book is excellent!  Credit union board members and executives will want to put this book on their priority reading list.  Drawing on 25 years of experience as a board member of a highly progressive credit union, Wendell Fountain thoughtfully examines a wide range of subjects that are central to credit union success.  The book is timely and filled with fresh ideas.  It presents contemporary theories and findings from business authors inside and outside the credit union industry.  Especially valuable are the cases at the end of chapters: they address provocative issues and include lively dialogue about alternative solutions to problems.

James H. Park, President/CEO Credit Union 24, Inc

Review date: 09/20/2006

Dr. Fountain’s latest anthology on the credit union world is insightful, instructional, and controversial enough to make it mandatory reading for those learning about credit unions, credit union leaders, and those who wish to set the stage for the movement’s future.  His quarter century of unique credit union experience and scholarship affords a rare point of view for his new work which provides a veritable A-Z of ‘The Credit Union World,’ past and future.

James P. Hartman – President/CEO Cardinal Community Credit Union

Review date: 09/20/2006

Great job! . . . . Most if not all chapters make reference to actual events, services or subsidiary services within the industry.  As a long time credit union employee I was captivated by these specific references.  The book could act as a great training tool for new or existing board members due to its comprehensive nature.  It covers many topics of great relevance to both large and small credit unions and references many operational perspectives that most credit unions have yet to explore or simply ignore. . . . [ the author’s] overall knowledge of the industry is obviously excellent. . . . and the fact that [the author’s service] on a board of a very large credit union legitimizes the contents of the book.

Bill Carroll–Chairman of the Board Bossier Federal Credit Union

Review date: 09/13/2006

In my humble opinion I would strongly recommend this book as required reading for all volunteers and management.  It is an excellent resource for every volunteer from the most recently appointed/elected to the oldest and most seasoned; extremely well written by a seasoned veteran who not only knows theory but has practiced it as well.