The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday!

Well, It’s “Super Monday,” even though the “Big Game" didn’t really match up to the more dramatic finishes of recent history, and wasn’t all that “super” – unless you are a Patriots fan, of course. Even the Super Bowl ads were rather bland compared to past years, and some were just head scratchers. I admit, at one point, I even switched from the big game to watch the classic basketball movie “Hoosiers” on another channel.

Health Benefits Trust Bill Goes Before the SD State House on Wednesday.

This week, on Wednesday, February 6 at 10:00 a.m. CT, SB 37 goes before the South Dakota State House Commerce and Energy Committee. This is an important bill backed by CUAD and I plan to testify in support at the hearing. As you know, SB 37 passed with unanimous support in the State Senate receiving a final vote of 34-0. The bill amends and modernizes the state’s current statutes relating to Association Health Plans, providing a waiver process to open up our CUAD Health Benefits Trust to our South Dakota affiliated members. The House Commerce and Energy Committee rejected a similar bill last year, but since then, they have also learned more about the issue and so we are optimistic for a positive result. Stay tuned.

NASCUS President Lucy Ito and Commissioner Lise Kruse Highlight ND CEO Roundtable Dialogue.

We are very excited to announce that Lucy Ito, President/CEO of National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) and North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner, Lise Kruse have been added to the ND CEO Roundtable meeting agenda. The CEO Roundtable will be part of the North Dakota Credit Union Legislative Day and Legislative “Late Night” Social in Bismarck, February 19. 

Kruse, (photo right) who was appointed to head the ND DFI last year by Governor Burgum, is currently in the final stages of her legislative confirmation this session. Commissioner Kruse will provide an update on the Legislative session as it pertains to the Department and how the appropriations process may impact the credit union division and examination process moving forward. 

Lucy Ito (photo left) has led NASCUS since late 2014. She is very familiar to many in the movement as she has previously worked for CUNA in Madison and most recently was the executive vice president and chief operations officer of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues (CCUL/NCUL). Ms. Ito will answer questions and provide an update on the state of the state credit union system.

ND Legislative Day “Hike-The-Hill” Includes Meetings with Lt. Governor and Senate Leadership.

Our “Hike-the-Hill” event at the North Dakota State Capitol is also set for 12:30 p.m. on February 19. Our 2019 Credit Union Legislative Day and HTH will feature a sit-down meeting with LT. Governor Brad Sanford, Sen Majority Leader Rich Wardner, and Senator Miniortiy Leader, Joan Heckaman. The meeting will take place in the Governor’s conference room on first floor (ground floor) at the Capitol. As a reminder, all visitors to the Capitol will need to enter through the South entrance (main entrance under the Capitol Stairs through security). Parking during the session is open in front of the Capitol and anywhere around the mall loop. There is often space in the visitor lot just east of the main entrance by the judicial wing.                                  

If you haven’t already registered for this event or want to review the day’s agenda you may do so here. ND Legislative Day is free, but we do need a head count to make sure we have adequate space for our group. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Record Number Heading to MONDAK!

I am looking forward to seeing many of our Dakota members at the 3rd annual MONDAK CEO/Volunteer Roundtable meetings in Las Vegas next week. I’m also looking forward to getting a mid-winter respite, as I’m sure many of the attendees are! Hey, who doesn’t want to get out of the Dakota cold for a few days!  This year’s high-level learning opportunity will draw more than 70 CEOs/Volunteers to our third annual event. Safe travels to those who are heading to the Nevada desert with me next week. 

Railway’s Brucker elected to CULAC Board of Trustees.

Congratulations to Paul Brucker, President/CEO, Railway Credit Union, Mandan, ND, on his recent selection to serve on the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), Board of Trustees. CULAC is CUNA’s political action committee. Brucker was nominated by the North Dakota GAC to serve as the North Dakota representative on the Trustee Board. The board serves as the governing body for CULAC, and includes a representative from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This will be Brucker’s third election to the trustee board and he will serve a two-year term, 2019-2020 and will join the other trustees in the middle of their two-year terms. Chad Moeller, Dakotaland FCU, serves as the South Dakota CULAC Trustee and he’ll be up for re-election in 2020.

Trump Nominates Familiar Name to NCUA Board.

President Donald Trump nominated Todd Harper (shown right) to serve as an NCUA board member on Friday. Many Dakota credit unions are familiar with Mr. Harper as he served as the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs and as the Chief Policy Advisor to the Chairman at the NCUA for several years. In that position our Dakota members have had the opportunity to meet and have dialogue with him during our annual “Fall Legislative/Regulatory Hikes.” He is very familiar with the complexities here in the Dakotas and he did travel to Bismarck with Chair Debbie Matz a few years ago. Prior to serving at the NCUA, Harper served 14 years on Capitol Hill as a senior aide to Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.) who was the prime sponsor of H.R. 1151 in 1998.

Harper’s nomination would fill the third seat on the NCUA board, left vacant since former Chair Debbie Matz retired in April 2016. His term would expire April 10, 2021. We wish Todd much success in his confirmation process and we’re looking forward to his leadership on the board. We’ll engage both Senator Rounds (SD) and Senator Cramer (ND) as both will interview and confirm Harper as members of the Senate Banking Committee.

Great Educational Opportunities Coming in 2019.

The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas continues to expand its value-added offerings to our members and we have designed and added a number of new and exceptional educational opportunities conferences this year.

Just last week in the Memo, we announced the launch of our much anticipated Directors College scheduled for April 11 in Fargo. This new class is provided at a very reasonable price in partnership with NASCUS and is designed for CEOs, upper management, and volunteers seeking specific training for their fiduciary duties and board responsibilities. You can review the entire agenda and register here.

Then, the very popular CUNA Mutual Group ULEND Academy™ is coming to Sioux Falls, May 7-8. Consider this a heads up because the class SOLD OUT last year in Fargo. This lending class is a hands-on, customized experience that propels lenders from transactional to consultative and attendees walk out ready to use the skills they learned. Be sure to check it out and register early if you are interested! Find out more here.

Have a great week!





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