Shifting Gears with Lori Welder
by Lori Welder
Director of Communications

“Awareness is a key ingredient in success.
If you have it, teach it, if you lack it, seek it.”
– Michael B. Kitson

A lot can be said (and felt) about awareness and being present. We should regularly ask ourselves, “What are we doing in the present moment?” It brings more attention to the situation, there is better focus, and we have a better sense of the task at hand – most always followed by success.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Lori Welder, and I started with the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas at the beginning of January as the Director of Communications and the Executive Director of the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas. I was previously the Marketing Manager at Railway Credit Union and learned a lot about the industry in my short tenure. I realized how passionate I became about the “Credit Union Difference” and how “People Helping People” means so much from many perspectives. My professional journey has taken me on a path from graphic design and marketing, to communicating and combining all the pieces in my role at the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas. I’m proud and excited to share information about our awareness initiative and something else I’m passionate about – financial health. With that said, welcome to my weekly Memo post!

You might not know a lot about me yet, but one of my favorite things to do is bike. Mountain, road, gravel… it doesn’t matter. I’m so focused on the task at hand, that everything else seems to be in the rear-view mirror and limitations don’t exist. There’s something powerful about being so in tune with your breath, body, bike, and the road. Whether it’s to get from point A to point B in a few miles, or a long “clear-your-mind” kind of ride, there are many things to be aware of during the journey. What is the traffic around me doing - or not doing? Have I researched the most efficient path to get to my destination, or am I meandering? And finally, do I have enough fuel to get there? (Energy, caffeine – you know!)

That fuel can be your support to the credit union awareness campaign; it can even be the information being shared through our marketing efforts. If you don’t know about something, the best way is to seek the information and soon you will be the teacher!

In our case as professionals, the “Open Your Eyes” awareness initiative is helping guide us to our ultimate destination – awareness of credit unions. What has been done in the past and hasn’t worked? How do we set ourselves apart? We’ll stay focused by actively spreading the message CUNA has worked hard to research so we can effectively educate the nation about credit unions and the myths surrounding them. But do we have enough fuel? This is where all our credit unions need to come forward and make sure the campaign is properly fueled to satisfy the needs of our members and potential members.

The campaign kicked off this month in the Carolinas and our neighboring state, Minnesota. I’m excited to share that we will be unveiling the campaign in the Dakotas by the end of the month or beginning of March. But we need to be “All-In” to achieve our mission as a region and a whole. As we all are aware, credit unions provide so many helpful products and services for our members and it is rewarding to know that over the next three years and beyond, we will be able to make a difference and teach everyone what makes us special. Let’s make the campaign a huge success nationwide and have full representation in the Dakotas.

“Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union!”

As consumers, we open our eyes to a better deal or something that makes our lives easier almost daily. I can’t wait for our fellow Dakotans to understand the true benefits and value of credit unions! Whether it’s being a member ourselves and experiencing the benefits and passion our coworkers exhibit or seeing the members we help on a daily-basis benefit, most of us have seen first-hand how credit unions have helped our members during the government shutdown. Our many Dakota credit unions achieved national attention and we should all be proud.

I want you all to become not only involved in the awareness initiative, but in sharing with me what is important to your members and your questions and concerns with communicating the “Credit Union Difference.” Feel free to reach me at 701-250-3968 or

Are you and your credit union “All-In”? Together we can open America’s eyes.

I encourage you to join me, along with Jeff Olson, CUAD President/CEO and our featured speaker, Susan Toalson, CUNA VP of Credit Union Outreach, for the upcoming “All-In” awareness initiative webinar we will be sharing this coming Friday, February 8, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. CST. You can learn more about the webinar and register here. We’ll dive deeper into the latest with the roll-out of the campaign as well as features you will be able to access when you jump on-board.

I look forward to having the chance to meet you at our upcoming events. Don’t forget to spread the word about the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas Scholarships as well for applicants that exemplify the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” through volunteering, community service, and leadership. More information can be found here as well as the application form.

Have a great rest of the week, and I sincerely hope you will join us for Friday’s webinar.


Editor’s note: “Shifting Gears” with Lori Welder will appear on Wednesdays in the Memo – “Putting Marketing & Communication strategies to work at the right pace!” If you missed our introduction to Lori that appeared previously, you can find it here.


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