The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday.


I hope that all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend with family and friends. A mother’s role is one of the most important in society. My mother, Jeanne, worked full time as a high school math teacher and still managed to teach me and my three brothers so many lessons about life, family and faith. Moms are truly real life Super Heroes.


CUAD completes jam-packed first quarter and the participation numbers back that up!

Perhaps we can finally declare that spring 2019 has officially sprung. It has been a very active and productive first quarter here at the association and for our affiliated members and business partners. To date, your association has sponsored or facilitated seven events over the first 20 weeks this year. That’s one sponsored activity every three and one half weeks. More importantly, these professional events have attracted 715 Dakota credit union leaders and business partners collectively. This includes our most recent ULEND Academy conference in Sioux Falls last week. We’re going to take the next few weeks to re-boot, catch our breath, and enjoy the summer season before we kick things back up again this fall. We have a great educational lineup beginning in late August with the Credit Union Professionals Conference, the Small Credit Union CEO Roundtable and Legislative/Regulatory Hike the Hill in September, and the New Ideas conference in October. Be sure to pencil these events on to your “to do” list for this fall. Also, for those of you that missed out on the ULEND Academy this year, we have a waiting list established now, and if we can fill the minimum required participants, we’ll offer another session this fall. Have your name added to the ULEND waiting list by emailing Debbie Kruckenberg.


“Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union®” creative assets soon available to Dakota subscribers.

In case you missed Friday’s big Memo announcement, Dakota credit unions that have pledged support for the CUNA “Open your eyes to a credit union®” awareness initiative will be receiving notification that the creative assets for co-branding will be available soon. After a meeting with the CUNA OYE team last week, CUAD learned that the “Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign will officially launch in the Dakotas in July!


We also learned that CUNA will be reaching out to all contributing here credit unions in the Dakotas with information on how to access the creative asset portal. The email will provide the link for you to start using the materials that will complement your credit union’s marketing. All you need is your CUNA user ID and password. If you don’t currently have an account, you’ll need to create one here.


Once you are logged in you’ll have everything you need to customize banners, web banners, and posters that all adhere to the branding guidelines. You’ll find a tutorial on how to use the portal as well as the OYE Adoption Guide which explains usage and the customization process. It’s easy to use, in fact the portal places the elements you choose into the proper position, including your logo if you wish, and then your final artwork is downloadable and ready for use with the click of a button.


Each individual credit union still has their own products and services to market, but the purpose of the Open Your Eyes initiative is to drive consumers to consider credit unions as a better financial option. We hope you are as excited as we are to get this initiative going in the Dakotas! Once again, thank you to all credit unions that pledged to the campaign. Let’s continue talking about awareness, and stay tuned for more as we kick off in the Dakotas. Be sure to contact Lori Welder if you have any questions regarding the campaign.  


Credit unions and banks team up with AARP to provide financial exploitation training.

Also announced last week, credit unions and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) have teamed up with AARP in a new program aimed at supporting the unique needs of our senior members. The innovative BankSafe online training platform will help credit union employees better understand and interact with older, more vulnerable members, identify signs of financial exploitation and take the right steps to protect the assets of these consumers.


CUAD has explored the program link, and found this to be a great training tool that concludes with a number of very useful resources, such as a “spotting red flags” and “asking the right questions” tip sheets and more. There is also a resource to share with members, “13 ways con artists steal your money.” It includes state specific links on where to report elder financial exploitation in addition to SARs.


North Dakota AG Co-Sponsors SAFE Banking Act.

Finally, last week the SAFE Banking Act bill received the backing of 38 Attorneys General, including Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota Attorney General, who co-sponsored the effort. The letter sent to Congressional leaders in both chambers supports the credit union backed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The bill would allow financial services to cannabis-based businesses in states like North Dakota where it’s legal. CUNA, leagues and the American Bankers Association worked with the attorneys general to coordinate the letter.


Have a great week!





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