The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great holiday and enjoyed time with family and friends. I love the 4th of July celebration! Have you ever had the feeling that you need a vacation from your vacation? That’s what I’m experiencing this week after taking some time to move into a new home and get situated over the last week. I downsized a bit, so getting organized and situated is a work in progress. Anyway, I am “back in the saddle,” tanned (and a bit sun burned), and ready to get back to work – just in time for the launching of the consumer consideration campaign here in the Dakotas!

Our official Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® launch starts today - let the fun begin!

The CUNA awareness initiative is making a huge splash, and a lot of people inside and outside the credit union world are noticing. For nearly 20 months, we have been sharing campaign research and data at town halls, roundtables, chapter meetings and other events. I’m humbled by the support of our affiliated Dakota credit unions who are “all-in” and contributing to the awareness initiative, showing that credit unions in the Dakotas strongly believe in this effort.

Today, The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign officially launches in the Dakotas. Once again, I would like to thank all participating credit unions for their support and financial commitment to this effort. For credit unions across the Dakotas, the timing couldn’t be better here as we begin this extraordinary effort to promote the credit union difference and create consumer consideration in our region. With this effort, we can overcome the myths and barriers to growth. (Be sure to see today’s CUNA News Now story on the Dakota launch here.)

We’re ready and very excited for the Dakota debut, and we want to build even more excitement. That’s why we’re also announcing a special contest for participating credit unions and their employees, to help spread the word and have some fun at the same time.  

Do You Spy OYE in the Dakotas?

To keep the celebration going, we’re giving away 50 Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® t-shirts to the first credit unions or individuals who share a photo of one of the OYE billboards, or share an OYE Facebook or Instagram targeted ad on Facebook or Instagram platforms. All entries must tag our CUAD Facebook page to qualify. See related story in today’s Memo for complete contest details.

Special OYE Webinar coming soon.

We’ll be teaming up with CUNA to offer an informative OYE Webinar for Dakota credit unions very soon. This webinar will highlight media placement in our region and will focus on how you and your credit union can be engaged and support the initiative in your market. Look for more information and call-in details in the MEMO later his week as well as the link to register.

Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas earns IRS Charitable status.

You may have seen the terrific news that Lori Welder announced last week about our foundation! We received notice from the IRS in late June that our application for charitable status had been approved. This is very exciting news, as the application process began two-years ago. Now, the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas (CUFD) has the 501(c)(3) non-profit status of the IRS Tax code. This designation is important and necessary as we continue our mission to promote credit unions. What does this mean for CUFD and our credit unions? It means the non-profit, status makes our foundation an official charitable organization. This designation will allow our association to take corporate contributions, thus opening our fundraising capabilities. Stay tuned for exciting possibilities moving forward.

South Dakota update on Healthcare Trust.

The deadline for South Dakota credit unions to opt in on the Healthcare Trust preliminary plan and claims research component has passed. We currently have 32 credit unions and 947 prospective insured employees that are in included in the preliminary research. We anticipate hearing back from our actuaries by early August, at which time we’ll circle back to each credit union with prospective plans and participation expectations. Credit unions that are participating in the review process will have the option of joining the Trust if they so choose.

Upcoming CUAD events to consider.  

We know it’s the summer and we’re all busy with work and summer vacations. It is the Dakotas after all, and we really love these few months of nice weather. But, it’s not too early to start your late summer and fall education calendar. CUAD is finalizing several top-level learning and networking opportunities in August, September and October. Here’s a quick preview:

Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas 3rd Annual Golf Outing and Fundraiser - Friday, August 16th, Jamestown Country Club, Jamestown, North Dakota. Enjoy golf with your peers and support our charitable foundation!

Credit Union Professionals Roundtable - August 28 & 19, Bismarck, North Dakota.
The Credit Union Professionals Roundtable is designed for vice presidents, senior managers, supervisors, and branch managers. This event will also allow you the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other credit union professionals throughout the Dakotas. 

Small Credit Union Roundtable - September 5th, Fargo, North Dakota. This year’s event will be facilitated by Tom Sakash, Manager of CUNA Small Credit Union initiative. This meeting will be focused on sharing and networking on what small credit unions need to do to grow and stay relevant.

New Ideas Conference - October 7-9, Rapid City, South Dakota. Our Fall Conference is focused on new trends and industry disruptors, along with updates on FINTECH (Financial Technology) developments. Details coming soon!

Have a great week!






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