Hike-the-Hill Meetings on Capitol Hill a Success!
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer

Another successful Hike-the-Hill is officially in the books after Dakotas’ credit union professionals worked the district Wednesday, promoting the credit union difference and advocating on behalf of the credit union movement.


Attendees spent the day shuffling between the offices of our congressional delegation on the Hill, providing insight and sharing personal stories. While our group was able to finely articulate a wide range of issues affecting credit union members in the Dakotas, mortgage related issues ruled the day.


Important discussions that took place were focused on the implementation of sections 101 and 105 of S.2155 which deal with Qualified Mortgage (QM) standards and the classification of 1 to 4 family dwelling respectively, securing mortgages on leased land, how to better serve the mortgage needs of local tribal military veterans, Federal Credit Union Act modernizations, and data security/cyber security. Other topics included CECL preparation, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the SAFE Banking Act, as well as Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) modernizations.  


We cannot thank Dakotas’ congressional delegation enough for accommodating our group at such a busy time in Washington D.C. We were fortunate enough meet in person with South Dakota Senator John Thune, Andrew Rothe and Jason Nerland from Senator Mike Rounds’ office, South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson, North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, as well as North Dakota Congressman Kelly Armstrong. The busy day was capped off with our traditional debriefing and a delicious group dinner at Legal Seafood in downtown Washington D.C.

I could not be more impressed with the level of preparation and articulation of this year’s attendees. We sincerely thank everyone who joined us for our 2019 annual fall Hike-the-Hill event for their leadership and willingness to advocate on behalf of their credit union members. I’m proud of the way our attendees represented their credit union members, our association, and the best interests of all credit unions across the Dakotas. If you haven’t already, you can see more behind-the-scenes photos on the CUAD Facebook page. And be sure to follow @CUADMemo on Twitter for the latest updates from your association. Feel free to contact me with any advocacy questions or concerns at jkruse@cuad.coop


This year’s fall Hike-the-Hill group included: 

  • Jeff Olson, President/CEO, CUAD, Bismarck, ND 
  • Amy Kleinschmit, Chief Compliance Officer, CUAD, Sioux Falls, SD 
  • Jay Kruse, Chief Advocacy Officer, CUAD, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Paul Brucker, President/CEO, Railway CU, Mandan, ND 
  • Tawney Brunsch, Board Chair, Lakota FCU, Kyle, SD 
  • Steve Davis, Regional Senior Credit Officer, First Community CU, Bismarck, ND 
  • Dee Ann Dietrich, SVP/Chief Lending Officer, Black Hills FCU, Rapid City, SD
  • Shayna Ferguson, Manager, Lakota FCU, Kyle, SD
  • Robert Goscicki, President/CEO, Aberdeen FCU, Aberdeen, SD 
  • Jon Griffin, VP Risk Management, Capital CU, Bismarck, ND 
  • Bryan Smith, Chief Lending Officer, Dakotaland FCU, Huron, SD
  • Melanie Stillwell, President/CEO, Western Cooperative CU, Williston, ND 
  • Steve Stofferahn, VP of Lending, Sioux Falls FCU, Sioux Falls, SD 
  • Pat Tollefson, Board Chair, Aberdeen FCU, Aberdeen, SD


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