The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday!

It’s nice to be back in the office today after three consecutive weeks on the road. In fact, over the last six weeks, the road has taken me to eight cities in four states, and included twenty overnight stays. So, it’s good to be home and around familiar surroundings for change.

Kudos and a very special “thank you” to our 2019 Hike the Hill participants! Last week, your CUAD advocacy team led a group of Dakota credit union professionals on our annual regulatory and legislative visit to DC. We spent two jam-packed days visiting with our regulators and congressional leaders about issues and matters that are impacting our Dakota credit unions and members.

Our visit was highlighted by our first-ever face-to-face meetings with NCUA Chair Rodney Hood and Director Todd Harper. Both were appointed by President Trump to the NCUA board just this spring. We ended our visit by standing in line for a seat to the September board meeting. In fact, we had front row seats! With several other leagues in DC last week, there were limited seats available for the board meeting so we were fortunate to be included. This was a first for me and for our entire Dakota delegation. I truly enjoyed the experience, and if you ever get the opportunity, I would highly recommend attending one sometime. The meetings are in the Alexandria, VA area on the third Thursday of every month, and the regular meeting agenda is open to the public. 

This year marked our 9th annual fall Hike-the-Hill visits, and each year, our trip evolves and builds on previous experiences. Most importantly, it gives our participants the opportunity to put a personal context on issues that we can’t get with a phone call, letter or email. To continue to be effective credit union advocates and stand out among all the clutter of other competing special interests in DC, we need to stay engaged throughout the year, and that is why advocacy is always a top priority at CUAD.   

CUNA GAC Registration Opens – With Dakota Room Block Moved to Courtyard Marriott!

Speaking of ongoing engagement, there is one proven vehicle for CUAD members to get involved in our “360 Degree Advocacy” efforts, and that is to make plans to attend the 2020 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). This event is scheduled for February 23 – 27, 2020 in Washington, D.C. and registration information can be found here.

I am also very pleased to share that we have secured our CUAD GAC room block at the brand new Courtyard Washington Downtown Convention Center Hotel. This is located right next to the Washington Convention Center, and just north of the Marriott Marquis, for those who have been to the GAC before and are familiar with the area.

The rate at the Courtyard is lower than most of the other GAC hotels. Our room block is limited to 30 rooms, with a handful of “early arrival” availability on Saturday, February 22. There is a special link and password for our CUAD block; for assistance, please contact Debbie Kruckenberg.

Since we do have limited rooms, we are asking that you have a realistic and accurate count of rooms you may need. If you secure more rooms that you actually need, it will force some of our CUAD members into the overflow room blocks at other properties.

CUNA's GAC is the premier credit union advocacy event of the year. The conference brings together over 5,000 credit union leaders from across the country to advocate on their member’s behalf.  This is our chance to illustrate how we’re improving the financial futures of 590,000 plus Dakota credit union members.

Here is what you can expect at the 2020 GAC:

  • Dynamic and Inspirational Keynote speakers.
  • CUAD organized Dakota Credit Union Dinner and Hill Visits.
  • Informative breakout sessions on Regulatory Issues, credit union governance, the Economy, and the 2020 election. 
  • Learn about Innovative solutions and resources with our industry’s largest exhibit hall.

Still Time to Join CUAD’s New Ideas and ULEND Academy

Our fall education calendar is heading in to the home stretch, with two opportunities remaining on the calender. First up: the New Ideas Conference, October 7-9, in Rapid City. This is a mere two weeks away, but you can still reserve your spot! Then, our third and final CUNA Mutual ULEND Academy™ is scheduled for October 29-30, in Bismarck. Don’t wait any longer if you would like to attend either of these events.

Have a great week!





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