The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson
CUAD President/CEO

Greetings and Happy Valentines Week!

While I certainly enjoyed the Las Vegas desert climate and the comradery at the MONDAK meetings last week, it is good to have boots back on the ground in the Dakotas. Albeit, I must admit it is getting harder and harder to adapt to the 60 to 70 degrees in temperature differences on the return. Yikes! The good news for us hardy Dakotans is that March is near and so is the potential for warmer weather and less harsh conditions. 

I want to thank GEM Federal Credit Union, Minot, ND, for inviting me to their 78th annual meeting on Friday. One of the benefits I have in this position is that, on occasion, I get to visit various communities across our two great states and attend and participate in credit union annual meetings. Everywhere I go, I meet with members who absolutely love their credit union. I have had the opportunity to hear countless, firsthand stories of how a local credit union helped them and their family, while other financial institutions turned them away. The credit union difference is strong here in the Dakotas and growing.

One of the other many benefits is that I get to work with great credit union leaders; individuals, who are passionate about serving their members and implementing the credit union difference in their community every day. One such individual is Darrell Roos. Darrell spent 29 years as the President/CEO of Northern Tier (Minot AFB FCU). He took over a credit union that was, more or less, on life support. The Minot Air Force Base Federal Credit Union was literally months from either being merged or dissolved. Darrell remembers taking a call from the Regional Director of the NCUA towards the end of his first year, who indicated to him that the credit union “would be reporting a profit” by year-end. The credit union reported a profit of less than $100 that year, but under his leadership, Minot AFB became Northern Tier FCU and grew to over $124M in assets and 12,000 members in five branches by the end of 2016. In 2017, Northern Tier merged with North Star Community Credit Union, and today is nearly $240M in Assets and serves more than 22,000 members along the northern corridor of rural North Dakota. It was truly an honor to be part of North Star’s tribute for Darrell on Saturday. It was a first-class send-off and we all wish Darrell the best in his retirement, as he plans to relocate to Arizona to relax, golf and be near family.

Photo L to R: Jeff Olson, retiring CEO Darrell Roos, and Bob Herrington, CEO of North Star Community CU. 

All Hands On Deck Needed in Support of H.B. 1287

Last Friday we issued an Action Alert to our South Dakota members regarding H.B. 1287, which was introduced in the SD legislature on February 1st. The bill will amend South Dakota’s statutes on Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trusts.

As you may know, a Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust is a self-funded health insurance arrangement for organizations and associations in a similar industry model to set up, and operate their own health benefit trust plan for affiliated members and their employees. It is designed with small business needs in mind, helping them take ownership of their health benefit programs and thus helping them control their premiums and health care costs. CUAD currently operates a Health Benefits Trust in North Dakota for 20 of our affiliated members.

We are backing proposed revisions to HB 1287. The revisions deal with amending the current South Dakota Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust statutes that will make it possible for associations operating (like CUAD) in South Dakota, to establish and offer association (similar or single industry) health Insurance self-funded health benefit plans to their affiliated member organizations and employees.

A hearing for H.B. 1287 will take place on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 before the House Commerce and Energy Committee at 10 a.m. CST.

Please refer to the full article in today’s memo for important details. Let’s get a win with this one!

Have a great week!








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