The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving!


As we kick off Thanksgiving 2019, there are many things that we here at the Association are thankful for. First and foremost, I want to thank you all for your continued partnership and support of our league and service corps activities.


I am thankful for a dedicated team that works hard to earn your trust every single day. As an organization, we work tirelessly to be the best advocate for credit unions and their members – passionately working on our legislative, compliance and education initiatives so that you can focus on your members.


I am thankful for an engaged and active board of directors and committee members. Credit union leaders who are committed to promoting the financial cooperative difference, increasing market share, securing industry sustainability, and providing winning solutions for our credit unions and their members.


Finally, I am thankful for the opportunity to be your partner and lead the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas. Credit unions truly are the best financial choice for consumers, families and communities. We will continue working hard on providing value and increasing our relevancy to credit unions of all sizes. Thank you for your confidence and continued support.


South Dakota credit union world loses longtime friend and leader.


I have some very sad news to share today. Last week, longtime Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union CEO, Earl Stone, passed away. In 1976, Earl became the CEO of what is now Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union. He retired in 2008, after 32 years of service. 


I had the great fortune and privilege to know and work with Earl prior to his retirement. In fact, he was one of the first CEOs I met with when I first joined the Association. I recall several meetings in his office where we would discuss politics, elections and credit union trends for hours. This continued after he retired, as I would run into him in Chamberlain each summer at the Tiki Bar, where discussions on the state of politics and credit unions would continue. He was passionate about both. He was especially passionate about Sioux Falls Federal and their members. I will never forget his emotional Hall of Fame acceptance speech.


Earl was an active leader in the Sioux Falls market and across the state. He served in leadership positions with the South Dakota Credit League and the Sioux Valley Credit Union Chapter. He was also an original board member of the South Dakota Corporate Credit Union. He was inducted into the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas Credit Union Hall of fame in 2010.


Our thoughts, prayers, and sincere condolences go out to his wife, Valerie, sons, Ben and James, and their extended family. You may read his entire obituary here.


Exciting news from Dakotaland FCU.  


As you will see in the related Memo story today, Dakotaland FCU’s Board of Directors has announced that upon Dan Cumbee’s retirement next July, they have named an internal candidate, Ryan Goehner as President and CEO elect. I want to congratulate Dan on his retirement – and also congratulate Ryan on his new position. We are looking forward to your leadership at Dakotaland FCU.


Retirement celebration for Darla Erb.


Voyage FCU will be holding a celebration for retiring CEO, Darla Erb on Thursday, December 12. Darla has been the CEO at Voyage for the past 21 years! If you can, be sure to stop by the Dawley Farm Branch at 5800 E. 18th Street between 3 – 5 p.m. and wish her well.


Absolute LAST CALL for GAC Crashers.

November 30th is the last day you can apply to be a GAC Crasher. This is an incredible opportunity for young credit union professionals, age 35 and under, to attend the largest credit union advocacy event of the year. The event will be held February 23 – 27, in Washington, D.C. Once there, Crashers not only experience a packed week of learning, networking, and advocating on behalf of credit unions, but they will meet an entire network of young professionals from all around the country. Crashers also experience exclusive behind-the-scenes activities just for the Crasher group. If you are interested, don’t delay any longer! Apply here.


CUAD offices closed for Thanksgiving.


CUAD offices will be closed this Thursday for Thanksgiving. We wish you all a very happy and safe holiday, as many of us are traveling to see loved ones. Enjoy the day!




<< Go to Memo List