The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Cyber Monday!

I trust you had a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends and your home is properly prepared for the Christmas season. It certainly appears that Old Man Winter wanted to make one last stand here in 2019 with a winter “bomb” that blanketed most of our region. Be careful out there if you’re traveling, as there are several chapter events and functions scheduled throughout the region this week and next. Roads here in Bismarck were a bit slick coming into the office early this morning.

Thank you CUNA Mutual Group for your committed partnership. 

At the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, we are 100 percent committed to providing value and support to our member credit unions. Therefore, we continually research and form partnerships that help our members succeed. CUNA Mutual Group is one such system partner that has provided 84 years of value and resources that help our Dakota credit unions compete in the ever-changing financial marketplace. 

For eight decades, CUNA Mutual Group has been a valued partner of your Association. They continue to be an integral business partner and supporter of credit unions here in the Dakotas and across the country. They are our one true system partner.

CUNA Mutual Group sponsors and participates in nearly all our CUAD events and activities, as well as our initiatives that help protect and promote the credit union movement. They also made a substantial financial commitment to the “Open Your Eyes” awareness campaign, an initiative that will energize and promote credit unions as better financial services option for Dakota consumers.

Their value to us and our members is on display year-round, and it isn’t just measured in the wealth of insurance products, lending solutions, or in data analytics. They continue to work closely with our Association and the national movement, monitoring regulatory agencies and legislative issues that impact credit unions and their ability to best serve members. 

If you’re not taking advantage of the partnerships we have forged with CUNA Mutual Group on your behalf, I encourage you to explore how they can bring great value to your credit union. Feel free to contact me or George McDonald, Chief Officer of Strategic Initiatives, for additional information about our valued partner. Also, be sure to check out the related article in today’s Memo to learn more about how the collective power of our collaboration as credit union system partners helps us remain competitive in a rapidly changing financial services marketplace.

Rural economy struggles - an economic update. 

We hear it every day: The economy is booming. In fact, we’ve been hearing that for a few years now. But a look underneath the national headlines reveals that not everyone is benefiting. Check out this month’s CUNA Economic Update that talks about the disconnect between national trends and the realities in rural America. In some challenged areas, banks are even closing branches. Meanwhile, credit unions are thriving and clearly doing their part to reduce obstacles to financial inclusion across the country. Check out the latest video report here.

360-Degree Advocacy.

Congress and the president have agreed on a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government until December 20. Without a long-term solution, credit unions should be ready to help impacted members should a budget deal fall through again at the end of this year. Other advocacy issues we engaged in last week included: Support for NCUA’s Minority Depository Institutions Preservation Program; Filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing current autodialer law has conflicting definitions to help ensure credit unions can contact members; and pushing lawmakers to take up data security and privacy legislation that would hold all data holders accountable and better protect consumers. As always, we continue to monitor all legislative issues that may potentially impact credit unions.

TODAY ONLY! Cyber Monday deals on Pee Wee & Friends merchandise.

Pee Wee and Friends® is offering some “cool” savings today only for Cyber Monday. It’s a great time to stock up on your promotional items at reduced prices. But don’t wait, because the sale is only good until 11:59 p.m. tonight. Some of the items on sale are favorites of our program users like the Drawstring Bag, the Lunch Bag, and the Plush Stuffed Pee Wee. Stop by the Igloo Mall today.

Can't miss educational event: The MONDAK Roundtable. 

Perhaps the winter storms this past weekend have you thinking about a mid-winter getaway? Here’s an idea! Join us for the 2020 MONDAK Roundtable February 11-12 at Planet Hollywood in warm and sunny Las Vegas, NV. Once again, our destination conference will feature specific sessions for Volunteers and CEOs. We will also focus on board best practices, succession planning, strategic planning, and a look at the credit union member of the future. Plus, there will be an advocacy update from Ryan Donovan, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer, and, an industry economic update from Steve Rick, Chief Economist at CUNA Mutual Group. Make your plans now and take advantage of this incredible educational opportunity. Learn more and register here.    

Have a great week!




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