The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson


July has been a busy month here at the association, and things are not slowing down. Last week we announced our plans to host our fourth, Dakota-wide virtual Leadership Town Hall on Tuesday, July 28 at 10:00 a.m. (CT). It has been a little over six weeks since our last one and we want to touch base and provide updates on several important and timely items that are on everyone’s radar. We are pleased to share that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will be joining us briefly on that call. This meeting is an invitation only event. All Dakota CEOs and managers should have received their invite from me already; however, if you did not, or if you want others on your team to be included, please contact me at

We will have discussion and updates on several items, including: 2020 CUAD Annual Meeting and Summit in Sioux Falls; Alloya “re-connect” Summit Scholarships; CU Professionals Roundtable; Foundation Golf Outing; Election Update and Legislative Chapter Meetings; Legislative and Regulatory Updates; ULEND Academy; Small CU Webinar Series; CUPAC/CULAC Raffle; and a Q & A session. As you can see, there is a lot to cover and you don’t want to miss out on this information.  

Regarding the 2020 Summit, our association and our board of directors has been continually reviewing the situation with the pandemic and the feasibility of holding our in-person annual convention in Sioux Falls, October 5-7. As of today, our plans are still moving forward. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed if there are any changes. Recommended precautions and safety protocol will be implemented at the meeting facility to ensure that all attendees are protected and safe. More to come.

CU Advocacy Efforts Having Impact.  

Credit union efforts picked up again last week on Capitol Hill. Letters were sent to every member of Congress advocating that lawmakers:

  • Support S. 4117 to forgive PPP loans under $150,000
  • Urge SBA to provide clear guidance on forgiving PPP loans 
  • Support liability protection for credit unions and other lenders helping the government implement this assistance program amid unclear SBA PPP guidance.

Open your Eyes to a Credit Union® Campaign Recognized with Marketing Award.

Thanks to your support, we here in the Dakotas have seen the results of the CUNA awareness initiative for a little over a year now. Last week we learned that the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign was recognized with the Hermes Creative Platinum Award. The Hermes Creative Awards is a highly recognized international competition that evaluates the creative industry’s content. The Platinum recognition is the highest award level.   

Even without the recognition, we can see the brilliance of this campaign, and the award is certainly a great reminder of that! A big thank you to all our Dakota Credit Unions that are supporting this initiative. How is the awareness campaign doing? Earlier this month, the campaign achieved a huge milestone, as over 30,000 visitors went to the website in one day on July 11. Prior to the campaign pause and the creative reboot in response to the COVID impact, the site was averaging 6,000 visitors daily. The campaign is now launched in 24 states.

Two CUAD Members Recognized as Top Credit Unions by Forbes Magazine.

This is relatively old news for some, but I wanted to offer my congratulations to two of our Dakota credit unions on being named among “America’s Best Credit Unions in Each State” by Forbes. In North Dakota, Capital Credit Union, Bismarck, was listed as North Dakota’s best credit union, and in South Dakota, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, Huron, received the honor.

The recognition is based on a nationwide consumer/member survey conducted by Forbes and market research firm Statista. For the survey, more than 25,000 customers in the U.S. were asked for their opinions on their current and former banking relationships. Financial institutions were scored on overall recommendations and satisfaction, as well as trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice. Only 3.5% of all credit unions made the list. Overall, survey respondents gave their banks a satisfactory score of 4.2 on average, while credit unions averaged a 4.5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating possible). Keep up the great work! You can review the Forbes article here.

Have a great week!




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