The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday!


Fall was in the air around the Dakotas this weekend, perhaps the kick-off the high school football season had something to do with it. Technically, Fall doesn’t ‘officially’ happen for another three weeks, however, the primary harvest season has been in full swing for many weeks already and we’re hearing that early yields look good.  


The Fall Season generally is the time of year we ‘kick-off’ our fall education events and like everyone else, most of our plans have either been rescheduled or postponed. After months of the uncertainty of our in-person meetings and conferences, we are moving forward with our plans to sponsor and hold an abbreviated in-person Summit & Annual Business Meeting on October 5-6 in Sioux Falls, at the Denny Sanford Premier Convention Center and Sheraton Sioux Falls.


Check out these messages from our featured Keynote Speakers: 

Joe Schmit – Award-winning broadcaster, community leader, author, and popular keynote speaker will help us kick off the event on day one. Joe will be speaking about leadership skills drawn from his two acclaimed books as he presents “Impact Leadership: Influence through purpose, persistence, and passion.” He has presented to hundreds of organizations including Ford Motor Company, 3M, Mayo Clinic, United Health Group, the Minnesota Wild, and the Minnesota Twins! Listen to Joe’s message here.



Shawna Suckow – Our closing keynote speaker with some serious knowledge of sales, marketing, and consumer behavior will entertain and inform with her topic, “Your Best Day.” In addition, Shawna will be leading an excellent breakout session, “How to be More Memorable in Credit Union Marketing.” The author of four books with two bestsellers, she has spoken in 17 countries on 5 continents, and has been named a “Global Top 100 Women Business & Tech Speakers.” Listen to Shawna’s message here.


Summit Registration is Open!
You already know the Summit is our signature event and our biggest educational and networking conference of the year. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surrounding uncertainty, your Association has put together another terrific leadership and educational event featuring national and regional presenters. In addition to regulated health and safety standards put in place, we will all need to adapt to a new conference normal. I trust you each will make personal decisions that work best for you and your current situation.

Check out the new schedule here. Registration is open, and folks are signing up!


The case to meet in-person is a compelling one. We’re all looking forward to safely gathering and the opportunity to meet and have professional dialogue. I’m sincerely looking forward to connecting with many of our members at the Summit,

The Alloya Reconnect Summit Scholarships are still available for Dakota Small credit unions under $35M in assets. While many of these scholarships have already been spoken for, we do have a handful remaining! Each individual scholarship is valued at $350 and will cover Summit registration fees. Get the full details here.


South Dakota HealthCare Trust Update.
We have been working most of the summer with prospective administrators in South Dakota on prospective employee benefit plans and rates for credit unions that are interested in joining the Association’s Healthcare Trust program. We will be hosting a live virtual Town Hall in the very near future to share this information. We’ll share meeting details here in the MEMO and be on the lookout for an email invitation in your inbox.

Annual Credit Union Foundation Golf Outing Raises the Bar Again!  
As we shared here in the MEMO last week, the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas (CUFD) the Fourth Annual Golf Scramble raised nearly $11,000 this year, increasing revenue by approximately $3,000 over last year’s event!  
On behalf of the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakota’s, I want to thank the credit union professionals and vendor partners that took part in our 4th annual event. All proceeds raised go directly to the CUFD which than help in our efforts to advance communities throughout the Dakotas through education scholarships, community and social impact grants, financial health and education grants, and support for children's charities in the region.

Election Season is in Full Swing.
The 2020 campaign season has been anything but normal this year. Having to pivot to virtual events this year, both the Republican and Democratic parties wrapped up their respective conventions over the past two weeks.  As of today, we’re just 64 days away from the general election. Even though the pandemic is still a part of all our lives, it’s more important than ever to get credit unions’ members to vote and vote safely. Our partners at CUNA have provided a terrific tool that helps credit unions directly engage their members in the ‘get-out-to-vote’ effort through the MAP Campaign. Just download, customize, and distribute one of the templates to send your members to for all the information they’ll need to cast a ballot in their state, including making sure they’re registered, finding their polling place, and any early voting information. The site is updated regularly to correspond with any state and local changes as they arise, and now we need you to do your part.  

Voting here in the Dakotas is simple and seamless. In fact, early voting polls open later this month in South Dakota on September 18 and on October 19 in North Dakota.  Both states have posted healthy voting tips. You can find healthy, secure, and safe ways to cast your ballot this year at these sites.

South Dakota Safe Voter Information

North Dakota Sage Voter Information

Small Credit Union Webinar Series is Becoming a Favorite Tool for Dakota CUs.

The Credit Union movement successfully thrives on collaborating and cooperation. One great example of that is the free CUNA-League System Small CU Webinar Series I hope you take advantage of this opportunity. The series provides relevant and operation-improving best practices while bringing free education to small credit unions on the most important issues they face. Each live webinar takes place on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. CT (1:00 p.m. MT) now through Spring 2021. The Small CU Webinar Series is designed for credit unions $75M and under in assets.

Here are some upcoming dates and topics:

  • September 1: Succession planning
  • September 8: History of the movement
  • September 15: Financial counseling
  • September 22: Performance management
  • September 29: Lending

Register here for the series. For additional information, including a complete lineup of upcoming topics, click here.

Have a great week!



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