The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Monday!

As we continue to celebrate National Co-op Month, I want to thank you all for your amazing support and promotion of International Credit Union Day last week. I saw many social media stories and posts from credit unions all across the Dakotas celebrating our movement and inspiring hope and raising awareness of the credit union difference. Be sure to check out the related Memo story today to see what some of our member credit unions did last week!

Advancing Communities – One Member at a Time.

As we shared at the Summit meetings in Sioux Falls earlier this month, the Dakota Credit Union Association is partnering with CUNA on the America’s Credit Unions Advancing Communities initiative. I am excited to share that the campaign is set to go live this week.

In simple terms, the Advancing Communities campaign is a collaborative CUNA-League strategy to proactively defend the credit union tax status and to demonstrate the economic value of credit unions and the credit union difference through the lens of community impact. It combines factual economic and statistical data with real-life stories from credit unions and members.

Since it is designed to neutralize any potential state-level threats to the credit union tax status when state tax reform is discussed or the bankers are calling for limits to credit union powers, the Advancing Communities website is designed to educate and garner support from prominent leaders in the legislature who view credit unions as valued partners rather than just another group to be taxed or over-regulated.

Dakota Credit Unions have a long history of kindness and giving back. It’s driven by our commitment to community and to helping our neighbors. As a movement, we deliver on our core mission and Dakota credit unions do amazing things every day to help people and their communities – one member and one community at a time.  

The Dakota Credit Union Association’s Advocacy and Communication teams will be reaching out to you soon to provide information and details on how you can engage your members to share their credit union story on the Advancing Communities site. Visit Advancing Communities to review the overall campaign, and notice how each state is highlighted.

Visit the ND Advancing Communities page here.

Visit the SD Advancing Communities page here.

Healthcare Trust Update.

Our North Dakota Health Benefits members should be receiving their 2021 renewal rates. The South Dakota Trust is moving forward, and prospective South Dakota credit unions have received our benefit plan options and rates for 2021. We realize that many of you are just getting your current provider renewal rates and haven’t yet had a chance to compare your plans and prospective rates. There will be one more virtual call with our Trust consultant and benefit experts with prospective South Dakota members before the end of the month. Look for an email invite from me sometime this week.

2021 Planning and Educational Conferences.

This year certainly has provided its share of challenges, and with 2021 not that far around the corner, we are facing more uncertainty. Truth be told, no one can accurately predict when the COVID crisis will end, or when effective vaccine or more preventive therapeutics will be available. Therefore, as we plan ahead, we’ll be considering all options for both in-person training, workshops, and virtual opportunities to connect next year.

As you can imagine, this is no easy task. Normally we hit the ground running each January with Roundtables, Legislative Socials, and our MONDAK CEO and Volunteer event, as well as the CUNA GAC in February. We already know that CUNA has transitioned the GAC into a virtual event next year. As we carefully consider our options, we will continue to monitor things here in the Dakotas and around the country. We’ll keep you posted on our plans and we may be reaching out to get your thoughts on event participation.

In response to it all, I am amazed every day to see our movement come together to inspire hope and to help our members and communities. As bleak as things can sometimes look, it’s credit unions here in the Dakotas and elsewhere that are there for our members in so many ways. Like all of you, I’m proud to be part of a movement that makes a difference for the lives of our members and the communities that we serve.

Have a terrific week and stay healthy and safe.




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