The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving week!


Not to be redundant or trite, but this year has been a challenging one for us all. Each one of us has had our share of struggles and uncertainty. Fortunately, for one out of every three Dakotans, credit unions have been there to help them navigate through the pandemic crisis by assisting them with their financial needs.


We could say that credit unions were built for times like these. As always, we put members first at a time when they desperately need our services.


Even though the Thanksgiving Holiday and celebration will undoubtedly be different this year for many of us, there are still many things that we are thankful for here at the Dakota Credit Union Association.


First and foremost, I want to thank you for your continued partnership and support, especially this year as we have had to connect mostly through digital engagement. We have worked hard to stay connected, and we thank you for your patience and participation on our digital platforms.


I am thankful for a terrific and 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. Advocacy has never played a more important role in assisting credit unions in our effort to serve our members. This year the CUNA/League system worked hard to support and expand policy that directly helped us all navigate through the COVID pandemic.


I am also thankful for an engaged and active board of directors and committee members: credit union leaders who have been 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 Dakota Credit Union Association. Credit unions truly are the best financial choice for consumers, families, and communities. We will continue working hard, provide value, and increase our relevancy to credit unions of all sizes.


Thank you for your confidence and continued support.


When we moved our offices to the second floor from the basement this spring, I came across this poem that I found packed in a box of historic items. It is a “Thanksgiving Poem” that was published in the November North Dakota Credit Union League Builder Newsletter in 1951. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!



And is this then the only way,

The feasting and the fun,

Just to give thanks for one short day,

Then feel that all is done?


The Pilgrims feasted long ago,

The bitter with the sweet;

Theirs was a thanks we cannot know,

Yet faith made it complete.


We walk the road their courage blazed,

We reap what they have sown;

Yet can we praise as they have praised

For Freedom, Faith, and Home?


Then thank the Giver all the way,

For sun and shadow too;

You’ll find that Thanksgiving Day

Will last the whole year through.


~Author Unknown


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