by Paul Brucker, President of Railway CU and CULAC Ambassador
I’m writing to give our Dakota Credit Union Association (DakCU) staff a big shout out today. In an oversight, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), where staff is still primarily working remotely, missed processing our final year-end contribution to our Federal PAC. This resulted in both of our states’ placement and national standings being incorrect, and below where they should have been.
For a very long time, we have taken much pride in finishing at or near the top in comparison to all the other states and leagues in this challenge. In addition, winning the contest gives us a seat on the all-important National CULAC Executive Committee, which I currently hold.
However, in a “happy ending” to this story, once the error was detected, DakCU President/CEO Jeff Olson jumped into action – he demanded the error be addressed and corrected immediately. Once it was remedied, we finished 1st (North Dakota) and 3rd (South Dakota) in the nation. Great job everyone!
I should also mention that North Dakota’s 1st place status means they receive the CULAC Vanguard Award, which is awarded annually to the state that raised the highest percentage of their annual goal. North Dakota raised 253% of their established goal in 2021!
The GAC will soon be upon us. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this year as I’m moving my daughter back from Texas at the same time. However, my good friend and the SD CULAC Ambassador Chad Moller from Dakotaland FCU has graciously agreed to represent both states in Washington, DC. Once again, there will be a CULAC fundraising sweepstakes this year, and I thank you in advance for your support in this endeavor.
Finally, I have been doing some reflecting on our movement and our progression over the many years I have been active in the industry. While we “survivors” have all grown tremendously, I am concerned that we may be losing some of our collaborative makeup.
It is crucial that we keep our collaborative nature as we continue to grow. While it may seem like we are all becoming “big players” in our individual markets, the stats still show we only hold about 5% - 6% of the market share. In fact, our percentage has not increased in the past decade.
We have been able to achieve our current level of success through our collaboration, sharing, and support of our state and national trade associations. In our market here in Bismarck, Railway CU, Vue Community CU, Capital CU and First Community CU all cross paths and compete in certain areas. That said, I can share with confidence that regardless of that competition, the presidents of each of our shops are always willing to help and share with each other when ever assistance is needed. We need to maintain this collaborative mentality across credit union land, as our industry is much too small for us to survive as individuals. We truly are stronger together!
CULAC is the federal Legislative Action Council for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and is the national PAC that contributes to our federal candidates with heavy input from the Dakota Credit Union Association.
Paul Brucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701.557.7140.
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