Greetings and Happy New Year!
Let me begin our 2022 Memo “kickoff” edition by wishing you all a very Happy New Year! I sincerely wish for you all a bright new year filled with many blessings, good health, and a lot of success.
This will be my fourteenth year here at the association, and I am truly blessed with the opportunity to work with all of you in advancing the movement here in the Dakotas. An annual tradition for me is sharing this quote from Teddy Roosevelt that fits perfectly with how I feel about the work we are doing on your behalf: Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Without your continued support, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide you the service, support, and leadership necessary in promoting and maintaining a strong and favorable credit union environment throughout the Dakotas. Let’s rock 2022!
2022 is the Year of Financial Well-Being for All!
For nearly one hundred years, we have been fulfilling the credit union mission of “people helping people.” As a member owned financial cooperative, that’s what we do. Moving forward, you will be hearing me, our Foundation Board, and others in the credit union movement across the country talking about financial well-being for all!
While this may be the new moniker for credit unions in 2022 and beyond, I see it more as a “talk-shift.” What does that mean? Perhaps is it time to shift the conversation. The term “talk-shift” was created by bestselling author Krister Ungerböck, and basically means that simple changes and adjustments elevate communication, morale, performance, and growth. Financial well-being for all is a system-wide initiative in the credit union movement where we will focus on the financial health and well-being of our individual members while continuing to advance the communities we serve. If you already haven’t heard about it, you will be hearing much more moving forward.
First, what is "financial well-being for all," how do we define it? Succinctly: It’s what people do with their money and how they feel about their money. Over the past several years, much research and work have been done at the national level to craft a definition of financial well-being. “For all” means just that: all demographics, all income levels, all parts of our U.S.A. and all people. Financial education and literacy are certainly a part of it, and it’s also so much more.
Financial well-being is:
Why should credit unions get behind this? Again, it’s what our financial cooperative mission is truly about, and it supports the seventh cooperative principle, “concern for community,” and our commitment to contribute to the sustainability of the communities we serve. The truth is that it is good for business! Financially healthy members lead to healthy credit unions and healthy communities. Strong membership growth, greater member loyalty, and solid employee engagement are not merely benefits of this work; they’re an unambiguous sign of relevance in the marketplace and fulfillment of the credit union mission.
It is also good for advocacy. Policymakers seek proof from financial institutions of the true impact they are making to improve the financial lives of all constituents. Credit unions have an opportunity to highlight the good work they do through a data-driven lens and impact storytelling, enabling them to maintain their tax-exempt status.
Finally, it is key to credit union survival. Our movement faces a continual existential threat to our special tax status and to our independence – and putting financial well-being for all in the spotlight makes it much more difficult for these outside attacks to be successful. I hope you are ready to get on board, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding this initiative.
Montana & Dakota Credit Union Leagues “Border Battle” to Benefit CMN Hospitals.
I know that the end of December was hectic, and perhaps many of you took vacation time over the holidays. (In fact, you may already have some information on this in deep in your email inbox, but I want to remind you in case it slipped by.)
Just prior to the year-end break, we announced a friendly wager with our friends and colleagues from the Montana Credit Union League around the upcoming Collegiate (FCS) Football championship game between the North Dakota State Bison and the Montana State Bobcats. These two successful football programs will face off for the national championship and boarder bragging rights this Saturday, January 8th in Frisco, TX.
Granted, it’s not the Border Battle we wanted, (NDSU-SDSU championship match-up), but we are inviting our North Dakota credit union leaders (and South Dakota leaders too) to back the Bison and join in on the friendly fundraising competition by placing a “pledge wager” to help us fundraise for CU4Kids and our Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. The state that takes the FCS title in Texas also takes all combined funds raised – to go to the winning state’s CMN Hospital!
AND – for an “extra kicker” – my friend and colleague, Traci Kenyon of Montana's Credit Unions and I have pledged that one of us will wear the winning team's jersey during our combined conference (MonDak Roundtable) in Las Vegas the first week of February.
No matter the outcome of the football game, our objective is to raise funds for our local CMN Hospitals, which makes us all winners! Plus, we can have some good-natured fun in the process. To help us “get this party started,” The Dakota Credit Union Foundation has pledged $2,000 to “kick off” our challenge! Can you help by making a donation?
Please make your pledge here by Thursday, January 6th – both personal and corporate donations are welcome! You can also Text-to-Give! Simply text the keyword dakcu to 56651 to start your donation and follow the prompts to a secure payment page.
The winner of the “Border Battle” will be announced following the BIG GAME on January 8th and a presentation will be made at the MonDak Roundtable in Las Vegas on February 8, 2022. The challenge will culminate with a check presentation at the MonDak meetings in Las Vegas, February 8-9 with one of the league CEOs wearing Green and Gold or Blue and Gold. (I hope Traci looks good in Green and Gold!)
Some Final Reminders!
For our first event of the new year, we are heading back to the South Dakota State Capitol for our annual SD Credit Union Legislative Day on January 26. Complete agenda along with hotel information and registration can be found here. This is a free event for DakCU members; however, we do want you to register so we can plan accordingly. I hope to see many of you there!
Then, if you are ready to escape the cold weather for a few days, registration is open for the 5th Annual MonDak Volunteer and CEO Roundtable meetings in Las Vegas, February 8-9. Conference registration is just $429, and you can find the complete agenda, along with speaker information and accommodations here on our website.
Last but not least, there is still an opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas. The 2022 Membership Survey link was sent out prior to the end of the year. Your feedback is important and necessary for us. Please take a moment to complete the questionnaire; it should take less than five minutes to complete. If you need the survey link, contact Lindsey Hefta today.
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