The President's Perspective
Greetings and Happy Easter Week!
As we prepare to close out another month and a very busy first quarter for credit unions, I hope that many of you are planning to join us for our next Dakota CU Leadership Virtual Town Hall scheduled for this Thursday, April 1 at 11:00 a.m. CT. We will be providing updates on our legislative work in both South Dakota and North Dakota, share important updates on regulatory matters, and introduce the new strategic leadership partnership exclusive to DakCU affiliates. If you did not receive the invite, be sure to contact me.
In-person meeting scheduled with Senator Cramer April 8th.
It has been a very busy couple of months in Washington, D.C. as the 117th Congress hit the ground running in January. As legislators continue to focus on helping the country recover from the impact of the COVID Pandemic, many issues impacting the financial industry and consumers have been introduced and are current being debated. That said, we are in the process of rescheduling our virtual meetings with Congressman Armstrong (ND), and with Senator Rounds (SD) and anticipate that these will take place soon after the Easter break.
We have scheduled an in-person meeting with Senator Cramer at his Bismarck Office on Thursday, April 8th at 2:30 p.m. CT. We are encouraging North Dakota credit union advocates to join us for this important dialogue with the Senator; however, we are limited to 10 participants. Please contact Jay Kruse as soon as possible if you are interested.
Cramer joins bipartisan group of Senators in sponsoring SAFE Banking Act.
Last week, Senator Cramer joined a bipartisan group of 30 Senators in sponsoring the SAFE Banking Act of 2021, which would provide a safe harbor for credit unions and depository institutions seeking to serve legitimate cannabis-related businesses in states where such activity is legal. A House version was introduced last week. The SAFE Banking Act passed the House in 2019, and CUNA testified before both House and Senate committees in support.
Also last week, Senator Cramer and Rep. Andy Barr (KY), introduced the Fair Access to Banking Act legislation that takes aim at the influence of the “woke corporate cancel culture” on banking to prevent discrimination by banks and financial service providers against constitutionally protected industries and law-abiding businesses.
In a statement, Senator Cramer stated, “There is no place in our society for discrimination, and big banks are no exception. Financial service providers do not have the right to circumvent the Constitution or the law to create de-facto bans on legally compliant businesses like energy producers or firearms manufacturers when they believe it is politically convenient. Our legislation makes it illegal to do so and imposes serious consequences on those who choose to violate the law.”
DakCU hosting next CUNA Small CU Webinar on April 6th.
I sincerely many of you have been taking advantage of the Small Credit Union Webinars each Tuesday. In a collaborative effort, CUNA and nearly every state League has been presenting this weekly series of important topics specifically designed for small credit unions. Next week, Tuesday, April 6th at 2:00 p.m. CT it’s our turn! I am pleased to share that Dakota Credit Union Association will be hosting “Show me the Money - How grants can benefit your credit union, your members, and your community.” Our very own Amy Kleinschmit will introduce this webinar with special guests Tawney Brunsch and Mike Beall. Tawney is the Executive Director of Lakota Funds, the first Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) on a reservation. She was instrumental in the charter of Lakota Federal Credit Union, the first federally insured financial institution on the Pine Ridge Reservation since 1935. Mike is a consultant with expertise in credit union strategic planning and grant writing. If you haven’t yet, you can register here.
Reminder: Nominations due for DakCU Board of Directors.
The 2021 nominating committee is hard at work and they would love to hear from individuals interested in serving on the Dakota Credit Union Association Board of Directors. Our board is made up of seven members, of which two positions are up for election. The voting will take place as part of our Annual Business Meeting which will be held on Tuesday May 4 during the Summit in Fargo.
The two seats up for election this year are: North Dakota Division C, currently held by Darla Schafer, Flasher Community CU; and Multi-State At Large, currently held by Sean Rinkenberger, First Community CU. The deadline to submit a signed nomination is April 5, 2021. Please reach out to the Jane Duerre, Chair of the Nominating Committee at email@example.com if you are interested in serving or would like to learn more. We are always thankful for the support, guidance, and passion of our volunteers that choose to serve.
Last Chance to Send an Emerging Leader to the Summit!
The deadline to apply for one of our Crasher spots for this year’s Summit is this Wednesday, March 31. If you have an emerging leader at your credit union, I encourage you to have them apply. Crashers receive free conference registration, plus it is a great way for them to build a network of peers and experience the industry on the next level. Details here or contact George McDonald.
Upcoming Events to Keep in Mind
Position Your CU for the Future
You can still register for Ctrl+Alt+Innovate on April 7 – 8, a virtual innovation conference featuring demos and panel discussions from six technology companies, as well as three “tech talk” breakouts, and a keynote session. Advance your fintech knowledge, power your financial growth, and position your credit union for the future. Two half-days for just $99!
Our Signature Event – The Annual Summit
We are now only five weeks away from our biggest event of the year – the Annual Summit May 3 – 4 in Fargo. This year we have exceptional educational sessions including branding, credit union law and compliance, succeeding in a competitive market, as well as industry economics and leadership development. Along with our Annual Business Meeting and elegant Awards Banquet, this is the one event you do not want to miss.
Have a great week!
Dakota Credit Union Association
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