Greetings and Happy Monday! Even with the winter weather warnings hitting our region this week, I must admit it’s nice to be back in the Dakotas after nearly a week away at the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) annual winter meetings which were held in Charleston, South Carolina.
As you may know, AACUL is the national association for the state and regional credit union leagues and associations. We partner with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and work collaboratively to strengthen the credit union system by leveraging the collective power of our members to influence policy that advances the credit union movement. The winter meetings are a great way to highlight the collective work we accomplished throughout the year and consider our strategic objectives for the upcoming year.
This past week, league professionals in advocacy and government affairs, league service corps executives, and state league foundations joined the CUNA Board of directors and other systems partners such as the National Association of State Regulators (NASCUS) and their credit union advisory board, the National Credit Union Foundation, and CUNA Mutual Group for important updates and dialogue.
A couple of the highlights was a half day of dialogue with our NCUA Region 3 director, Cherie Freed last Tuesday, and an informal Q & A panel discussion with NCUA Chair, Todd Harper (photo above) during the general session on Thursday.
It has been my privilege to lead AACUL this past year as board chair and I am honored that my colleagues have elected me to serve in this capacity for another year. One of the other duties as the AACUL chair is to serve on the CUNA Board in an ex-officio capacity.
Senator Thune Calls Out ESG Policy that harms farm and ranch credit union members.
Senator John Thune (SD) used his Senate floor time last week to stand up for Dakota credit unions and banks and our concerns that the administration’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies could damage our ability to serve our farm and ranch members and rural communities. Here is a link to the Senator’s floor speech.
Credit unions across the Dakotas are engaged in financing farm and ranch producers, with many located in rural communities. In fact, most of these credit unions were initially chartered to serve their farming and ranch members. We also have credit unions that support peripheral businesses in the energy sector here, such as oil, gas, and coal. Some credit unions have already experienced securitization in recent exams from the NCUA and a few have been told to eliminate these loans from their portfolios.
In our region, agriculture extends well beyond crops and livestock. It includes Agritourism, agribusiness and food processing, equipment manufacturing and dealerships, innovative technology, local food and farmers markets, and agricultural education. All contribute to our states’ thriving predominant industry.
Agriculture is everything from seeds and fertilizers to the food, feed, fiber, and fuel (ethanol) we all use each day. As a prime exporter of agricultural products, we are often cited as the “breadbasket of the world,” and we are the leading producer of at least 14 different commodities as well as a close second to a great many more. We appreciate Senator Thune’s attention and support on this important issue.
Final 2022 CEO Town Hall tomorrow!
We understand that it’s a busy time of year for us all, but I’m hoping that many of you can join us for a Dakota credit union update tomorrow as we host our final CEO Town Hall Tuesday of the Year. A meeting link was sent out via email several weeks ago. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need me to resend the link. Also, feel free to share it with a team member if you can’t make it. As a reminder, the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA) Executive Director, Linda White, will be our special guest - find out how CUWLA “Empowers the women who power the movement.” We will also have updates on our recent advocacy efforts, the State-Wide Awareness Program, compliance must-knows, as well as our current strategic partnerships. The meeting will last approximately 30-40 minutes; hope to see many of you via Zoom, Tuesday December 13 at 3:00 p.m. (CT).
MonDak Early Bird Registration expiring soon
Just a few days remain where you can save $50 per registration for the MonDak Roundtable with our Early Bird discount which expires on December 15. These popular meetings utilize high-level discussion and thought leadership from your credit union peers in our region, exclusively for senior management, CEOs, and volunteer board members. We have an exciting, fast-paced two-day schedule and an amazing educational opportunity for board members to further their skills in evaluating credit union finances, monitoring policies and practices, and guiding your credit union’s future, as well as an exclusive opportunity for credit union leaders to collaborate and share ideas. Sign up here.
GAC Crasher applications close – waiting for announcement!
We are happy to share that multiple Dakota young credit union professionals have applied for the GAC Crasher program this year – with two applications from North Dakota and six from South Dakota. So, we are certain to be well-represented in Washington DC at the biggest credit union event of the year! The Cooperative Trust will be finalizing the application process soon and applications are being reviewed by Filene; we will be sure to announce as soon as we hear who the selected Dakota Crashers will be. As you know, these spots are highly coveted with many deserving applicants. DakCU will be helping our selected crashers attend in February with financial assistance scholarships. If you are not selected this year, do not hesitate to try again next year or anytime in the future.
Small Credit Union Scholarship Opportunity!
Speaking of the CUNA GAC, here is a scholarship contest for the CUNA Small Credit Union Community! Two winners will be randomly selected; to enter record a video of yourself, or another member of your staff, describing a time when your credit union helped a member in a significant and meaningful way. (Full contest rules here). Simply upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and then embed the video into a Discussion post in the Community. All entries will be compiled for a random drawing on January 23. Another reason to participate is to help us in our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. All videos submitted for the contest will also be uploaded to the Advancing Communities webpage, which we share with every member of Congress to ensure they understand the difference credit unions make in the lives of their members and in their communities. With potential upcoming battles around interchange and data security in Congress, the more videos we have on the site, the clearer the picture we can send to Congress about keeping the operating environment strong for credit unions nationwide.
Hoping to connect with you during our CEO Town Hall call tomorrow – have a terrific week!
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