Dakota credit union advocates trek to DC for Fall Legislative/Regulatory Hike the Hill.
Good Monday morning and greetings from our nation’s capital! After a three-year hiatus, we are back in Washington, DC for our Fall Legislative/Regulatory Hike the Hill. This week, 14 Dakota credit union advocates are here to engage with regulatory leaders and our Dakota lawmakers.
Nearly every day, our congressional leaders are blasted with thousands of phone calls, letters, and emails from constituents and special interest groups, all clamoring for their attention and time. It’s very hard to break through all that noise! However, we have learned that lawmakers take notice to personal one-on-one contact – and that’s where our Hike the Hill efforts come in. These face-to-face contacts directly help us as we successfully build and enhance our personal relationships with our representatives.
Since 2010, the members of the Dakota Credit Union Association have successfully engaged in this grassroots advocacy approach, and many of our elected officials are paying attention. For those of you who have participated in a “Hike,” either on one of our fall visits or during the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) each February, you know firsthand that these visits have been instrumental in educating and persuading lawmakers and key staff members to support many of our credit union issues.
This concept not only works with our congressional leaders, but it is also an effective approach that our Dakota credit union advocates use with our regulators as well. With the impact of the ongoing regulatory burdens, it’s important that we also meet and have personal dialogue with the NCUA and the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) during our time in DC. Many of our participants come prepared with personal stories and instances that describe how certain rules and regulations that harm consumers and are directly preventing credit unions from serving their members.
So, this year, we’re again looking forward to positive results from our dialogues. We will be discussing credit card interchange, member security and data privacy issues, and ongoing fraud. We’ll also come prepared to engage our regulators on overdraft protection matters that impact our members, as well as appraisal issues, member expulsion, and statutory maturity changes on commercial loans. Plus, we’ll advocate our support for credit union modernization legislation such as S. 4323, which will allow credit union boards more flexibility with mandatory meetings each year. We will also support the exemptions in the legislation for credit unions with a low CAMELS composite rating, credit unions with a low management component rating, as they stabilize operations.
I invite you to follow our exclusive Hike-the-Hill activities on our social media platforms and later this week in The Memo as we wrap up these important meetings.
September is a celebration of credit union “Herstory.”
Last month, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) celebrated its 88th anniversary as an organization and a movement. This month, America's Credit Union Museum, located in the original location of America’s first credit union in Manchester, NH, is launching their new Credit Union Women Making History – Herstory exhibit. This exhibit celebrates and honors the past, present, and future of incredible women in the credit union industry; Herstory will be an interactive exhibit showcasing inspiring stories never heard before.
The new exhibit will premiere during the museum’s 20th Anniversary celebration. In addition to a physical display at the museum, the exhibit will have an online presence that shares stories through virtual visits. There are many women leaders in our movement that we know and celebrate often. Most notably, there is Louise McCarren Herring who is often referred to as “the mother of the credit union movement” and one the pioneer leaders of the movement in the United States. Then there was Dora Maxwell who tirelessly traveled and secured charters for hundreds of credit unions throughout the United States. Both Louise and Dora were among the original signers of CUNA's constitution at Estes Park, Colorado. There have been many more, but those two certainly should be top of mind when we talk about credit union leadership.
Since the museum is celebrating women leaders in our movement, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate some of our own credit union leaders – outstanding women, right here in the Dakotas.
Today in the Dakotas, we have 42 women who sit in the president/CEO/manager chair. That means that 63 percent of the leadership positions in the Dakotas are held by women! And it doesn’t stop there. A quick look into our DakCU membership database shows that there are 278 women volunteers serving Dakota credit unions! An amazing 164 of them serve on credit union boards, with 52 serving as board chair and 17 serving as vice chair. The other 114 women volunteer and serve on supervisory committees.
Let us take a moment and celebrate these individuals for their accomplishments, service and contributions to their credit union, their members, and their community. Thank you for your service and continued leadership!
For those of you that sit in that leadership chair today, you may want to take a moment and thank those leaders that came before you. Therefore, we couldn’t let America’s Credit Union Museum celebrate credit union ‘Herstory’ without a shout out to our very own Marvel!
Marvel Ebenhan became a credit union CEO in 1952, when there were very few women anywhere that sat in a CEO chair or in any leadership position, especially in the financial services industry. Nonetheless, at a credit union located in the middle of North Dakota farm country, there emerged a strong, highly successful, and enduring leader. While we can’t verify this, we’re pretty sure that Marvel’s tenure of 63+ years as a credit union CEO is a record of some sort. Here’s to “Herstory” month – and thank you, Marvel, for blazing the trail. You can view a video of Marvel’s accomplishments here.
A few important reminders
Our 2022 New Ideas Conference is just three weeks away! (Be sure to note today's related Memo story, as today is the final day to reserve a hotel room in the DakCU block.) This year, we are headed to the Black Leg Ranch just outside of Bismarck. We have an excellent lineup of speakers and topics, and for $349 this learning opportunity truly is a bargain! The theme “People – Product – Purpose” encompasses positive relationship building with both members and in the workplace. As always, this conference will leave you reinvigorated and inspired with new concepts and real, actionable steps you can implement at your organization immediately. More details and registration is available here.
Speaking of the New Ideas Conference, don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets for the Dakota Credit Union Foundation’s fundraiser! The big prize is a pair of top-rated e-bikes, and the drawing will be held during the conference. We are selling just 250 tickets at $50 each (limit of 5 per person or organization) and all proceeds will support the Foundation. Details and tickets are available here.
Finally, credit union professionals in the Bismarck-Mandan area are encouraged to join us for Pints & Politics this Thursday, September 15 at Lucky’s Bar. These free social events bring legislators, aspiring legislators, and credit union professionals together to discuss items that are important to our industry. I hope to see many of you there; kindly RSVP here. If you are looking for an upcoming event in your area, you can find more dates and locations here.
Have a great week!
The Memo is DakCU's newsletter that keeps
Want the Memo delivered straight to your inbox?