It was great to connect with many of you last week in Fargo during our 17th Summit and annual meetings. Not only did we have a record turnout, but we had a very successful event with inspirational speakers, educational breakout sessions, an awards banquet, and a special performance from Kat Perkins to wrap it all up.
One of the highlights was the message shared by Lisa Ginter, CUNA Board Chair, as she inspired us all to be engaged both in our communities and in our movement. She also encouraged us to “be bold” and to think big as we continue our mission of financial well-being for all. We are especially grateful to Lisa for the prizes she donated to our silent auction: An autographed jersey by the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, and a signed helmet by the Chief’s head coach, Andy Reid. Her unexpected contributions certainly added to the excitement – and also increased bidding activity during our GAC Silent Auction, which generated a record result in both bids and income this year!
On a sidenote, DakCU has already began planning for our 18th Summit, which is scheduled May 14-16, 2024, at the Grand Casino & Golf Resort just southeast of Sioux Falls in Larchwood, IA. Be sure to mark your calendars!
Kohlman inducted into Dakota CU Hall of Fame
Last week, I also had the distinct pleasure of honoring Mindee Kohlman, retiring president/CEO of Aspire CU, with the Dakota Credit Union Association Hall of Fame award during the Summit Awards Banquet. The Hall of Fame honor is a lifetime achievement recognition, and the most prestigious of all DakCU awards.
Mindee Kohlman is a true servant leader who has a long history of supporting her credit union team and the credit union industry, both locally and nationally. During her years of service, she has led by example, demonstrating her commitment to her organization and to her community with a rare combination of professionalism and care. She had led with grace and dignity and is well deserving of this lifetime achievement honor. Again, my most sincere congratulations to Mindee. As part of the presentation, a video was shared that captures not only her accomplishments, but the impact she has had on the lives of those she has influenced. You can watch the video here.
I would also like to congratulate our other top honorees: David Neff, Railway CU, was recognized with the Emerging Leader Award; Larry Peterson, Coteau Valley FCU, earned the Volunteer of the Year Award; and Kevin Kleingartner, Railway CU, received our Professional of the Year Award. Again, thanks to these and our many other Dakota credit union professionals who continue to make a difference every day.
Thank you for your outstanding support!
A big part of our Annual Summit meetings is the various “give back” projects and fundraisers we hold during the event. This year, our GAC Silent Auction fundraiser that supports the Roger Heacock Scholarship fund raised nearly $7,000. Our Dakota Credit Union Foundation Vacation Sweepstakes raised $10,750 – exceeding our goal of $10,000. Dakota credit unions also stepped up and contributed 110 gift cards for Sanford Children’s Hospital to the tune of $2,750. Once again, the generosity of our credit unions and their staff and members was on full display. Thank you for making this part of DakCU’s Summit a huge success!
Schaefbauer appointed Trustee to DakCU’s HBT
Last week, DakCU’s Board of Directors appointed Jim Schaefbauer, CEO of United Savings CU (Fargo, ND) as Trustee for the Health Benefits Trust. Jim fills a vacant Trustee seat. We appreciate his willingness to serve on this committee; his advanced skills in accounting and leadership will be an asset as we continue to provide quality healthcare benefits to credit union staff and their families throughout the Dakotas.
Professionals Forum & Foundation Golf Scramble
The next major DakCU event, our CU Professionals Forum, is scheduled for August 15th in Fargo. Details will be announced soon for the agenda and location. In conjunction with that meeting, we will be holding our 7th annual Dakota CU Foundation Golf Scramble on August 16th at Rose Creek Golf Course, also in Fargo. Come to the Forum and stay for a day on this beautiful golf course to support our Foundation! Registration will be open soon; meanwhile, please mark those calendars.
Buy Local Spend Local launch webinar today!
There’s still time to join our webinar to learn more about an exciting new marketing opportunity, “Buy Local Spend Local.” This program connects credit union members to local businesses through their relationship with your credit union. Supporting local businesses is all the rage, and this program can take your credit union’s debit and credit card program to the next level. DakCU is hosting a “launch webinar” today, Tuesday, May 16th at 2:00 p.m. (CT). Join Jim Kasch and DakCU staff to further delve into this unique program and how it can benefit your local community, your members, and your credit union. Register for this free event here.
Something big is coming…
We are taking the advice from CUNA Board Chair, Lisa Ginter, and we’re going BOLD. Last Thursday after the close of our 2023 Summit, several North Dakota credit union representatives joined DakCU staff for a tour at the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo. During our visit, an opportunity was presented for North Dakota credit unions to join in a very bold campaign to fund a new micro-preemie unit. If we accept this challenge, we will have exclusive naming rights and recognition for this entire treatment area. This would be an incredible credit union awareness and public relations opportunity for all involved, not to mention helping to serve our state’s most vulnerable children closer to home. Our hope is that every North Dakota credit union will pledge to support this campaign. More details will be shared very soon, so stay tuned, this is going to BIG and IMPACTFUL!
Have a great week,
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