The President's Perspective
Greetings and Happy Monday!
Another successful Summit is in the books! The annual meeting is one my favorite times of the year, and I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with members, volunteers, crashers, and our business partners during our signature event. Each annual conference takes 14 to 16 months of planning and preparation, and it’s a gratifying time for the DakCU team when we wrap up another successful gathering. I want to give a huge shout out to the DakCU Team for the terrific job in coordinating and executing another memorable conference. Thank you all for helping make our 16th Annual Summit one of our best yet!
Plans are already underway for the 2023 Summit, scheduled for May 8 – 9 in Fargo at the Delta Hotel. Here is a little teaser from one of our Keynotes, Kat Perkins, a native of Scranton, ND and a 2018 finalist on “The Voice:” 2023 Summit Keynote.
As with each annual meeting, there are many memorable moments that will have a lasting impact on attendees. For some, it may be personal inspiration from one of our terrific keynote speakers, or perhaps it came from one of our breakout presentations. One of the most memorable moments for me each year is when we recognize the lifetime achievements of individuals who have made a difference in the credit union movement here in the Dakotas with their induction into the Dakota Credit Union Hall of Fame. Those who were on hand to witness the ceremony saw first-hand how emotional this award can be for not only the recipients, but their families, and their many friends in the industry.
So, once again, I say congratulations to our two new inductees: Dayne Headland, First Community CU, Jamestown, and Darrell Dickhaut, Dakotaland FCU/Turtle Creek FCU, Redfield, SD. Both are well deserved and honor their commitment, dedication, and lifetime service to their credit unions, members, and their community. If you haven’t seen the tribute videos, you can find them at the following links:
Dayne Headland Video Tribute Darrell Dickhaut Video Tribute
Voter survey reveals credit union difference.
Credit unions here in the Dakotas and across the country did so much to pitch in and help their members navigate through a lot of uncertainty these past two years. We often refer to credit unions as the “financial first responders” – because it’s really what you do!
When your members are hurting or in a crisis, many times, the credit union is the first resource they turn to. Today, our members are worried about the economy. Inflation is at 40-year high, and rising costs mean many folks are struggling to care for their families and loved ones.
That’s where credit unions can come in; you are who they run to when they face hardships or circumstances beyond their control and need help. Whether it’s a fee waiver, a loan remodification, or even a payment skip, credit unions run towards the crisis to help, especially when it comes to our members.
We see the power of the credit union difference every day, and a recent 2022 National Voter Poll conducted by the Credit Union National Association demonstrates that credit union members have greater levels of financial resilience than non-members.
As I shared during our opening ceremonies last week, CUNA just released a report on the survey results, which finds that credit union members fare better across the board in the four key components of financial health: spending, saving, borrowing, and planning. Some key member findings include:
This paper gets to the heart of what the credit union difference means for people and their communities. It is why credit unions were created in the first place. It is why we have a special charter. It’s the reason we are treated differently and why we need to be different than others in the financial service marketplace. If we expect credit unions to be treated special, we need to continue to act special! To be special in the eyes of our members and policy makers, we need to deliver on the people helping people mission and the power of “Financial Well Being for All” – and we need to back that up with evidence and data. This report reveals that we’re on the right track. You can find the entire report here.
Give Back project is a HUGE success!
I was truly overwhelmed by the support and participation from our Dakota credit unions for this year’s Summit “Give Back” project that benefitted the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Monument Health in Rapid City. We decided to try something a little different: Instead of asking you to bring food, or pet supplies, or clothing for a donation, we asked you to bring gift cards that we could present to the local CMN Hospital, Monument Health, so they could distribute to families that are being treated there, whenever they sensed a need. We really did not know what to expect for a response, but we were hopeful that it would be well received by our attendees.
Let’s just say, you far exceeded even our greatest expectations!
We received 145 gift cards from our members, and even many of our vendors and business partners pitched in! We were, in a word, overwhelmed by your generosity. Then, just before our presentation to the Monument Health Foundation representatives (Shawn Powers and Hans Nelson), Black Hills FCU stepped up and matched the donations! So, Monument Health will be receiving a total of $7,250 from our event!
Our credit unions continue to show their great support of our Dakota CMN Hospitals, and once again, we thank you. Your donations will go a long way in supporting families undergoing medical treatment in Rapid City. Your kind support is appreciated, and we thank you!
Western Small Credit Union Conference planned.
DakCU is excited to be teaming up with credit unions from eight states for the Western Small Credit Union Conference taking place on July 17 – 19 in Salt Lake City, UT. This low-cost event for small asset-sized credit unions is sponsored by CUNA, Credit Union Association of New Mexico, Dakota Credit Union Association, Mountain West Credit Union Association, Montana’s Credit Unions and Utah’s Credit Unions. Thanks to the generous support of Mountain America Credit Union for hosting and our sponsors, we are able to keep the registration fee at a lower price point (Just $199 for CUNA Members) – AND if you register by June 17, you can save $50 with Early Bird Pricing at just $149!
Small credit unions will be inspired to continue transforming their organizations so that they can better meet the financial needs of members and stay relevant into the years ahead. Sessions will be inspirational, educational, and actionable and will leave any leader who attends better equipped to position their credit union for a bright and exciting future. Just as exciting, attendees will have the opportunity to network with other small credit union leaders from eight states: Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Learn more, review the complete schedule, and register here. Feel free to contact me or George McDonald with any questions about this Small CU Conference.
Election Primary is fast approaching.
In both North Dakota and South Dakota, district level and state party endorsing conventions are becoming more irrelevant as candidates choose to bypass the process and are going straight to the voters in political primary runoff elections. This year there are many key local legislative challenges in both states taking place on June 7th in South Dakota and on June 14th in North Dakota.
Both states are considered open ballot states, meaning voters may vote in a party's primary regardless of their political affiliation. However, please check with your local county auditor or visit the county election website on voting guidance. (Sample ballots are posted). Since these are Political Party Primary Elections, you can only vote for the candidates in one political party. For example, in North Dakota, many of the ballots have election run offs for both parties. If you “cross ballot” or for vote for a constitutional officer, (i.e., Governor) in one party, you cannot vote for someone in another party down ballot, including legislative races. If you vote for more than one political party’s section, your ballot will be rejected. However, votes for non-political slots (i.e., school board, or municipal positions) will be counted. Winners in primary contests are determined via majority vote and will be on the election ballot in November. Learn more about your local district primary elections here: North Dakota South Dakota.
Have a great week!
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