On Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

Twenty-eleven has been one of the most memorable years since I joined the credit union movement. Credit unions are ascending in public appreciation as we realize the success of the merger vision which brought Oregon and Washington credit union communities together.

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s progressive strategic plan and first convention were built during a historic time of post-crisis opportunity. Our institutions, tested by challenges, rank among the nation’s strongest.

We can be thankful that there is so much to be proud of, and so much to look forward to.

Just last month, the grassroots movement that spawned Bank Transfer Day, an event like none other in memory, brought hundreds of thousands of new consumers into the national credit union sector. And just between you and me, I foresee this developing into as many as a half-million new members added to Northwest credit unions over the next three years.

In just the past few months, Washington and Oregon enrolled more than 35,000 new credit union members in this stampede away from for-profit banking. Now we are tasked with deepening the lending and credit relationships with new participants, raising awareness of our excellent services and of our long-standing social commitment to Northwest communities so that our new members, too, will be proud of their decision and thankful for their new community.

We are all linked, working together as a team to generate the publicity and public support for our system. Internationally and regionally, consumers are looking for smarter and safer financial services that can be trusted—institutions that are ethical, providential and powerful. Universally, the solution is a homecoming to credit unions.

The future of credit unions in the Northwest is brighter than ever. For that, I give thanks, and I hope you will, too.

John Annaloro, CEO

Thanksgiving and holiday giving are often linked. One way we can recognize this as a community is by contributing to our industry’s new regional foundation, which will become fully operational as the Northwest Credit Union Foundation on Jan. 1, 2012. Taking the place of our individual state foundations, dollars donated benefit all credit unions and their members by providing direct grants for operations, as well as education and training opportunities for employees and volunteers. It will serve as the hub of the Northwest Credit Unions for Kids campaign and provide disaster relief to communities all over the world hard hit by extreme weather and other events. In appreciation of all that we have, please remember the Northwest Credit Union Foundation as you consider your charitable opportunities this season. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.

Editor’s note: Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, Anthem will not be published as usual on Thursday, Nov. 24, and will return to its regular schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Posted in Compliance News, NWCUA.