GAC is a Wrap; Northwest Delegates Message CU Difference BIGLY

Advocates from credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington fanned out to meet with virtually all of the region’s U.S. Senators and Members of Congress.

A daily digest of Northwest highlights is posted here. Enjoy photos on the NWCUA Facebook page, and log onto the CUNA News GAC Page for national perspective.


The Northwest’s 250 member advocacy delegation had face-to-face meetings with their elected representatives, carrying a message about the importance of protecting the cooperative financial services choice for consumers.

Spokane area credit unions sent a large delegation to GAC. They are pictured here with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA 5th District)

As not-for-profit cooperatives, advocates said, credit unions are uniquely positioned to return direct economic benefits to members. For the six million members of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington credit unions, that meant nearly $600 million last year.

Another message advocates shared was that credit unions are working hard to meet the needs of small businesses, but are hampered by the arbitrary cap on Member Business Lending.

Advocates encouraged a common sense approach to regulation. They were armed with data showing that since 2010 alone, the cost of the regulatory burden for America’s credit unions has increased by $2.8 billion.



Northwest advocates and Congressional Representatives took the stage.

Representative Denny Heck (D, WA-10) said to credit union leaders, “You play a critical role in restoring trust when markets destroy it. You play a great role making the American dream possible.” Heck said he worries regulations are making it difficult to run a credit union, and discouraging people from forming more cooperative financial institutions.

Representative Kurt Schrader (D, OR-5) participated in a panel exploring credit unions’ role in elections.

“To have an organization with such widespread support, with all the good work you do in the community, the way you lead in the community, particularly to small businesses and individuals, you’re highly credible,” Schrader said.

NCUA Director Rick Metsger, an Oregon native, called on Congress to repeal the law that caps Member Business Lending, so credit unions can grow small businesses and create jobs.

Abigail Franklin, VP, Marketing and Strategy for Spokane-based Global Credit Union, addressed the GAC as an advocate for Credit Unions for Kids. Franklin’s daughter, Lauren, overcame a serious illness after treatment at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and was the ambassador at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Hollywood Glamour auction last fall.

Video highlights and coverage of national speakers can be found on the CUNA News GAC Page.



The 2017 CUNA GAC opened with enthusiastic fanfare. Northwest delegates represented Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in the traditional flag ceremony. With thousands of delegates looking on, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle called on NWCUA COO/NWCUF Executive Director Denise Gabel to give a “live” elevator speech about credit unions. It was carried on Nussle’s Live Facebook feed and garnered about 2,000 views from folks back home. Check out the fun video; Gabel is just about 2 minutes after the start.

The National Credit Union Foundation presented the annual Herb Wegner Memorial Awards honoring credit union greats. The event was hosted by Gabel. Highlights are available on the NCUF site.


From left to right: John Zmolek, Susan Streifel, Debie Keesee, and Troy Stang celebrate Streifel’s induction into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders.

Susan Streifel, President/CEO of Federal Way, Washington-based Woodstone Credit Union, was inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders. Steifel is former Chairwoman of the CUNA Board of Directors.







Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW, CUNA.