Three South Dakota credit unions including Dakotaland FCU, the state’s third largest, have rejoined the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas and with CUNA.
The president/CEO of the $152 million Dakotaland, based in Huron, said the re-affiliation by his CU “comes at the right time and recognizes a more positive and forward-looking leadership” of CUAD.
Dan Cumbee, the Dakotaland head, said CUAD’s restructuring last year and the hiring of Robbie Thompson, the former general counsel of the New Jersey Credit Union League, as its CEO bolstered a decision to rejoin the two groups, which it left in February 2010.
“We do see the need for credit unions to band together and stay united considering all we’ve gone through,” said Cumbee, citing the NCUA assessments and corporate fallout.
The other two new CUAD members from South Dakota are the $17 million Simply Service FCU, Belle Fourche, and the $17 million Dakota Star FCU of Rapid City, Both of those CUs had stayed out for reasons related to changed management or financial policy considerations, officials said.
Commenting on the industry’s corporate environment, Cumbee said he is optimistic Members United Bridge Corporate can soon work out a reorganization that will prove viable and so Dakotaland has no current plans “to look to the Fed” or other providers for services but will stick with Members United. Cumbee noted he is currently a member of Members United Advisory Group of CEOs as drawn from its membership.
Discussing re-affiliation, he said cost factors have long weighed in on trade group dues, which is why he had to drop membership in NAFCU this year. He said he only joined NAFCU in 2010 year “to see what they offered,” and that although he liked what he received in services, “it is too expensive to belong to both organizations.”
Without commenting directly on the Dakotaland exit, a spokesman for NAFCU pointed out that NAFCU dues “are about one-third the cost of a CUNA/league membership” and that CUs “are welcome to calculate their dues savings at the NAFCU website, www.nafcu.org/membership.
In a CUAD statement announcing the re-affiliations, Kelli Wold, president/CEO of Dakota Star in Rapid City, said affiliation dues “are not just about dollars and cents” but about the trades’ critical role in guiding the industry. “When we were not affiliated, we felt like we were out there by ourselves,” commented Wold.