The $580 million Central Minnesota Credit Union said Tuesday it expects to extend its ag-lending reach and servicing of rural communities in the state with an Oct. 1 merger of the $22 million Heart of the Lakes CU of New York Mills, Minn.
Central Minnesota, based in Melrose, said the consolidation of healthy Heart of the Lakes has been in the works for nearly a year and coincides with the retirement of the CU’s veteran president/CEO, Harold Siirila.
Siirila has been with the two-branch Heart of the Lakes for 36 years.
“We’ve enjoyed an informal, working relationship with Central Minnesota going back 30 years so this merger is something that makes sense for everyone,” said Siirila.
Central Minnesota has long emphasized its ties to rural communities and dairy lending in the central part of the state and the Heart of the Lakes merger gives it closer entry to the Fargo, N.D. market.
“This is our first merger,” said Rick Odenthal, president/CEO of Central Minnesota, adding there are no current plans to add other small CUs “but we periodically get approached since we have nearly 16% capital.”
Odenthal said Central Minnesota even had a San Diego CU inquire about merger interest “but we turned that down as we would about something in Milwaukee or anywhere out of our area of interest” outside the state.
CMCU has branches in 11 communities and operates in 13 counties.