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LISLE, Ill. – Nestled between the larger state credit union leagues, Midwest Association of Credit Unions (MACU) has found its niche with smaller to mid-sized credit unions. “We are an alternative for midwest credit unions seeking a trade association affiliation – a choice,” said MACU President Joni Senkpeil. “So often the small and mid-size credit unions are the asset group that need the most assistance and suffer the most during an economic downturn. Some will make it and some won’t but we are there to help them succeed as best we can.” Founded 42 years ago by Ronald P. Boots as a service for credit unions that felt lost in larger state credit union leagues, MACU remains true to its original role. Boots served as president for the last 30 years until his death in 2002 when Senkpeil was tapped by the board to take over as president. A longtime credit union player herself, Senkpeil was president of BNSF Railway Credit Union for over 20 years and had been a MACU board member since 1997. “I have always been a loyal supporter of the credit union movement. In visiting credit unions across the area I continue to be amazed at their willingness to help their neighbor credit union and especially that member in need. After all, that is the essence of the credit union philosophy,” said Senkpeil. A staff of four provides services to more than 70 member credit unions. Services provided by MACU include legislative alerts; educational/operations conferences and seminars; compliance assistance; management consulting; hands on strategic planning/advice; marketing ideas; small CU management seminars; newsletters; investment assistance; insurance; and legal assistance. Membership is not restricted to size or location since strategic plans allow for the association to include credit unions from Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin in addition to Illinois. “Our doors are certainly open to serve any size credit union that wants to be a member although smaller credit unions do have a special place in my heart,” said Senkpeil. Over the past year membership has grown some 10% and Senkpeil has been busy establishing more credibility with federal and state regulators, forming deeper relationships with CU providers and promoting MACU services. “Personal attention and a family atmosphere are some of the qualities that Ron brought into this organization and we plan to keep it that way – it was important then and remains important now. Our members like feeling like they belong to a family and are not lost in a group,” said Senkpeil. “Though small we have a great team of people that provide our members with whatever information they need quickly. We also run an efficient office, which helps keep our dues low and our partnerships with other providers ensure that our members’ service needs are met.” Currently MACU is in the process of updating its Web site to include resource links and a member network area where members can interact with one another discussing challenges and finding solutions. In addition, the association is putting the finishing touches on a credit union manual that includes all the basic regulation requirements to help credit unions stay compliant. “We’ve been pretty quiet about our accomplishments in the past but we’ve done a lot to be proud of so it is time to get the word out,” said Senkpeil. [email protected]

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