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“This is not your father’s credit union. This is not your father’s CUNA. This is not your father’s era,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica stated during the trade association’s annual general meeting in Honolulu last week. CUNA was founded 70 years ago to help establish credit unions as a movement across the nation. Nowadays, survey after survey of CUNA members has shown, “The number one item that [credit unions] want from our trade association is advocacy.” In response to changing times and in recognition of this, when Mica came on board to CUNA, the association moved its headquarters from Madison, Wis. to Washington, D.C., in the heart of national politics. “You have a good, top-notch lobbying team representing you,” Mica told the annual general meeting attendees. Mica explained that CUNA’s political action committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council had taken in more than $3 million in receipts. CULAC has made more than $2 million in contributions to congressional candidates for the 2003-2004 election cycle, breaking its own record from the last election cycle. That puts CUNA in the big leagues with the AARP, National Rifle Association, and the American Bankers Association, he pointed out. CUNA prides itself on representing all credit unions and uses the leagues as its arms to reach into states. Mica also highlighted CUNA’s near 90% affiliation rate. He explained that he belongs to a trade association organization, “Everyone of them lusts the idea of getting anywhere near 90%.” Additionally, CUNA’s Web site gets around a quarter of a million hits per day. Mica explained that the CUNA communications department is in contact with the trade press daily and attracting more and more national media attention as well. “The future is bright. The opportunities are incredible, absolutely incredible,” Mica said of CUNA and credit unions. [email protected]

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