CUNA and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions said Thursdayit launched a new website, CUstrong.com, as part of a strategicmembership and messaging campaign to drive home the benefits ofrepresentation at the local and national levels.

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The campaign, “Local Network. National Impact.” stresses thepower that comes from having advocacy and relationships at thelocal and national levels and sharing that information between twoclosely aligned trade associations.

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In March, after a fierce, months-long, industrywide debate, morethan 90% of CUNA's members voted in favor of historic bylaw changes thatincluded eliminating the dualmembership requirement in 2017, which allows credit unionsthe choice to decide whether to join CUNA, their state leagues orboth organizations.

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On Monday, the industry's third largest cooperative, the $19.9billion PenFed Credit Union in Alexandria City, Va., said it'srejoiningCUNA, and in April, the industry's second largest credit union,the $33.7 billion SECU in Raleigh, N.C., rejoined CUNA.

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However, both credit unions said they are not re-affiliatingwith their state leagues.

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CUNA is working with state leagues to encourage credit unions tocontinue their dual membership next year.

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“Working with LSCU on this important affiliation effort is aperfect example of how CUNA and leagues can and should work closelytogether,” Rich Meade, CUNA's chief of staff, said.

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In the last two election cycles, CUNA's and the Southeasternleague's PACs raised nearly $10 million and contributed $4.2million to federal campaigns. Together, the organizations have11 million members in their member activation program.

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“There is real membership value that comes from having thecombined strength of proven advocacy organizations that effectivelyrepresent the interests of credit unions at the state and nationallevels,” LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine said. “We wantcredit unions to understand the power of the relationships, theexpertise and the ability to activate millions of members for thecause of credit unions.”

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Among the membership values detailed on the newwebsite were coordinated state and federal advocacy efforts,real-time compliance help from experts and public-facing effortsthat grow credit union membership.

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The campaign also highlights testimonials from members,including Darryl Worrell, president/CEO of the $468 millionEnvision Credit Union in Tallahassee, Fla.

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“The benefits my credit union receives from being a member ofboth LSCU and CUNA are tenfold what we pay in dues,” he said. “Theywork together to be able to pass key pieces of legislation, such aschanges to Florida's service of process laws for financialinstitutions, and offer us expert compliance guidance andsupport.”

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Other testimonials are from John Hirabayashi, president/CEO ofthe $1.3 billion Community First Credit Union in Jacksonville,Fla.; Jan Page, president/CEO of the $110 million Community SouthCredit Union in Chipley, Fla.; Olabode Anise, president/CEO of the$21.5 million Azalea City Credit Union in Mobile, Ala.; BobSteensma, president/CEO of the $369 million Five Star Credit Unionin Dothan, Ala.; and Steve Swofford, president/CEO of the $707million Alabama Credit Union in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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