While national credit union advocacy initiatives from America's Credit Unions and other trade associations may make the news more frequently, credit union leagues and professionals are also working hard to engage with lawmakers at the state level to make a difference for financial cooperatives in their own regions. Just last month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed House File 131 into law after it passed through the Iowa Senate and House. The success of the bill, which updates the Iowa Credit Union Act (Chapter 533) and goes into effect on July 1, can be credited in part to efforts made by local credit union advocates.

In this episode of Shared Accounts With CU Times, you'll meet Matthew DeBisschop and Alvaro Macias, who not only serve in SVP and vice president roles, respectively, for Ascentra Credit Union ($544 million, Bettendorf, Iowa), but as credit union advocates via the Iowa Credit Union League's Champions program. They discuss the hard work that went into getting House File 131 passed into law, why the bill is important, what led them to pursue advocacy and what's next on their advocacy agenda.

You'll also hear from DeBisschop and Macias on their most-recommended Iowa foods (no, deep-fried State Fair Twinkies did not make their list), and – in what's becoming a Shared Accounts With CU Times tradition – their album-listening and movie-watching history. It's an episode that will inform you about the legislative process and perhaps even inspire you to get involved yourself, so do your (civic) duty and give it a listen!


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Michael Ogden

Editor-in-Chief at CU Times. To connect, email at [email protected]. As Editor-in-Chief of CU Times since 2016, Michael Ogden has led the editorial team in all aspects of content strategy and execution, including the creation of the publication’s exclusive and proprietary research database of the credit union industry’s economic landscape. Under Michael’s leadership, CU Times has successfully shifted to an all-digital editorial product with new focuses on the payments, fraud, lending and regulatory beats. Most recently, he introduced a data-focused editorial product for subscribers that breaks down credit union issues into hard data, allowing for a deeper and more factual narrative for readers. In 2024, he launched the "Shared Accounts With CU Times" podcast, which offers a fresh, inside-the-newsroom perspective through interviews with leaders from the credit union industry and the regulatory world. He dives into pressing credit union issues, while revealing the personalities working behind-the-scenes to push the credit union world forward. His background includes years as a radio and TV anchor/reporter and a public relations and digital/social media manager, where he covered the food and music industries, as well as cooperatives and credit unions. Over the years, he has launched numerous exclusive video and podcast series, including a successful series of interactive backstage interviews with musicians at music festivals, showcasing his social media and live streaming production skills.