As 2023 comes to a close, this year also concludes an incredible milestone for DCUC. Sixty years ago, DCUC founders recognized an important voice was missing from within the credit union industry. Credit unions both stateside and abroad wanted to serve, or better serve, our armed forces, veterans, and their families. Yet, the industry lacked a leading association that not only understood the unique opportunities and challenges that accompany military life, but one that could speak military. It was clear to our founders that credit unions needed a strong voice to help elevate their story, mission, and success in serving these important communities.
Looking back on the last six decades, DCUC’s history is filled with many firsts for the industry as a whole, such as amending the Federal Credit Union Act to allow for checking accounts, benefiting all credit unions and not just credit unions serving military overseas. These big wins were made possible because of DCUC’s “can-do” attitude that is the hallmark of both military service and the credit union ethos. We are here because great people and credit union leaders had the foresight and dedication to build a community focused on serving those who serve our country.
Over the last twelve months, DCUC celebrated our 60th anniversary through multiple successful conferences and events along with several new and re-imagined publications in furtherance of our founding mission. We are particularly proud of our 60th Annual Conference in Colorado Springs, which sold out early and culminated with high praise! In terms of member value, the DCUC staff planned and produced exceptional content and ensured our communications were timely and relevant.
As we step into our next decade, we are thrilled by all the opportunities awaiting both within the credit union industry and for our country. The merger of CUNA and NAFCU is one of the opportunities for DCUC to grow and change. The industry is also calling for a renewed focus specifically on serving veterans, something which is long-overdue. Economic realities are forcing more credit union system partners to work together. Finally, we are seeing a variety of inflection points as more CEOs and Boards turnover, mergers and consolidations accelerate, and demographics and culture take their own paths.
There has never been a better time to seize the opportunity and build for a better tomorrow, and this is exactly what your DCUC Board of Directors is planning for. Early next month, we will meet to discuss opportunities to revamp elements in our strategic plan which will allow us to adapt and continue DCUC’s success on behalf of our members. Plus, the results from our recent member survey were very encouraging and set the conditions for this important discussion to proceed. Member feedback has always been instrumental to DCUC’s Board when making changes both in the past and the future.
We will remain engaged with each of our member credit unions and continue communicating our exciting plans and changes through our social media, DCUC emails and news, and in our monthly ALERT magazine. Plus, we always dedicate a portion of our events to discussing these changes directly with our members.
Above all, everything we do is centered on best serving our military and veteran communities. We are proud to have represented this important mission within the credit union industry and look forward to joining our members in the next decade of success!
In closing, I would like to thank each of our member credit unions for your loyal support over the last sixty years. We simply would not be the association we are today without you. Our work is not done and our transformation in this new era can only succeed with you! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you, your families, and the communities you serve!