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2021 League Highlights

2021 Highlights
Dec 01, 2021
By Sammy Dennis
  • More on The Movement

The Wisconsin Credit Union League has been proud to support our member credit unions throughout 2021, another historic year of addressing the pandemic’s effects. Here's how we put your membership to work in 2021: 

1. Political & Legislative Advocacy

  • Worked to have AB 478/SB 451 introduced by Senator Rob Stafsholt and Representative Dave Murphy, testified at an Assembly hearing and coordinated grassroots to support the bill – navigating opposition from the Wisconsin Bankers Association. The credit union specific bill makes various modernizations to Chapter 186 of state statute – including streamlining incidental powers granted to federally chartered credit unions, no longer requiring notice for ATM placement, clarifying timelines for vacancies on boards of directors, clarifying non-member loan participations, and a limited expansion of credit unions’ use of supplemental capital.

  • Hosted a virtual State GAC for over 200 Activists and a virtual Hike the Hill with giving a record number of Activists (80) an opportunity to connect with the Wisconsin legislators and NCUA Board members.

  • Hosted Governor Tony Evers, to share remarks with Activists during the State GAC and for a fundraiser at the Credit Union House where Activists could connect with the Governor in person later in the year.

  • Prevented the inclusion of a problematic interchange fee proposal from inclusion in the state Budget Bill and worked to prevent the stand-alone bill from advancing.  

  • Led the way, in securing the support of the majority of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to prevent IRS reporting requirements proposed and under serious consideration.  Wisconsinites send over 24,000 messages to Congress on this issue alone.

  • Commissioned a public opinion survey that found 80% of Wisconsin registered voters support the credit union tax exemption. 



2. Regulatory Advocacy

  • Submitted 5 comment letters to state and federal regulators in 2021 to emphasize the impacts that various regulatory changes would have on Wisconsin's credit union operations.

3. Compliance 

  • Published more than 91 updates to our 167 ii Releases.

  • Conducted seven compliance webinars as the pandemic continued to give credit unions live training on important legal developments and more.

  • Published more than 80 Compliance Couriers to address a variety of issues.

  • Introduced 5 new credit union forms for sale.

4. Education

  • In 2021, we hosted our first all virtual Convention and Exposition with over 30 sessions led by industry experts to assist credit unions with top-of-mind issues with close to 200 members registered. 

  • Trained over 3,130 members through collaborated efforts (with multiple Leagues and generous sponsorships from system partners) your League was able to offer complimentary to low-cost registration to the majority of our events, which covered topics from mental wellness and DEI to technology and lending.

  • To assist our members with succession planning we hosted our first virtual League Leadership Institute in partnership with UW-Milwaukee Continuing School of Education offering college credits and accreditation to 23 upcoming credit unions professionals. We have close to 70 graduates from this Institute to date.

5. Development

  • Continued to support FiCEP, the Enhanced Financial Education Certification Program through The Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation. In its sixth year, more than 285 credit union professionals have earned their Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) designation and are providing crucial financial counseling to their credit union’s members and communities.

  • Thanks to the generosity of Wisconsin’s credit unions and individual supporters, the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation was able to award a record amount grants in 2021, totaling more than $82,000, through the REAL Solutions Initiative Grant, Credit Union Development Grant, and Emerging Markets Grant. Additionally, The Foundation awarded over $13,000 through our three scholarship programs, the CUNA Management School Scholarship, the Pat Wesenberg Development Education (DE) Scholarship, and the Professional Development Scholarship.

  • Assisted small credit unions throughout Wisconsin with operational, accounting, and compliance needs. As we emerge from the pandemic, credit unions have benefited from one-on-one consulting in a hybrid virtual and in-person world. Along with ad hoc consulting services, credit unions hired The League to facilitate a dozen annual Strategic Planning Sessions.  

  • Dedicated ourselves to educating credit unions in Wisconsin about the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The League continues to add components of DEI education into all of the programs we offer, including CEO Roundtables, education and training events, Strategic Planning Sessions, and more. In 2021, credit union professionals and volunteers have participated in a variety of DEI-related learning opportunities, and The League was able to offer its second annual DEI Summit.

  • Continued targeted education and training opportunities for over 1,100 members of our Young Professionals Network, including hosting an all-virtual YP Conference to continue our investment in future leaders of The Movement.

  • Helped Wisconsinites save over $22 million through our prize-linked savings program, Saver's Sweepstakes®. There are now over 12,000 Saver's accounts with an average balance of $1,734.Our Participating Credit Unions page was also updated with an interactive map to help consumers find a participating credit union near them.

6. Communications & Marketing

  • Partnered with a public relations firm to increase awareness of The Credit Union Movement in Wisconsin, build relationships with the media, and produce high quality videos to showcase our membership, like the To Your Credit tip series and this feature on Educators Credit Union's Reality Check Days.

  • Rebranded REAL Solutions as The Difference to reach a broader audience with more consumer-friendly lingo in mind, including the creation of an online People Before Profit Stories database and a partnership with Wisconsin Saves

  • Monitored over 1,300 industry and member-related news items to share the latest & greatest with members. 

  • Launched the CUs in the News series, compiling monthly news on how Wisconsin's credit unions support their members and communities.

  • Featured in a Cap Times op-ed on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.

  • Published a fully virtual Scorecard to accompany our fully virtual State Government Affairs Conference.

  • Prepared a presentation on the history of Wisconsin's credit unions and The Credit Union Movement, featured as a keynote address at the 21st SACCA Congress in Kenya.

  • Continued our support of CUNA's Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign, which recently was shown to have increased consumer awareness by 8 points.

  • Kept in regular contact with over 100 email communications (besides regular communications from the Government Affairs, Compliance, and Education & Training departments), including the Monday Message, League News, OYE Contributor Monthly, Solutions Quarterly, & more.

About The Author

Sammy Dennis is the Director of Communications for The Wisconsin Credit Union League.