Stronger Together: The Value of Association 

By David Adams
MCUL & Affiliates CEO

Since the latter part of 2011, there has been tremendous momentum driving consumers to take a closer look at credit unions, and that momentum continues to build as we move into the second half of 2012. With the economy slowly improving on several fronts, now is a time of opportunity for credit unions of all sizes.

Recently, we hit a major milestone: for the first time ever, 4.5 million people are now members of Michigan credit unions. That includes 25,000 new members who joined in the first quarter of the year alone. Deposits are up and there is loan growth in autos, small businesses and first mortgages. Good things are happening in our state, and credit unions play a big part.

It’s the continued spirit of cooperation that keeps all credit unions – especially SAS credit unions, invested in the needs of their members and the growth of the movement, and continues to drive the industry and our state forward. We know that SAS credit unions face a particular set of challenges, and as your association we strive to help you meet those challenges.

There’s no better example of that than our CU Difference campaign, which this year is larger than ever. By pooling the collective resources of our credit unions, everyone, large and small, benefits from the increased exposure and advertising.

The Michigan Credit Union Foundation is another example of pooled resources which benefit the community as a whole. As you’ll read in this issue, the foundation provides specific support to SAS credit unions for educational development and operational grants. Annual donations of even a small amount help make these opportunities possible.

In this issue you’ll also find timely compliance information regarding changes to Michigan’s durable power of attorney law, details of a new lapel program exclusively for SAS credit unions, and the inspiring story of one SAS credit union leader who made a very big impact when she traveled to the other side of the world to share her expertise with women in Africa.

As a member of the MCUL & Affiliates and our movement, you are part of something bigger than any one institution, large or small. Individually, we have our strengths, but together we can’t be beat.