Each year hundreds of credit union employees and volunteer board members ascend into our beautiful state capital for a day filled with educating, advocating and helping others understand the impact of credit unions in our communities. This year, Ed Bedell, Business Development Manager, and Megan Shover, HR Director, attended on behalf of Spokane Federal Credit Union.
Upon their return, Ed and Megan chatted with Susan Cerutti-Jensen, Marketing Director at #SpoFed, to share their experience and highlight some key points from the day. Here is what they had to say:
Susan: What did you love most about Credit Union Day at the Capital?
Ed: The idea of so many credit union representatives from all over the State of Washington coming together to share their successes, concerns and thoughts about our industry is powerful. Many times, our elected officials are faced with tough and sometimes negative issues. As an industry, we were able to deliver good news. We focused on the benefits that credit unions provide to their members. We were there to not only share our good news, but also learn about the representatives and what we could do to assist them. In many cases, our delivery of good news seemed like a breath of fresh air amongst a tight schedule of meetings and hearings.
Megan: The ability to point out the good things that credit unions are doing in their communities goes a long ways in showing the representatives that, just like them, we care about our communities and are invested in supporting healthy residents, economies and happy families. It is amazing to see our representatives engaged and truly looking for ways to serve their constituents more effectively.
Susan: Why is it important for credit unions to visit with their legislators and representatives?
Ed: It is important for us to establish an open and honest dialogue with those who serve in an elected capacity. It allows us to share the overall impact that we are making in our community. Helping our representatives see that value that credit unions provide puts our role in perspective to them. For example, 50% of Washington residents belong to a credit union. The direct benefit that credit unions provide to their members equates to around
$369 million dollars. If you took that amount and divided it among all credit union members in the state, you would find that being a member of a credit and the benefits that go along with it resulted in $103 extra dollars in each members pocket. In many cases, those dollars are then spent in our local communities, helping to provide jobs and more money back into our economies. At the end of the day, we are sharing the fact that we are not simply an industry, but a movement.
Megan: Credit unions employ 11,000 dedicated community members in the State of Washington. As a large group of employers and employees, we take a stand in educating our communities and providing smart solutions for those looking to maximize their financial situation. Ensuring that our representatives know this is important. It helps them in making smart decisions for their constituents. The most important thing that we can do with our legislators is have a conversation and show them that we appreciate their service and time given listening to us. In addition, showing the cooperative spirit of our industry is powerful, as our teamwork and ability to work together for the greater good is on full display.
Susan: Would you go again?
Megan: Of course!