The Dakota Credit Union Association officially announced its new name this week at its annual Summit Meeting held in Sioux Falls, S.D. Formerly the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, it will remain the the professional financial trade association that represents credit unions throughout North and South Dakota.
The association shared a video message Tuesday during the opening session explaining the impetus for the name change.
The North Dakota and South Dakota Credit Union Leagues were formed in 1938 and 1939 respectively. Credit union leaders from both states got together and became the first in the CUNA-League System to collaborate and successfully merge into one multi-state credit union trade association in 2007.
The new league was launched as the Mid-America Credit Union Association, later re-named the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, the name it has used until today’s announcement.
“We knew we had an identity problem when we were continually having to explain to lawmakers and community leaders who we were, and where we were from,” says Jeff Olson, president/CEO of the association. “Naturally, we just started referring to ourselves as Dakota Credit Unions.”
The combined history of the Dakotas is forever linked together. At one time, the two states were simply known as the Dakota Territory, until they split and became the 39th and 40th states on the same day in 1889.
Credit unions have been located here throughout most of the states’ history, playing a major role in the growth and expansion of each individual state, as well as many local communities.
“There is no doubt that our two states have much in common,” Olson said. “We share a similar geography, weather, and even our economies are alike. We also share a collective heritage in culture, sociology, and traditions. Like our credit unions and our individual credit union members, our association is evolving, growing, and modernizing, all while maintaining our proud heritage when we were officially one Dakota. It’s who we are and who we represent – no further explanation is needed. As the new Dakota Credit Union Association, we look forward to the future as a proud, strong, and effective advocacy organization for our members and our communities.”
The Dakota Credit Union Association has also adopted an updated and modernized corporate brand and color personality.