Mark Cummins, president/CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN), and Bob Arnould, senior vice president of advocacy for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues were each recognized with the 2022 Eugene H. Farley League Leadership Award by the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) at a reception held in conjunction with the 2022 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
The award honors a league employee who demonstrates visionary leadership at the state and national levels.
Arnould, who attended the reception virtually, addressed the group, “We built a program based on what you already know about the credit union industry: we are loaded quick high-quality, hard-working people.” He added, “When people like that get together and plan accordingly, good things happen.”
Arnould’s career began in politics. He was a member of the Iowa State Assembly, eventually serving as Speaker. Following that, he joined the credit union movement, first with the Iowa Credit Union League and since 1995 with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
There he has fostered an advocacy program that successfully flipped the operating environment to one that is much more friendly to the movement. Arnould built an advocacy team that has become a formidable force in both Sacramento and Carson City—not to mention Washington, D.C.—raising the Leagues’ influence and engagement to new heights.
“Rarely has there been a leader with such humility. Bob, like all great leaders, gives his team members’ credit for their many accomplishments and allows others to rise,” shares Jeff Olson, chair of AACUL and president/CEO of Dakota Credit Union Association. “Bob’s humbleness makes honoring him with this national award especially significant and exciting.”
Cummins addressed the group after receiving his award as well. “As we all know, no one gets up here by themselves.” He continued, thanking his wife Chris Cummins, his team at MnCUN, AACUL President Brad Miller, fellow League Presidents, and MnCUN Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Mara Humphrey. “I’m honored to be included with all the leaders [who have won the Farley Award in the past].”
Olson shared, “Mark truly understands that good collaboration amplifies strength. He knows that to sustain the credit union movement, and to further promote and move our mission in a positive direction, credit unions and
leagues must continually find new, innovative ways to work together. Mark’s leadership has made the Minnesota Credit Union Network a champion of cooperation.”
Cummins has served as the president/CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network since 2007. Prior to joining MnCUN, he was the president/CEO of White Crown Federal Credit Union in Denver. Cummins’ recent accomplishments as League President are extensive.
He established a Credit Union Employee Benefits Plan to combat rising healthcare costs that now offers affordable health benefits plans to credit union employees. Cummins helped increase number of credit union members in Minnesota to 35% of the state’s population.
He lead a team which successfully passed Prize Linked Savings Legislation and developed a state specific Prize Linked Savings program which has resulted in nearly 9,000 CU members at 21 credit unions cumulatively saving $12 million in their incentive savings accounts. Cummins created CU Forward Day, a day of volunteering throughout Minnesota which in 2021 boasted 2,300 volunteers from 64 Credit Unions and partners - totaling over 10,000 volunteer hours for community service projects.
He also stepped up and was the first to launch the national Credit Union Consumer Awareness Initiative three years ago and serves as a shining example of how this can be done successfully.