Financial Wellness, Strategic Pillars, And Small Business Loans

Five can't-miss data points this week on

This week, finds a Kentucky credit union investing in financial and physical wellness, learns how a California cooperative molds strategy to its mission, gets schooled in how to launch a day of service on a budget, and more.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


Two-thirds of Kentuckians can’t handle a $1,000 emergency. That’s according to Ray Springsteen, president and CEO of Abound Credit Union, formerly Fort Knox FCU. Part of our role as a credit union is to do something about it, he says. And opportunities abound to do something about it. The largest credit union in the Bluegrass State is executing on a 10-year strategic plan that has a multi-prong focus on financial education, entrepreneurship, and physical and mental health.

Read: Investing In Kentucky’s Financial And Physical Wellness


At a board retreat three years ago, America’s Christian Credit Union set a clear direction for the cooperative it wanted to become. The credit union was emerging from a period of up and down loan and share growth, although both assets and members were increasing fast. Rather than brainstorm new products and services, however, the retreat focused on how the credit union could live up to and communicate how it was fulfilling its mission to reach, serve, and teach. At that retreat in 2017, it developed four strategic pillars Stronger Ministries, Stronger Futures, Stronger Communities, Stronger Families that serve as de facto statements of purpose. The pillars establish a clear connection to the mission of the cooperative and tie back to the credit union’s products, services, and programs.

Read: A Mission To Mold Strategy

1.8 Million

Small businesses fuel the economic engine of the United States. In 2019 alone, they added 1.8 million net new jobs and employed 47.3% of the private workforce. Small-business owners, however, face myriad challenges when it comes to transitioning their work from a scrappy startup to an established enterprise. That need spurred a meeting between a socially minded lender in Texas and a credit union in Florida, which itself led to an innovative microlending program with nationwide applicability.

Read: From Texas To Tampa: How A Microloan Program Aims To Serve Small-Business Owners Across America


When Altra Federal Credit Union launched its Altra Gives Back Day on Oct. 8, 2018, a full 95% of staff members joined together to make a significant impact on their community. With over 400 employees dedicating their time to 30 different organizations, they made quite an impact. As part of Altra’s community engagement program, employees may take off up to eight hours every year for volunteer activities. This now-annual day of service, which Altra holds on Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day, is a chance for employees to connect with the community as part of the credit union team.

Read: How To Launch A Day Of Service On A Budget


It’s been a mild winter here in Washington, DC, home to the offices of Callahan & Associates. This week, as CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference kicks off, the weather forecast looks just as temperate. So, after a full day of listening, learning, and networking, you may well need a dose of fresh mid-Atlantic air to warm your spirit and re-energize your brain. In this guide, we collected five places for you to visit if you’re looking to stretch your legs.

Read: 5 Things To Do In DC During The GAC

Happy Reading!

February 24, 2020

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