2023 President's Message
What happened in 2022?
Our 2022 started off for FCCU with the lingering effects of covid, primarily dealing with historic inflation which hasn’t been seen since the 1970s. High inflation is a difficult environment for a credit union to work through as it creates a lot of unknowns. But despite all of this, we moved forward and completed several large projects that we’re proud of, in 2022.
- Firstly, we opened a new a branch facility in Mandan, ND – this was the culmination of project that started initial planning way back in 2017 – everything came together perfectly and we have an amazing building representing both FCCU and the community of Mandan.
- Secondly, we completed a major remodel/upgrade of our Devils Lake facility – it was a great building, but hadn’t been updated since the 1990’s – the project turned out really well; basically we have a new building which is an important investment and asset in the Devils Lake community.
- We also completed a merger with Elm River Credit Union which added branches in both Page and Kindred. It also added more than 1000 members from these communities and 5 great staff to our FCCU team.
- Finally, and most importantly, we had another strong year financially with solid income, and growing over 100 million in loans and nearly 90 million in total assets – all things considered we had an awesome year!
What does 2023 look like?
Growth is so important for financial institutions. If we aren’t growing, we will not be able to continue meeting the needs of our members into the future, so we have to keep moving FCCU forward. A couple highlights we expect to see 2023:
- We should complete the renovation of our Bismarck North branch in the first quarter.
- We plan to break ground for a new branch facility in Moorhead MN this spring.
- Perhaps the biggest project in 2023 will be the introduction of our digital journey to the membership. We have allowed online access to FCCU accounts for more than 20 years, but the digital transformation will take that to a whole new level – as we move forward you will literally be able to do everything from your phone or home computer whether that is applying for a loan and getting instant approval, opening a new account, signing document, to almost anything else you might have to come to a branch for right now.
- At FCCU we have a commitment to creating the right mix of both personal and digital interactions with our members, allowing the member to choose if they want to come into a branch office and work personally with a FCCU team member, or if they prefer to work digitally from their home, or maybe a combination of both. We have been working on this digital journey for more than two years. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes and it represents a major investment in resources for our credit union in both people and software. We just started rolling it out at the end of 2022 and our members will see a lot of new functionality coming online in 2023.
What sets FCCU apart?
Clearly, our cooperative model sets us apart – We are not focused on creating an investment for a select group of owners and stock holders; we are focused on creating a full-service financial institution that serves both the member owners and the local communities we serve.
What excites you most for the future?
The near-term future is a little scary right now with the high inflation and inconsistent economic forecast, but what excites me the most is the hard work we have done in the past years has put our credit union in a position we can keep moving forward and grow in spite of these tough economic times. Also, the digital journey we have started is a game changer and will allow us to continue being relevant and serve as our members primary financial institution well into the long-term future.
I'd like to thank the Board of Directors for their leadership, and the employees for their continued hard work throughout 2022. As our credit union grows, all of us involved have to grow as well. We cannot afford to maintain status quo; we cannot afford to rest on past successes; we need to constantly look for ways to improve ourselves and the credit union, doing things better each year – and that’s a difficult ask. But our employees and the Board have consistently stepped-up, year after year, and words cannot express how appreciative I am of their efforts.
And to our members – YOU are the credit union and I want to thank you for your continued trust and dedication to FCCU. And finally I want to wish everyone a safe and prosperous year in 2023.
-Steve Schmitz, President/CEO
First Community Credit Union