August 15, 2019 (Portage la Prairie, MB) — At a special membership meeting Thursday evening, members of Stride Credit Union voted overwhelmingly in support of a board proposal to amalgamate with Beautiful Plains Credit Union.
“Our board and management groups put together a proposal that we believed would benefit our members, employees, and communities — and with these votes, members validated that belief,” said Stride CEO Brent Budz.
“Tonight we’re happy for our members, because this was the right decision for both our organizations,” added Stride board chair Winnie Pauch.
Members of Beautiful Plains Credit Union voted in favour of the proposal in a separate meeting Wednesday evening.
“These votes show the credit union system in action, where the co-operative principle of ‘democratic member control’ gives member-owners the final say on important initiatives,” said Beautiful Plains board president Ron Jesson.
Beautiful Plains general manager Gord Sylvester explained that amalgamations like this one allow the organizations to stay close to their collective roots, “while taking advantage of economies of scale in key areas of our operations."
The amalgamation creates a credit union with $720 million in assets and 19,200 members, with branches in Austin, Gladstone, Glenella, MacGregor, Neepawa, Oakville, Plumas and Portage la Prairie.
“The management groups, boards, and employees of both credit unions are pleased with the results and very excited to get down to the work of gearing up to have everything in place for when the amalgamation comes into effect on January 1, 2020,” Budz said.
The amalgamation is subject to regulatory approval.
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Brent Budz, CEO, Stride Credit Union, (204) 385-6171
Gord Sylvester, GM, Beautiful Plains Credit Union, (204) 476-7800
Information about the proposal is available at www.stride-bp.ca.
Credit Union Central of Manitoba (CUCM) now has its own site, cucm.org.
Formerly incorporated into the public site, the new, stand-alone site allows CUCM to talk about itself a little more, in terms of its identity, purpose and values, as well as the services it provides to Manitoba credit unions.
With its own career listings, "working at CUCM" pages, and community engagement story, visitors and prospective employees should come away with a more complete picture of this vital credit union support organization.
Manitoba's Credit Unions site refreshed
CUCM is also pleased to announce the launch of a refreshed public “Manitoba's Credit Unions” website, creditunion.mb.ca, for members of the public who want to learn more about credit unions and what they have to offer.
(We see you've found us. Welcome.)
In addition to general information about what makes credit unions unique, as member-owned co-operatives in the financial services industry, visitors can locate and connect to one of the 25 credit unions in the province, and use an interactive map to find one of their 180 locations. A similar map points them to the location of ATMs in Manitoba's (and Canada's) extensive credit union surcharge-free ATM network.
The site is bright, colourful, and succinct in its presentation of current facts and stats on Manitoba credit unions, the story of the financial co-operative system, and system career opportunities.
"The purpose of the site is to pique people's interest enough that they will take the next step and consider joining a Manitoba credit union," says Louise Smith, CUCM's VP of Knowledge and Strategy. "If credit unions see an uptick in traffic from our site, we'll have accomplished what we set out to do."
From one grassroots-minded group to another grassroots-minded group, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) announced, on May 9, that nine Manitoba credit unions have committed $38,500 to the MFGA and the MFGA Aquanty Project over the next three years.
"It's our responsibility to live and promote co-operative values to Manitobans," said Tim Klassen, CEO of Sunrise Credit Union and one of the driving forces behind the funding. "We believe the MFGA and the MFGA Aquanty Project for the Assiniboine River Basin are in very strong alignment with credit unions' dedication towards making Manitoba a great place to live for all Manitobans."
Westoba Credit Union CEO Jim Rediger, who worked with Klassen to promote the sponsorship to their colleagues, agreed.
"As financial cooperatives, credit unions are committed to the communities we serve," he said, "At Westoba, we look to support projects with long-term and wide reaching benefits. The MFGA Aquanty Project is an excellent investment in a more sustainable future for us all."
Besides Sunrise and Westoba, the sponsorship is funded by Access, Beautiful Plains, Crosstown Civic, Flin Flon, Noventis, Stride and Swan Valley credit unions.
The MFGA's highest-profile project underway right now is the MFGA Aquanty Project, a HydroGeoSphere high-resolution model of the Assiniboine River Basin to look at the role of forages and grasslands in times of future flood and drought in the basin. The model-building component of the MFGA Aquanty Project has been recently completed and the group is now finalizing the public access components. MFGA is the project proponent and holder of the licence for stakeholders and land managers to access the model. According to Darren Chapman, MFGA Chair, the credit unions' support is an exclamation mark of endorsement on MFGA's recent efforts.
"We are working hard to ensure that the forages and grasslands our MFGA producers grow and steward are valued and showcased in all discussions around natural infrastructure and community resiliency," said Chapman. "The MFGA Aquanty model will show these values from a water movement perspective, allowing producers, land managers and planners an unprecedented decision-support tool to help communities with flood and drought planning."
Chapman said he expects the project to be available for public and stakeholder audiences July 2018.
"The credit union support will help MFGA drive the decision-support ability even further ahead and hopefully, help accelerate the model discussion into the next phases of model development," he said.