An advocacy army 100+ strong attends Idaho Credit Union Day at the Capitol

SEATAC, WA (February 2, 2018) — More than 100 advocates joined the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) for Idaho Credit Union Day at the Capitol Jan.30.  Key messages they shared: Gem State credit unions are among the Movement’s highest financial performers, nearly one million Idaho consumers belong to a credit union, and the economic impact driven by credit unions is significant.

$638 Million Impact

A new tool shared with legislators was the 2017 Economic Impacts of Credit Unions in Idaho report, a first-of-its-kind independent analysis performed by economists at ECONorthwest.

The report measured the impact of direct benefits that credit unions as not-for-profit cooperatives, are uniquely positioned to deliver to their members. In addition, economists calculated the impact of jobs, economic output, and income supported by credit unions.

“Fifty five percent of Idaho’s population gets it,” NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang said. “It’s not about Wall St.  It’s about being part of a not-for-profit, cooperative credit union.  Those members have their benefits in their pockets, and whether they decide to save it or spend it locally, the ripple effect credit unions have on this state’s economy is $638 million.”

Dr. Michael Wilkerson, Project Director/Partner, ECONorthwest, presented details on the report at a luncheon attended by advocates and dozens of legislators.

Wilkerson explained that as not-for-profit, cooperatives, credit unions are uniquely positioned to deliver benefits back to their members, and that in Idaho in 2016, this created $90 million in funds that were available for credit union members to spend. Idaho credit unions’ 2,520 employees each supported 1.2 other jobs in the economy, meaning credit unions supported $274 million in income for Idahoans.

Wilkerson commented on the popularity of credit unions in the Gem State.

“It’s impressive that in 42 of 44 counties, you have 1,000 members,” he said. There are 35 credit unions in Idaho, and 917,400 consumers are members.

“Climb Idaho” Soars

The advocacy delegation was diverse, ranging from C-Suite veterans to up and coming credit union employees.

Bringing a delegation of 27 advocates to Credit Union Day at the Capitol, “Climb Idaho”—part of the NWCUA’s Northwest Professionals Network– embarked on an extremely important advocacy mission: to share their role as employees, and their credit unions’ impact helping members.

Kevin Trombly, Sr. Roving Financial Services Representative with Meridian-based CapEd FCU, personally saw that impact play out, and help one of his former teachers.

“I had a teacher who taught me when I was in Junior High, that we actually provided a $750 grant to, and he was able to touch the lives of his students for about five years,” said Trombly. “That’s an important part of being a credit union member, and being part of the Credit Union Movement, so we can impact so many people.”

Caldwell-based Simplot Employees Credit Union invited its entire staff to participate.

“We closed the credit union today with the blessing of our members and our board, because it’s so important. If you don’t come to the table, you’re going to be on the menu,” said President and CEO Val Brooks. “We really need to advocate for the credit union for our members, and we have to set the example.”

Idaho Department of Finance’s Gavin Gee Honored

The 2018 Idaho Community Impact Award was presented to Gavin Gee, Director, Idaho Department of Finance, for his regulatory leadership.

Gee congratulated Gem State credit unions for being “healthy and strong, safe and sound.”

“You will continue to do business and serve your members, and that’s what is important,” Gee said in noting that Idaho credit union memberships and assets have grown exponentially since he became Director in 1996.

A Key Legislative Priority

Ryan Fitzgerald, NWCUA Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Idaho, has been working with members of the Idaho Governmental Affairs Committee on legislation to drive updates to the Idaho Credit Union Act.

Advocacy, he said, needs to be continuous to be effective.

“Please continue to ask them to support our legislation to update the Act, because it helps us to better serve our members,” Fitzgerald said.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol for the NWCUA in downtown Boise

Credit Union Day at the Capitol for the NWCUA in downtown Boise

About Northwest Credit Union Association

The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing more than 175 not-for- profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 8.1 million consumer members. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions look out for their members’ financial well-being. Everyone should open their eyes to a credit union.  For more information, please visit:


Lynn Heider
503.329.7208 |

Jenny Miller
208.713.9596 (Mobile)

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