Dakotaland Community Charter Expands to 25 Easter SD Counties
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
In today's volatile banking environment, building and maintaining a successful financial institution takes a mixture of creative technology, solid lending practices, excellent customer service, a portfolio of viable financial services, and for good measure, throw in a crystal ball for those much needed future financial predictions. In the case of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, an additional winning ingredient had been added providing its own kind of magic. Let me introduce you to Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. Logging nearly 25 years at the helm, Cumbee has provided the Credit Union with the vision and steadfast leadership that has positioned Dakotaland to be a flagship in Eastern Central South Dakota.
According to the history books, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union came from humble beginnings in Huron as Armour Federal Credit Union with a mere 10 members in 1935. The Credit Union was formed to provide savings and loans to its meat packing members. At that time, the average annual salary was $1500, the maximum credit union savings account was $500 and the maximum credit union loan was $25 dollars.
In 1983, the Credit Union's only sponsor group, Armour Meat Packing plant closed leaving 550 members wondering if they would lose their credit union permanently. The Board of Directors chose to expand the field of membership to include other employer groups in Huron and changed the Credit Union's name to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. In 1997, another plant closing (Dakota Pork), gave way to a community charter approval for Dakotaland. With nearly 6,000 existing members, the Credit Union opened its doors and services to anyone who lived or worked in Beadle County.
To date, Dakotaland has expanded to nearly 21,000 members and over $150 million in assets with branch offices located in Huron, Volga, Woonsocket, and Brookings. The Credit Union provides solid employment for 63 full and part time staff and has substantiated itself as a lending leader. "We have come along way since the days of Armours," commented Dan Cumbee. Dakotaland lends nearly $100 million per year and has provided over 40% of all the home mortgages for Beadle County the last two years running.
Today, Dan Cumbee is excited to announce the approval of a 25 County Community Charter Expansion, which will allow Dakotaland to extend credit union services to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the counties of Beadle, Jerauld, Sanborn, Kingsbury, Brookings, Moody, Lake, Miner, McCook, Hanson, Davison, Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Hand, Hyde, Hughes, Sully, Faulk, Spink, Clark, Codington, Hamlin, Grant and Deuel. "Our focus has always been on meeting the financial needs of our local community and this expansion means our family just got a whole lot bigger." commented Cumbee.
Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a locally owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative which is owned and operated by its members. This means it has no ties to Wall Street or to a corporate headquarters in another state. All decisions regarding the operation of the Credit Union and its member's financial business are made locally. This allows Dakotaland to maintain its focus and financial reinvestment in its loyal member-owners.
During our nation's recent financial downturn, Dakotaland is proud to say it has remained unshaken and very healthy. In addition, the soundness issues haunting the banking industry nationwide have had no effect on the Credit Union's strength and stability. "I give full credit for Dakotaland's continued success and soundness to Dan Cumbee.", stated Credit Union Board Chairman, Robin Olson. "It is Dan's forward thinking and long term planning that has gotten us where we are today. That kind of longevity and dedication amongst the management ranks is a rarity in today's world and I look forward to being a continued part of Dakotaland's bright future, not only serving on the board, but also as a 25 year credit union member." added Olson.
"We've always tried to do the right thing for our members and the communities we serve, even if that meant taking a risk", stated Cumbee. Dan went on to explain that it's easy being the primary financial institution during the good times, but it's the tough times that separates the mediocre financial institutions from the great ones. Dakotaland feels they have always locked arms with its members during the difficult times and have overcome the challenges, whether it was a large layoff or a plant closing. "Our members knew they could count on Dakotaland to be there for them." summarized Cumbee.
Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution, taking pride in serving its members. According to Cumbee, "It is our goal to keep a line up of services with excellent rates and low fees that best fit the needs of our members." Services range from the basic traditional to the latest in technology, while always maintaining an emphasis on convenience. Dakotaland offers Savings Accounts, Free Checking Accounts, Certificates Of Deposit, IRAs, and Direct Deposit for starters. Card Services include a Dakotaland Visa Credit Card, and Advantage ATM & Check Cards. The Credit Union also provides a wide variety of lending services including Auto Loans, Real Estate Loans, Recreational Vehicle Loans, Business Loans, Life Event Loans and Overdraft Protection. And last, but not least it features a line of electronic services which include an Interactive Web Site, Online Account Access, Mobile Banking, Automatic Bill Pay, Facebook and more.
So what is the secret recipe to a financial institutions success? There is no doubt the Credit Union's unprecedented growth and current position in the financial marketplace are greatly due to the management and vision of a very devoted President, but Mr. Cumbee will be the first to tell you that it's truly due to the hard work of the dedicated staff, the loyalty and trust of our members and the support of an outstanding Board of Directors that celebrates the past, maximizes the present and shapes the future for Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.