CCUL Headlines: Political

Premier FCU's key to reaching its CCC goal? Make it personal

Tuesday, March 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Editor's note: In this monthly series, the Carolinas Credit Union League shines a light on credit unions that exceed expectations in their support of the Carolinas Capital Club.

Bottom: Premier FCU President/CEO Lori Thompson advocating for passage of HR 1151 in Washington, DC.

Premier Federal Credit Union is one of twelve North Carolina credit unions that achieved their Carolinas Capital Club contribution goal in 2017. Premier FCU reached 120% of their goal in 2016 and 2017, totaling almost $2,000 per year to the PAC. The League appreciates the dedication of credit unions to the Carolinas Capital Club and is committed to helping credit unions achieve their goals.

League PAC/Grassroots Specialist Maggie Ambrose asked Premier FCU President and CEO Lori Thompson for insight on how they continue to exceed their goals.

Maggie: As a smaller, mid-sized credit union with under 100 employees, what method works best for your credit union's contributions? Do you encourage all employees to sign up for payroll deduction or is participation mainly coming from the top-down, with support being the greatest within management?

Lori: We have encouraged all employees to participate and have contributions being made from all levels of our organization.

Maggie: Following up on my previous question, did you come across any challenges with implementing payroll deduction or reminding employees to contribute?

Lori: Implementing the payroll deduction option was pretty much seamless. This is the easiest and most efficient way to collect and remit the funds.  

Maggie: Why do you believe it is important for credit unions like Premier to be involved in the PAC and the League’s overall advocacy efforts?

Lori: Being involved with advocacy efforts gives us the opportunity to be heard and to promote legislation that will benefit our members. Supporting credit-union-friendly candidates through contributions is an important part of being involved and is essential to the process. We all have to be actively involved for the benefit of members and employees of credit unions.

Maggie: Do you find it challenging to educate employees on the importance of giving to the PAC? What is the message you deliver to Premier employees to get them involved?

Lori: Asking for money is never easy and asking for political contributions is even more challenging. It’s difficult to convince some employees that the contributions are bipartisan. We stress that the support goes to candidates that see value in credit unions and want to preserve the fundamental structure, regardless of the side of the aisle they sit on. I provide political updates from time-to-time, especially if there is a bill that has a direct impact on us or our members. We have involved employees in grassroots efforts as well.

Maggie: Do you have any words of advice for credit unions who are struggling to spread the CCC message and meet their Capital Club goal?

Lori: I think the best way to get employees involved is through real-life experiences. I was fortunate to have been involved in the assembly of more than 6,000 credit union employees in Washington, DC to promote the passage of HR 1151. There’s nothing more real than personally witnessing the importance of being involved and realizing what the outcome could have been if no credit union employees took the time to be heard. The key to spreading the message is to make it personal and to reinforce the positive impact that even the smallest contributions can make. Collectively, we have a powerful voice and can make a difference!

The Carolinas Capital Club supports credit unions' advocacy in North and South Carolina and in DC. To learn more about the Carolinas Capital Club, please contact a member of our advocacy team.

Billy Boylston
VP of Gov. Affairs, SC
    Evelyn Hawthorne
VP of Gov. Affairs, NC
    Maggie Ambrose
PAC/Grassroots Specialist

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