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2023 Chairman and President’s Report

SIU Credit Union faced a unique year in 2023. We shifted some more of our attention to increased deposit growth, while still providing low interest loan products for our membership. Navigating inflationary times allowed us to focus on CD share options and other deposit opportunities that many members took advantage of throughout the year.

As president and chief executive officer, I am pleased to share that 2023 was another outstanding year for our member owners. We remained true to our mission statement of being the trusted provider of financial services to our member-owners, and subsequently to our vision of being the lifetime partner to our current and future members.


Some highlights from 2023:

  • As a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative, providing financial benefits to our members is our primary focus. Per our 2023 CUNA Membership Benefits Report, it is estimated that SIU Credit Union provided $9,330,721 in direct financial benefits to our members during the 12 months ending in September 2023.
  • SIUCU continues to expand our membership, which grew to over 44,700 members in 2023. We provided outstanding products and services for members needing auto loans, business loans, mortgages, refinancing, personal loans, or other requests.
  • Continuing to fulfill our pledge to provide credit to our membership, we grew our loan portfolio substantially over the prior year.
  • We were recertified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) credit union and were awarded funds to redistribute into our region to assist underserved borrowers in 2024 with new products such as our Fast Cash loan which will help get members out of the payday lending cycle.
  • We were recognized with the Distinguished Business of the Year Award from the Marion Chamber of Commerce for the first time.
  • We broke ground on the new SIU Credit Union Event Center at Touch of Nature in Carbondale. The facility is slated to be ready for operation by summer of 2024.
  • Converted all debit cards to a new in-house platform through Visa DPS, providing improved functionality, useful self-service options, and increased fraud protection.
  • We finalized negotiations on a new corporate headquarters located within the University Mall in Carbondale, where we’ll be able consolidate back-office staff from three different locations in a state-of-the-art facility.


Giving Back

SIU Credit Union was honored to assist many groups who do great things to support our communities.

Our employees donated over $9,200 to our “Jeans Because We Care” charitable fund this year, which is a new record for employee funds. We supported five local charities within the communities we serve. This year, employees voted to support The Night’s Shield in West Frankfort, Weekend Blessings in Metropolis, St. Francis CARE Animal Shelter based in Murphysboro, the Herrin House of Hope, and the 4 C’s Food Pantry in Harrisburg. In addition to these funds, our branches hosted supply drives for each of their charities in the fall to assist throughout the year.

We have made significant contributions to various organizations that support and benefit our communities. This includes a donation of $2000 to the Survivor Empowerment Center for their Survivor’s Circle of Hope and other events. We also contributed $2500 to the Salvation Army for their annual Tree of Lights campaign and provided $1000 to the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts for their “Lights Blizzard” and other seasonal events at the museum.

Our commitment to Southern Illinois University (SIU) and its student populations remains strong. We allocated $15,000 for SIU’s Touch of Nature Dawg Days event, which helps orientate students to their new home. We look forward to many outdoor events for both students and other visitors to be hosted at the SIU Credit Union Event Center located within the Touch of Nature campus as well.

Additionally, we provided $20,000 for other new SIU student orientation events. We also sponsored the SIU Women’s Conference with a $2500 sponsorship and supported the SIU Women’s Softball team with $1500 for their Fueling Station during the season.

In addition to our support for SIU, we have extended our assistance to various other groups and causes. This includes a $2000 donation to the Centerstone human services agency to help fund several programs, including their developmental group home. We have also demonstrated a strong commitment to the Special Olympics, contributing $5000 for their Ducky Derby fundraiser and $2000 for their Polar Plunge event. We have also provided support to the Night to Shine special needs prom event in 2023.

Recognizing the importance of supporting children in need, we donated $2000 to The Night’s Shield to assist area children with basic needs during times of family crisis. Furthermore, we contributed $2500 to the Boys and Girls Club for various local programs benefiting underprivileged youth.

Our contributions extend beyond social services and education. We have allocated $10,000 to the Morris Library on the SIU campus, supported the Nubability athletics annual fundraisers, and provided funding for local Juneteenth celebrations. These efforts reflect our commitment to making a positive impact in our communities.

Our dedication to instilling financial literacy to our region’s schools through various methods, such as our award-winning content provider Banzai, increased again this year. Our end-of-year report shows we impacted over 40,000 students and 183 active area teachers in our region with financial education tools.

We, along with the Illinois Credit Union League, also initiated a new financial wellness program into area high schools called “Bite of Reality.” This was a way to teach students how to budget for all that life shares in a fun and educational manner. We’re actively adding more schools for 2024 who have heard of the success of the program from their peers.

This year we also expanded our scholarship program to provide ten (10) total scholarships of $1000 each to members who are continuing their education, up from five for the previous several years.

We even added a fourth “Free Shred Day” to our schedule in 2023. Now in addition to Metropolis, Marion, and Carbondale dates, we’ve added a stop in Harrisburg where the public can bring up to 50 pounds of documents shred on-site for free. These are always well-received by our attendees and provide a safe and secure way to dispose of confidential information. We have also done well with soliciting donations for our area food pantries at these events as a bonus.


Moving Forward

Housing a growing staff within our current workspace has been a discussion point with our leaders for years, and in December we finalized the contract to purchase 80,000 sq. ft. of office space housed in the University Mall. Our back-office staff has been divided within three different locations for decades, and we jumped at the option to consolidate our groups under one roof to serve our membership more effectively and to reinvest in our region. No branches will be impacted by this move, and we hope to move our staff into their new workspace by the fall of 2024.

Our team continued to develop new ideas that will benefit our membership and how they conduct business with SIU Credit Union both in person and online, as well as other tools that will help make the member experience better and allow business to be conducted however they choose.

I thank our volunteer Board of Directors and Committee members for their direction and pledge to our mission to uphold the credit union mantra of “People helping people.”. As members-owners, these individuals are elected by you to represent your best interests, and they work under these initiatives for your financial cooperative every day.  I am also grateful for our credit union employees and thank them for their unwavering excellent service to our members.

We’re proud of what has been accomplished this year, and we look forward to continued success in 2024 and beyond. As always, We’re Working for You!

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