As the trade, advocacy, and support organization for Vermont’s credit unions, the Association provides an assortment of services and important functions to our members. In 2020, a year like no other in our history, the Covid-19 pandemic brought AVCU many new opportunities to serve members in ways we had not previously anticipated. Below is a departmentalized listing of how we’ve adapted and enhanced our products and services to better serve Vermont credit unions both pre- and throughout the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
- Annual January Credit Union display in Montpelier Statehouse Card Room (pre-Covid).
- Brought 40 Vermonters to CUNA’s GAC and held a Hike-the-Hill with Vermont’s federal legislative delegation (pre-Covid).
- Advocated for Paycheck Protection Program funding, automatic forgiveness, and a simplified application and forgiveness process for borrowers.
- On behalf of Vermont credit unions, contributed campaign funds to strategically selected credit union friendly candidates.
- Worked with state regulators to advance electronic notarization, real estate appraisal process, state small business financial assistance, state mortgage assistance program, and the classification of CUs as essential businesses.
- Reviewed 597 Vermont statehouse bills for potential applicability to credit unions, and identified priority issues.
- Modified our state-level advocacy efforts to adapt to the virtual realities of conducting advocacy during a pandemic.
- With assistance from business partners, established two free technology programs to assist credit unions with member communications during the pandemic.
- Brought to credit unions eight new product solutions to help credit unions provide improved services to members.
- Held three full-day executive roundtable events on Leadership and Indirect Lending.
- Held a 9-part informational series on mortgages and home energy efficiency lending.
- Held an 11-part series on cybersecurity and fraud prevention.
- Made available to our members five business partner webinars.
- Published 51 weekly issues of Newslines Express
- Launched a special Covid-19 Update email series and Covid-19 resources webpage to support and provide guidance to credit unions during the pandemic. Since March 19th, AVCU issued more than 100 Covid-19 Updates, sometimes multiple times per day, covering state and federal pandemic developments and guidance, interpretation of executive orders, and advocacy issues affecting credit unions. Updates are distributed to a wide range of credit union executives, senior management, regulators, and credit union related organizations.
- From April through June, AVCU conducted a Covid-19 Impact Survey to aggregate credit union financial support for members across multiple statistical areas, including the Paycheck Protection Program. A June media release and infographic were issued nationally summarizing the results.
- AVCU also conducted multiple surveys throughout the year on Vermont credit union pandemic responses, then provided ongoing testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on the data collected as well as the state of credit union daily operations.
- Produced and added 56 videos to the Vermont Credit Unions YouTube channel of events, education of various types for viewing by credit union employees, volunteers and others.
- Recorded 8 podcasts on a variety of subjects for archival to AVCU’s Vermont Credit Unions On Air podcast channel.
Education & Compliance
- Researched and curated more than 160 state-specific content updates to Vermont Compliance InfoSight.
- Offered 141 Webinars at discounted prices through the Credit Union Webinar Network.
- Presented six sessions of virtual ULEND Academy training in partnership with CUNA Mutual Group.
- Presented two days of IRA Essentials and IRA Advanced Topics virtual training in partnership with Ascensus.
- Hosted a virtual Bank Secrecy Act Officer Training in partnership with the CU League of Connecticut.
- Presented “History and Philosophy of the Credit Union Movement” (with handout) as part of CUNA’s 37-part Small Credit Union Webinar Series
- Presented our first-ever virtual Annual Meeting in three parts.
- Hosted 28 virtual Covid-19 Zoom Updates featuring a variety of subject matter experts sharing insights, knowledge and advice on key operational and other issues during a pandemic. Among others, expert guests included the NCUA board chair, Congressman Peter Welch, CUNA advocacy staff, Vermont state government medical and pandemic response point persons, media and social services experts, and several national and local economists.
- Participated in more than 40 Vermont-level meetings with legislators, state government pandemic response leaders, regulators and other advocacy groups related to Covid-19 issues to compare notes, answer questions, and develop uniform actions and response.
- Financially supported CUNA’s Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union social media campaign promoting credit union awareness throughout the state in order for it to continue through 2021.
- Issued a patronage refund to member credit unions for the 13th year in a row, totaling well over $1.5 million in Association funds that have been shared with Vermont credit unions.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion was a significant step in the credit union movement, with AVCU being among the first of a growing number of organizations across the country pledging support to the DEI Collective’s efforts.