I’ve been curious to know more about the previous generations in my family. A few weeks ago I submitted a DNA sample to a company to see what I could learn. The test results are in and the findings are eye-opening. My family tree features a diverse collection of fascinating cultures and places.
I think it’s important to know where one comes from. Having a sense of how we have arrived teaches us lessons for the future. This applies to organizations as well as families. Take for instance the background of the Credit Union industry.
Did you know the idea of cooperative financial services originated over 175 years ago? Knowing this gives me a new appreciation for how we do business today. In the early days, credit societies were formed in Europe by farmers and craftsmen who wanted to avoid unscrupulous money lenders. Today, we call these credit societies credit unions.
The modern day credit union has the same goals of serving members. Your Credit Union has an ancestry that shapes the way we do business. Just like in the early days, your Credit Union is a cooperative that is owned by the members it serves. In 1840, credit societies were managed by folks in the local community.
Today, your Credit Union Board of Directors are members — just like you. In the beginning, cooperative society members understood the importance of democratic control. Members of LGFCU also have an equal vote in such matters.
My DNA tells a story about my family history. Your Credit Union membership has a story of its own as well. You are part of a special cooperative system that empowers members to improve their lives every day.
Today, over 100 million memberships are represented in credit unions across the nation. There are even more members worldwide.
That means we have a lot of credit union cousins.