Crossroads Credit Union reports positive changes for 2015

            The Crossroads Credit Union hosted an annual informational banquet meeting at the Sturgis Community Hall on April 18. The meeting was one of three, with the others being held in Margo on April 19 and in Canora on April 20.

            In offering a message from the board, Stinka said: “This was a year marked by changes in the financial services industry, in the credit union system and at Crossroads. The financial services industry is still evolving as a result of the worldwide financial crisis back in 2008. The stricter standards have changed the way we manage our balance sheets.

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            “Asset growth has always been a priority for Crossroads. We were able to strengthen our profitably by controlling costs and generating non-interest revenue. Our financial strength has allowed us to give back to our communities and members. Member support is in the root of our success and the board rewarded members for their patronage in 2015 by allocating $300,000 to member equity accounts. We also made significant investments in the communities we serve with $57,000 in sponsorships and donations throughout our region.”

            Crossroads and Churchbridge credit unions decided to end their merger talks in May after an in-depth analysis of the benefits, risks and costs of bringing the two together. They agreed it was in the best interests of both to remain independent, according to a release from the Credit Union. Other changes faced was the departure of CEO Perry Wishlow and the retirement of Rick Kozmanuik, the chief financial officer. Linda Osachoff was hired as CEO and was charged with the task of introducing a new concept called management by committee.

            Dale Zubko was welcomed to the board of directors to represent Preeceville for a two-year term.for a two-year term to represent Preeceville.

            "Governance remains an important issue for our regulator and our board takes its role seriously. Crossroads Credit Union remains sound, stable and profitable. We enter 2016 with a renewed vision and sense of purpose. There are 232 credit unions in communities across Saskatchewan with over 3,500 employees and the base belief is that strong communities make strong credit unions," he said.

            Linda Osachoff gave the CEO’s report.

            "Crossroads has seen many changes in 2015 such as changes in leadership, staff and the direction on which the Credit Union focuses in a rapidly changing world.

            “I 'm extremely proud of the way our visionary board and hard-working staff tackled new regulatory requirements, significant changes in our organizational structure and changes in strategic direction.

            "Though growth remained moderate in 2015, we met all regulatory standards and strengthened our profitability. Crossroads earned $1.4 million in income and posted a return on assets of 0.83 per cent, which we well above the target. This result was supported by strong non-interest revenue and a concerted effort at cost control.

            "Our assets grew 2.9 per cent to $239.5 million, Stinka said. More moderate growth is likely to be the trend in coming years as we carefully manage our balance sheets to ensure we continue to meet regulatory standards and maintain profitability. Commitment to community is the one of the things that sets credit unions apart. We donated $14,000 to causes and organizations and provided $2,500 in post secondary scholarships. We invested an additional $43,500 through our Community Investment fund.

            "As we move into 2016, Crossroads will continue working to install financial confidence in all of our stakeholders. We have positioned ourselves well to take on the challenges faced by a credit union in today's economy," he said.    

            Rhonda Fullawka, the chief financial officer, read from the report by the auditor and the financial reports. The total comprehensive income reported was $1,414,090 and the total assets was $238,708,328.

            Ivan Peterson was elected by acclamation to represent the board in Sturgis.

            Barb Leason from the Preeceville branch received a staff service award for 25 years of service. Jeff Bisschop made the presentation.

            "Barb's wonderful journey in Credit Union started at Saskatoon CU in 1989. ln 1997 she came back home and started with CCU and by fall of 1995 was lending on a full-time basis. Barb has held a number of positions in the system from remittance clerk, teller, loan reception, loans officer, loans officer ll, branch supervisor, conversion team, FSO lll, Senior agricultural/commercial lender.

            "Throughout the last couple decades she has worked with many wonderful people who have helped her with her career and without co-workers; Barb says she wouldn't have made it as far as she has and that includes 8or 9 managers. Barb continues to remind me that her early retirement was 2013. But her co-workers and I won't let her go yet. She still has lots of loans to write and insurance to place. And I can't forget the many members that have seen her over the years and actually have a couple families where the she is lending to the third generation."

            Ron Jaques, on behalf of the Endeavour School Community Complex gave a report of what the Crossroads donations have meant for the organization.

            "When the school closed in 2005-2006 the Village of Endeavour purchased the school for $1, Jacques said..We have made many changed that included, making the adjourning classroom into a kitchen built new cupboards, rewired and replaced the plumbing fixtures. We have had many generous donations through service clubs and private donations. Through many volunteer hours we replaced the roof with rafters and sheeted another portion. The Crossroads has helped us see this dream a reality with its $2,000 donations towards replacement of windows. We also recently rented one of the classrooms to the Mennonites along with renting the c0mplex out for suppers, weddings, dances and cold storage."

            In 2015, the Crossroads Credit Union donated to numerous community organizations. The Canora and District Health Care Foundation and the Health Foundation of East Central Saskatchewan each received a donation of $10,000. In Preeceville, the Preeceville Curling Club received $1,000; and $2,000 was donated to the Preeceville and District Mushers Rendezvous. In Sturgis, $1,000 was donated to each, the Sturgis Curling Rink and Sturgis R.E.A.D Club.

            Other donations included: $2,000 each to the Assiniboine River Archery Club, to the Buchanan Curling club, Canora Arts Council and R.M of Sasman Municipal Park. The Canora Slo-pitch League received $500; Invermay School received $1,000; $500 to the Keen Age Society in Canora; $2,500 to the Margo playground and $4,000 towards the Royal Canadian Legion branch.