Roughly 55 members were in attendance at the in-person town hall held by gfcu.
photo submitted

Roughly 55 members were in attendance at the in-person town hall held by gfcu. photo submitted

Grand Forks Credit Union Hosts Information Sessions For the Proposed Merger with Gulf Fraser

Earlier this month, Grand Forks Credit Union (gfcu) hosted Member Information Meetings to help members gain clarity over the proposed merger with Gulf & Fraser*. A final Virtual Member Information Meeting will be held on November 28 at 7 p.m., via Zoom. To attend, members will need to register by visiting: https://www.gfcu.com/Townhall/

With well over 100 people in attendance between two events held on November 7th and November 15th, participants had the opportunity to hear from Board Chair, Michael Strukoff, Vice Chair, Daniel Drexler, Board Member, Teresa Woodruff, and CEO, Becky Clements on why the Board sees the proposed credit union merger to be the best option to meet the growing needs of the members, employees and the community. Also, in attendance from Gulf & Fraser were Board Chair Floyd Yamamoto, Vice Chair Doug Sweeting, co-CEO Bill Kiss, and co-CEO Jeff Shewfelt.

Following the withdrawal of a lengthy, multi-credit union merger project, the gfcu Board of Directors reaffirmed that continuing as an independent credit union was not in the best interest of its members in the long term. The Board agreedthat they needed to complete a thorough exploration to find an ideal credit union merger partner.

“Based on our research of potential partners, we believe a merger with Gulf & Fraser Credit Union will enhance the member experience in the ways our members are asking for,” said gfcu Vice Chair Daniel Drexler.

During the member information meetings, the management of both credit unions went through the various aspects of the merger, from sharing the history of the credit unions to what the future holds for them and what the merger would mean for members and staff of gfcu. During the Q&A, members asked questions that ranged from the timing and reasons for a merger, future community investments, and what would happen if the merger does not get approved.

For members who are still seeking more information, gfcu is encouraging them to reach out to gfcu staff and management or write to gfcu at connectingcommunities@gfcu.com. Members can also find information on the merger at merger.gfcuconnect.com.

Summarizing the ‘why’, ‘why now,’ and ‘what does the future hold for gfcu members,’ Board Chair Michael Strukoff said, “We have stayed independent as long as we possibly can. That’s why we are looking to merge while we are still profitable, have the capacity for improvement, and have ways to support the membership to improve everyone’s financial circumstances. That’s what the board considered, and we are asking for your support on this important resolution.”

The vote for the proposed merger will be held from Monday, November 28 at 9:30 a.m. PST through to Monday, December 5, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. PST. Members will be able to vote online through the link on www.gfcu.com, via mail-in ballot, or in person at the credit union.