Community Service

Cyclists Ride for Cooperatives

Groups pledge support for CU business lending legislation.

August 07, 2012
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A unique group of bicyclists visited CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis., Monday afternoon as part of its effort to raise awareness of cooperatives and the benefits co-ops offer society.

Members of Co-Cycle, a youth-led, cross-country bicycle tour, met with local dignitaries and cooperative leaders—and read a proclamation from the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives pledging the organization’s official support for the Credit Union Small Business Lending Enhancement Act.

“We endorse removing a cap that constrains our ability to grow,” according to the proclamation, read by Co-Cycle member Charlotte Cadieux of Toronto. “It’s a shame that the member business lending cap limits our ability to work with credit unions.”

Jill Tomalin, CUNA’s senior vice president of association services, thanked the Federation and Co-Cycle for their support. She noted that raising the credit union member business loan cap would result in the creation of 140,000 new jobs in the U.S., and 4,400 in Wisconsin.

Cadieux says the journey—which started in San Francisco and ends in Amherst, Mass., on Labor Day weekend—has taught her much about cooperatives. “We’ve learned that the cooperative business model is really powerful, especially in times of financial crisis. It’s resilient because it’s based on principle and not on profit.”

The group has toured five credit unions thus far. “What I have found inspiring about credit unions is that [they allow] communities and individuals to have a stake in what happens to their money and how that money is invested,” Cadieux says.

She believes this practice and other credit union principles will resonate with youth. “This is a model that is oriented toward youth. Unlike banks, credit unions aren’t out to keep us in debt for the rest of our lives. Credit unions are here to help us flourish.”

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi lauded CUNA Mutual Group and CUNA for their strong support of local nonprofit organizations and highlighted the strength of the cooperative business model. “We’re here to celebrate co-ops from finance to food.”

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin explained how a recent conference on cooperatives’ role in the economy drew significant interest among city residents and others. “We celebrate the year of cooperatives. It’s very important what you’re doing.”

In June, Soglin passed a resolution through the U.S. Conference of Mayors urging support for the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill.

The 20 members of Co-Cycle will spend several days in Madison before riding on. A film crew from New York University is accompanying the group to create a documentary.

Check out scenes from Monday's event:

Cyclists promote cooperatives
CUNA's Jill Tomalin (left) listens as Co-Cycle's Charlotte Cadieux pledges support for CU MBL legislation.




Cyclists promote cooperatives
"We celebrate the year of cooperatives," says Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.








Cyclists promote cooperatives
From left: Leah Grossman, Luke Gay, and Audrey Frischman have visited five CUs so far during their long journey.




Cyclists promote cooperatives
“We’re here to celebrate co-ops from finance to food,' says Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.





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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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