From chocolate chip to oatmeal raisin to peanut butter, dozens upon dozens of the chewy goodies were enjoyed by a record-setting nearly 2,000 attendees at SPIRE Federal Credit Union's Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Day.
The attendance represents about a 40% jump from 2012, and about a 1300% increase from 2009. However, this wasn't the only record-setting number at SPIRE recently, and SPIRE's strong overall financial picture is behind this unusual approach to a credit union annual meeting.
"We had a record year – record new members, record checking accounts," said President & CEO Dan Stoltz. "We wanted to find a new way to share our message and to give back to our members providing them with an experience that's both informational and inspirational."
Stoltz covered the informational aspect by educating members not only on SPIRE's healthy financials, but on the U.S. economy as a whole. As for the inspirational, SPIRE presented Devon Harris of the Jamaican Bobsled Team as the featured speaker.
Born raised in a ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica, Devon served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force. In 1987, he tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team. This foursome of unlikely of bobsledders worked hard enough to qualify for the 1988 Olympics. Their adventures inspired the popular Disney movie Cool Runnings. "We felt Devon's message was a great fit for our event," said Stoltz. "At SPIRE, our dream is to become the Best Financial Institution in Minnesota. Like Devon's dream, it may sound a little crazy and difficult to attain, but I'm confident we will get there."
In addition to the education, the entertainment – and the cookies – SPIRE thanked each attendee with $25 cash.
"As a nonprofit credit union, it's our duty to find ways to give back to our members and the community, and that's where the cash thank-you comes in," said Stoltz. "Who knows? If we keep seeing this kind of growth, in a few years maybe we'll be considering the Target Center as our venue".