CHICAGO – The Selfreliance Federal Credit Union (SFCU) held its 70th Annual Meeting at the organization’s home office in Chicago. It reported assets exceeding $700 million, a net income of $1.3 million in 2020 and capital approaching $115 million, the SFCU leadership reported during the meeting.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors Oleh Karawan called to order the meeting, which was held on August 4 with social distancing and occupancy restrictions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Karawan spoke of the challenges the credit union faced and overcame during the pandemic. He said the Selfreliance Foundation reacted as soon as lockdown restrictions were announced in order to provide financial assistance to Ukrainian churches and community organizations in anticipation of their need, waiting for them to request assistance.
Mr. Karawan also applauded the ability of the credit union’s staff, under the leadership of President and CEO Vitaliy Kutnyy, to react swiftly and meet the financial needs of its members and the community at large.
Board Secretary Victor Wojtychiw read the minutes of the 69th Annual Meeting, which were accepted as read. The Rev. Serhiy Kovalchuk, pastor of St. Nicholas Cathedral, read the invocation.
Mr. Kutnyy reported on the financial condition of SFCU and credit union operations, saying that the credit union responded to the needs of its members during the pandemic by introducing a skip-a-pay feature for credit union members who were finding it difficult to make monthly loan payments. The credit union also suspended charging fees for ATM use.
The credit union’s planned expansion of its online banking services was especially timely. Expanding online member access to their accounts via smartphone, tablet or computer enabled credit union members who could not physically visit the credit union offices due to pandemic restrictions to access their accounts from home.
The credit union participated in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, issuing $3.7 million in loans to help small businesses with expenses, including $880,000 provided in loans to churches and other community institutions.
Selfreliance FCU initiated a scholarship program, through which 15 young credit union members received assistance toward college tuition. Despite delays in material procurement and construction, Selfreliance was able to open a new office in Hamtramck, Mich., to better serve the community in the Detroit area.
Despite the difficult circumstances, 2020 was a financially profitable year for Selfreliance FCU. 1,200 credit union members borrowed a total surpassing $100 million, taking advantage of historically low interest rates. Credit Union assets exceeded $700 million. Credit union net income for 2020 was $1.3 million, and credit union capital is approaching $115 million.
Selfreliance continues to be one of the most stable financial institutions in the United States. In 2020 the credit union surveyed its members, and over 800 individuals provided responses and suggestions for improved services. Mr. Kutnyy especially thanked employees who, despite facing great challenges, came in to work during the pandemic.
Bohdan Wruskyj, Supervisory Committee chairman, said this year the committee focused its audits on a number of issues, including inventories, accounts payable, risk assessment, audits of bank reconciliation and responses to member issues and concerns.
Irene Wruskyj reported on behalf of the Nominating Committee, whose members represent three Ukrainian youth organizations: Irene Wruskyj (CYM), Mykola Skyba, Jr., (ODUM) and Andriy Kolomayets (Plast). The Nominating Committee presented a slate of three individuals to serve as directors: Oresta Fedyniak, Ihor Laszok and Joseph Owerko. These three board members were unanimously reelected.
Victor Wojtychiw read the list of greetings from religious and community organizations. Secretary Victor Wojtychiw read the list of organizations submitting written greetings to the Annual Meeting. These included, from Illinois, the Ukrainian National Credit Union Association in the U.S.; the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago; the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art; Branch 8 of the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine (ODFFU); the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of the U.S.A.; the Holodomor-Genocide Foundation; the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble Hromovytsia.
Organizations in New Jersey included the Morris Branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America; the ODFFU 1st and 5th branches; the Ukrainian Youth Association of Jersey City, N.J.; the Newark Branch of Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization in the U.S.A.; the Ukrainian National Home in Irvington, N.J.; Chornomorska Sitch Sports Association; the Ukrainian Sports Federation of the U.S.A. and Canada (USCAK); the Ukrainian Sports Hall of Fame/Museum; St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark, N.J.; Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hillside, N.J.; the Ukrainian National Woman’s League of America Branch 75 in Maplewood, N.J.; Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble; Svoboda and The Ukrainian Weekly.
Addressing the gathering in person were Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Chicago; Consul General of Ukraine in Chicago Serhiy Koledov; the Rev. Kovalchuk, pastor of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Chicago; UCCA Illinois Branch President Ihor Diaczun; the Chief Operating Officer of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF) Joseph Solimini; Principal of St. Nicholas Cathedral School Anna Cirilli; Andres Durbak of St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church; and community activist Olena Shkrobut.
The Board of Directors of Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union for 2021-2022 is made up of the following individuals: Oleh Karawan, chairman of the Board; Bohdan Watral, vice-chair/treasurer; Victor Wojtychiw, vice-chair/secretary; Mr. Laszok and Ms. Fedyniak, vice-chairpersons; Christina Kozij, John Oharenko, Joseph Owerko and Roman Yatskovskyy, members; and John Pawlyk, honorary member.
Photos of the 70th Annual Meeting of Selfreliance FCU are available on the credit union’s website, www.selfreliance.com. There are also links to the SFCU annual report and credit union history on the website. Individuals can also find more information about the SFCU on the organization’s Facebook page. A video of the meeting is also available on the credit union’s website.
Source: SFCU Marketing and Public Relations Department