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Summit Credit Union Transforms Annual Member Meeting Model

MADISON, Wis.—Summit Credit Union recently held its annual meeting and member celebration, aptly called Summit Fest, at Mallard’s Stadium in Warner Park. The event was attended by 2,900 members, and allowed the member-owned cooperative to showcase its principle of giving back in an innovative and refreshing way.

The annual meeting wasn’t always so inclusive, previously taking place in offsite meeting facilities. But in 2013, in an effort to appeal to younger members, Summit conducted a member survey to gauge interest in a more interactive structure. Since then, the occasion has moved to spacious Warner Park to help ensure a wider member base from the Madison and Milwaukee areas can attend. Additionally, the experience focuses on family-centric activities for members to enjoy. As a result, attendance has increased by nearly 1,000 people year over year.

“Taking our annual meeting out of a conference room setting and into the community is one way we show our members how much we appreciate them,” said Summit CEO/President Kim Sponem. “We’ve been thrilled at the overwhelming response to the evolved meeting structure. This year we had over a thousand RSVPs, just from members who’ve attended in the past and had a great time. That’s what it’s all about.”

This year’s meeting was free for members and featured a picnic, games, gifts and activities including face painting, bingo, a petting zoo and kids’ obstacle courses. Summit also award three area students, Mary Clarie Mancl, Fiona McGilligan and Skyler Kane, with $1,500 Volunteer Board of Directors scholarships, as well as its $2,500 Mary Siedlecki grant to the Urban League of Greater Madison’s 21st Century Careers Program. This year’s winner of Summit’s $5,000 Faust Scholarship, Guadalupe Ibarra, was also honored.

Summit believes that any institution willing to put resources behind similar events could achieve the same level of success. “An investment in your annual meeting can yield great results,” said Sponem. “This entire transition has really been a testament to us being a cooperative, not a for-profit financial; and at the end of the day, it’s all about the feeling our members have when they spend time with Summit Credit Union.”

For more information about this year’s Summit Fest, click here