About Us


SIOUX VALLEY CO-OP FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
Serving our members since 1953


What is Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union?

Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union is a cooperative non-profit financial institution organized to provide its members with a place to save and a source of loans at reasonable rates. SVCFCU is owned and operated by its members. SVCFCU has a Board of Directors that is elected by its members, and has the responsibility to establish policies and procedures that provide sound and effective management of the credit union’s operations. Board members serve for a three year term on a volunteer basis. Current Board members are: Todd Good (President), Doug Schimmel (Vice President), Chad Frensko (Treasurer), Jim Beskow (Secretary), Gordon Lee, Josh Soucy, & Marlys Knight.
Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union has a Supervisory Committee, whom is appointed by the Board on an annual basis and serve on a volunteer basis. The Supervisory Committee oversees the performance of the officials, loan officers, and employees, and is responsible for the annual audit, which they hire an outside Certified Public Accountant to perform. Current Supervisory Committee members are: Barb Kienast (Chairperson), Ray Achterberg, Gayla Anderson, and Barb Weber.

Are Credit Unions Safe?

Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union is regulated and examined by an agency of the federal government, National Credit Union Administration.  Each member’s Credit Union deposits are insured up to $250,000 by this agency.  Credit Union employees are also bonded.   

 


Our History


The year 2018 marks the 65th anniversary of Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union.  From its meager beginnings of holding board meetings in the home of one of the original charter members to its present $19+ million in assets, the Credit Union has experienced substantial growth and has seen many changes.  Some of the most dramatic changes have occurred:

  • In policies, dividend rates, loan rates, and compliance
  • The period of de-regulation in the 1980’s
  • From hand posting to the present age of technology.

This Credit Union had its beginnings under the influence of Art Voelsch.  As part of Farmers’ Union Co-op, he traveled the area in 1953 visiting with over 700 farmers.  He saw the need for the pooling and borrowing of money, which is the basis of credit union philosophy.  Art traveled to Washington, D.C. in 1953 with about 40 others on a National Farmers’ Union bus to meet and speak with legislators regarding farm bills and legislation.

On June 13, 1953, a credit union was chartered as Watertown Farmers’ Union Co-op FCU.  Ten individuals signed the charter.  Those 10 original charter members were Wilbert Bartz, James Stormo, Frank Boeder, J.N. Rueschenberg, August Zamow, John Boyd, Arthur Voelsch, William J. Fox, Edgar O. Bunde, and Joseph J. Fox.   The Bureau of Federal Credit Unions approved the charter on June 30, 1953.  Through the years, the name and field of membership of the Credit Union experienced several changes:

  • In 1953 the field of membership was limited to “members, participating patrons, and employees of the Farmers’ Union Machinery and Supply in Watertown.”
  • In 1955 an amendment to the charter was made for the field of membership to read:  “members, participating patrons, etc. of the Watertown Co-operative Elevator Association in Watertown”.
  • In 1958 another amendment was signed, changing the field of membership to “members of the Sioux Valley Co-op” when the Sioux Valley Co-op broke away from Watertown Community Oil.
  • On August 15, 1963, the charter was amended to change the name of the credit union to the present “Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union”.
  • Several amendments have been made in subsequent years adding various select employee groups to the field of membership.

The first Treasurer of the Credit Union was Leonard Stoltenburg.  William (Bill) Fox, who worked at Swift Packing House, followed as the second Treasurer.  Following Bill’s death in 1960, Leonard Richter, manager of the Sioux Valley Co-op, took over as manager of the credit union until March, 1987.  Since that time to the present, Kathy Lentsch has served as the manager.

The first Board meetings on record were held in Bill Fox’s house.  The office was later moved to the back room at Sioux Valley Co-op on Highway 20.  From September 1983 through February 1984, monthly meetings were held at the Panatorium Dry Cleaners office at 314-1st Ave NE.  In April 1984, the Credit Union moved to 316 East Kemp, to an office on the south side of the former Uptown Motel.  In October 1999, the office moved to its present location on the west side of the building, sharing space with Watertown Rubber Workers FCU. 

In July 2004, the decision was made and approved by the National Credit Union Administration to merge Watertown Rubber Workers FCU into the Sioux Valley Co-op FCU to better serve the members from both credit unions.  The officials of both Credit Unions were combined resulting in a Board of Directors consisting of 11 directors and a Supervisory Committee consisting of 5 members.  The credit committee was abolished, but 4 of its 6 members became loan officers.  The Credit Union officials chose to keep the name “Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union”.  Overnight, the assets increased from $4.8 million to $6 million.

In 2004, the following Mission Statement was adopted:

The Mission of Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union is to effectively
Serve its existing and future members, as defined by the field of
Membership, by encouraging and promoting financial services that
Enhance each member’s individual circumstances.

Some of the very first loans with the Credit Union were in the amounts of $100.  The purpose of those loans was to purchase gas.   They were set up as one-pay loans, due in the fall of the year.  Due to lack of funds at maturity, those loans needed to be extended.  A financial statement from year-end 1959 states the total number of loans made in that year was 37.  In contrast, we averaged 85 loans per month in 2017.

Throughout the years, several select employee groups have been added to the field of membership.  These employee groups include employees (and their families) of the following employers:  Terex-Telelect;  ANZA, Inc; Persona; Wurth Electronics Midcom; Sparton Onyx; SD Partners;  Dakota Bodies, Inc;  Superior Homes;  Twin City Die Castings;  Smith Equipment; Watertown Area Transit;  B & G Welding; Codington County; and Minnesota Rubber Workers (through the merger).

The staff has grown from one part-time individual to four full-time employees.  There are now 7 Directors on the Board and 4 Supervisory Committee members.

In addition to just savings and loans, the credit union has added several services over the years. We now offer share certificates, youth savings club, Christmas club, home banking, e-statements, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, ACH originations, payroll deductions, etc. On special occasions, the credit union’s employees have also been known to serve the members after hours and on weekends.  Many dedicated volunteers on the Board, former Credit Committee, and Supervisory Committee have shared in the success of the Credit Union throughout the years, by making good sound decisions.  The Credit Union currently has $19+ million in assets and has a net worth exceeding 21.0 %. 

The Board of Directors, Committees, and Staff wish to thank all of you who have served as dedicated volunteers throughout the past 65 years for both the Sioux Valley and Watertown Rubber Workers FCU’s!  We also extend a special “thank you” to our members for your faithful support of the Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union.  We hope our 65th anniversary will be a springboard to the continuation of our organization as a financial institution “where people are worth more than money”.