Waterloo – Kindred Credit Union held their 55th Annual General Meeting on April 9th at Creekside Church in Waterloo
Under the theme “Living our Purpose”, Credit Union members and guests learned about a strong year of earnings and growth, a new share offering, and welcomed their new CEO, Ian Thomas.
What made this AGM stand out from those of other financial institutions, even other credit unions, was the focus that Kindred Credit Union places on values that include mutual aid initiatives, community support, international development, peace, and justice.
Each year, the Credit Union profiles three ‘partner’ organizations – either beneficiaries of the Kindred CU Charitable Fund, or partner organizations that share similar values. This year, Kindred highlighted Community Justice Initiatives, The Working Centre, and Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, and invited representatives from each organization to share about the work that their organizations do. Two years ago, Oikocredit Canada was recognized as one of the three featured partner organizations.
In his remarks, new CEO Ian Thomas highlighted the strong values of Kindred Credit Union as a significant reason why he chose to accept the position and relocate from the west coast to Ontario. “Kindred Credit Union’s commitment to members and the dedication to making a difference through a values-led approach compelled me to move across the country to help author the next chapter in our collective story.” Said Thomas. “I was initially drawn to the organization’s Purpose and Values and, since joining Kindred in early 2019, I have since been impressed by its commitment to staff members, members, and the community.”
Others from the credit union system, including the CEO of a rival credit union, stood up during the question and answer period to affirm Kindred’s values and their leadership in making a difference.
A key reason why the Credit Union came into existence in 1964 was to provide a mutual aid loan program whereby members can provide low or no-interest deposits to provide low-interest loans to other members who are facing extraordinary challenges. This mutual aid philosophy continues today and is now just one of many mutual support, charitable, and partner support initiatives undertaken by Kindred. It’s these initiatives, among other values-focused elements of their corporate culture, that have contributed to Kindred’s more recent distinction as a B Corp, and repeat recipient of B Lab’s recognition as ‘Best for the World’.
For over three years, Kindred Credit Union has partnered with Oikocredit Canada to offer the Oikocredit Global Impact GIC to Credit Union members as an investment option that helps to eliminate poverty, improve financial inclusion, and promote economic development in developing countries.