Apr 26, 2023 /

A message from Board Chair, Susan Taves

In 1964, our founders had a radical vision: to see mutual aid put into faithful practice through a community-led credit union. Fifty-nine years later, this beginning still shapes what we do and how we go about doing that together – through mutual aid, economic justice, and selfless service in our day-to-day financial lives.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is an honour to serve alongside out staff members and leadership, members, and community partners who make up the Kindred Credit Union Community. It is the resilience of the Kindred community and commitment to our shared purpose and values that has carried us through these challenging economic times.

As Board Chair, I recognize that those in leadership need to inspire. Whether it is modelling appropriate conversations, enhancing our decision-making process, or withstanding turbulent times, our leaders set the pace.

From the beginning, Kindred has been a leader in social purpose, sustainability, and community support. We are a member of the Ontario Living Wage Network, the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, and a certified B Corp. Our commitment to mutual aid is in our DNA.

With the recent modernization of the Credit Union Act, we were required to revise sections of Kindred’s General By-Law. Since 1994, when the previous Act was passed, the financial services landscape has changed significantly and the legislation governing the sector had become outdated. This modernization of the Act will help credit unions be more agile and competitive and embodies the prevailing governance best practices in the use of principles-based, plain language. We also took this opportunity to update our membership definition, supported by a clearer description of who we are. In the midst of these changes, the essence of Kindred’s shared values has not changed – they are the heart of our identity.

It is worthwhile noting that these discussions are more than a regulatory process, more than words around a Board table, and this direction to revise our membership definition has not been taken lightly. The Board deliberated on this topic on many occasions over the last couple of years. In mid-2022, a working group of board members, community members, and staff members assembled to thoughtfully consider how we communicate and position our shared purpose and values in the context of membership language and practices.

Their efforts resulted in clear, unanimous recommendations presented to the Board that led to further robust discussion, both in general and specifically regarding the By-laws. The working group’s recommendation to amend the By-laws was endorsed by the full Board of Directors and serves as the basis of this direction. The changes clarify and align our legal document with our current practices and position Kindred to continue growing our membership and impacting our communities. Those in attendance at our Annual General Meeting held on April 12 voted 86% in favour of the motion to change our By-laws. By updating our membership definition, we have a clearer description of Who We Are on kindredcu.com and in our membership application.

We all need community. Kindred’s work to inspire peaceful, just, and prosperous communities is essential. As we engage with individuals and our community partners, we are empowering members and building capacity for positive, sustainable change in our neighbourhood and communities.

In my five years as your Board Chair, I have witnessed that you – the Kindred community – have made us stronger and more resilient. We are committed to meet members where they are to provide the financial services and mutual aid needed to confidently face the future.

– Susan Taves,
Board Chair, Kindred Credit Union