May 2, 2023 – The credit union industry often emphasizes the importance of sharing stories with members about the cooperative ecosystem. AKUVO CEO, Jay Mossman, has a unique story to tell. After building a successful tech company and selling it, he’s returned to the industry with a CUSO that has created a credit union model focused on retaining members during difficult times. Mossman’s leadership stems from his deep understanding that financial health is essential to building a good life for individuals and families.
Mossman was inspired to take action recently after hearing Rafal Matusiak, president of the Polish Credit Union System and CEO of Via Stella Foundation, speak at an UNDERGROUND event. Matusiak described how leaders worked together to build a path to safety for millions of Ukrainian refugees in Poland, primarily women and children. Mossman personally donated approximately $40,000 over the last six months to purchase an ambulance and medical equipment for these refugees. Mossman’s contribution provided an ambulance to evacuate ill and injured women from the Zaporizhzhia conflict zone where the embattled nuclear power plant is located.
Mossman asked Mitchell, Stankovic and the Underground to issue a challenge to his colleagues running CUSOs for 10 of them to make donations of $10,000 each to Via Stella Foundation, supporting the Polish credit union movement’ front lines work to respond to the war’s humanitarian crisis. “The CUSO business model is dependent upon access to members and when credit unions work together to solve issues, it is a market differentiator,” Mossman said, “There are no CUSOs without credit union members. Fintechs and other competitors want access to our members, but we have their trust when we embody the motto, “people helping people.” I challenge my CUSO colleagues to be humanitarians and support credit union response in Poland.”
“CUSOs and credit unions have been moved by Rafal Matusiak’s appeal,” noted Via Stella Board Advisor Susan Mitchell, who is also CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates and the Underground. “I am proud to share that since we first featured the Russian war on Ukraine and how Polish credit unions are responding in March of 2022, more than $200,000 has been raised from our Underground community. These donations go directly to Via Stella Foundation to fight back and give a path of safety for refugees.”
Underground thought leaders are responding. Tony Boutelle, CEO of Origence, just stepped in with a $25,000 donation. Brett Martinez, CEO of Redwood donated $50,000. Keith Sultemeier, CEO, and Kinecta’s Board donated over $100,000 since the invasion by Russia, and other Underground participants like Eagle Community, Santa Cruz Community, and Unitus have contributed. Individual donations have also come from Underground attendees who purchased pictures from Ukrainian and American children, which were auctioned at the Underground Collision with Money 20/20.
Stand up with Jay and make a difference. “CUSO leaders, let’s raise $100,000! Be a CUSO trailblazer and ally.” 100% of your donation will go directly to Via Stella Foundation. The fight is real in Ukraine and Poland and credit union people need help!
Dr. Branch, Chair of Via Stella Foundation says it best, “When others rush out from conflict, credit unions rush in. I urge you to respond to Jay Mossman’s challenge.”
Funding contributions can be made via wire instructions on the Via Stella Foundation: https://www.viastella.pl/ and credit card contributions can be made via the PayPal portal on the same Via Stella website: https://www.viastella.pl/ .
Contact: Zach Christensen