About Us

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), Randy Tupper (Vice President), Chad Frensko (Treasurer), Josh Soucy (Secretary), Dan Brenden, Deb Melville, and Don Barrow.

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, performed by an outside CPA firm. Current Supervisory Members are: Cynthia Brugman (Chairperson), Carol Maloney, Laurie Conley, and Marcene Rossow.

Our History

The year 2023 marked the 70th 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 $37+ million in assets, the Credit Union has experienced substantial growth and has seen many changes.

This Credit Union had its beginnings under the influence of Art Voelsch. As part of Farmers’ Union Co-op, he traveled to 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’ 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. On Leonard’s retirement, Kathy Lentsch was hired as manager and continues in that capacity at present.

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 at 314 1st Ave NE. In April 1984, the Credit Union moved to a small office on the south side of the former Uptown Motel located at 316 East Kemp. In October 1999, the office moved to the west side of the building, a much larger area, and shared the space with Watertown Rubber Workers Federal Credit Union. Finally, in September 202, the office moved to its present location at 712 9th Ave SE (former Shopko Building).

Since both Sioux Valley Co-op FCU and Watertown Rubber Workers FCU offered identical services to their members, the board of directors and membership of both credit unions voted in 2004 to merge the two credit unions to better serve the members. In July 2004, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) approved the merger. Credit Union Officials chose to keep the name “Sioux Valley Co-op Federal Credit Union.” 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 and 4 of the members became loan officers.

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 fields of membership, by encouraging and promoting financial services that enhance each member’s individual circumstances.

Some of the very first loans with 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, some of those loans needed to be extended. A financial statement from the year-end 1959 states the total number of loans made in that year was 37. In contrast, we averaged 88 loans per month in 2023.

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 partners: Dakota Bodies, Inc; Superior Homes; Twin City Die Castings; Smith Equipment; Watertown Area Transit; B&G Welding; Codington County; Jenkins Living Center and Minnesota Rubber Workers (through the merger).

The staff has grown from one part-time individual to 6 full-time & 1 part-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, e-signatures, notary services, etc. Many, many dedicated volunteers, past and present, have served on the Board and committees throughout the years. They have shared in the success of the Credit Union by making good sound decisions. The Credit Union currently has $37+million in assets and has a net worth exceeding 17.00%.

The Board of Directors, Committees, and Staff wish to thank all of you who have served as dedicated volunteers throughout the past 70 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. Going forward we hope the upcoming years will be a springboard to the continuation of our organization as a financial institution, “where people are worth more than money.”