Utah Heritage Credit Union says
economy and company both strong
Keynote speaker focuses on value of rural business
By Lloyd Call
Feb. 15, 2018
MORONI—Utah Heritage Credit Union is profitable and growing.
That’s what Donald Watson, the credit union’s CEO, told shareholders at their annual meeting on Thursday, Feb. 8.
“Last year’s theme was, ‘We are stronger and better than ever,’ and our end-of-year statements show we made that goal,” Watson said. “We had 5.2 percent more loans last year, totaling over $18 million, and our assets are up 8 percent over the previous year.”
He also said return on investment was 1.8 percent, and member equity was up 10.2 percent. “We have added 677 new members last year, and our membership is now more than 7,500,” Watson said.
While saying he believed interest rates would continue to rise and the economy strengthen, he introduced this year’s theme, “Building for the Future.”
Janice Hintze of Manti was recognized for her service on the board of directors. Hintze is joining her husband, Scott Hintze, who will serve as mission president in the Argentina Santa Fe Mission.
Susan Larsen, chairperson of the board of directors, said of Janice, “You are the epitome of a lady, with compassion, charity and strong standards. We will miss you.”
Claude Pickett and Cody Beck were re-elected to the credit union’s board of directors.
Spencer Cox, Utah’s lieutenant governor, was the keynote speaker. Cox had served on the credit union’s board of directors before being elected as a Sanpete County commissioner. He began by giving a legislative update.
“The governor doesn’t like to veto bills,” Cox said, “so one of my jobs is to tell legislators who are sponsoring bills the governor doesn’t like to change them.”
He also said the good news is that Utah’s best news is its economy. “Last year, we were the fastest growing state in the nation, and we are getting noticed not just nationwide but globally,” he said.
“People from other countries love our workforce and work ethic, and we see even more growth coming to us. In 1970, there were one million people in Utah, 25 years later we hit two million, and now, 20 years after that, we are at 3.1 million population. Growth is good, but it can also have challenges,” he added.
Cox also said rural Utah faces the challenges of letting people know just how valuable their workforce it: “There isn’t any reason that manufacturing and other companies couldn’t benefit by setting up in rural Utah, employing our people and enjoying our lifestyles and values.”
He mentioned three main reasons rural Utah is attractive to companies. “One, we have the best workforce in the United States. We come to work, are loyal and work hard. Two, we have a good entrepreneurial spirit ourselves, we are creative, and three, many of us speak two languages—a big plus in business.”
He said the governor is committed to focus on rural Utah’s needs over the next four years.
Fielding questions from the group, he spoke on the Narrows Project and said he still had not given up hope. Federal roadblocks continue to stall the project. “Water was, and will continue to be, one of our most precious resources. We can’t give up,” he said.
On the recent Pitman Family Farms buyout of Norbest, he commented, “I was involved behind the scenes and can tell you it was really, really scary at one point. I literally saw miracles as Pitman made the decision to buy Norbest and keep our turkey industry alive in Sanpete.”