Our modern day Thanksgiving celebration on the fourth Thursday of November began by a law signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941. Prior to this, days of Thanksgiving were often announced by our leaders beginning with the first Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims. Congress and various presidents set aside days of Thanksgiving not only in harvest time, but also after the nation had passed through a tough trial, such as a war. Prior to Roosevelt, different states also celebrated Thanksgiving on different days. It was Roosevelt who signed a law to standardize this celebration and our nation enjoyed the first Thanksgiving Day under this law in 1942, during the trial of WWII.
I am a huge fan of US History. One thing I enjoy at this time of year is to read Thanksgiving Proclamations of past presidents. Here is the Roosevelt’s from our first “standardized” Thanksgiving.
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord." Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo those words, for the days are with us again when, at the gathering of the harvest, we solemnly express our dependence upon Almighty God.
“The final months of this year, now almost spent, find our Republic and the Nations joined with it waging a battle on many fronts for the preservation of liberty.
“In giving thanks for the greatest harvest in the history of our Nation, we who plant and reap can well resolve that in the year to come we will do all in our power to pass that milestone; for by our labors in the fields we can share some part of the sacrifice with our brothers and sons who wear the uniform of the United States.
“It is fitting that we recall now the reverent words of George Washington, "Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy Protection," and that every American in his own way lift his voice to heaven.
“I recommend that all of us bear in mind this great Psalm: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”….Inspired with faith and courage by these words, let us turn again to the work that confronts us in this time of national emergency: in the armed services and the merchant marine; in factories and offices; on farms and in the mines; on highways, railways, and airways; in other places of public service to the Nation; and in our homes.
“Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby invite the attention of the people to the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day; and I request that both Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1942, and New Year's Day, January 1, 1943, be observed in prayer, publicly and privately.”
We at Midwest Business Solutions have much to be thankful for this year. I am first thankful for our team. We have gathered together a group of very smart and talented people on our team. Each of them goes above and beyond the normal call of duty and add so much value with their ideas and insight.
We are thankful for our Board and the support they provide us. Our Board has also excitedly captured the vision that we have, realizing that MWBS can be a national force among business CUSOs and not just an entity in the northern Midwest. Just this past week we have talked to CUs located in or about projects located in the Dakotas, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and California. We have worked with CUs in 18 different states so far.
A special thanks for CUAD. They have provided so much support and the talented team under Jeff Olsen’s leadership has provided great service to the CUs in this area. We also are thankful for the Montana League and their support of MWBS.
Thanks is necessary for all of our 21 of our CU equity members. This year, so far, we have had the pleasure of welcoming the following CUs into our group: United Savings in Fargo, McCone County in Circle, Montana, Med 5 in Rapid City, Sentinel in Box Elder, Northern Tier in Minot, and Healthcare Plus in Aberdeen. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve each of the CUs in our equity group.
We are thankful for the growth in business we are experiencing. We closed our first participation loan in April 2013. When our final loan for 2015 closes in a couple of weeks, the portfolio of the loans we manage will reach around $100 million and will pay over $3.5MM in interest income to our loan investors.
We are thankful for the attendance at our classes this year. We held five different classes on different facets of commercial or agricultural lending and taught over 120 students. We value the education part of our business as it is a way we can give back and also connect more with fine CU folks. Special thanks also go to Trevor, who spent tireless hours writing most of the materials.
Each day at MWBS is filled with excitement and opportunity. I invite you to join us. Perhaps this next year will provide you the opportunity to allow us to help you land a new commercial loan that you did not think you could do, maybe it is helping a large farmer in your area finance his land, perhaps it is spending time with us in one of our upcoming classes, or maybe even using us to provide structure to your MBL department. Either way, we will be thankful for having an opportunity to serve you and also help you serve your members better.