ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/3/08)--You could say politics is in the blood of Republican National Convention delegate Dave Senjem, a long-time credit union member and former board member in Minnesota. His dad was a mayor and his great-grandfather was a legislator.
Senjem started in politics in 1992 by serving on the Rochester, Minn., city council for 11 years. Senjem (R-29) was elected--after a seat became available--to the Minnesota Senate in 2002 by winning a three-person race. He has been the Senate minority leader since 2006.
"You become involved in politics because of a deeply ingrained feeling of community service, of giving back, and making the earth a better place," Senjem told News Now last week in advance of the convention.
As a political leader, Senjem declared for John McCain months ago and "that has not changed," Senjem said. He's looking forward to seeing and hearing McCain at the convention.
"I think the highlight of the convention will be a strong coming together of the Republican party around John McCain," Senjem said. "There's a sense of excitement that this nation will follow a man of deep commitment and experience. I'm excited because this is my first convention, and John McCain has been a good friend of Minnesota."
On a lighter note, Senjem said he has been invited to more parties at the convention than he can possibly attend. "Receptions are being put together by the NFL and major corporations and the list goes on, including a reception by the credit union movement on Wednesday that I plan on attending," he said.
Senjem, who became an employee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1964, joined the Mayo Clinic Employees CU in the mid 1970s when he sought a car loan.
Senjem subsequently served 23 years on the credit union board of directors--until 2002. The credit union subsequently went to a federal charter and became Mayo Employees FCU.
He has worked for the Mayo Clinic for 44 years and will retire next year. Senjem now serves as the environmental affairs officer at the Mayo Clinic. In his time with the credit union, Senjem has seen it grow from $5 million in assets to more than $200 million. Today it has $310 million in assets.
"It's a fabulous organization that does so much for so many in terms of financial security-- in a homespun and wonderful way," Senjem said.
"I think credit unions are the greatest organization on earth in terms of what they do and how they do it every day," he concluded. "Being a part of a credit union has been a marvelous opportunity for me."
courtesy of cuna.org