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CU System briefs (12/14/2007)
* NAPERVILLE, Ill. (12/17/07)--The Illinois Credit Union System has become a founding sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project with a $5,000 gift to the project's foundation. Once the foundation reaches its $100 million goal, the memorial will be built in Washington, D.C. Dan Plauda, Illinois Credit Union League president/CEO, said the project will "help remind future generations of the tireless efforts of Dr. King." … * ST. PAUL, Minn. (12/17/07)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network hosted a luncheon for Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) Thursday. Atkins has been chairman of the state House Commerce Committee since 2002. Atkins told the 25 people attending that he does not see any issues in the 2008 legislative session that would negatively affect credit unions. "Credit unions are in a very vibrant, healthy and competitive industry where people are working together to offer products to their members," he said. From left are MnCUN board members Pat Pierce and Harry Carter, and Atkins. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network) … * ST. LOUIS, Mo. (12/17/07)--Missouri Corporate CU CEO Dennis DeGroot (shown at podium) accepts the 2007 Missouri Governor's Quality Leadership Award during the recent Excellence in Missouri Conference (Courier Net Dec. 12). The award recognizes the individual who best exemplifies outstanding leadership of an organization in the pursuit of performance excellence. Several of DeGroodt's peers nominated him for the award, which is modeled after the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association) … * GLENDALE, Calif.(12/17/07)--Scott Svonkin, vice chairman of the California CU board of directors, won a seat on the San Gabriel Unified School District Board of Education and was sworn in on Dec. 11. "As a life long member of the California CU, I could not have won my election without the support of the California Credit Union League and so many credit union leaders," he said. "Credit unions have played an important role in my financial life and now with their help and support I have fulfilled a dream of public service." He is shown here with National Credit Union Administration Board member Gigi Hyland. (Photo provided by California CU) … * EUGENE, Ore. (12/17/07)--SELCO Community CU has announced winners of its 2007 Teachers' Mini-Grants Program. It awarded $30,200 in 130 small grants for supplemental funding to K-12 schools in the credit union's service areas. Mini-grants were awarded for up to $250 to educators who submitted lesson plans or projects to the SELCO website from September through Oct. 10. Projects chosen focused on cooking, community gardens, mathematics, physics, arts, life skills, history, aquatic field studies, technology, and more. For a list of winners, check out the website … * GREENSBORO, N.C. (12/17/07)--First Carolina Corporate CU decided to skip sending Christmas cards this year, but not because of a bah! humbug attitude. Instead, employees, working on behalf of credit unions in North and South Carolina, are collecting donations for people in need, including winter coats, stacks of canned goods, and bags of toiletry items. They also donated $1,000 to a local domestic violence shelter, Next Step Ministries. Sorting the collected items are, from left, staffers Michele Rooks, Doretta Battle, Rose Sims and Heather Graham. (Photo provided by First Carolina Corporate CU) … * WASHINGTON, D.C. (12/17/07)--Charles A. Mallon Jr. has been selected as president/CEO of Wright Patman Congressional FCU, succeeding CEO Robert A. Hess, who will retire on Dec. 31. Mallon has been with the credit union for 17 years and is a director on the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association. During Hess's tenure, the credit union grew to 42,000 members and less than $500 million in assets from 3,500 members and $1.6 million in assets. Hess served as a member of the Federal Reserve's Consumer Advisory Council, chairman of the DC Credit Union League, chairman and board member of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, and chairman of USERS … * VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (12/17/07)--A former vice president of the former Portsmouth Post Office CU pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to defrauding the credit union of more than $170,000 through seven loans in which she provided false information. Minerva Marrero-Smith, 51, of Virginia Beach admitted she supplied false statements about her employment, income and assets on the loans. Court records said she failed to use the loans as specified in the applications for buying cars or paying for medical expenses. A $48,000 loan in 2001 was supposed to be used to buy a 1999 Mercedes-Benz, but she never bought the car. The seven loans were in her name and the names of other individuals. According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the actions led to the demise of the credit union, which merged later with the Northern Star CU, based in Portsmouth (The Virginia-Pilot and The Ledger Star Dec. 12) …


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