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Filene begins celebration of silver anniversary at GAC
MADISON, Wis. (2/6/14)--The Filene Research Institute will begin its silver anniversary celebration with guest speaker Lisa Servon at its Chairman's Breakfast at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., which starts Feb. 23.
 
Servon, professor of urban policy at The New School for Public Engagement, will speak at the Feb. 25 invitation-only event.
 
"Lisa's research on the financial needs of low-income consumers resonates with Filene's original purpose to be a catalyst for a stronger credit union system and policy around all financial services," said Filene CEO Mark Meyer.
 
The credit union think-tank officially launched May 31, 1989. "The Chairman's Breakfast marks our anniversary with not only the system leaders that formed us but also the members and contributors who've made these 25 years possible," Meyer said.
 
Filene is named in honor of credit union pioneer and Boston retailer Edward Filene. CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, the National Credit Union Administration, the American Association of Credit Union Leagues, state credit union leagues and several credit unions lent their support in the creation of a place where credit unions could research and test new ideas.
 
For its first 16 years, Filene partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business to produce academic research that helped credit unions respond to market needs and shape public policy.
 
Some of Filene's notable achievements from the past 25 years are:
  • Helping set the stage for the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998 with its "Taxation of Credit Unions" and "Field of Membership: An Evolving Concept" reports;
     
  • Launching the i3 program in 2004 to instill the power of innovation in credit unions and test ideas such as Debt in Focus (now SavvyMoney), Savings Revolution and Save Up;
     
  • Piloting REAL Solutions--now a signature program of the National Credit Union Foundation--to help credit unions better serve low- and moderate-income consumers;
     
  • Testing prize-linked savings accounts with the Doorways to Dreams (D2) Fund and the Michigan Credit Union League in 2008, encouraging consumers to save by creating a chance to win a prize with each deposit; and
     
  • Introducing The Cooperative Trust in 2012, a community of young credit union professionals.
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