NAPERVILLE, Ill. (6/16/10)--The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) recently hosted a meeting for faith-based credit unions in the Chicago area--a second such effort to help the group of credit unions explore growth opportunities. With the daily challenges of staffing mostly by volunteers, restricted hours of operation, and limited opportunities to diversify their membership, the credit unions were offered networking opportunities and heard a variety of presenters. In addition to ICUL staff, presenters included:
* Ron Jones, economic development specialist from the National Credit Union Administration; * Representatives from Members United Corporate FCU, Warrenville; * Geri Burek, ICUL vice chairman and league director for the Chicago Metro Chapter of Credit Unions; * Christine Dickover, chapter chairman; and * Gregg Brown, CEO of South Side Community FCU, Chicago.
Presenters discussed the low-income/Community Development Financial Institution designation, chapter activities and opportunities, loan participation assistance, and system resources and programs. “Since they are not always able to attend educational sessions, chapter functions and other activities, we feel it is important to get this select group of credit unions together on an as-needed basis to discuss compliance and other issues,” said Joyce Jackson, ICUL regional director, who serves the credit unions. Nearly 30 individuals from 15 credit unions attended, representing an average asset size of about $500,000. The Illinois Credit Union Foundation also supported the effort with a Small Credit Union Development grant. One of those in attendance was Chris Grant, chairman of St. Gregory Parish CU. The credit union, located on the north side of Chicago, has more than 200 members and $331,000 in assets, and received its low-income designation about a year ago. “Many conferences are geared toward larger credit unions, so bringing our peer group together was excellent in terms of networking and feedback,” Grant said. “We received a ton of resources that were very hands-on and something we can immediately put into practice.”