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Minnesota network hosts international visitors
ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/1/08)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) hosted participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Thursday as part of the group’s three-week visit to the U.S.
International Visitor Leadership Program participants from Bosnia, Costa Rica, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turkey and Zimbabwe met with the Minnesota Credit Union Network Thursday. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Seven international professionals visited the Minnesota MnCUN in St. Paul to discuss the difference between cooperative financial institutions and for-profit financial institutions in the U.S. and to learn about credit unions’ involvement in their communities. IVLP participants were from Bosnia, Costa Rica, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turkey and Zimbabwe. This is the third year MnCUN has participated in an IVLP visit. MnCUN staff provided an overview of the network, the history of the credit union movement, core characteristics of credit unions, and the main operational and philosophical ways credit unions differ from banks. Hiway FCU President Jeff Schwalen also spoke to the group about how credit unions are involved in their communities. He shared various ways the St. Paul-based, $705.2 million asset credit union serves the underserved areas in its field of membership. In particular, Schwalen discussed how the credit union has focused on reaching out to the Hmong community to earn their trust. “The unique thing about our credit union is that we are locally owned and chartered,” he said. “As a result, we are able to personalize our service and modify our services so that they meet the unique characteristics of our members.” Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN president/CEO, said: “I was impressed by their inquisitive nature and their desire to learn about credit unions. It was a privilege to hear about the financial institutions in their home countries and to aid in their understanding of the credit union movement in the U.S.”


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