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New Mexico CUs raise awareness at state capital
SANTA FE, N.M. (2/17/09)--About 75 New Mexico credit union professionals met in the state’s capital Feb. 4 during Credit Union Day at the Legislature to raise awareness about credit unions and their issues, and to get an update from lawmakers on the legislature now in session.
Showing off New Mexico House Memorial 18 proclaiming Feb. 4 as Credit Union Day are, from left, Credit Union Association of New Mexico (CUANM) Vice President of Governmental Affairs Juan Fernandez, CUANM CEO Sylvia Lyon, and New Mexico’s House Minority Floor Leader State Rep. Tom Taylor--who sponsored the bill. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New Mexico)
The Credit Union Association of New Mexico (CUANM) hosted the event, which started with a luncheon, including guest speakers from the legislature, followed by a trip to the Capitol and an evening reception for lawmakers and credit union professionals. During the luncheon, Rep. Tom Taylor (R-San Juan County), House minority floor leader, announced the passage of House Memorial 18, proclaiming the day as Credit Union Day. The proclamation noted that credit unions serve more than 615,000 New Mexicans, and that credit unions encourage good financial practices and work cooperatively with each other and their members toward economic advancement. The proclamation also recognized the campaign New Mexico credit unions are conducting to raise $1 million for the state’s children’s hospital. The proclamation marked CUANM’s 50th anniversary and the service provided to members since credit unions were established in New Mexico in 1935. Other legislative guest speakers expressing their support for credit unions were State Rep. Al Park (D-Bernalillo County); State Sen. Kent Cravens (R-Bernalillo and Sandoval counties); State Rep. Rodolpho Martinez (D-Grant and Hidalgo counties), who is also a member of the Chino CU board; and Secretary of State Mary Herrera, a member of the Rio Grande CU board. Richard L. Anklam, president of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute, gave an overview of the state’s taxation and budget issues, and former lobbyist Jeff Rendell explained effective ways to communicate and spread awareness of credit union issues. During the luncheon, the New Mexico Little Guy, a redesign of the original Credit Union National Association Little Guy developed in 2007, was unveiled. The New Mexico Little Guy is dressed in a cowboy hat and boots, Zia belt buckle and turquoise bolo tie. He represents the average, hardworking New Mexico credit union member. Credit union also headed to the Capitol to deliver candy and touch base with lawmakers and their staff. Outside the Capitol, Andi Baum, CEO, Everyone’s FCU, Tucumcari; Phyllis Crawford, CEO, Four Corners FCU, Kirtland; and CUANM CEO Sylvia Lyon set up a New Mexico Little Guy standup figure and handed out cutouts and Post-It pads featuring the icon. Passersby expressed enthusiasm for both the new Little Guy and credit unions. Most said they were members of at least one credit union, CUANM said. More than 30 lawmakers attended the evening reception and mingled with the credit union contingent. “About a quarter of the legislative body of New Mexico attended the event and it was obvious from talking to them that they understand and approve of credit unions and the credit union philosophy and mission,” said Juan Fernandez, CUANM vice president of governmental affairs. “I think all our credit union professionals felt the event was an effective way to communicate with their lawmakers and raise credit union awareness.”


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