WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), who co-sponsored the credit union member business lending (MBL) and supplemental capital bills, addressed the Global Women's Leadership Network at a breakfast event Wednesday during the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference.
|Speaking at a Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference Breakfast event Wednesday, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) applauded the work credit unions do to improve their local economies and the Global Women's Network's efforts to connect and support women.|
Women credit union leaders from more than 23 states nationwide gathered at the National Museum of Women in the Arts to discuss current issues facing women in the industry and to hear from speakers about the role of credit unions and women in economic development.
Bonamici spoke to the group of 105 credit union executives and board members about the important role credit unions play in economic development. Many small businesswomen have been able to contribute to their local economies through the help of their credit unions, she said.
She applauded the network for the work it does and encouraged members to continue helping each other and to see value in learning different points of view.
Other speakers at the event included Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO; Teresa Freeborn, president/CEO Xceed Financial CU, El Segundo, Calif.; and Zixta Martinez, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau assistant director of community affairs.
The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) assisted in coordinating Bonamici's appearance.
"Rep. Bonamici is a powerful example of what it means to be a credit union champion," said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA vice president of legislative advocacy and network member. "She understands the unique structure of Oregon's credit unions and the critical role credit unions play in their communities. Her first official action in Congress was to sign the credit union MBL bill last year, and she is back fighting for us again this year."
Last month, CUNA and credit unions reintroduced in Congress legislation to raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of total assets, up from the current 12.25%. Doing so would generate $14.5 billion available for MBLs--and increase jobs by 158,000 in the first year without costing the taxpayer, according to new statistics from CUNA. Enhancing credit unions' charter to include increased MBL authority is one of CUNA's top 10 priorities for 2013.
Also in February, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) reintroduced legislation that would permit the National Credit Union Administration to allow credit unions to accept additional forms of capital. The legislation would improve the safety and soundness of credit unions by allowing them to develop a supplemental cushion to reduce risk to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
| Women from 23 U.S. states met and mingled at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, including (from left) Stacy Augustine, Northwest Credit Union Association general counsel; Mary Martha Fortney, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors president/CEO; Orla Beth Peck, NASCUS chairman; Amy Rapp, consultant; and Lucy Ito, senior vice president of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.|
| Fredda McDonald (left), PSCU Financial Services executive vice president, chats with Bill Cheney, Credit Union National Association president/ CEO, at the Global Women's Leadership Network Breakfast in Washington, D.C. during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference. (Photos provided by World Council of Credit Unions)|