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Illinois young professionals host inaugural gathering

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (9/30/14)--CU Reach, the Illinois Credit Union League's under-40 organization, held its first Young Professionals Conference, hosting a sell-out group of 70 participants Sept. 15-16.
 
"The YP Conference was a great learning experience," said Brandy Bockewitz, marketing coordinator at Land of Lincoln CU, Decatur, $199 million in assets. "I feel that the conference's agenda was right on par with my new position with my credit union. With tips on networking and goal setting, I am able to incorporate some important things into my new career."
 
Topics discussed at the conference included credit union history and philosophy, social media, and leadership. Participants shared their opinions using a text polling system with responses displayed live on-screeen.
 
During a "CU Executives Panel," participants were given the opportunity to learn and receive advice from industry veterans.
 
"It was nice to have CEOs from different sized credit unions, men and women, share their stories, history, challenges, concerns and advice through a discussion," said Anna Lee, marketing manager at Credit Union 1, Rantoul, with $768 million in assets.
 
"I was honored to share ideas with our movement's young, bright minds," said panelist Patrick Basler, CEO of First Financial CU, Chicago, with $67 million in assets. "For those of us that have been leading credit unions for a number of years, it's great to see the next generation committed and excited about our movement."
 
The Young Professionals Advisory Committee developed, planned and hosted the conference. CU Reach is committed to recruiting and retaining young professionals to inspire life-long careers in the Illinois credit union movement.

CUNA Tech Council announces executive committee members

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MADISON, Wis. (9/30/14)--The CUNA Technology Council announced its new executive committee members and officers last week during the council's 19th annual conference in Las Vegas.

The election took place in the months preceding the conference.

Belinda Cailouet, chief operations officer/chief information officer, Spokane Teachers FCU, Liberty Lake, Wash., with $1.9 billion in assets, will stay on as executive committee chair; Guy Russo, chief information officer, CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan., with $1.9 billion in assets, will remain vice chair; and Mike Atkins, chief information officer, Bellco CU, Greenwood Village, Colo., with $2.7 billion in assets, will continue to serve as second vice chair.

Idrees Rafiq Jr., assistant vice president of information technology (IT) consulting, Credit Union Resources Inc., was appointed as the league representative.

Ben Morales, chief technology officer/chief operations officer, Washington State ECU, Olympia, Wash., with $2 billion in assets, was re-elected to the committee as well.

Three new members were elected to the executive committee, including:
  • Linda Barker, vice president of IT, Greater Nevada CU, Carson City, Nev., with $474 million in assets;
     
  • Bobby Matthis, vice president of IT, Westerra CU, Denver, with $1.3 billion in assets; and
     
  • Todd Richardson, senior vice president of IT, Park Community CU, Louisville, Ky., with $655 million in assets.
The Technology Council's executive committee also includes:
  • Alex Barker, senior vice president/chief communications officer, Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah, with $3.9 billion in assets;
     
  • Jeff Johnson, senior vice president of IT, Baxter CU, Vernon Hills, Ill., with $2 billion in assets;
     
  • Jennifer Robert, vice president of IT, Genisys CU, Auburn Hills, Mich., with $1.6 billion in assets;
     
  • Chris Saneda, senior vice president/chief information officer, Virginia CU, Richmond, Va., with $2.5 billion in assets; and
     
  • Kyle Welsh, vice president of technology services, BECU, Tukwila, Wash., with $12.6 billion in assets. 

CU System briefs (09/30/2014)

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WALTHAM, Mass. (9/30/14)-- RTN FCU, based in Waltham, Mass., with $800 million in assets, raised $29,000 for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, through the credit union's 2014 Walk Home. More than 125 walkers and volunteers participated in Walk Home 2014, held in three communities with RTN branches: Dorchester, Waltham and Danvers ( Wicked Local Waltham Sept. 29) ...
 
Signal Financial FCU, Kensington, Md., with $323 million in assets, has appointed Francois Verleysen as its new president/CEO. Verleysen will be the fourth CEO in the credit union's history. He succeeds Dan Stake, who served in the same position for 31 years. Verleysen previously served as community relations and membership development executive director at Bank-Fund Staff FCU, Washington, D.C. with $3.8 billion in assets. "Francois has extensive operations and financial management experience and is just the individual to lead us on our continuing journey of growth and new opportunities for the credit union and our members," said Andrew Mecklenberg, Signal Financial FCU board chairman ...

Mountain America CU among top 100 worldwide in HR management

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WEST JORDAN, Utah (9/30/14)--Mountain America CU, with $3.9 billion in assets, West Jordan, Utah, has been named to the inaugural Workforce 100 list of the world's best companies for human capital management.  And the credit union says its positive employee policies help better serve members in every way.
 
 
Developed by Workforce , a human resources (HR) magazine, the list represents the first-time research and statistical analysis have been applied to ranking the impact and effectiveness of an organization's HR function.
 
"We believe our focus on hiring and retaining quality employees helps us to better serve our members in every way, as the member experience begins and ends with our employees," said Lynn Stephens, Mountain America CU senior vice president of human resources.
 
"We have seen significant value in investing in our employees' training and engaging them in all aspects of our organization. We find a direct correlation between employee engagement and member engagement, and strive to provide a work environment and culture that creates great results."
 
Inclusion on the Workforce 100 list reflects Mountain America CU's exceptional performance in seven core areas indicative of overall HR excellence: workplace culture; employee benefits; diversity and inclusion; employee development/talent management; HR innovation/management; leadership development; and recruiting and talent acquisition.
 
"Companies named to the Workforce 100 truly exemplify the best practices and most effective strategies being used to manage and maximize the impact of human capital today," said Rick Bell, Workforce managing editor. "Workforce is proud to acknowledge Mountain America CU's commitment and accomplishments."
 
In compiling the list, the Workforce editorial staff worked directly with the Human Capital Media Advisory Group, the magazine's research arm, to develop a statistically based formula that could analyze publicly available company information as well as benchmarking and ranking data. The formula was used to generate a score averaged and weighted across the seven core areas, creating a ranked list with comprehensive HR performance as the primary focus.

Bank ATM fees continue to climb

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MADISON, Wis. (9/30/14)--While credit unions continue to charge small or no fees for ATM transactions, banks have pumped up their fees to record highs, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.com .

Among the big banks polled, the average surcharge for non-customers who use their ATMs jumped 6.5% this year up to a record of $2.77.

Banks also charge their customers who get cash from ATMs outside of their networks an average of $1.58 per transaction, also a new high. That means consumers could have to fork over an average of $4.35 per transaction every time they use a bank ATM outside of their bank's system.

Meanwhile, of those credit unions who charge fees for using ATMs outside of the institution's network, the median fee charged sits much lower at about $1, according to the Credit Union National Association's 2013-14 fees report. 

Further, only about 6.5% of all credit unions charge transaction fees on ATMs they own. Credit unions charge a median fee of $1 for non-owned ATMs as well.

"Data from every market research firm tracking financial institution pricing reflects the same fact: Credit unions generally charge their members lower fees, lower rates on loans, and higher yields on deposits than those available at banking institutions," Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics, told News Now .

"Any consumer shopping for financial products and services would do well to include credit unions in that process," Schenk added. "That's one of the many reasons an increasing number of consumers are recognizing credit unions as their best financial partner."

Many credit unions allow free transactions before assessing a fee for using an owned or non-owned ATM. The majority provide about five or six free transactions before assessing a fee, according to CUNA numbers.

Missouri CUs embrace Bank on More SUV sweepstakes

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ST. LOUIS (9/30/14)--At the halfway point of the Missouri Credit Union Association's (MCUA) "Bank on More SUV Sweepstakes," participation is running hot.

Photo caption: Joplin Metro CU brought in a Jeep Compass to display alongside the sweepstakes' backdrop to create excitement about the promotion. (Missouri Credit Union Association Photo)
More than 500 Missourians hoping to win an SUV have either uploaded photos of themselves to the association's Facebook page or shared them on Twitter and Instagram.

The social media activity, combined with ads and organic posts, can potentially reach about 100,000 people on a weekly basis, with at least 1,200 engagements, according to the MCUA.

"We had a great outpouring of community interest in our SUV Sweeps event," said Janell Roth, loan officer for Horizon CU, Macon, Mo., with $20 million assets.

To enter the sweepstakes, consumers must find the big orange square backdrop at a local credit union, have their photo taken in front of it, and upload it to a social media site with the hashtag #bankonmore.

The sweepstakes is a great way to drive nonmembers to credit union branches, according to the MCUA.

The prize is a 2014 Jeep Compass, and the promotion runs until Oct. 10.

Horizon employees last week served food and offered gas cards in front of the promotion's backdrop located at their credit union. At the end of the event, the credit union had received 120 entries and secured two new members.

The sweepstakes event hosted by TelComm CU, Springfield, with $126 million in assets, was so popular that more than two dozen people entered to win the SUV, according to Lori Johnson, TelComm vice president of marketing and business development.

For a full schedule of where the big orange back drop will be over the coming days, use the resource link below.

N.Y. CUs report strong 2Q lending, membership numbers

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ALBANY, N.Y. (9/30/14)--New York credit unions' aggregate membership and loans increased in the second quarter, the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) reported.
 
Membership expanded by 0.5% throughout the quarter to push the state's total number of credit union members up to 5.03 million. Loan totals increased by 2.6%, up from 0.9% in the first quarte ( The Point Sept. 30).
 
On a year-over-year basis, the second quarter saw membership and outstanding loans grow by 2.6% and 10.4%. The year-to-date membership growth, CUANY pointed out, is almost seven times greater than the state's population growth rate.
 
The smallest credit unions in the state, those with fewer than $20 million in assets, saw loan portfolios grow year-over-year in the second quarter by 8%. Overall, 62.2% of state credit unions said their assets increased.
 
Auto lending expanded by 4.9%, with new auto loans growing by 4.4%.
Outstanding member business loans increased by 4.3% to a year-to-date 13.7% expansion rate. The quarterly growth, CUANY noted, was higher than the national average of 3.1%.
 
Throughout the first half of the year, New York credit unions originated $7.2 in loans, with $2 of that coming from mortgages.
 
New York credit unions finished the second quarter with a cumulative net worth-to-asset ratio of 10.9%.
The CUANY quarterly report is developed with the Credit Union National Association of America.