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CU System Archive

CU System

Newsletter profiles Vermont CUs for Co-op Month

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (10/27/08)--Four Vermont credit unions and Joe Bergeron, president of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions, were featured in the October edition of Washington Electric Co-Op's newsletter, Co-Op Currents, which focused on National Cooperative Month. The article profiled credit unions where the co-op's members live, including United Community CU, Vermont State Employees CU, Members Advantage Community CU, and Granite Hills CU (Newslines Express Oct. 24). Bergeron told the publication that credit unions operate in the same economy as everyone else, with members paying more for gas and taxes and losing jobs. "We're definitely connected to what's going on," he said. "But you're not going to see credit unions disappear off the face of the earth like some banks are doing, because we aren't holding any of those subprime mortgages." He explained credit union members' deposits are protected by federal insurance and that although they aren't part of the economic crisis problems, they are part of the solution. For the entire article, use the resource link.

CU System briefs (10/24/2008)

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* GREENSBORO, N.C. (10/27/08)--Two staffers from Suriname's Godo CU--Member Service Representative Corrine Hooplot, left, and Head Teller Felicia Ejik--visited North Carolina credit unions Oct. 11-19 to learn technology, improving efficiency on the front lines, and deepening member relationships. Credit unions visited included American Partners FCU, Carolina Postal CU, Latino Community CU, State Employees' CU and Truliant FCU (Weekly Update Oct. 22). Since their visit coincided with International Credit Union Day celebrations, the pair experienced a Murder Mystery in Hickory with the Foothills Chapter and celebrated Oct. 16th with the Piedmont Chapter. "These visits are always helpful and inspiring for everyone," said the North Carolina Credit Union League President/CEO John Radebaugh. "We learn from one another, and I think the big thing both sides discover is despite differences in culture, services and technology, we are all bound together by the cooperative spirit." (Photo provided by the North Carolina Credit Union League) … * HERNDON, Va. (10/27/08)--Northwest FCU Foundation partnered with the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce to present the Reality Store to the senior class of Chantilly High School Oct. 15. There, 750 senior students learned the importance of saving and spending money wisely as part of a real-life simulation workshop. Local NBC reporter Kimberly Suiters covered the event, which aired locally on NBC news. Volunteer facilitators are shown here helping students make budgeting decisions at the event. (Photo provided by Northwest FCU) … * WICHITA, Kan. (10/27/08)--Kansas' largest credit union, Boeing Wichita CU (BWCU), has named Robert Corwin as its new president/CEO, effective Dec. 3, the credit union announced Friday (Wichita Business Journal Oct. 24). Corwin most recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer at $1.8 billion asset First Tech CU in Beaverton, Ore. BWCU has $587.4 million in assets and 165 branches. Corwin succeeds Gary Regoli, who resigned to lead Achieva CU in Clearwater, Fla. … * ST. LOUIS (10/27/08)--Vantage CU CEO Hubert Hoosman Jr., left, was presented with an American flag that was flown on an A-10 combat mission June 5 in Afghanistan. Making the presentation during Vantage's quarterly staff meeting in October was Master Sergeant Kile Hartley from the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base. The presentation was made in appreciation of Vantage's support of employees in the line of duty and Vantage family and friends who are in or have been in the armed forces. Hartley returned to his full-time job at Vantage's West Florissant branch in June, after nearly two months in Afghanistan. (Photo provided by Vantage CU)

CUs represented at Bank on Philadelphia summit

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (10/27/08)--Credit unions were recognized during a “Bank on Philadelphia” summit and press conference Wednesday in Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA). Philadelphia is one of eight communities nationwide to participate in a pilot program led by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz. The program aims to increase access to financial services and financial education for low-and-moderate income families and individuals (Life is a Highway Oct. 23). A total of 12 Pennsylvania credit unions have signed onto the program. “A credit union relationship or bank account can be an on-ramp to the mainstream financial system for the unbanked and underbanked,” said Dan Iannicola Jr., assistant secretary of the Treasury for financial education. “Financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, serve as a shield against financial predators,” added Laurie Magid, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Mike Wishnow, PCUA senior vice president of communications and marketing, attended the event. He discussed the PCUA’s Credit Union Better Choice program. Zach Stecher, PCUA account executive, also attended. Credit unions attending the program included:
* Freedom CU, Warminster; * Philadelphia FCU; * P.S.T.C. Employees FCU, Upper Darby; * SERVCO FCU, Feasterville; * Sun East FCU, Aston; * Transit Workers FCU, Philadelphia; and * TruMark Financial CU, Trevose.

California CUs grow 3.02 in assets

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (10/27/08)--California credit unions’ assets grew 3.02% during the first half of 2008--about 0.08 percentage points off last year’s pace, according to the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. Credit union shares grew 3.62% from January through June. “Overall, shares gained more than $5 billion, offering credit unions liquidity, which is a highly coveted position in today’s marketplace,” said Daniel Penrod, league industry analyst. Credit unions in the state realized a $3.1 billion gain in fixed-rate first mortgages through the first two quarters of 2008. Money market and regular shares grew 15.25% and 8.55%, respectively. Share certificate growth increased $133 million and retirement accounts increased by $504 million. Available for sale securities increased $2.2 billion, investments in corporate credit unions were $941 million, and total deposits in other institutions were $479 million.

NCUF seeks nominations for two board seats

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MADISON, Wis. (10/27/08)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is seeking nominations for two board seats. Seats include:
* Credit Union Executive or Director–Each candidate must be and remain an executive officer or director of a credit union serving “natural persons.” The nominee elected to this seat will be asked to serve a term of three years; and * At-Large–Each candidate must be and remain a representative of an organization outside of the credit union system, such as a cooperative, that has demonstrated a commitment to the purposes of NCUF. The nominee elected to this seat will be asked to serve a term of one, two, or three years. This term will be determined by the board at the time of the nominee’s election.
Qualified candidates interested in applying for either of these board seats can use the resource link. Applications must be received by Nov. 21. “Serving on the NCUF board is an opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of credit union members across America,” said current NCUF Board Chairman Allan Kemp McMorris, president/CEO of Oakland County CU, Waterford, Mich. McMorris has applied for the open Credit Union Executive seat. John Gregoire, current NCUF board member and partner at The Pro-Con Group, Ltd., in Madison, Wis., is running for a second term in the At-Large seat. NCUF’s Governance & Nominations Committee will review all candidates and recommend a slate of nominees to the NCUF board. The board will vote on the nominees in December. In January 2009, board members will elect officers at the organizational meeting. Other meetings planned for 2009:
* Organizational Meeting: Jan. 27 in New Orleans, La. * Strategic Planning Session: date to be determined in Madison, Wis. * Fall Board Meeting: Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C.
The 13 voting seats on the NCUF Board include seven natural-person credit unions, two national organizations serving credit unions, one corporate credit union, one state credit union foundation, one state credit union league, and one At-Large seat.

Love cites CUs fiscal responsibility in CU visit

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (10/27/08)--Alabama State Rep. Jay Love, a candidate for the second congressional district of Alabama, praised credit unions' fiscal responsibility during a visit Thursday to a credit union in Alabama with former Massachusetts Gov. and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Five Star CU CEO Bob Steensma, left, and Second District congressional candidate Jay Love pose after a press conference at the Dothan, Ala. credit union.
Former Massachusetts Gov. and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney visits with Five Star CU Loan Officer Donna Loper. (Photos provided by the Alabama Credit Union League)
They visited Five Star CU, Dothan, Ala., and met with members and staff of the credit union before holding a press conference to discuss the economy and tax policy. Five Star CEO Bob Steensma opened the press conference by explaining credit unions' difference and told how that difference has allowed credit unions to remain sound in an economic crisis. Love held up credit unions as an example of fiscal responsibility, which he said is needed in Washington, D.C. "Your business model is one that is sustainable," Love said. "Credit unions and fiscal common sense--that is what we need. We need more small business leaders, people who have operating businesses and who understand what leads to economic prosperity for all Americans." He thanked credit unions for their support and told the crowd he appreciated that credit unions were one of the first groups to endorse him. "Credit unions absolutely must be at the forefront of the political process, making sure our voice is heard clearly during the election process," said Gary Wolter, president/CEO of the Alabama Credit Union League. "Events like this one are proof that committed advocacy work on behalf of credit unions has lasting, positive benefits for the credit union movement, both now and down the road," Wolter added.

Federation initiatives to help CDCUs in economic crisis

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NEW YORK (10/27/08)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has launched several initiatives to help community development credit unions (CDCUs) in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis. With the help of the National Credit Union Foundation, the federation has become the sole national intermediary for credit union-based mortgage counseling and will guide 14 credit unions nationwide to provide homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling to credit union members. The federation is working with the Coalition of Cities for Financial Empowerment to promote savings and expand financial education in low-income communities. The coalition is chaired by officials in New York and San Francisco. “The federation has been working with both New York and San Francisco on anti-poverty initiatives for a number of years now, and will help all types of credit unions to become involved in these local efforts,” said Cliff Rosenthal, federation president/CEO. The federation also extended Rosenthal’s tenure. He originally intended to step down in 2010, but the board reconsidered the term in light of the nation’s economic turmoil and its effect on CDCUs. “The federation’s board of directors discussed the economic upheaval we have undergone and looked to identify what long-range impacts might be on the organization, and it because obvious to all of us that we are in unchartered waters,” said federation Chairman Eunice Rogers. “Because of this and other factors, the board unanimously decided to invite [Rosenthal] to extend his time as CEO of the federation.” Like other credit unions, CDCUs have suffered “collateral damage” from the subprime crisis--reflected in rising delinquencies, falling investment income and decreased access to liquidity within the credit union system, the Federation said. “We don’t underestimate the challenges,” Rosenthal added. “But this is no time to retreat in the face of the difficulties our communities face. This is a prime opportunity for credit unions to show what this movement is all about, by helping members in need. The federation is here to help make that happen.”

Minnesota CU reps among Top Women in Finance

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (10/27/08)--Three Minnesota credit union
representatives were selected as “Top Women in Finance” by Finance & Commerce magazine for 2008. Credit union honorees were:
* LeAnn Achtenberg, vice president of marketing, Anoka Hennepin CU, Coon Rapids; * Joanne Johnson, senior vice president/chief information officer, US FCU, Burnsville; and * Lynn Kothe, president/CEO, North Memorial FCU, Robbinsdale.
Achtenberg has focused on youth financial literacy the past 12 years through her work with the National Youth Involvement Board and the Minnesota Family Involvement Council. She has served as chair of both organizations. Johnson is responsible for US FCU’s core processing system, telecom/network, e-commerce, security and compliance functions as senior vice president and chief information officer. Kothe served on boards and committees for the Minnesota Credit Union Network, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation and the Credit Union National Association. Award recipients will be honored Nov. 6 and their accomplishments will be noted in a November special section of Finance & Commerce.

WOCCU fund aims to boost volunteer giving

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MADISON, Wis. (10/27/08)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is aiming to boost volunteer giving through a more aggressive WOCCU Directors’ Action Fund to solicit financial support from credit union volunteers so development programs stay alive.
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The fund targets volunteers because they are in a position to understand the credit union philosophy and appreciate the impact credit unions make, WOCCU said. If credit unions contribute $40 for each volunteer, their participation could affect significant change for credit union members in developing countries. “Supporting WOCCU helps me feel like I am giving back to other credit union directors who don’t have the same training opportunities and resources available,” said Gayle Adkins-McDonald, director, Water and Power CU, Los Angeles. “Our small gift can make a real difference in a developing country.” Contributions to the fund are critical this year because economic challenges likely will reduce development assistance funding from other sources, said WOCCU President/CEO Pete Crear. “The backbone of the credit union movement has always been the dedication and commitment of its volunteer leadership,” he added. Research from the Center for Global Development indicates that countries in an economic downturn categorically reduce their foreign aid when weathering tough times, WOCCU said. For more information, use the links.