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CU System briefs (02/18/2014)

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  • HOUSTON (2/18/14)-- Energy Capital CU, $201 billion in assets, was chosen to open a branch on the ExxonMobil campus in Spring, Texas . The new branch will be a full-service institution serving 10,000 employees from ExxonMobil's Upstream, Downstream and Chemicals companies and associated groups  as well as all other members of the Houston-based credit union ...
  • JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (2/18/14)-- Eastman CU, $2.8 million in assets, donated $250,000 to East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn., for its planned fine and performing arts center . Olan Jones, president/CEO of the Kingsport, Tenn.-based credit union, said the contribution strengthens a longstanding relationship with the college, promotes the arts and education and supports economic development ( Johnson City Press Feb. 11). University President Brian Noland said he hopes to soon be able to announce an agreement with the city to purchase land for the 1,400-seat auditorium and recital hall ...
  • COLCHESTER, Vt. (2/18/14)--The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation and the National Credit Union Administration announced the merger of $2.4 million-asset Rutland (Vt.) County Teachers and Municipal Employees CU with Green Mountain CU, South Burlington , effective Dec. 31 ( NewsLines Express Feb. 14).  Green Mountain CU has $18.4 million in assets and is led by CEO Robert Lake ...
  • MADISON, Wis. (2/18/14)--The volunteers who serve on credit union boards often have ties to the beginnings of the credit unions they work with. A number of credit unions have lost directors recently. In Pennsylvania, Suzanne Hoffer , a 38-year board member at Belco Community CU, died Feb. 8. She was 75. She was elected to the board of the Harrisburg, Pa., credit union Jan. 31, 1976, serving as chairman for three years and secretary for 12. Hoffer worked as a dispatcher for Bell Telephone Co. for 34 years. "Sue's vision, service and friendship will be greatly missed," said Lonny Maurer, president/CEO of the $389 million-asset credit union. Life is a Highway (Feb. 14) also offered condolences. Dennis Jackman , vice president of the board at A & S FCU, Aliquippa, Pa., died Feb. 12. He was 64. Jackman had many positions with the board over the last 39 years with the $23 million-asset credit union. Victor Stasney , a longtime volunteer for New Cumberland (Pa.) FCU, died Jan. 28. Stasney was 82. He was on the board of the $140 million-asset credit union for 27 years, including 22 as chair. One of the founding members of Nebo CU, Springville, Utah, died Jan. 28. James Keith Anderson , 92, joined with other Nebo School District teachers in 1956 to create the credit union, which now boasts $67 million in assets ( Daily Herald Jan. 30). The Montana Credit Union Network noted the Feb. 2 death of Earl Leibrand , who was 91. He served as board chairman for Daniels-Sheridan FCU, a $55 million-asset credit union in Scobey, Mont. A former member of the Montana league board, Leibrand received the Mitch Reed Volunteer of the Year in 1994. Telco Triad CU board member Donald Mohan , 84, died Feb. 7, in Sioux City, Iowa. Mohan was on the board of the $72 million-asset credit union for 34 years ( Sioux City Journal Feb. 9) ...

CUNA, CBA: CUs, banks to absorb more than $200M in Target breach costs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (2/18/14)--The cost of the Target data security breach has topped $200 million for credit unions and Consumer Bankers Association member banks combined, according to numbers released by the Credit Union National Association and the CBA.
Last week, CUNA refreshed numbers from its survey that found the breach has cost credit unions $30.6 million. CBA estimated its member banks have incurred more than $172 million in costs because of the retail giant's data breach.
Credit unions and CBA members have replaced 21.8 million cards--more than half of the total of all compromised cards. During the holiday shopping season, the personal information of up to 70 million individuals was stolen along with 40 million debit and credit cards, Target has said.
"Credit unions have replaced or will replace 85% of their cards affected by the Target breach at no cost to their members," said CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney. "The combined $200 million cost borne entirely by (CBA)  banks and credit unions shows the extent to which financial institutions will go to protect their members and customers."
CBA President/CEO Richard Hunt said, "Financial institutions of all sizes have been aggressive in ensuring their customers are protected in response to the Target data breach."
The $200 million in combined costs does not include any costs associated with fraudulent activity, past or future.

N.H. CUs get sweet thanks from Make-A-Wish kids

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (2/18/14)--Twenty-one children and families acting on behalf of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire visited 13 credit unions in the central, seacoast, and northern regions of New Hampshire with sweet Thank You messages last week.
Click to view larger image Make-A-Wish child Clare, dressed as Cinderella, shares photos from her Walt Disney World trip with Ronald Covey, right, president/CEO St. Mary's Bank CU, Manchester, who is also chairman of the New Hampshire Credit Union League Social Responsibility Committee and committee member Jack Crane.
The visits were made in recognition of the contributions made by credit unions to make wishes come true for hundreds of children in New Hampshire, said the New Hampshire Credit Union League ( Daily CU Scan Feb. 14).
Many delivered baked goods, posters, cards and other items for credit union staff to enjoy. Some children came specially dressed for the occasion. Clare, who visited $780 million-asset St. Mary's Bank CU in Manchester, appeared as Cinderella. She spent time with Ronald Covey, president/CEO of St. Mary's Bank CU, and a member of the league's Social Responsibility Committee, and with committee member Jack Crane, vice president of St. Mary's financial services. Clare showed Covey and Crane her photo album as she relived her Make-A-Wish trip to Walt Disney World.
Click to view larger image From left, Emily and Ally, pictured with John Young, president/CEO of $239 million-asset New Hampshire FCU and a member of the Make-A-Wish New Hampshire board, greet members at the credit union's lemonade stand. (Photos provided by New Hampshire Credit Union League)
John Young, president/CEO, $239 million-asset New Hampshire FCU in Concord, and his staff personalized the Make-A-Wish lemonade stand for visitors Emily and Ally. The girls greeted credit union members and employees. "This was my best day ever," Emily said.
Julia and her mom surprised Jerry Dumoulin, president/CEO, $42 million-asset Guardian Angel CU, and his staff in Berlin with a Valentine's Day cake baked by Julia, who visits the credit union every year. "The New Hampshire Credit Union League members look forward to the sweet thank you visits in February every year, knowing that they'll have a chance to see so many wish children, whose wishes they have played a major role in granting," said Dumoulin, who is also the league board chairman.
Credit unions in the seacoast area enjoyed visits throughout the afternoon Feb. 12.  The staff at $918 million-asset Northeast CU in Portsmouth learned about Make-A-Wish child Dillon's amazing game room from a poster he made. Holy Rosary CU in Rochester had a special welcome message for Addison outside and saw photos of her favorite princess, Ariel. Service CU in Portsmouth had a photo tour of Maxwell's trip to Italy.

Cooperative structure makes a difference in tough times, says Vt. CEO

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COLCHESTER, Vt. (2/18/14)--The strength of the cooperative business model is what sets Vermont State Employees CU apart from a large portion of the marketplace, the credit union's CEO shared in the Vermont Credit Union League's latest "Executive Exchange."
"We're big proponents of the cooperative business model," Post told league President Joe Bergeron. "We try to first embrace those principles and live those day to day, year to year."


Post said that the Montpelier-based credit union also likes to be affiliated with other co-ops that are approaching the business world and market with those same principles.

The $618 million-asset credit union works hard to keep members involved including lots of communication during board elections. "We work to make them responsible owners," he added.
Credit unions are challenged to add value to their members' lives, Post said. Credit unions, however, can help members rise above challenges, just as Vermont State Employees did after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
"We absolutely did things that were of out the normal course of business," he said. "That's one of the great things about credit unions--the ability to think differently and treat people differently."
For members who had lost everything, Post said the credit union had to make "big decisions" regarding loan options. "Those members have stayed with us and have continued to make good on what we did for them," he added.

Ala. CU act update moves ahead

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (2/18/14)--The Alabama House Financial Services Committee unanimously voted last week to give a favorable report to a bill that would update the State Credit Union Act.
The bill, which updates numerous sections of the Alabama Credit Union Act, allows credit unions in the state to operate more effectively in the ever-changing world of financial services ( eSignal Feb. 14).
HB 165 is now in position to be taken up by the entire Alabama House of Representatives.
Earlier this session the companion to HB 165--SB 212--was passed out of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.
The government affairs team is working to have both bills voted on and passed by their respective chambers, according to the league.

121 Financial makes cents by sponsoring teen blogger

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (2/18/14)--121 Financial CU has partnered with teen financial blogger Eva Baker to reach out to the youth market.

Baker, who is a 17-year-old residing in Jacksonville, Fla., has a popular website,, that offers free financial information for young people. She also has an eBook, "7 Days to Centsible Savings," which is available on her website.

"As responsible business citizens, we think it is important that we help today's youth to learn and understand as much as possible about finances," said Cindy Breslin, vice president of marketing for  the $432 million-asset credit union in Jacksonville.

Baker's site receives roughly 3,000 hits a month. It covers topics such as saving for college; saving money for purchases like clothes or a car; and ways for kids to earn money.
"And Eva has received a lot of positive attention for her website," Breslin said. "She writes so well to young people her age about finances and money management. So we thought her website would be a great vehicle to tell the credit union story."
Much of Baker's blog is articles about her own financial experiences. Her most recent post was about her experience opening an account with her mother at 121 Financial CU. She also announced her partnership with the credit union in the same post.
Baker was nominated for a Plutus Award in the Best New Blogger category at the FinCon financial bloggers conference last October.

Kan. gov. welcomes CU advocates for Day at the Capitol

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TOPEKA, Kan. (2/18/14)--Twenty-eight credit unions sent representatives to Topeka Feb. 11 for the Kansas Credit Union Association's annual Day at the Capitol.
Click to view larger image Marla Marsh, president/CEO of the Kansas Credit Union Association, introduces Gov. Sam Brownback, right, during Day at the Capitol Feb. 11. ( Kansas Credit Union Association Photo)
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and KCUA President/CEO Marla Marsh welcomed more than 130 credit union staff and volunteers ( Vision Feb. 14).
State Sen. Rob Olsen (R-23), chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, and State Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R-81), chairman of the House Financial Institutions Committee, also greeted the group before meetings began with legislators.
Throughout the day, attendees carried the message about the credit union difference and credit unions' role in the state's economy.
Credit unions discussed efforts to protect businesses from bad faith assertions of patent infringement, to help their communities with financial literacy and about mortgage registration fees. Having a strong state charter option also was a topic of discussion.
The legislative leadership panel wrapped up the afternoon, with appearances by House Speaker Ray Merrick (R-27), Assistant Minority Leader Tom Burroughs (D-33) and Jeff Russell, director of Kansas Legislative Administrative Services.
Credit unions were only some of the visitors to the newly renovated Capitol last week. The Mid-America Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Kansas Dental Hygienist Association, Washburn Institute of Technology, Kansas for Change and the Kansas Parent Teacher Association also took their voices to the legislature ( The Topeka Capital-Journal Feb. 15).

Foreclosure reform gets hearing in Mich. House committee

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LIVONIA, Mich. (2/18/14)--A bill has been introduced in the Michigan House to address outstanding issues following the sunset of the state's 90-day pre-foreclosure workout law and the creation of a lender's right of inspection prior to the redemption period.
HB 5277 has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
Michigan credit unions support the position that the homeowners' right to repair damage prior to the summary possession action should be reworked, and the stronger liability provisions against those borrowers who abandon a property without notice to the purchaser would be beneficial ( Michigan Monitor Feb. 17).
Testimony was heard on the bill Feb. 12. Consumer advocates requested a reasonable notice of inspections and a cap on the number of regular inspections, with an exception for emergency situations where damage or imminent damage is suspected. Other suggestions included providing a simple notice to the homeowner to communicate that a sale has occurred.
A committee vote is expected in the coming weeks, the league said. The league will remain an active participant in discussions pertaining to this legislation as it moves through the legislative process.