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Coopera partners move forward with Morrows vision

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DES MOINES, Iowa (2/29/12)--Following the unexpected death of Coopera CEO and founder Warren Morrow, the staff at Coopera, its parent company Affiliates Management Co. (AMC) and partner Credit Union National Association (CUNA) stand ready to continue Morrow's work.

Murray Williams, AMC chief administrative officer and chief operating office of the Iowa Credit Union League has been named acting CEO of Coopera. Williams worked closely with Morrow since Coopera's inception, providing strategic counsel. On an interim basis, Williams will provide leadership to Coopera staff and act as a pro-tem contact for current and prospective clients and partners.

"We have a tremendous team in place at Coopera to carry Warren's vision forward," said Williams. "He was a good friend and an inspiration to us all. His life will continue on through all of us and through Coopera."

"Warren built Coopera into a visionary company with a very bright future," said Patrick S. Jury, AMC chairman and CEO. "He was always proud that Coopera was much larger than one person. While Warren's passing is a tragic loss to us and the entire credit union movement, we will persevere, and Coopera will live on."

Citing the company's mission, staff, partnerships and support from the credit union industry, Jury said Coopera will carry on its service to the credit union movement. With the continued support of CUNA, Coopera will work to introduce more credit unions to the growth potential of the Hispanic community. 

"CUNA is fully committed to its partnership with Coopera and the vital mission that we share together--to help credit unions grow in membership and assets through the Hispanic market," said Mark Condon, CUNA senior vice president of business and consumer publishing.

In addition to its consulting efforts, Coopera introduced several new products and partnerships designed to attract Hispanic consumers to credit unions. Among these is the Coopera Card, a reloadable prepaid card built for Hispanic cardholders. Nine credit unions have signed on to make the card available to Hispanic members.

Another offering is the Hispanic consumer website, El Poder es Tuyo, created by Coopera and CUNA and adopted by more than 40 credit unions nationwide.

Coopera Vice President Miriam De Dios and Client Account Coordinator Anna Haug will help lead the company while serving clients, managing partnerships and presenting on the Hispanic market opportunity at several upcoming industry conferences and events, including:

  • CUNA's Marketing and Business Development Council Conference, March 7-10, New Orleans;
  • CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference , March 18-22, Washington, D.C.;
  • Latino Credit Union Conference, June 15-17, San Diego;
  • America's Credit Union Conference & Expo, June 17-20, San Diego; and
  • CUNA's Community Credit Union and Growth Conference, Oct.  23-26, Denver.
"Warren established and grew Coopera to be the premier conduit for helping the Hispanic community attain dignified financial services through credit unions, and it's our intention to carry his vision into the future," said De Dios.

Morrow's colleagues have been overwhelmed by the support received from all corners of the industry, according to Jury. "We have reflected as a staff that this is why working in the credit union movement is so special," said Jury. "We are a part of a compassionate community."

Harland Clarke topic at council meet Member retention

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SAN ANTONIO (2/29/12)--A representative from Harland Clarke Corp., will offer insights on member engagement and retention during the 19th annual CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Conference, March 7-10 in New Orleans.

Harland Clarke is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Stephen Nikitas, Harland Clarke senior marketing strategist, will discuss 10 actions credit unions can take immediately to strengthen relationships with members.

"There are several easy, cost-effective actions that financial institutions can take to strengthen their balance sheet and grow their loan portfolios as they navigate recent changes in the economy and regulatory environment," Nikitas said.

Nikitas has more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, marketing, public relations and executive speechwriting. He has been a senior executive at financial institutions in New York, California and Massachusetts, developing and implementing sales and marketing programs that have resulted in significant growth in loans, deposits and accounts.

For Harland Clarke, Nikitas provides consultative services to banks and credit unions, helping them craft marketing and retail strategies and campaigns to take advantage of existing market and financial conditions to grow targeted portfolios.