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Seeking Young and Free spokesperson Miss. CUs sweeten deal

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JACKSON, Miss. (5/12/10)--In addition to a $30,000 one-year contract, a MacBook Pro notebook computer, an HD Canon digital video camera and an iPhone, the person hired as the Young & Free Mississippi spokesperson will have the use of a 2010 Honda Fit Sport for the term as spokesperson. "We want this person to easily get around and connect with the 25-and-under age group throughout our state," said Charles Elliott, CEO of the Mississippi Credit Union Association (MSCUA). "This is critical to finding out how our credit unions can serve them better," he said. "And to show our potential applicants we're serious, we're supplying them with the use of a new vehicle. There will be no doubt on the road or at events who this person is, and the fact that Young & Free Mississippi is for them." The spokesperson will be reimbursed for all related vehicle expenses monthly and be expected to keep the vehicle in good running condition. The vehicle will be used to travel to communities throughout Mississippi, college campuses and youth-related events to spread the word about the Free2B Account, a youth account free for youth 25 and under. Also it will be used to learn what Mississippi youth need from their financial institution and to educate youth about Mississippi credit unions. "We want to hear from youth," Elliott said. "We want to learn the best way to put the most needed products and services in their hands." The program offers the 25-and-under set:
* Information to assist in managing their finances independently; * A voice for members through a hired spokesperson; * A head start in the form of a free checking account with features called Free2B; * A dedicated website where the spokesperson creates fun and entertaining blog posts and videos with helpful advice and financial tips.

The 1 contest winners chosen early discount ends May 20

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MADISON, Wis. (5/12/10)--A contest for a free registration to the upcoming The 1 Credit Union Conference received so many entries that the conference's co-hosts--the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU)--decided to award two grand prizes as well as second- and third-place prizes. The conference's "early bird" discount of $200 ends May 20. The conference is July 11-14 in Las Vegas and MGM Grand Hotel. The grand prizes--a complimentary conference registration--went to Carol Wight from Holy Rosary CU, Kansas City, Mo., and Michelle Jacinta Pierre-Devenish from Trinidad and Tobago Police CU. Wight's contest response said, "As I have reviewed the different credit union events to attend, this one stood out as the one event that I need for the growth of my credit union." Pierre-Devenish's response explained she is new to credit unions and as operations manager, she is excited to "make a major contribution to the operational effectiveness of my credit union." Second prize winner of two free hotel nights at the MGM Grand during the conference is Dave Schurman of FirstOntario CU, Hamilton, Ont., Canada. Taking third prize and winning an Executive Series book set is Connie Miller, CEO of Icon CU, Boise, Idaho. For more information about the conference, including the complete speaker lineup and agenda of the sessions, use the resource link. All registrations must be received by May 20 to qualify for the early bird rate. Optional day tours still have space available. For evening entertainment, attendees can purchase tickets to three stage shows: Barry Manilow, The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil and Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil. Tickets range from $135 to $150 and can be purchased online after completing conference registration. Attendees from more than 60 countries are expected for the event, which combines CUNA's America's Credit Union Conference and WOCCU's World Credit Union Conference for this year only. Registration questions can be directed to Allison McCarty, conference specialist, at 608-395-2095.

Georgia CU Affiliates honor seven leaders for service

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DULUTH, Ga. (5/12/10)--Seven individuals were acknowledged for outstanding service to their communities and to the credit union industry at the annual convention of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) held last week in Savannah, Ga. Each year, the state trade association honors credit union management and volunteers with the Moses C. Davis awards, highlighting those who have contributed consistently to furthering the “People Helping People” philosophy of credit unions. GCUA also presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to honor one credit union leader whose accomplishments exemplify extraordinary leadership and commitment. “We take great pride in honoring individuals who have helped further the work of credit unions,” said Mike Mercer, GCUA president/CEO. “Much of that effort includes assisting Georgia residents to enhance their financial literacy, particularly in this challenging economy.” This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Janet Davis, CEO of TIC FCU in Columbus, Ga. Davis began her career with TIC in 1983 and has assisted the credit union in its growth to become the ninth-largest credit union in Georgia. Davis has held several board positions at the state and national levels. Honorees who received the Moses C. Davis awards in the professional category are:
* Brian Akin, CEO, North Georgia CU, Toccoa. The credit union has grown in Akin’s nine-year tenure and has expanded membership eligibility to more than 100 select employer groups and residents of Stephens and Franklin Counties. Akin is vice president of the Northeast Credit Union Chapter. * Gail H. Chandler, CEO, Regional Members FCU, Columbus. Under Chandler’s leadership, the credit union expanded several new products and services for members. Chandler is active statewide in the credit union movement and with local community organizations. * Defarra “Dean” Gaymon, CEO, Credit Union of Atlanta. Gaymon’s leadership focuses on staff development and implementing products to meet the needs of low- to moderate-income individuals, while helping to improve their financial literacy. Gaymon is on the board of the Greater Atlanta Credit Union Chapter.
Honorees who received the award in the volunteer category are:
* Charles F. Grant, board member with Augusta (Ga.) Metro FCU. During his years on the board, Grant has been an advocate for members and staff. He was instrumental in the development of the credit union’s new “dialog branch,” helping create more personalized interaction with members. * Peggy Martin, board member with Members United CU, Columbus. Martin helped form the credit union in 1981 and has held several board positions. She is active in credit union grassroots efforts and is involved with several organizations in her community. * Marlene Cooper Stiggers, board member with First Choice CU, Atlanta. Stiggers is chair of the marketing committee, where her efforts led to exposure of the credit union in a prominent statewide business publication. She is a long-time supporter of the national African American Credit Union Coalition.

Consumer credit up 1 in March down at CUs

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WASHINGTON (5/12/10)--Consumer credit in the U.S. increased at an annual rate of 1% in March to $2.45 trillion from $2.44 trillion in February, according to the Federal Reserve’s March 2010 Consumer Credit report. However, it decreased from $2.54 trillion during first quarter 2009. The projected March figures indicate that revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 4.5% to $852 billion from February’s $855.8 billion, and compared with $935 billion in first quarter 2009. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 4% to $1.598 trillion from $1.593 trillion in February, compared with $1.6 trillion in first quarter 2009. Consumers borrowed from credit unions a total of $229 billion in March, compared with $233 billion in first quarter 2009 and $231.6 billion in February. Revolving credit at credit unions was $34.2 billion in March, compared with $34.4 billion in February and $32.2 billion in first quarter 2009. Nonrevolving credit was $194.9 billion from $197 billion in February, compared with $201 billion in first quarter 2009.

IUSA TodayI For auto loan rates shop your CU

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MADISON, Wis. (5/12/10)--Consumers looking for the best deal on auto loan rates should check out credit unions when they shop around, USA Today said Monday. In a column titled, “Car dealers’ loans often aren’t the best deal, so shop rates first,” Sandra Block, USA Today personal finance columnist, mentions that consumers also should consider “[MoneyAisle is] an auction site that allow consumers to solicit bids from financial institutions for certificates of deposit and high-yield savings accounts,” Block wrote. “Last week, MoneyAisle added loans on new and used autos. To solicit bids, plug in your ZIP code and the make and model of the car you want to buy. If you see a bid you like, you can contact the bank or credit union.” So far, more than 75 credit unions and banks have signed up with the company to offer auto loans. MoneyAisle expects to have 200 participants by the end of July, Block added. “The Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer advocacy group, estimates that consumers spend more than $20 billion a year in excess interest by borrowing through dealerships instead of through a bank or credit union,” Block wrote. To read the article, use the link.

Calif. Nev. leagues form search committee for CEO

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (5/12/10)--A search committee has been appointed to select a successor to California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President/CEO Bill Cheney. Last week, Cheney was chosen to replace Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica. California Credit Union League Board Chairman Jeff York, CEO of CoastHills FCU in Lompoc, Calif., appointed the committee. The California League board intends to fill its position in time for the leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention, Nov. 15-17 in Anaheim. Cheney will step down from the leagues July 4, and will assume his new role at CUNA July 5. No determination has been made about a potential interim appointment. The leagues selected San Francisco-based O’Rourke and Associates to conduct the search. Candidates should apply directly to the firm. The search committee has begun developing criteria for the position. Top candidates selected from the applicant pool will be presented to the executive committee of the California league board of directors for interviews. The executive committee will then recommend a final candidate to the board for approval. Search committee members represent credit unions of various asset sizes and locations throughout California and Nevada. Members are:
* Brett Martinez, CEO, Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., committee chairman and immediate past chairman of the California league; * Eileen Rivera, CEO, SkyOne FCU, Hawthorne, Calif., and current first vice chairman of the California league board; * Ron Seaman, chairman of the North Highlands, Calif.-based SAFE CU board and member of the California league board; * Rudy Hanley, CEO, SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif.; * Jon Hernandez, CEO, CalCom FCU, Torrance, Calif., City of Downey (Calif.) FCU and Mattel FCU, El Segundo, Calif.; * Wally Murray, CEO, Greater Nevada FCU, Carson City, Nev., and chairman of the Nevada League; and * Benson Porter, CEO, Addison Avenue FCU, Palo Alto, Calif.

CU System briefs (05/11/2010)

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* LANSING, Mich. (5/12/10)--Michigan state Sen. Randy Richardville (R-Monroe), left, received the Michigan Credit Union League's 2009 State Legislator of the Year Award last week from CP FCU CEO John Crist, right, during a Jackson Chapter legislative breakfast . The Jackson Citizen Patriot was present to capture the event and interview Richardville. Twenty-eight people attended, including Richardville; his district director, John Manor; and Greg Moore, legislative director for Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek). Discussion focused on an array of state issues. The breakfast was hosted by CP FCU in Jackson (Michigan Monitor May 10). (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League) ... * MADISON, Wis. (5/12/10)--Royal Oak CU, a $1 billion asset credit union in Eau Claire, Wis., will buy 11 branches from struggling AnchorBank, based in Madison, by July if regulators approve, said Anchor Bank in the Wisconsin State Journal (May 8). Anchor also plans to sell four Green Bay-area branches in its cost cutting. That would leave it with 58 locations, a cut of 20% ... * AMES, Iowa (5/12/10)--Greater Iowa CU, based in Ames, Iowa, has presented a $100,000 multiyear gift to the Iowa State University College of Business to fund an annual business lecture through the university lectures program, according to The Des Moines Register (May 11). The gift's goal is to underscore the credit union's relationship with Iowa State and to advance financial literacy in the community, said Greater Iowa CU President Shazia Manus ... * REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (5/12/10)--During May, San Mateo CU is offering international wire transfers at no charge through Vigo, a worldwide provider of electronic money transfers. Members and nonmembers and those who use the Vigo service will receive a free $5 phone card. They are allowed one free transfer, up to $100, and one free phone card per person, while supplies last. SMCU promoted it as a cost-efficient gift for Mother's Day. Vigo operates in 50 countries, specializing in Latin America and Caribbean destinations, said the credit union ...

Delaware league elects two board members presents awards

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (5/12/10)--The Delaware Credit Union League elected three board members at its 52nd annual meeting Saturday and honored several individuals for their contributions to the credit union movement. Board incumbents Cheryl Chilcutt, Louviers FCU, Newark; Allen Riley, Sussex County FCU, Seaford; and Joel Romaine, DPL FCU, Newark, were re-elected to serve three-year terms.
The Delaware Credit Union League Saturday, honored, from left: Dona Palermo as Outstanding Credit Union Professional, George Leathrum with the Spirit of Service award and Russell McCready as Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer. (Photos provided by the Delaware Credit Union League)
Chairing the board will be Jerry King, DEXSTA FCU, Wilmington. Romaine will be vice chair; Sharon Schaeffer, Delaware First, Wilmington, secretary; and Chilcutt, treasurer. The league also honored Russell McCready, past chair of Dover FCU, with the 2009 Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer award. Dona Palermo, training coordinator, Dover FCU, received the 2009 Outstanding Credit Union Professional award. The league also presented George Leathrum, Peninsula Methodist FCU, with the Spirit of Service award.