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Excellence Award Winners Honored By HR/TD Council

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MADISON, Wis. (5/2/13)--The CUNA HR/TD Council announced its Excellence Award winners during the council's 19th annual conference, April 21-24 in Anaheim, Calif.

The awards recognize and honor credit unions that exemplify excellence in the human resources and training disciplines and serve to promote credit union philosophies through people leadership.

This year's winners (by category) are:

  • Employee Engagement (assets less than $499 million): Town & Country FCU, South Portland, Maine, for its "Employee Experience Team" Program. The team, which guided the credit union in choosing initiatives, was led by human resources and employees who volunteered to help execute employee-centered activities and events reflecting the needs and desires of the staff.
  • Employee Engagement(assets $500 l to $1 billion): Member One FCU, Roanoke, Va., for its "Using the Humanities to Give Business Training a Soul" Program, which is a diverse offering of courses related to sales, soft skills, economics and leadership that are business related and humanities based. Each program involves music, poetry, literature, the fine arts, history or dance.
  • Employee Engagement (assets more than $1 billion): Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah, for its "How-to Training Videos," created in-house for use in the classroom to demonstrate a real life environment using a medium that is attractive and engaging to its audience.
  • HR/TD Management Practices (assets less than $499 million): Maps CU in Salem, Ore., for its "To the Olympics and Beyond  Health and Wellness" program, a multi-year implementation of a more defined wellness initiative concluding with a company-wide "Walk to the London Olympics" program.
  • HR/TD Management Practices (Assets $500 million to $1 billion): Red Canoe CU, Longview, Wash., for its "Commit to be Fit" program, a multi-year wellness program focusing on whole body wellness with a yearlong commitment to personal happiness.
  • HR/TD Management Practices (Assets more than $1billion): Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah, for its "IRA eLearning Suite," which successfully converted an entire operational training class to eLearning. The set of courses are 24/7 accessible, provide a consistent message and can be revised.
  • HR/TD Strategic Leadership(assets less than $499 million): Town & Country FCU for its "Online Banking Conversion." Using an all-in approach with employee focus groups, volunteer subject matter experts, and theme days, Town & Country FCU completed the fastest, most efficient conversion the vendor had ever seen.
  • HR/TD Strategic Leadership (assets more than $1 billion): University of Wisconsin CU, Madison, Wis., for its "Emerging Leader" program. Recognizing that internal candidates promoted to leadership roles were more likely to be successful leaders, the credit union created a 12-month program focusing on introducing candidates to leadership success criteria, corporate strategy, core functions and specific training on learning imperatives to equip emerging leaders for success.
For more information, use the link.

CU System Briefs (05/02/2013)

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  • ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/2/13)--Illinois, the former home state of National Credit Union Administration board member Michael Fryzel, is the state with the largest number of federally insured, state-chartered credit unions, Fryzel told more than 120 attendees at the Illinois Credit Union System's Legislative Day held in Springfield, Ill. "NCUA enjoys a close working relationship with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in our efforts to protect the funds of credit union members and maintain a safe and sound credit union financial network," he told the group. Fryzel emphasized the importance of such events as the Legislative Day by saying, "Sharing concerns and ideas with elected officials is an important role in maintaining open communication about offering the best financial services to Illinois citizens. Your meetings continue to carry significant importance, and the success you achieve in them benefits the entire industry." The conference is hosted annually by the Illinois Credit Union System ...
  • MILWAUKIE, Ore. (5/2/13)--Bradley Lawrence Berg, 42, of Milwaukie, Ore., was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison for  identity theft, stealing electronic equipment and breaking into Oregonians FCU near Milwaukie in October 2010. Berg also was ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution. He had pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and burglary.  Preosecutors said Berg allegedly cut a hole in the credit union's roof, tampered with an ATM and removed the vault's keypad, His DNA was allegedly found on a used bandage found in the credit union's crawl space. He also was implicated in rooftop burglaries at office retail store in Clackamas in November and December 2010. A search of his home and storage locker uncovered identity-theft equipment, personal information of other people, PayPal checks, counterfeit Social Security cards and drivers' licenses (The Oregonian April 30)  ...

CU-backed ATM Fee Disclosure Bills Advance In NY Legislature

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ALBANY, N.Y. (5/2/13)--Two of the Credit Union Association of New York's highest priority bills--both governing ATM fee disclosures--have advanced to the floors of the State Senate and the State Assembly, bringing them one step closer to passage, the association said Wednesday.

A. 6234 and S. 4363 would help protect New York's credit unions from frivolous lawsuits by eliminating the requirement of physical fee disclosures on ATMs, said CUANY. The bills would bring New York law into conformity with federal statutes.

"This advancement represents a major step in the right direction in our efforts to reduce the regulatory burden for New York credit unions," said William Mellin, CUANY president/CEO.

The bills' progress was made two weeks after CUANY's annual Governmental Affairs Conference and lobby day. CUANY had made passage of the bills a priority this year.

Under current law, ATM operators are required to display notices on both the ATM screen and on the outside of the machine. However, in recent years, numerous disclosure lawsuits in several states were filed against credit unions and banks, charging violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act because of missing signage. In many cases, vandals had peeled off disclosure stickers from the ATMs and then sued the financial institution for noncompliance.

A similar bill passed the Nebraska State Legislature in February. Nebraska, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Vermont and Wyoming were the only states having statutes that required dual disclosures.  Nebraska was the first to amend its state law to conform with federal law (News Now Feb. 12).

On the federal level, Congress passed the ATM Bill, H.R. 4367, unanimously in December. It removes the duplicative ATM disclosure requirements, providing substantial regulatory relief for credit unions owning ATMs.

The federal law was the result of a Hike the Hill event, where a credit union CEO mentioned the issue to Credit Union National Association staff. Working together, CUNA, the leagues and credit unions drafted the federal legislation and advocated for  its passage (News Now Dec. 12).

Montana Network Honors Mayer, Rummel

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HELENA, Mont. (5/2/13)--The Montana Credit Union Network recently honored its Volunteer and Professional of the Year during the organization's annual meeting in Great Falls, Mont.

Click to view larger image Kevin Mayer, center, manager of Richland FCU, Sidney, Mont., was named the Montana Credit Union Network Professional of the Year. Mayer is pictured with supporters from Richland FCU.
Kevin Mayer, manager of Richland FCU, Sidney, Mont., was named the MCUN Professional of the Year. "He does so much to represent Montana's credit unions," said Tracie Kenyon, MCUN president/CEO.  "It's nice that he's getting some recognition in return."

Mayer has worked Richland FCU for nearly 30 years. He served on the MCUN Government Relations Committee and as a board member of the former Treasure State Corporate CU.

A strong proponent of financial education, Mayer serves on the business advisory council at Sidney High School and provides a strong financial education program for every eighth-grader and high school senior in the community.

Click to view larger image Carl Rummel of Missoula (Mont.) FCU was named the Montana Credit Union Network (MCUN) Mitch Reed Volunteer of the Year. From left, Tracie Kenyon, MCUN president/CEO; Rummel; and Gary Clark, president CEO of Missoula FCU. (Photos provided by Montana Credit Union Network)
"Our youth are not exposed to any financial education," Mayer said. "There is no curriculum in the schools, and I just think it's important for our youth to be exposed to financial education at a younger age."

Carl Rummel of Missoula (Mont.) FCU was named the Mitch Reed Volunteer of the Year. "Carl is a phenomenal credit union volunteer," said Kenyon. "He's educated on our issues, engaged, and really fun. He is truly deserving of this wonderful honor."

Rummel has volunteered for the past decade at Missoula FCU and been an active member of the credit union for 33 years. He has served on the supervisory committee and the board of directors. As a board member, he has served as treasurer, vice chair and chair. He is the first person in Montana to earn Credit Union National Association's Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation.

"He is an integral part of the board, but beyond that he is a true motivator and leader who brings staff and management together to work as a team," said Gary Clark, Missoula FCU president/CEO.

CUNA's Gentile Explains CU Difference On Dakotas Radio

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BISMARCK, N.D. (5/2/13)--Credit unions' value as not-for-profit cooperatives in today's economy was the subject of Credit Union National Association Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications and Engagement Paul Gentile's recent appearance on the Legislature Today Radio Hour, sponsored by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas.

"We serve Middle America, given that we have 40% of the population as members, but just 6% of the marketplace," Gentile told CUAD. "Credit unions have no outside shareholders to please with high profits." 

Credit unions can play an important role in the economic recovery through small-business lending, he said, noting that credit union small-business loans average $217,000. "We do the true mom and pop loans that are so important to local communities, but banks don't want to touch," Gentile added.

The broadcast also featured Rep. Mark Owens (R-Grand Forks), a board member of First Liberty FCU, Great Falls, who noted the credit union's member business lending (MBL) for landscape trucks.

CUNA and credit unions are urging Congress to raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25% level. Doing so would generate $14.5 billion available for MBLs--and increase jobs by 158,000 in the first year without costing the taxpayer, according to CUNA statistics.

Gentile also spoke about aSmarterChoice as an outlet for consumers to find a credit union they can join. "Consumers can't join all credit unions, but there's certainly a credit union for everyone," he said.

Raising awareness about the value of credit unions is a key component of credit unions' Unite for Good campaign to achieve the strategic vision: "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner," CUNA says. For more information, use the link.

To listen to the CUAD Legislature Today Radio Hour, use the link.

Top 10 News Now Stories For April

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MADISON, Wis. (5/2/13)--An article about the Credit Union National Association alerting credit unions to "chatter" detected about a potential widespread Distributed Denial of Service attack that could be planned for May 7 was the most read News Now article in April.

The Top 10 articles for the month:

10. TCUF Assessing Situation After Explosion In Central Texas

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (4/18/13)--The Texas Credit Union Foundation says it is poised to help those credit unions and their employees impacted by the explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West.

9. Survey: 88% of ATM Owners Not Ready For Global Standards

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (4/30/13)--Survey results confirm that ATM owners' concerns about the ATM liability shift that went into effect a week ago are justified, the ATM Industry Association announced Monday.

8. Cost Of Reg Burden Gets Human Face From CUNA Witness

WASHINGTON (4/10/13)--The overwhelming regulatory burden, and the difficulty of raising capital, have made it more difficult for her credit union to reach out effectively to the Hispanic community in her area, the Credit Union National Association's witness told a hearing today on providing credit unions with regulatory relief.

7. NCUA Sets Ethics Standard For Its Employees

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/18/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has enhanced its employee ethics standards, adding new rules that would prevent its workers, including examiners, from taking on additional credit union employment to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

6. Super Glue Latest ATM Skimmers' Weapon

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. (4/30/13)--Super glue is the latest weapon of choice among ATM skimmers--thieves who put devices on ATMs to skim personal identification numbers from cards used at ATMs, according to Numerica CU.

5. CU Participants At Boston Marathon Are Safe

BOSTON (4/16/13)--While credit unions maintained a presence at yesterday's Boston Marathon, no credit union representatives were reported injured as a result of the explosions that tore through the finish line of the race on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring dozens more.

4. Bank of America Settles With NCUA, Bringing Total Securities Suit Gains To $335M

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (UPDATED: 4/3/13, 10:20 a.m. ET)--Bank of America has agreed to pay $165 million to the National Credit Union Administration to settle an outstanding NCUA securities lawsuit. This settlement will bring the total amount of funds recovered from agency securities lawsuits to more than $335 million, according to the NCUA.

3. TDR Guidance Released For NCUA Examiners

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/3/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has shared with credit unions guidance it provided to agency examiners on how to review loan workouts, nonaccrual policies, and regulatory reporting of troubled debt restructurings.

2. Surcharge Bans Continue To Gain Momentum

MADISON, Wis. (4/2/13)--The number of states considering bans on imposing a surcharge on credit/debit cards is gaining momentum. At least 18 states are considering such proposals, with one measure reaching a governor's desk. That's in addition to 10 states with laws already on their books.

1. CUNA Warns Of Potential Denial Of Service Attack

MADISON, Wis. (4/26/13)--With the increasing prevalence of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyberattacks, the Credit Union National Association is alerting credit unions to "chatter" that has been detected about a potential widespread attack that could be planned for May 7.

When Rivermark Members Speak, Lawmakers Listen

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (5/2/13)--Grassroots advocacy must be Rivermark Community CU's middle name. The Beaverton, Ore.-based credit union succeeded in getting more than 7,000 consumers to sign an online petition to "Say No to Big Banks"--within three days.

When the $547.3 million asset credit union sent an e-mail on Wednesday, April 24, asking members to sign the Northwest Credit Union Association's petition on saynotobigbanks.com, more than 2,000 signed the petition by that evening. By Friday, more than 7,000 consumers had signed it, said NWCUA (The Anthem April 30).

That's in addition to the 4,000 signatures already on the site.

"This is such a great demonstration of how powerful grassroots advocacy can be," said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA vice president of legislative advocacy, in the article. "This is Main Street talking, and legislators listen to that.

"When you see thousands of credit union members step up so quickly, it makes it very clear that they want to protect the not-for-profit, cooperative structure of their credit unions, so that they can continue to see the real, tangible benefits of their membership," Wagner said. "If every credit union is able to engage their members at some level, the value of the credit union model will become loud and clear."

The petition stemmed from a Leadership Symposium during which attendees were "fired up discussing the bank lobby's attack on credit unions," said NWCUA, which co-sponsored the event.  Although state legislation attempting to impose additional regulatory burden is already dead in the Oregon legislature, the banks' push to eliminate credit unions' tax exemption, is active in 20 states and on the federal level, said NWCUA.

"We believe this is only the beginning of a protracted attack by the banking lobby," wrote Scott Burgess, Rivermark president/CEO, in his e-mail to about 30,000 members. "Your continued support will undoubtedly be important, both to Rivermark and to credit unions across the state."

It isn't the first time that Rivermark's members, staff and directors heeded the call to advocacy this year. More than 1,400 members wrote and e-mailed their legislators earlier in the state legislative session.

Protecting and defining the credit union tax exempt status is the top legislative priority for the Credit Union National Association, which has called on credit unions to Unite for Good to support its strategic vision in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial institution."

By working to remove barriers like regulatory burden and attempts to whittle away at credit unions' not-for-profit structure and tax exemption, by raising awareness of the value of credit union membership, and by continuing to foster service excellence that engages members, credit unions can expect such responses from their members.

For more information on that effort, use the link.

Alloya, CenCorp Complete Merger, Select Board

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (5/2/13)--The merger between $1.4 billion Alloya Corporate FCU and $1.4 billion CenCorp was completed Tuesday at the end of the business day.

CenCorp members voted in favor of the merger on April. 4.

Under the merger agreement, the size of the board was expanded to 11 members. Board officers are:

  • Chair: Amy Sink, senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) Teachers CU, South Bend, Ind.;
  • Vice chair: John Fiore, president/CEO, Motorola Employees CU, Schamburg, Ill.;
  • Treasurer Leanne McGuinness, senior vice president and CFO, The Summit FCU, Rochester, N.Y.; and
  • Secretary: Curt Cecala, CEO, TCT FCU, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
Other board members include:

  • Cheryl DeBoer, president/CEO, First Community FCU, Parchment, Mich.;
  • Robin Frucci, CEO, LAFCU, Lansing, Mich.;
  • Peter Gates, CEO, Michigan Schools and Government CU, Clinton Township, Mich.;
  • Floyd Rummel, president, Dakota Territory FCU, Deadwood, S.D.;
  • Daniel Stoltz, president/CEO, SPIRE FCU, Roseville, Minn.;
  • David Suvall, president/CEO, Rhode Island CU, Providence, R.I.; and
  • Patrick White, general manager, Flint Area School Employees CU, Flint, Mich.
Supervisory Committee members are:

  • Chair: Charles Rogers, chief operating officer, Progressive CU, New York, N.Y.;
  • Michael Daugherty, president/manager, Community Plus FCU, Rantoul, Ill.; and
  • Bernard Williams, CEO, Wanigas CU, Saginaw, Mich.
Alloya serves more than 1,400 member-owner credit unions in 10 states with investment, financial, lending and correspondent services. Headquartered in Warrenville, Ill., Alloya also has offices in Southfield, Mich., and Albany, N.Y.

CUs In Three States Report Compromised Cards

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MADISON, Wis. (5/2/13)--Credit unions in three states are reporting fraudulent activity related to compromised cards from breaches and skimming devices. The incidents are in Illinois, California, and Alabama.

The University of Illinois Employees CU, Champaign, Ill., last week replaced about 3,400 debit cards and 1,400 credit cards that had been compromised by a data breach at Schnuck's supermarkets after a "tsunami" of fraud reports that may cost "tens of thousands" of  dollars, the credit union told the News-Gazette  (May 1).  

Schnuck's is a privately held chain of more than 90 supermarkets in the Midwest.  The breach was announced last month (News Now April 2).

The credit union accommodated debit card owners by waiving fees on Visa travel cards and offering shared-branching services so members could get cash. About one in four of the credit union's cardholders had used their cards at Schnucks during December to March, when the information was compromised.

In Capitola, Calif., Bay FCU members reported fraudulent transactions to the $678.5 million asset credit union.  Police are investigating more than 50 credit card reports related to information that may have been skimmed on devices planted at a local gas and automotive store.  The gas station was unaware of the devices and is cooperating with police, said the San Jose Mercury News (April 30).

Fort McClellan CU,  an $184 million asset credit union  in Anniston, Ala., sent a letter to members indicating that during March,  debit card accounts issued by banks and credit unions in Calhoun County, Ala., and nearby communities, were compromised and unauthorized transactions made on "many" accounts  (Examiner.com April 30).

Authorities have not determined how the account numbers were obtained, but they said credit union members and bank customers affected had used the cards in a common environment or merchant location. The account information was distributed to criminals who made unauthorized transactions "on a widespread basis."

The credit union is contacting members whose cards were compromised and is arranging to reissue new cards.

PCUA, PCUF, Cable Network Team Up On Financial Town Meetings

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (5/2/13)--The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) is partnering with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation to conduct a series of quarterly town meetings concerning financial literacy.

The second in the series, "Financial Do's and Don'ts," will take place on Friday, May 10. PCN will tape the educational session and air it statewide later that day.

The town meeting, which is free and open to the public, will start at 10 a.m. ET at the Mohler Center in Hershey.

Attendees will learn the financial "do's and "don'ts" when dealing with investments, reverse mortgages, estate and retirement planning, as well as how to avoid scams.

The panel leading the discussion includes:

  • Joseph Wambach, executive director, PCUF;
  • Diana Roberts, CEO, Hershey FCU, Hummelstown;
  • David Shallcross, senior community liaison, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General;
  • Aimee Toth, deputy secretary for securities, Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities; and
  • Mary Bach, consumer advocate.

Emmy Winner Mark DeCarlo To Emcee ACUC

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MADISON, Wis. (5/2/13)--The Credit Union National Association announced that Emmy Award-winning comedian and food/travel expert Mark DeCarlo is slated as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2013 America's Credit Union Conference, June 30 through July 3 at the Hilton New York in New York City.

"Mark DeCarlo will make an engaging emcee for this year's conference," said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of CUNA Center for Professional Development. "His witty nature and great cultural insights will be a great fit with the ACUC audience."

DeCarlo has contributed his charismatic expertise in broadcast for more than 10 years. He currently hosts and produces comedic segments on Chicago's No. 1 daytime show, "ABC's Windy City Live," in which he celebrates the people, places and off-kilter characters that define Chicago. His work on the show won him back-to-back Midwest Emmys in 2011 and 2012.

Prior to his work in Chicago, DeCarlo traveled across 400 cities for four seasons of Travel Channel's "Taste of America with Mark DeCarlo." He compiled the experience in his bestselling book, A Fork on the Road: 400 Cities, 1 Stomach. In 2013, DeCarlo will chronicle his book/performance tour nationwide in a HuffingtonPost.com Travel Blog and broadcast his new podcast/radio series, "A Fork on the Road Show."

ACUC features business innovators to deliver ideas for growth and inspiration to drive positive change for the credit union movement, CUNA said.

For more information, use the link.