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Lund Elected Board Chairman Of CU Direct

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LAS VEGAS (5/24/13)--John Lund, president/CEO of America First CU, Riverdale, Utah, was elected board chairman of CU Direct Corp. during the credit union service organization's annual lending conference this week in Las Vegas.

Lund has served on CU Direct's board since 2005. The company's board of directors also elected Jeff March, president/CEO of Citadel CU, Exton, Pa., as vice chairman, and Nader Moghaddam, president/CEO of Financial Partners CU, Downey, Calif.,  as the board's secretary and treasurer.

Lund and Moghaddam were also elected to new three-year board terms. Company shareholders also elected Chuck Purvis, president/CEO of Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., to his first term as a director on the board.  Previously, Purvis served on the board as an associate director.

During the company's shareholder's meeting, CU Direct President/CEO Tony Boutelle and the board recognized outgoing chairman, Joe Brancucci, president/CEO of GTE Financial FCU, Tampa, Fla., for his service as chairman of the board from 2011to 2013. Brancucci, who has served on CU Direct's board since 2004, will continue to serve in his new position as ex-officio on the board.

Also serving on CU Direct's board are:

  • Diana Dykstra, president/ CEO, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues;
  • David Reynolds, CEO, Security Service FCU, San Antonio, Texas;
  • Barry Jolette, president/CEO, San Mateo CU, Redwood City, Calif.;
  • Sterling Nielsen, president/CEO, Mountain America CU, West Jordan, Utah; and
  • Donna Bland, president/CEO, Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif.

CU System Briefs (05/24/2013)

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  • HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (5/24/13)--The New Jersey Credit Union League went digital with its awards program last year and has decided to use the same format for 2013. Last year's digital program led to more entries than previous years, and allowed the league's member credit unions to choose the winners through an online voting platform, the league said. The league also has renamed its Volunteer of the Year Award in memory of the late credit union volunteer Calvin Jackson, who was the epitome of credit union volunteerism, the league said. Jackson always was willing to get involved with the New Jersey credit union system, and entries for the award should focus on this same quality in other credit union volunteers, NJCUL said (The Daily Exchange May 23) ...
  • LeCLAIRE, Iowa (5/24/13)--Paul N. Lensmeyer, president/CEO of Ascentra CU in Bettendorf, Iowa, since April 1993, died Sunday at University Hospitals in Iowa City. He was 62. At Ascentra, he set the culture of "listening, caring, doing what's right" and strived to make the credit union better for members, employees and the community. He served as a board member of Des Moines-based TMG Financial Services and Community Business Lenders Service Corp., and recently was awarded the Iowa Credit Union League's Cooperative Spirit Professional Award for outstanding service, commitment and leadership to the Iowa credit union movement.  He is survived by his wife, two children, four grandchildren, his mother, and a sister.  Funeral services are today at 10 a.m. CT, with visitation an hour before at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Davenport (The Quad-City Times May 22) ...

Filene Report: Are CUs Measuring Right Performance Indicators?

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MADISON, Wis. (5/24/13)--Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as return on assets, net promoter score and loan to assets, are used by credit unions because they are the easiest to measure, aggregate and compare, according to a new paper from the Filene Research Institute. However, they do not address credit unions' identity crisis--the need to form and describe a business model that is different from noncooperative financial institutions.

The report, "An Examination of Key Performance Indicators Reported by Credit Unions In North America," surveys the key performance indicator practices of 23 medium to large U.S. and Canadian credit unions.

Most credit union managers are so devoted to their established KPIs that they don't stop to imagine what metrics are right for measuring a credit union's values and its value to members, said the report's author Daphne Rixon, associate professor and executive director, Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Cooperatives, Saint Mary's University, Novia Scotia, Canada.

"Even though credit unions measure these and other common financial indicators, something is missing from a cooperative that obsesses about financial metrics while ignoring other important points," Rixon wrote. "Credit unions have to consider strategy, regulation, their own users, and industry benchmarks. But what about community engagement and social responsibility? What about engaging stakeholders, not just shareholders? What about meaningful reporting to shareholders and stakeholders?"

She offered several suggestions:

  • Address the identity crisis. Credit unions live many of the seven cooperative principles, but sophisticated and unsophisticated credit unions alike struggle to measure and, equally important, report on activities that are fundamental to cooperative credit unions.
  • Develop appropriate benchmark data. With confusion about how best to make comparisons, credit unions are left with measuring and comparing only financial results. Rixon recommended creating national committees (in Canada and the U.S.) to investigate and sponsor no more than 10 KPIs and calculate methodologies for each. She also recommended a two-year pilot with anonymous reporting from a cross section of credit unions to gauge the effectiveness of the KPI system.
  • Encourage stakeholder engagement. Rixon encouraged credit unions to get beyond "tokenism" at annual general meetings and in board elections. Incentivizing member and employee groups (beyond the board) to actively participate in setting strategic priorities would lead to more authentic involvement.
  • Monitor the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). IIRC is an international group that is already working on KPIs that would apply well to the varied priorities of credit unions, Rixon said. The IIRC's pilot project concludes in 2013; credit unions should note the results and consider adopting or modifying the suggested KPIs for their own use, she said.
To download the report, use the link.

Connecticut Gov. Proclaims Value Of Reality Fairs

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MERIDEN, Conn. (5/24/13)--
Barbara Bass, vice president of education and human resource development at the Credit Union League of Connecticut, accepts a proclamation by Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy praising Connecticut credit unions' Financial Reality Fair program from Fred Brown, director of marketing and member development of Northeast Family FCU. (Photo provided by the Credit Union League of Connecticut)
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has sent an official proclamation to the Credit Union League of Connecticut praising the value of its Financial Reality Fair program. The program is sponsored by Connecticut credit unions.

More than 100 credit unions and businesses have participated and/or donated their time, effort, and monetary contributions to make this program not only successful, but also essential to the future of participants in the local as well as national economy.

"What makes this program so worthwhile," said Bass, "is the fact that when money management skills are learned early on, good financial habits are instilled and carried forward for a lifetime of security and success."

Since Connecticut began conducting Reality Fairs, the idea has caught on in a number of states. The National Credit Union Foundation's REAL Solutions program champions programs such as reality fairs and has encouraged them. In February, NCUF hosted its Financial Reality Fair during the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference  in Washington, D.C. (News Now Feb. 12).

Leagues and credit unions throughout the nation have been active in the interactive financial literacy tool for high school students.

Minnesota CU Network Elects Board

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (5/24/13)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) announced the results of its board elections at its Annual Meeting and Convention May 17-18 in Bloomington, Minn.

Click to view larger image More than 300 credit union professionals and volunteers, and 134 service organization representatives, attended the Minnesota Credit Union Network Annual Meeting, May 17-18 in Bloomington, Minn. (Photo provided by Minnesota Credit Union Network)

Three incumbents and one new representative were elected to three-year terms on the MnCUN Board of Directors. The election results include:

  • Karen Fleming of HBI Employees CU, St. Paul, re-elected to the 2,000-or-fewer members seat;
  • Terri Maloney of Catholic United Financial CU, St. Paul, elected to the 2,001-to-10,000 members seat;
  • Kelly McDonough of First Alliance CU, Rochester, re-elected to the seat for credit unions outside the Twin Cities metro area;
  • Jeff Schwalen of Hiway FCU, St. Paul, re-elected to the seat for credit unions in the Twin Cities metro area;

The MnCUN Board also re-elected the table officers below for another term. They include:

  • Chairman--Patrick Pierce of City and County CU, St. Paul;
  • Vice Chairman--Chuck Albrecht of Mid-Minnesota FCU, Baxter; and
  • Secretary/Treasurer--Schwalen.

More than 300 credit union professionals and volunteers, representing 70 credit unions attended the annual meeting. Its tradeshow hosted more than 134 people from 61 service organizations.

Mary Dunn, Credit Union National Association senior vice president and deputy counsel, gave the opening address during the Friday business meeting and led a session that provided regulatory updates and advocacy advice.

CUNA Board Chairman Pat Wesenberg also attended. She encouraged attendees to rally their credit unions and join in CUNA's Unite for Good initiative. "Working together, we can reduce burden and foster excellence throughout our industry," Wesenberg said. "[Unite for Good] is a rallying cry for credit unions to spread the message that credit unions are the best financial partner."

Wesenberg also met with The Crew, MnCUN's young credit union professionals networking group. The networking session, "Coffee with the CEOs," featured Wesenberg and Mark Cummins, MnCUN president/CEO; Mary Hansen, CEO/administrator of Mayo Employees FCU, Rochester; and Kyle Markland, president/CEO Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul.

CUNA Closed Monday For Holiday, No News Now

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (5/24/13)--The Washington, D.C, and Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association will be closed Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

News Now will not post a Monday issue but will resume regular publication on Tuesday.

Celent: FI Branches To Decline 30%-40% In Decade

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BOSTON (5/24/13)--The number of branches built by credit unions and banks are expected to decrease between 30% and 40% in the next decade, according to Celent, a Boston-based financial services research and consulting firm.

Branch growth the past 40 years has exceeded population growth, said Celent's report, "Branch Boom Gone Bust: Predicting a Steep Decline in U.S. Branch Activity. "The U.S. retail banking branch network has yet to respond to the obvious migration of customers to new digital alternatives," said the report's abstract.

In 1970, there were 107 branches for every million individuals. By 2011, that had grown to 270 branches per million.

"There is every reason to suggest branch densities would be substantially lower now than 30 years ago, but just the opposite has occurred," said Bob Meara, senior analyst with Celent's Banking Group and co-author of the report. "Given this trend, a slow, but inexorable reduction in U.S. branch density seems unavoidable."

"Beyond simply reducing the number of operating branches, what is needed is a fundamental redesign of retail operating models. Rather than resisting the trend, banks should welcome it and reinvest the savings," Meara added.

Jim Holt, president of Wichita, Kan.-based, $197 million asset Mid American CU, said branches will remain an important part of how the credit union delivers its services and are expected by members.  In the past 20 years, the credit union has learned that members want every conceivable option to access the credit union they can get, including Internet and mobile banking, ATMs and branches, he told the Wichita Eagle (May 23).

Branches likely will change by becoming physically smaller but still must meet consumers' expectations and needs, he told the newspaper.

Mid American CU opened a full-service branch earlier this year and the board likely will be discussing the credit union's branch strategy, he told the publication.  It has two full-service branches in Wichita, a branch it jointly owns and operates with Cessna Employees CU in south Wichita, and a branch it acquired in Arkansas City.

Still, Celent indicates that  financial institutions must adapt to consumers' increasing use of online and mobile banking services.

"If banks don't align their multichannel strategies with this seismic shift in consumer preference, they'll be at a significant competitive disadvantage," said Stephen Greer, analyst with Celent's Banking Group and co-author of the report. "Financial institutions have their work cut out for them because transforming the branch network is neither cheap nor easy."

Coach Carter Among Keynoters At CUANY Convention

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ALBANY, N.Y. (5/24/13)--The Credit Union Association of New York's 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention will feature three keynote speakers, led by nationally renowned film inspiration Coach Ken Carter, June 13-16 at Lake George, N.Y.

Carter, an author, educator and the inspiration for the film "Coach Carter" featuring Samuel L. Jackson, will challenge attendees to reach beyond the average to true greatness during his presentation, "The Average Is Not Good Enough."

The gathering will feature two other keynote presenters, Mike Schenk, vice president of economics & statistics at the Credit Union National Association, and Dr. Lance Secretan, an award-winning leadership speaker, professor and author.

Schenk will share insights on how shifts created by the recent fiscal crisis will impact credit unions throughout 2013. Secretan will explore what makes a great leader, and how leaders inspire and change the world.

In 1999, basketball coach Carter made history at California's Richmond High School by locking his undefeated team out of the gym for failing to honor their player contracts and academic requirements. Within two years, he single-handedly transformed the school and the team, motivating his players to pursue excellence both on and off the court. His story inspired the nation and was immortalized in the popular 2005 film "Coach Carter."

Secretan is an advocate for the integration of corporate life and spiritual integrity. Secretan is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, a university professor, an award-winning columnist and author of 15 leadership books that emphasize the connection between high performance and the heart, mind and soul. Recognizes Five CUs For Tech Features

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (5/24/13)--Five credit unions that are offering popular technological banking features were featured in an article this month by

"More and more credit union online banking features are surfacing from financial cooperatives across the nation, giving these institutions the competitive technological edge to rival household bank names," said the article, "5 Credit Unions with Incredible Banking Technology."

"The fact that these credit unions and many others in the credit union family are joining the wave of online and mobile banking is promising to loyal members who enjoy the non-profit touch, but desire innovative banking technology," added commended these credit unions for providing technology that consumers desire:

  • Wright-Patt CU in Fairborn, Ohio, offers a WPCU Home Banking app in which members can check multiple account balances and initiate transfers. The app garnered a 4.5 out of 5 rating on iTunes for its iPhone version from 97 consumer reviews. Wright-Patt's Android version received a 4.5 out of 5 review based on comments from 687 users.

  • USC CU in Los Angeles has a mobile deposit service available to iPhone, iPad and Android users, which is already designed into its mobile banking app. Users select which deposit accounts the funds should go to, state the amount being deposited, and snap two camera images--front and back--of the endorsed check.

  • TwinStar CU in Lacy, Wash., provides members peer-to-peer fund transfers to make borrowing money from friends easier. TwinStar allows members to send funds to a third party using its mobile app via PayPal. They can select the account from which to pull funds, enter the recipient's name and e-mail address (or mobile phone number), and choose the type of transfer the transaction classifies as--"friends and family" or commercial--then click send. There is a $1 fee per transaction.

  • Credit Union ONE in Ferndale, Mich., will soon release online banking features that present a helpful look for consumers, including brand logos for retail account transactions, online bill pay capabilities and budgeting tools that provides depositors a visual of their spending habits.

  • IC FCU in Fitchburg, Mass., uses text messaging to update members on their accounts. Its Short Message Service makes it easier to perform a quick account balance check. By using shortcodes like "B" for balance and "H" for transaction history, members can receive an instant response with the information they seek. The service is free, but standard messaging rates may apply.

Thanks To CU Employees, 22 Lives Saved, Report Nation's Media

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MADISON, Wis. (5/24/13)--While a vault in the now-destroyed Moore, Okla., branch of Tinker FCU is getting credit for saving the lives of 22 people during Monday's tornado, the stories they brought out with them indicate heroic measures taken by credit union staff to keep the vault door closed and people inside safe.

National media, knowing a good miracle story when they hear one, began reporting on the survival of the 14 employees and eight members Wednesday. Reports of the group making it safely through the tornado appeared on CNN, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, ABC News, the Huffington Post, NPR and more. The story went around the world, with United Kingdom's Daily Mail picking it up with photos of the vault's occupants being helped out of the vault after the tornado.

Jan Davis, the branch manager, and employee Teresa Price described to CNN's Wolf Blitzer how they hid in the small vault as the building around them."  Blitzer asked if it were crowded. Davis didn't hesitate. "It was crowded," she said, "but if there had been more people we would have crowded them right in."

Price described the loud crashing sounds and feeling the walls taking the impact. "The vault was rocking, cracking," and "people were praying out loud."

Davis said staff tried to keep everyone calm with constant conversation and good feelings and positive statements.  When it was over, there was "devastation," said Price.  Davis added they knew there would be nothing left when they opened the door.

"I was one of the members in the vault yesterday," Dena Clarke wrote on the credit union's Facebook page. "You all should be so proud of your employees! Everyone, especially Jan the branch manager, acted so heroically to keep everyone safe. I am so thankful! Our family loves TFCU!"

ABC News reported that Clarke, 23, was in the middle of a transaction, when the tornado sirens went off and the teller told her they needed to go into the vault.

As the group crowded into the vault, Davis and a police officer monitored the situation by watching the TV and looking out the window. At least one passerby came into the credit union seeking shelter. The group included a 10 year-old-boy with an iPad and elderly members.

The power went off and they closed the door just before the tornado hit.

But there was a problem. They couldn't get the door closed all the way from the inside. Someone took off a belt and looped it through an opening meant to let in oxygen and they tugged the vault door closed as much as possible. The manager, the police officer, and another employee held the door shut "just in case."

As the tornado hit and they could hear what sounded like a freight train and felt immense pressure in their ears, things started hitting the vault, said Clarke, who said that Davis, hanging onto the door to prevent it from opening, yelled, "Don't let go. Don't let go."

Clarke said she doesn't know how they kept the vault door shut.  Debris began flying in the cracks of the door and glass cut the feet of people wearing sandals. It became difficult to breathe because of the dust and debris.

Then it was over. They tried to open the door, but debris was piled up against it.  Someone texted 911 to say they were trapped and could smell gas. Before authorities arrived, however, the group heard people passing by and shouted, and everyone was rescued.

Comments on the CNN site after the interview lauded the credit union's staff for "quick thinking," although Davis said they were following the disaster procedures. One commenter wrote, "Those credit union members really got their money's worth on their membership."

Comments on the ABC site included one from a tornado survivor in Missouri.  "I tried to seek shelter at a Bank of America in Missouri when tornado sirens were going off. The employees had locked the door and were carefully not looking outside" for security reasons.

For more information, check out the videos, photos, and news reports.