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CU System briefs (05/03/2011)

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* NEW BERLIN, Wis. (5/4/11)--Jay Magulski, chief operating officer (COO) of New Berlin, Wis.-based Landmark CU, has been promoted to president/COO, while CEO Ron Kase retains his title as CEO, the credit union said Tuesday. The news was announced after Landmark earned $2.9 million in first quarter, compared with $2.08 million in first-quarter 2010. Delinquent loans declined to 2.37% of the portfolio--down from 2.87% a year earlier. Noting that "Landmark weathered the great recession with a strong balance sheet and earnings" and continued loaning to members and small businesses throughout the downturn, Kase said the credit union "is now in a strong position to build its leadership team of the future." Magulski has more than 25 years of experience. He joined Landmark in 2002 as vice president of business development and training. He became senior vice president in 2003, and COO in 2007. The credit union's board said it anticipates that Magulski will earn the CEO title sometime before Kase's official retirement date of Jan. 19, 2013 … * HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (5/4/11)--The New Jersey Credit Union League will showcase the state's credit unions next week at the State House in Trenton. Volunteers from several credit unions will help man the league booth, which will be located strategically in the tunnel that connects the State House, State House Annex and Capitol Complex garage. They will be at the State House on Monday, when the Assembly meets in session, and again that Thursday, May 12, when Senate committees are scheduled to meet. "This is an excellent opportunity to highlight the great work of New Jersey's credit unions, raise our visibility among state lawmakers, as well as talk up municipal deposit reform," said league President/CEO Paul Gentile …

British Columbia CUs earnings up 30

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VANCOUVER, B.C. (5/4/11)--British Columbia credit unions' earnings in 2010 reached a record $380.4 million--before taxes and dividends--an increase of 29.6% from the $293.6 million posted in 2009, announced Central 1 CU, the trade association for British Columbia and Ontario credit unions in Canada. Assets totaled $49.4 billion, up 2.1% or $1 billion. Asset growth was concentrated in residential mortgage loans, which increased 8.1% to $28.7 billion. The system's total loan portfolio was $41.5 billion at year-end. Home mortgages accounted for 69.2% of the loan portfolio, said Central 1. Loans to small and medium-sized businesses--representing 24.5% of the portfolio, were up by 3.4% to $10.2 billion. "As the B.C. economy improved during the year, credit unions successfully met their members' demand for loans and other financial services," said Don Rolfe, Central 1 president/CEO. "Credit unions saw steady loan growth in 2010, which they financed mainly through increased deposits by members." Growth was attributed to a high financial margin, mainly due to a 6.1% loan growth and favorable interest-rate spreads, as well as higher income from subsidiaries such as insurance agencies. Members' deposits were up 4%, reaching $44.1 billion. Membership totaled 1.72 million members at year-end, an increase of 24,790 members from 2009. Members received $42.6 million in dividends and patronage rebates.

Wright-Patt joins state business lending network

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (5/4/11)--Fairborn, Ohio-based Wright-Patt CU has joined the Ohio Business Lending Clearinghouse (OBLC), a network that helps small businesses in the state to connect with loan opportunities and other tools needed to grow, prosper and create jobs. The clearinghouse is administered by the Ohio Department of Development's Office of Insurance and Financial Development. It is a public/private partnership and uses a free Web-based tool that helps businesses looking for a loan to enter its company information onto the site, which works to match it with a lender. The site contacts lenders with the loan and business profile details of the business and within 48 hours, lenders contact the small business to discuss the loan request. Businesses that aren't matched or that don't qualify for a loan are referred to a network of business development resources that can assist them. "Local banks and credit unions are just as important as larger institutions to small businesses as they search for funding," said James A. Leftwich, director of the Ohio Department of Development. "Increasing potential for small business loans is critical as we work to grow Ohio's economy," he added. "Wright-Patt CU recognizes the importance of small businesses helping drive economic success in our market," said Tim Mislansky, senior vice president at the credit union, adding that the OBLC is a convenient way to connect with more area businesses. "As a community-based lending institution, we understand the need to provide well-priced financing, and feel we have an obligation to help local businesses grow and prosper." Credit unions and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) support legislation that would increase the cap to credit unions' member business lending to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. CUNA has estimated that by increasing the cap, credit unions can help create 140,000 new jobs with $13 billion in new small business loans, at no expense to the taxpayer.

Texas foundation presents FOCUS Awards

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (5/4/11)--The Texas Credit Union Foundation presented its annual FOCUS Awards during a ceremony at the Texas Credit Union League's 77th Annual Meeting & Expo in Austin last week (LoneStar Leaguer May 3). The awards recognize champions of financial literacy in the Texas credit union movement "for the difference they are making within the lives of their members and communities," said Courtney Nickles, the foundation's executive director. Awards went to:
* Individual award, Sherry Cassidy, manager of public relations and financial education at In Touch CU, Plano, for her advocacy and implementation of financial education in local schools; * Credit union award, Amarillo (Texas) Community FCU, for improving financial education among youth and adults; * Organization award, San Antonio Chapter of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants; and * FOCUS member award, Victor Garza, Consumer Credit Counseling of Greater Dallas.

Voting ends Friday for ICU MagazinesI heroes

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MADISON, Wis. (5/4/11)--Credit Union Magazine is celebrating credit union heroes by asking the credit union movement to help select the 2011 CU Hero of the Year. Credit Union Magazine subscribers have nominated four heroes for the 2011 award:
* Ron Amstutz, executive vice president, Desert Schools FCU, Phoenix; * Michael Bittle, CEO, Vanderbilt University Employees’ CU, Nashville, Tenn.; * Carol Schillios, founder of Schillios Consulting Group, Seattle; and * Maurice Smith, CEO, Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C.
Voting ends May 13. This year’s winner will be honored at the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo (ACUC), in San Antonio, June 19-22, and will receive free conference registration and lodging. To read about the nominees and vote, use the link.

15K raised for CUs in tornadoes league surveys damage

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MADISON, Wis., and TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (5/4/11)--The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) is on site in Alabama to survey
Click to view larger image League of Southeastern Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine talks with Becky White, assistant to the CEO of DCH CU, Tuscaloosa, Ala., about damage to the credit union from the April 27 tornadoes in six Southern states. DCH CU lost part of its roof.
Click to view larger image A reminder of the hit and miss devastation of last week's tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where Tuscaloosa CU is working with low-income families in this housing project who were affected by the disaster .
Click to view larger image Last week's tornadoes in the South destroyed a Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Housing Authority low-income housing project. Tuscaloosa CU is working with the families who lived here to help meet their essential needs. (Photos provided by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions)
the needs of credit unions, employees and volunteers, and members from last week's tornadoes in the South. The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has collected $15,000 from the credit union community since activating its online disaster relief system, CUAid.coop, Saturday. "Visiting the affected areas and talking to credit union officials and members really drive home the human toll an event like last Wednesday's tornadoes have on our communities," said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of LSCU. "I am heartened by the response of our credit union community and the human spirit in responding to this tragedy, which will have a lasting impact on the region for years to come." The CUAid campaign is to assist credit union people affected in the Southern part of the country. The tornadoes killed at least 342 people in seven states--250 of them in Alabama--and damaged credit unions, and members and employees' homes. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., alone, the tornadoes cut a six-mile swath that destroyed more than 5,000 homes and businesses--including a credit union branch--and left several thousand people homeless. City officials confirmed 34 fatalities but say 434 more people are missing (USA Today May 2). On Monday and Tuesday, LSCU visited credit unions in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where one credit union lost a branch and another lost part of a roof. Monday league staff visited DCH CU, which lost part of its roof. The league reported Monday night that DCH, which serves employees and families of a local hospital, was operating on generator power and leveraging shared branching so members can access their money. DCH opened at noon Monday after being closed last Thursday and Friday, said the league. Alabama CU and Tuscaloosa CU are helping DCH members access their money and helped them get a maximum of $200 out of their account, even though DCH's server was down, said the league. "Many hospital employees count on DCH for accessing their money right after payday," said Mike Bridges, league vice president of marketing and communications. DCH set up a mobile center in the hospital cafeteria and allowed each member an emergency $500 loan. It processed $125,000 worth of emergency loans and "truly went above and beyond to help members in their greatest time of need," said Bridges. Two DCH employees lost everything they had in the tornado. The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SCUF) is working to access their needs and accepting donations through its Disaster Relief fund at www.lscu.coop, Bridges said. Alabama CU is working with members to provide help. It is providing loan extensions and $1,000 no-interest loans, waiving payments, and restructuring loans, said the league. Tuscaloosa CU is working with SCUF and the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority to help 116 families whose homes were destroyed in the tornado. The housing authority is finding the families homes, but they need money to turn on the electricity. Then they will need essentials such as pots and pans, towels, sheets, Tupperware and furniture. Pen Air FCU, Pensacola, Fla., donated a mobile branch to Community CU in Gadsden, which the league delivered Tuesday in Rainsville, where the credit union's branch was destroyed by a tornado. Pen Air also is donating supplies. Pen Air President/CEO Ron Fields personally drove the first round of supplies collected--1,200 bottles of water and 100 packs of Baby Wipes, which were requested by rescue workers--to the affected areas during the weekend. In addition, Pen Air FCU will collect donations and supplies for the relief efforts in the coming weeks, it said in a press release. The credit union community is making an impact, said NCUF. "Thank you to the individuals and organizations such as the Ohio Credit Union Foundastion, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, the World Council of Credit Unions, St. Agnes Employees FCU (Baltimore), and Premier FCU (Greensboro, N.C.) who have made donations to CUAid," said Tom Candell, NCUF deputy executive director, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. "Everyone who supports CUAid is helping affected credit union people directly with critical needs, longer-term recovery needs, operational needs, and assisting credit union members," Candell added. Credit unions in every state can donate through the secured website, which accepts credit cards and wire transfers. As donations post through CUAid.coop, NCUF will coordinate with the credit union leagues across the southern part of the country to distribute money efficiently to credit union employees and members in the affected areas, said NCUF.

CUnext group encourages young pros in Kansas CUs

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TOPEKA, Kan. (5/4/11)--The Kansas Credit Union Association said it has launched an initiative to give young credit union leaders the opportunity to help shape the future of the industry.
Click to view larger image Kansas Credit Union Association’s young leadership group, CUnext, includes professionals from Area CU, Kansas City, Kan.; Credit Union of Dodge City; Envista CU, Topeka; Kansas State University FCU, Manhattan; Meritrust CU, Wichita; Mid American CU, Wichita; and Quest CU, Topeka.
The group, CUnext: Young Leaders of Kansas, met in March to learn about credit union advocacy and meet state legislators. The group met again in April at the KCUA annual meeting, where its members participated in networking and educational sessions with other credit union professionals. CUnext group member Travis Colibert, newly promoted to a branch manager at Mid-American CU, Wichita, attended both CUnext functions. He said he left both meetings with ideas to strengthen his skills within the industry. “The program opens our eyes to different aspects of credit unions and allows us to get our feet wet in other related areas,” he said.
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (Kan.-R) visits with the members of CUnext group while attending the Kansas Credit Union Assocation’s annual meeting in April. (Photos provided by the Kansas Credit Union Association)
The goal of the initiative is to provide the next generation of credit union leaders with opportunities to learn more about the credit union system while giving them the chance to network with each other and create opportunities for growth and innovation. Understanding advocacy and the connection with legislators is essential for today’s credit union professionals, said Haley DaVee, vice president of governmental and public affairs for KCUA and the CUnext coordinator. “It’s important that the future leaders of Kansas’ credit unions have access to information and contacts at the state and national levels, as well as opportunities to get involved,” DaVee said. “Not all our meet-ups will be legislative in nature, though. We are planning a variety of programs to help young professionals expand their understanding and involvement in all aspects the credit union movement.” CUnext was inspired by CRASH Network!, a national credit union program encouraging industry participation among young professionals, DaVee said.

Wash DFI Disclose once-a-member policy in bylaws

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (5/4/11)--“Once a member, always a member,” a principle that credit unions use to express their inclusiveness to consumers, must explicitly be described in state-chartered credit unions’ bylaws, according to new legal guidance issued by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions. The once-a-member, always-a-member policy does not apply to members who have closed their accounts and left a credit union’s field of membership, wrote Linda Jekel, director of credit unions for the state of Washington in DCU Interpretive Letter I-11-02. “This principle does not provide re-instatement for an individual after he terminated his membership with the credit union and no longer meets the field of membership requirements,” wrote Jekel. Washington state-chartered credit union can employ the “once-a-member” principle by adding it to their bylaws, Jekel added. She also advised boards of directors to approve any requirements for retaining memberships, such as maintaining a share account.

Asian CU confederation turns 40

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BANGKOK, Thailand (5/4/11)--The Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) is celebrating its 40th anniversary--on the heels of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) marking the same milestone.
Click to view larger image Andrew So (standing), first president of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, lectures before a credit union group in this 1971 photo.
Click to view larger image World Council of Credit Unions General Manager A.A. “Paddy” Bailey (left) signs the documents that help form the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions in 1971. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
Bangkok-based ACCU was launched April 28, 1971, as the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions with the help of WOCCU officials and Asian credit union leaders. The organization celebrated its 40th anniversary year last week at its conference in Thailand. ACCU was founded by credit union systems representing Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, the Republic of China and Taiwan. It serves 13 regular and associate members, 18 affiliate members and 44 supporter member credit unions representing 10 countries. The genesis of ACCU was at WOCCU’s fourth regional Training Conference, themed “The Future is Asian,” held at the International Cooperative Education Institute in Seoul, South Korea, in April 1971. WOCCU General Manager A.A. “Paddy” Bailey was one of the officials who helped usher ACCU into existence. The organization named Augustine Kang, then WOCCU’s Asian representative, as its first general manager. “ACCU owes its success to the many men and women who in past years devoted their lives to translating the ideal of brotherhood into an everyday reality,” said Andrew So, who served as president of ACCU’s founding board of directors and spent 10 years as a WOCCU board member. ACCU’s member organizations serve more than 38 million people. ACCU’s conference this year attracted 380 representatives from 21 Asian nations, and Thailand’s finance minister, Korn Chatikavanji. “Asia’s role in the global economy has never been greater, as evidenced by the strong presence of Asian countries in the Group of 20 (G-20) nations,” said Dave Grace, WOCCU senior vice president of association services who attended the ACCU conference. “A strong global credit union system needs Asia's credit unions to play a significant role. From supervisory structures to [information technology] systems, there is much to be learned from the Asian credit union movement, and we congratulate ACCU on this milestone.”

Fin ed project leads to stint on Sesame Street

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MADISON, Wis. (5/4/11)--A University of Wisconsin (UW) professor, whose research on preschool financial education was funded by a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and sponsored by the Credit Union National Assoociation, served as an adviser on a recently launched "Sesame Street" financial education initiative. Karen Holden, UW-Madison Center for Financial Security affiliate and professor emerita of consumer science in the School of Human Ecology, was one of six advisers on “For me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Sharing, and Saving,” a project developed by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the “Sesame Street” television show (University of Wisconsin-Madison News May 2). The bilingual, research-based multimedia outreach initiative establishes a foundation for financial education for children between the ages of three and five. Project advisers helped determine the fundamental lessons applied through the program. They reviewed drafts of the script and educational materials, including parent-caregiver guides to be released with the program DVD. Holden was on the set to watch one day of filming, meet the puppets and their puppeteers and some of the “Sesame Street” human characters. “For Me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, and Saving” uses Sesame Street characters to emphasize financial learning opportunities that occur during every day routines and experiences. The materials highlight the basic concepts of making choices and the value of people, things, and money that can lead young children towards a solid understanding of saving, spending, and sharing. The outreach kit includes an original “Sesame Street” DVD, a parent/caregiver guide and a children's activity book highlighting the financial basics. Holden conducted research that showed young children are capable of acquiring basic money concepts long before they enter school. Through social interaction and observation, preschoolers can begin to comprehend such abstractions as the purpose of money. CUNA developed the research concept and offered advice for the study, based on its “Thrive by 5” pre-school financial literacy program. A grant from NCUF funded the research.

World CU Conference early bird deadline nears

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MADISON, Wis. (5/4/11)--The “early bird” deadline for World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) 2011 World Credit Union Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, July 24-27, is drawing near. Those who sign up before May 19 will receive a discounted rate.
Click to view larger image Pete Crear, World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) president/CEO, will network with attendees in Glasgow, Scotland, at the WOCCU 2011 World Credit Union Conference, July 24-27, before retiring in August. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
During the conference, attendees can connect with peers from around the world, hear from world-renowned speakers including former Prime Minister of Great Britain Gordon Brown, celebrate WOCCU’s 40th anniversary and bid farewell to WOCCU President/CEO Pete Crear before his retirement in August. “This will be a groundbreaking conference as we celebrate WOCCU's 40th anniversary and say goodbye to Pete,” said WOCCU Chair Barry Jolette, president/CEO of San Mateo CU in Redwood City, Calif. “Pete has played a critical role in the worldwide credit union movement, and I hope many of his colleagues will be able to wish him well as he starts the next chapter of his life.” The conference also will include local credit union visits, networking, golf events and a breakfast series featuring leading business authors. Special tributes will honor Crear’s achievements and celebrate WOCCU and its members during the past 40 years. For more information, use the link.