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Technology CU offers lifeline for startups

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (5/5/11)--San Jose, Calif.-based Technology CU is helping startups and emerging businesses grow and thrive in Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area in California. Its commercial and business banking division is offering a range of lending options for businesses looking for financing, including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans from $10,000 to $5 million and SBA Express Loans for those needing quick financing. The SBA loans "are a lifeline for many startups and emerging growth companies who find themselves in a Catch-22," said Herman White, Tech CU's senior vice president of commercial and small business banking. "They need cash to accelerate growth, but because they are young or very small, they probably don't have the credit history that's required for securing a traditional loan," he said, adding that the SBA "provides an alternative." Tech CU also helps connect business banking members to other partners and funding sources, where appropriate, through its relationship with angel groups, incubators/accelerators, niche venture capital firms, strategic investors and other member companies. "We see ourselves as an essential part of helping our member companies grow," White said. He noted that the nearly $1.5 billion asset credit union has worked with entrepreneurs and startups in the region for more than 50 years. "That's why we understand the needs of emerging companies more than most other financial institutions," he said. Tech CU was one of the first credit unions in the nation to offer a complete suite of business-banking services to its members in 2006. It also offers wealth management services for companies and individuals. Credit unions and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) support legislation in Congress that would increase credit unions' member business lending cap 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.

CU System briefs (05/04/2011)

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* SAGINAW, Mich. (5/5/11)--Team One CU in Saginaw, Mich., announced the winners of its "Ultimate Prom" package--the prizes in a savings contest that encouraged area teens to plan and save for upcoming events such as senior pictures, prom and college. Winners are Lauren Bojo of Swan Valley High School and Haley Shepherd of Hemlock High School. Team One partnered with area businesses and gave away two packages that include prom tickets, photos, dinner, haircut/style, pedicure, car washes, gift cards and more. Students earned an entry into the drawing by visiting the credit union and earned additional entries for opening a savings account, depositing into a current account, opening a new service or referring another student to open an account (Saginaw News via May 4) … * WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (5/5/11)--John Sharp, CEO of Horizon FCU, based in Williamsport, Pa., has announced his retirement, effective at the end of May. He has been with the credit union for 27 years. Sharp oversaw its transition from a $600,000 asset credit union with 1,000 members and an office in the basement of Williamsport Hospital to one with more than $57 million in assets, 9,000 members and three offices. Tracy Donahue, vice president of the credit union, will succeed as CEO, Sharp said in a letter to members on the credit union's website … * LINDEN, N.J. (5/5/11)--Alfreda Earnest, president/CEO of Deepwater Industries FCU, based in Linden, N.J., announced her retirement, effective this past Sunday, according to the New Jersey Credit Union League (The Daily Exchange May 4). Succeeding Earnest will be Bret Rigby, the credit union's chief financial officer for the past five years. Prior to his employment with the credit union, Rigby was a strategic planning and marketing consultant, CEO of a trade organization that promoted milk and dairy products in the Mid-Atlantic, and a marketing specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture … * HARRISBURG, Pa.(5/5/11)--The Pennsylvania Senate has confirmed Glenn Moyer as the state's Secretary of Banking, reported the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway May 4). Moyer, 59, has spent nearly his entire career in the banking industry, most recently as president/CEO of National Penn Bancshares Inc. He currently serves as a senior adviser to the bank's CEO and as a director with the Pennsylvania Banking Association (News Now 12/29). PCUA congratulated him and said it looks forward to working with him on behalf of credit unions and Pennsylvania consumers …

Advantis CU to close branch in path of rail line

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BROOKLYN, Ore. (5/5/11)--The Brooklyn, Ore.-branch of Advantis CU will close this summer to make way for a light-rail system. Advantis executives have been working with Portland, Ore.-area public transportation authority TriMet, which plans to widen the street where the branch is located for a rail line running from Portland to Milwaukie (The Bee May 4). The branch will close in early June. Most of the branch’s employees will be transferred to a new branch opening in Brooklyn later this summer. Advantis CU will maintain an ATM on the site after the branch closes. The building was once housed PGE CU, which merged with the Union Pacific CU--then called the Rose City of Oregon CU--and changed its name to Electra CU. After a merger with Pace CU in 2005, the site became an Advantis branch.

Hubbard presented Mich. foundation volunteer award

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LANSING, Mich. (5/5/11)--The Michigan Credit Union Foundation trustees have chosen Hank Hubbard, president/CEO of Communicating Arts CU, a community development credit union (CDCU) in Detroit, as the foundation's Community Volunteer Award recipient for 2011. The foundation's board said Hubbard exemplifies the credit union philosophy of People Helping People. He is involved with the community through his leadership of a CDCU and through several community organizations. He has spearheaded his credit union in many service projects, including adopting families for the holidays, and assists other CDCUs, including international credit union development through the Macedonian credit union system. He is the longest serving board member of the Academy of Finance Advisory Board, and works with high school students, provides experience and information regarding careers in finance, has personally mentored more than 30 students, been active in the VITA program since 2006, and more.

Boston Metro CU completes merger with University CU

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BOSTON (5/5/11)--Metro CU, Chelsea, Mass., recently completed its merger with University CU, Boston. Metro will continue to operate the two University credit union branches in Boston. Metro also has Massachusetts branches in Burlington, Dorchester, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Peabody, Swampscott and Tewksbury. Combining the two credit unions will create an institution with more than $865 million in assets.

Ochsner inducted into Texas CU Hall of Fame

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DALLAS (5/5/11)--The late Marty Ochsner, former president of Goodrich Employees FCU, has been inducted into the Texas Credit Union Hall of Fame. “Marty was a gem of a lady,” said Texas Credit Union League President/CEO Dick Ensweiler. “She possessed a genuine passion for the movement, and a sincere compassion for people, and that showed in everything she did. Ochsner’s credit union career began in 1975, when she accepted the manager position at Baptist Hospital FCU. During the next 27 years, was employed by Southeast Texas FCU, Smith’s Bluff Texas FCU and Goodrich Employees FCU. Ochsner also served on the boards of the Texas Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association. Ochsner also was a member of the Sabine Chapter of Credit Unions board and the Credit Union Managers Association of Texas. She was secretary of the Southwest Corporate FCU and served as vice chair on the board of TCUL Services Inc., which is now Credit Union Resources Inc.

CU to receive excess capital from Calif. small-biz project

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COMPTON, Calif. (5/5/11)--Mid-Cities Financial CU met with the California State Treasurer’s Office to discuss its new role as a California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) financial institution.
Click to view larger image Mid-Cities Financial CU, Compton, Calif., met with the California State Treasurer’s Office to discuss its new role as a California Capital Access Program financial institution. From left are: Mid-Cities Financial CU Loan Manager Henry Perez, Member Business Services President/CEO W.E. Scott Burger, Mid-Cities Branch Manager Maricela Jauregui, Mid-Cities President/CEO Melia Keller, Director of Finance Jj LaBella, Community Development Manager Bessie Griffin, and CalCAP Analyst Nancee Trombley. (Photo provided by Mid-Cities FCU)
The CalCAP program offers Mid-Cities Financial excess capital for loans to small businesses outside the credit union’s normal approval criteria. The CalCAP Program is offered by the State Treasurer’s Office California Pollution Control Finance Authority. Mid-Cities Financial was looking forward to partnering “with the CalCAP program to gain additional funds to aid small businesses that may not qualify under our current loan guidelines,” said President/CEO Melia Keller. “This gives the credit union the opportunity to help a group of struggling small businesses we may not have otherwise been able to assist,” she added. Mid-Cities Financial FCU is a $24 million-asset credit union based in Compton, Calif.

Delaware league elects board presents awards (05/04/2011)

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (5/5/11)--Two incumbents were re-elected to the board of directors of the Delaware Credit Union League at the league’s 53rd annual meeting, April 16. Two awards also were presented. Incumbents Meredith Jeffries and Jerry King were re-elected to serve three-year terms. The league announced its 2011 board officers at the re-organizational meeting of the board, including:
* Chair--King, DEXSTA FCU, Wilmington; * Vice chair--Sharon Schaeffer, Delaware First FCU, Wilmington; * Secretary-- Jeffries, New Castle County Delaware FCU; and * Treasurer--Cheryl Chilcutt, Louviers FCU, Newark.
Board members also include: Allen Riley, Sussex County FCU, Seaford; Joel Romaine, Community Powered FCU, Newark; and Kate Toner, Wilmington Postal FCU, Newport. The annual meeting also included the presentation of outstanding credit union professional and volunteer awards for 2010. The 2010 Outstanding Credit Union Professional was John Watson, CEO of Seaford FCU. The 2010 Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer was awarded to Robert “Breezy” Brown, board member at Del-One (Delaware FCU), Dover. A second volunteer award was awarded posthumously to Ardythe Campbell of Delaware Alliance FCU, New Castle, who died Feb. 13.

Hard-hit CUs Just being here means a lot

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RAINSVILLE, Ala. (5/5/11)--The League of Southeastern Credit Unions, led by President/CEO Patrick La Pine, Tuesday delivered a mobile
Click to view larger image Pictured is the brick branch and drive through of the Rainsville, Ala., branch of Gadsden, Ala.-based Community CU as it looked before the building was demolished in last week’s tornados across the South.
Click to view larger image A flat slab and a pneumatic tube to a drive-through are what is left of Community CU’s Rainsville, Ala., branch after a tornado destroyed the brick building last week. In the background is a mobile branch leant to the credit union by Pen Air FCU of Pensacola, Fla. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions delivered the mobile branch Tuesday.
Click to view larger image Meeting Tuesday in the aftermath of last week’s tornadoes to deliver a mobile branch from Pen Air FCU, Pensacola, Fla., to Community CU’s Rainsville, Ala., branch are from left: Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU); Charlie Atchley, Community CU chairman; Joan Smith, Community CU chief operating officer; David Eubanks, Community CU CEO; Bill Berg, LSCU vice president, regulatory affairs; and Sharon Lett, director of human resources. (Photos provided by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions)
branch to a credit union whose Rainsville, Ala.-brick branch was flattened in last week's tornadoes that swept several Southern states. Meanwhile, credit unions have doubled their contributions to the fund activated to help credit union staff and members through the disaster. The mobile branch is from Pen Air FCU, Pensacola, Fla. The league drove it to Community CU headquarters in Gadsden, Ala., Tuesday and gave a tour of the branch to show how it worked. Then the league delivered it in Rainsville. "All that remains in Rainsville is one drive-up tube system; the rest is a flat slab," said Mike Bridges, LSCU vice president, marketing and communications. "Community set the mobile branch up Tuesday and expects to staff it Wednesday for service," he told News Now late Tuesday. Community CU CEO David Eubanks told the league's delegation, "Just being here means a lot. Now we have to get the word out that the ATM service is up and running and we can service our members." He also indicated that the credit union will begin the process of rebuilding. "He has already been in contact with the firm to begin putting building plans together," Bridges told News Now. The league also visited the Cullman area, which was hit hard, as well. Branch managers at Alabama CU, Listerhill CU and America's First CU said their branches are in good shape. America's First branch has been without power for a week. It is operating from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. "to capitalize on daylight," Bridges reported. The credit union met Tuesday afternoon with the city to learn when the electricity might be turned on again, he said Tuesday. The branch is "right off the main street of town," which was hit hard with major power outages, he said, adding that if the electricity doesn't return soon, it will need to bring in a mobile branch to serve members. Branch managers at Alabama CU and Listerhill told the league they were working with members to extend loan payments, waive late fees, and "generally do what they can to ease the burden on their members in this time of need," Bridges said. One Alabama CU branch employee is still without power. "Most of the rest of the credit union staff in the area are doing OK." Redstone FCU, Huntsville, is offering assistance to storm victims, it said in a press release. Power was restored in some areas, and all branches except branches on Redstone Arsenal and Highway 53, were open Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most ATMs are operational. Officials said that the credit union "understands the impact this disaster has brought upon our members by incurring many unplanned expenses. Qualifying members with RFCU personal and vehicle loans can request our Skip-A-Pay service." The service allows members to skip one month's payment with a temporarily waived processing fee. Redstone also is offering disaster recovery loans and emergency relief loans. The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) said that the credit union community has raised $30,000--double what it was Tuesday--after it activated its online disaster relief system, Credit unions in every state can donate through the secured website, which accepts credit cards and wire transfers. As donations post through, 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.