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CU System Briefs

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  • MADISON, Wis. (7/1/13)--One credit union organization is dropping its contribution to the acronym alphabet soup that can often confuse people in the credit union industry. The World Council of Credit Unions is phasing out the use of "WOCCU" during second references to the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. Instead of WOCCU, it will refer to itself as "World Council." The transition will also come with a new logo, which says "World Council," the association told News Now last week ...
  • BURLINGTON, Vt. (7/1/13)--The former CEO of Burlington, Vt.-based Border Lodge CU, which was shuttered last year, has pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzling several hundred thousand dollars from accounts at the $3.1 million asset credit union. Border Lodge CU was closed in November by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, which appointed the National Credit Union Administration as liquidator ( June 28, Barre Montpelier Times Argus June 25 and News Now Dec. 3).  Debra Kinney, 58, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Burlington last month. She was the only employee of the Derby Line, Vt.-based credit union. The court documents allege she deposited money from the credit union into her account and a friend's account ...
  • HOUSTON (7/1/13)--Shawn Nelson, 39, former vice president of Members Choice CU in Houston, pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzling $340,000 by using bogus loans in other people's names (Associated Press Newswires June 28). A lending officer at $519.2 million asset credit union from 2001 through 2009, Nelson allegedly opened signature loan accounts in the names of his family and friends and spent the money for personal expenses. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, and has agreed to forfeit the $340,000, said Associated Press. He is to be sentenced in the fall ...

Bergeron, Hughes Re-elected To Tricorp Board

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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (7/1/13)--Joe Bergeron, president of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions (AVCU), and Brian Hughes, CEO of Holy Rosary CU in Rochester, N.H., were re-elected to the TriCorp FCU board at Tricorp's 38th annual meeting in South Portland, according to AVCU.

Board officers elected were:

  • Chair--Ralph Ferland, EMMC FCU, Bangor, Maine;
  • Vice chair--Katie O'Brien, Casco FCU, Gorham, Maine;
  • Treasurer--Paul Roy, Bellwether Community CU,  Manchester, N.H.; and
  • Secretary--Bergeron (NewsLines Express June 28).
Other directors are: David Desjardins, Acadia FCU, Fort Kent, Maine, and immediate past chair Don Casko, Katahdin FCU, Millinocket, Maine.

In other activities at the meeting, Brian Branch, president of the World Council of Credit Unions, gave a presentation about international credit union CEO development to about  60 leaders representing 28 of the corporate's member organizations assembled for the meeting. 

Branch presented statistics about the world's 53,000 credit unions, and emphasized the story of World Council's work rebuilding the Busia Orphanage in Kenya.

He also spoke about the importance of credit union systems cooperating with each other locally, regionally, nationally and globally to share expertise and ideas. Branch cited the efforts of the Maine Credit Union League and Synergent as examples of successful sharing and collaboration, said the Maine Credit Union League (Weekly Update June 28).

The league, Synergent and Maine credit unions hosted several delegations from the Rwanda credit union movement and the Association of British Credit Unions during the past decade, and shared technology best practices, economies of scale and other ideas to help credit unions in those countries grow.

"Credit unions in the U.S. and Canada are often turned to for leadership in helping credit union movements in other countries get started and to grow stronger, so it is great to see the Maine League, Synergent and Maine credit unions embrace the spirit of cooperation," Branch added.

12 Students Join Googolplex Youth Editorial Board

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MADISON, Wis. (7/1/13)--Twelve students living across the U.S. have been selected to serve one-year terms as youth editorial board members for the Credit Union National Association's microsite called Googolplex: The Credit Union Guide for Student Money Makers.

"We value the feedback and fresh ideas that we receive from our youth editorial board members," says Rena Crispin, Googolplex managing editor. "These bright students help us develop financial literacy tools that speak directly to their peers."

Googolplex is a youth-focused element of CUNA's personal finance microsite suite, which guides credit union members through financial decisions at every stage of life. Googolplex features interactive games, videos, blogs, and other content dealing with money matters and real-life issues to promote financial literacy for youth from age 8 to 18.

Youth editorial board members write critiques of stories and games in age-specific sections of Googolplex's award-winning three-in-one website each month. At the end of their terms, each board member writes an original story for Googolplex.

The Clubhouse Crew for 5-Spot, aimed at elementary school students:

  • Aidan, 9, GECU, El Paso, Texas;
  • Jadam, 10, Star CU, Madison, Wis.; and
  • Kathryn, 9, Clearview FCU, Moon Township, Pa.
The Super Youth Team for AJ's, intended for middle school students:

  • Ember, 12, University of Michigan CU, Ann Arbor, Mich.;
  • Jordan, 11, Hawaii Community FCU, Kailua Kona, Hawaii;
  • Mason, 12, Wood County Community CU, Parkersburg, W. Va.; and
  • Nita, 13, University FCU, Austin, Texas.
The Teenage Panel advising C-Note, focused on high school students:

  • Audra, 14, San Antonio Citizens FCU, San Antonio;
  • Danae, 16, Corporate America Family CU, Elgin, Ill.;
  • Devon, 17, Great Lakes CU, North Chicago, Ill.;
  • Gabrielle, 15, Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md.; and
  • Jaden, 15, EECU, Fort Worth, Texas.
"Our youth board members give us feedback that helps their peers feel welcome and validated whenever they use Googolplex on their credit unions' websites," says Susan Tiffany, CUNA director of consumer periodicals.

To view photos of the new youth board members, learn more about each student, and explore Googolplex, visit 5-Spot, AJ's and C-Note from a subscribing credit union's subscription. Googolplex is just one element of CUNA's personal finance suite. For more online content that benefits credit unions and members, use the link.

ACUC: Cheney, Mellin Help Kick Off 2013 ACUC

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NEW YORK (7/1/13)--Bill Cheney, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, and Bill Mellin, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York, helped more than 1,200 attendees kick off the Opening General Session of the 2013 America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC) Sunday evening.

CUNA's ACUC runs through Wednesday in New York City.

Mellin opened the conference by welcoming attendees to New York--the Empire State--and noting New York City has more than eight million residents, welcomes more than 50 million visitors annually, and said that more than one-third of the city's residents were born abroad.

He mentioned the city's ethnic diversity manifested in neighborhoods such as Chinatown and Little Italy, and noted the city has 14,000 taxi cabs and the largest transportation system in the world. "Credit unions finance many taxi medallions [certificates to operate], which have an average value of $750,000," he said.  

There are 98 credit unions in New York City, serving more than one million members, and 412 credit unions in New York State, serving five million people, Mellin noted.

Click for slide showChristina Fernandez-Morrow and her daughter, Ariana, accept Credit Union Magazine's 2013 CU Hero of the Year Award on behalf of their late husband and father, Coopera Founder Warren Morrow. Warren died last year at the age of 34. Joining them are CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney (left) and Iowa CU League President/CEO Pat Jury.

Cheney presented the Credit Union Magazine CU Hero Award to Christina Fernandez-Morrow, wife of the late Warren Morrow, and daughter, Ariana. Morrow was founder and former CEO of Coopera, the only emerging-markets company in the credit union industry with an exclusive focus on the Hispanic member. (See related News Now story: ACUC:  Morrow Honored As 2013 CU Hero Of The Year.)

The opening session also featured keynoter Lt. Col. Robert Darling, a key adviser to the George W. Bush Administration during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (See related News Now story: ACUC: Darling Shares Front-row View Of History).

Today, Cheney will bring credit unions up to date on the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign and other critical credit union issues, as well as discuss the movement to Unite for Good, with goals of removing barriers, creating awareness and fostering service to support the vision, "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."

Keynote speaker for today will be Malcolm Gladwell, author of four New York Times bestsellers and New Yorker staffer, who will discuss his new book, "David vs. Goliath." The author has compared credit unions to David and banks to Goliath.

Be sure to visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine frequently this week to keep up with all the ACUC action in New York City. You can also follow ACUC on Twitter and LinkedIn by using the links below.

NEW: ACUC: Gladwell: Bigger Isn't Always Better

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NEW YORK (7/1/13 UPDATED 3:15 p.m. ET)--Being an underdog isn't such a bad thing after all.

In fact, much of what people consider to be weaknesses turn out to be strengths, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell told America's Credit Union Conference Monday morning in New York City. The conference, attended by more than 1,200, ends Wednesday.

"A lot of our intuition about what an advantage is and what a disadvantage is, is wrong," Gladwell said. "Bigger isn't always better and being powerful in a marketplace doesn't ensure future success."

That's because large leading companies often innovate less, they're less nimble, and they're further from their customers, he said.

Conversely, underdogs often resort to unconventional methods, hard work, and sheer determination to compete with their larger rivals.

That's good news for credit unions, which are decided underdogs compared to their banking rivals in terms of resources.

Gladwell cited legendary college basketball coach Rick Pitino as a prime example. Pitino is one of the few coaches to use a full-press approach to the game, whereby players contest every inbound pass.

Despite his success, including an unlikely Final Four appearance with Providence College, few coaches mirror his approach. Why?

"They don't do this because it's hard," Gladwell said. "Playing conventionally is easy. What's different, rare and scarce is effort, not resources.

"When looking at innovators who make lasting contributions," he continued, "you see the same traits again and again: they're creative, conscientious, and disagreeable because they feel that they're right."

Admitting he's the only member of his family to not be a credit union member, Gladwell urged credit unions to spread the word about how they differ from other financial institutions and the benefits those differences provide.

"As humans we see disadvantages that are actually advantages. Sometimes our basic assumptions lead us astray. We need to bring to peoples' attention that bigger isn't necessarily better and small can be a strength. We work harder as a result.

"That's a powerful idea."

NEW: ACUC: CUs Need To Take Action To Secure Future, Cheney says

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NEW YORK (7/1/13 UPDATED: 12:30 p.m. ET)--The time has come for credit unions and their members nationwide to take action to protect credit unions, reduce regulatory burdens and prepare for the future, Bill Cheney, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, told attendees this morning in his opening remarks at the 2013 America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC).

The ACUC started Sunday and runs through Wednesday in New York City.

"Credit unions have done a tremendous job responding to and recovering from the financial crisis," Cheney said.

More than 700,000 net new members have joined credit unions in the first three months of this year, he noted.

Three key initiatives are underway to help credit unions thrive in the future: Unite For Good, Don't Tax My Credit Union and Plan To Win, Cheney told 1,200 conference attendees.

The "Don't Tax My Credit Union" national campaign has taken credit unions from defending the tax exemption to advocating for it, Cheney said.

With help from the credit union industry, millions of Americans will support credit unions, flock to them and make them successful in the future, Cheney concluded.

Be sure to visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine frequently this week to keep up with all the ACUC action in New York City. You can also follow ACUC on Twitter and LinkedIn by using the links below.

ACUC: Morrow Honored As 2013 CU Hero Of the Year

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NEW YORK (7/1/13)--Warren Morrow--lauded by Iowa Credit Union League President/CEO Patrick Jury as a mission-driven advocate for both consumers and credit unions--was honored posthumously as Credit Union Magazine's 2013 Credit Union Hero of the Year Sunday during the America's Credit Union Conference in New York City.

Morrow founded Coopera, a full-service Hispanic market solutions company, with the belief that Hispanics need credit unions as much as credit unions need Hispanics.

Morrow died Feb. 15, 2012, at the age of 34. His wife, Christina Fernandez-Morrow, and daughter, Ariana, accepted the award on his behalf.

"Warren was one of our strongest credit union advocates," Jury said. "He believed that extending credit union services to the underserved Hispanic community wasn't philanthropy, and he reminded us that credit unions can do well by doing good." Bringing financial stability to peoples' homes, Morrow believed, would help the nation address other societal issues.

Morrow's family moved from Mexico City to Tucson when he was in grade school. While in college, Warren helped form a nonprofit called the Latino Leadership Project, Jury explained. Its mission was to help underprivileged, young Hispanics attend college.

Through his work, Warren realized the base cause he was trying to address was financial instability in the Latino home. In 2011, Morrow told the Des Moines Register, "I came to realize the disparity in education was a symptom of a larger problem. The root issues are the disparities in access to assets [and] wealth, and economic stability in the household."

Credit Union Magazine readers also lauded these leaders as credit union heroes:

  • Lily Newfarmer, CEO of Tarrant County CU in Fort Worth, Texas;
  • Anabela Pereira, CEO of Pioneer Valley FCU, Springfield, Mass.; and
  • Scott Prior, president/CEO of Connection CU in Silverdale, Wash.
"Warren would have been the first to acknowledge these finalists and what they did for credit unions," Jury said.

Be sure to visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine frequently this week to keep up with all the ACUC action in New York City. You can also follow ACUC on Twitter and LinkedIn by using the links below.

CUs On Top In New Savings Rate Study

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LOS ANGELES (7/1/13)--A just-released savings rate study comparing credit unions and community banks rates has found that "it is credit unions that do, in fact, come out on top," according to (June 28).

Credit unions offer an average 0.20% annual percentage yield (APY) savings account rate, while local banks provide a slightly lower 0.18% APY, said Its data averaged rates from 5,000 community banks and credit unions.

In the top 10 credit unions with the highest rates, two credit unions --Pioneer Muslim FCU, Sugar Land, Texas,  and Rutherford Postal District Employees FCU, Lakewood, N.J.--tied for the highest savings rate of 2.52%.  In the banks' Top 10 list, the two top banks--Atlas Bank and Bank of Bolivar--offered 1.01% rates.

All of the top 10 credit unions had rates of 1.25% and above, as of May 31.  The banks' top 10 list rates ranged from 0.85% to 1.01%.

A similar study in April found that the average savings rate at credit unions was 0.21% APY, while banks' rates averaged 0.19% APY.  Big banks in that study averaged 0.04% (News Now April 25).

The study based the rates on online published rate sheets belonging to the financial institutions for a $10,000 opening deposit. For more information, use the link.

ACUC: Darling Shares Front-row View Of History

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NEW YORK (7/1/13)--Lt. Col. Robert Darling shared his front-row view of history Sunday during the America's Credit Union Conference in New York City, detailing the harrowing hours in the "president's bunker" directly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Darling, a decorated Marine Corps helicopter pilot who commanded the presidential fleet, watched the events unfold alongside President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and other high-ranking government officials--and learned some important leadership lessons along the way.

He took conference attendees through the chaotic aftermath of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, offering chilling details about the day's events:

  • After the north and south towers of the World Trade Center fell, for instance, the president's leadership team estimated that 40,000 people likely had been killed.
  • Several friendly aircrafts narrowly survived the day unscathed after nearly being shot down by the U.S. Air Force--including a medevac helicopter en route to aid victims at the Pentagon.
  • At one point, "Angel"--the code name for President Bush--was believed to be a prime target.
  • Bush decided to move the country's nuclear weapons from "DEFCON Four" to "DEFCON Two" status--apparently prompting a call from a concerned Russian President Vladimir Putin. The last time the nation stood at DEFCON Two was during the Cuban missile crisis.
  • A false alarm about an imminent attack on the White House caused the Secret Service to sweep the president and first lady away--in their pajamas.
Darling says in times of duress, leaders must:

  • Take bold action. Cheney had no constitutional authority to issue military orders. But he stepped forward to fill a leadership void created by communication issues for Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, scrambling fighter jets to pursue a hijacked airplane and protect the president and other perceived targets,. "He got us back on our feet, got us leaning forward again," Darling said.
  • Be decisive. Darling criticized Rumsfeld for actively aiding in relief efforts at the Pentagon after that building was struck by a plane, leaving the military in limbo as it awaited his orders.
  • Be human. Darling saw Cheney shoulder the weight of a difficult decision that put American lives in the balance.
  • Surrender control. High-ranking officials must retain ultimate responsibility, but the difference-makers are the people in the field--such as the first responders on Sept. 11.
"If such a crisis ever comes to the U.S. again, it will be the regular people who respond," Darling said. "We need to give people the tools and training they need to succeed. We can't lead from our comfort zones; we must adapt to the conditions at hand."

Be sure to visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine frequently this week to keep up with all the ACUC action in New York City. You can also follow ACUC on Twitter and LinkedIn by using the links below.

News Now, CU Magazine Team Up For Comprehensive ACUC Coverage

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NEW YORK (7/1/13)--The Credit Union National Association's News Now and Credit Union Magazine staffs are teaming up to bring you comprehensive, onsite coverage of the 2013 America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC) now underway in New York City. 

While nothing can replace the value of actually being there, CUNA's coverage will help "take you there" with team reporting by News Now and Credit Union Magazine. Also, CUNAVerse blog postings and a "Twitterfall" at the CUNA exhibit booth to coordinate message delivery will allow conference attendees and those not attending to catch all the action.

Both News Now and Credit Union Magazine websites will feature a cooperative slideshow of keynoters, breakout sessions, and person-on-the-street interviews. Readers also can follow events through Twitter on the News Now LiveWire.

Readers will learn about important issues, such as emerging markets, social media and financial institutions, the branch of the future, and cyber security. CUNA also is arranging some high-profile live events in New York City that will promote the credit union movement as part of Unite for Good. Events include a Wednesday morning visit by attendees to NBC's Today Show to spread the word about credit unions.

Be sure to visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine frequently this week to keep up with all the ACUC action in New York City. You can also follow ACUC on Twitter and LinkedIn by using the links below.

ACUC: Emerging Financial Markets Are Opportunities For CUs

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NEW YORK (7/1/13)--Low- and moderate-income people who are either underbanked or unbanked, along with a growing U.S. immigrant population, present credit unions with opportunities in emerging markets, attendees were told at a workshop Sunday at the 2013 America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC).

The Credit Union National Association's ACUC, which started Sunday, runs through Wednesday in New York City.

The Emerging Markets Workshop--hosted by Cathie Mahon, president/CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and Miriam DeDios, CEO of Coopera-- presented the characteristics of the emerging market that create opportunities for credit unions to seize.

Coopera is the only emerging-markets company in the credit union industry with an exclusive focus on the Hispanic member.

Mahon said that 8.2% of U.S. households--or 10 million households--are unbanked. Also, 20.1%--24 million households--are underbanked. Meanwhile, one-fourth of U.S. households tried Alternative Financial Services (AFS) products in the past year, and one in 10 have used two or more ASF products.

"This presents an opportunity for credit unions," Mahon said. "Community development credit unions (CDCUs) have developed tools to identify missed opportunities and develop strategies to better serve their markets."

CDCUs have developed strong partnerships with housing, microenterprises, community-based organizations, local governments and the private sector, she added.

De Dios said emerging markets include underserved/unbanked, low-income, Hispanic and immigrant populations. Growth opportunities should reflect a credit union's membership, increase membership, and increase product and service use, she added.

"Hispanics are the largest, fastest-growing, youngest and most-underserved U.S. market," De Dios said. Hispanic market segmentation and the impact of immigration reform are opportunities and strengths for the credit union industry, she added.

Coopera's mission is to partner with people, businesses and communities for new economic development, she said. Coopera and CUNA are in an alliance to grow Hispanic membership.Coopera is finalizing a Hispanic Growth Return on Investment Study, De Dios said.

Be sure to visit News Now and Credit Union Magazine frequently this week to keep up with all the ACUC action in New York City. You can also follow ACUC on Twitter and LinkedIn by using the links below.

HarborOne CU Now a Bank

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BROCKTON, Mass. (7/1/13)--As of today, HarborOne CU in Brockton, Mass., the largest state-chartered credit union in New England, is HarborOne Bank.

The $1.9 billion asset credit union on Wednesday filed an official charter change with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, and said it will be  insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., effective today (Enterprise and June 28).

When HarborOne officials announced last year they planned to pursue a bank charter, they said that converting to a bank would allow it to expand its customer base into Boston; increase lending, especially in business lending; and raise more capital through a stock sale (News Now Dec. 27). Its field of membership is limited to four counties in Southeastern Massachusetts and it could not open a branch in Boston, they said.

Members approved the conversion at a special meeting in March. About 1% of members eligible to vote cast ballots, and of those, 62% voted in favor of the change (News Now April 23). The National Credit Union Administration certified the vote in April.

During the conversion process, the Credit Union National Association and the Massachusetts Credit Union League said they believed a credit union charter is the best option for credit union members, and any decision should be in the members' best interest.

HarborOne Bank has 14 branches and more than 150,000 customers.

N.C.'s Save To Win Accounts Top $1M In May

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RALEIGH, N.C. (7/1/13)--Save to Win, North Carolina's prize-linked savings program for credit union members, reached several milestones in May. One milestone, total saving, reached more than $1.2 million, said the North Carolina Credit Union League.

Save to Win, North Carolina's prize-linked savings program for credit union members, reached more than $1.2 million in total saving in May. (Photo provided by the North Carolina Credit Union League)
Also, member savings accounts eclipsed 1,500--reaching 1,610 (The Weekly Conversation June 26).

Saving money while winning cash prizes has been popular with North Carolina credit union members, the league said.

Through the first five months of the Save-to-Win campaign, $1,350 in cash prizes were awarded to 147 credit union members.

American Partners FCU (APFCU) in Reidsville, N.C., has had the $500 top monthly prize winner for three consecutive months. The $50 million asset credit union said word of mouth has propelled the program. 

"Save to Win continues to build momentum here at American Partners," Stephanie Chism, APRFCU marketing manager, told the league. "I believe word of mouth by our members is a major reason for the success of this program. Those members who have won prize money want to tell others about it."  

Cornerstone CU League Is Now Official

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (7/1/13)--The merger of the Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas credit union leagues becomes official today. An affirmative vote from credit unions in all three states creates the largest credit union league in the nation, according to the league officials.

"These past several years of working together have proven productive and fruitful, which is a good indication of what's to come in this partnership," said Dwayne Ashcraft, former board chairman of the Arkansas Credit Union League and now board member of the Cornerstone Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer June 28).

Gina A. Wilson, former chair of the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma and a director for the new league echoed Ashcraft's sentiments.

"The power of collaboration is strong indeed," she said. "I'm confident in our future and look forward to the great things this organization is poised to do for our some 646 credit unions."

The league is based in Dallas, with satellite offices in Little Rock, Ark.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Austin, Texas.

Longtime Texas Credit Union League President/ CEO Dick Ensweiler will serve as CEO of the Cornerstone league, with each satellite office having its own president.

"With the combined talent, knowledge and resources of our three states, we are enthusiastic about enhancing member services for our credit unions so they can better serve their members," Ensweiler said.

The board of directors for the Cornerstone Credit Union League is:

  • Chairman--Paul A. Trylko, Amplify FCU, Austin, Texas, Region 2, Asset Category 1;
  • Vice Chair--Kenny Harrington, MemberSource CU, Houston, Region 1, Asset Category 2;
  • Secretary--Michael D. Kloiber, Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City, Okla., Region 4, Asset Category 3;
  • Treasurer--Windy K. Campbell, Electric Cooperatives FCU, Little Rock, Ark., Region 5, Asset Category 1;
  • Dwayne L. Ashcraft, Arkansas Superior FCU, Warren, Ark., Region 5, Asset Category 2;
  • Jason C. Boesch, Oklahoma RE&T Employees CU, Oklahoma City, Okla., Region 4, Asset Category 1;
  • James L. Boyd, Abilene (Texas) Teachers FCU, Region 3, Asset Category 3;
  • Jim Brisendine, Resource One CU, Dallas, Region 6, Asset Category 3;
  • Allen L. Brown, Mil-Way FCU, Texarkana, Ark., Region 5, Asset Category 3;
  • Z. Suzanne Chism, Texas Health Resources CU, Dallas, Region 6, Asset Category 1;
  • Nancy M. Croix-Stroud, First Class American CU, Fort Worth, Texas, Region 3, Asset Category 1;
  • L. Wayne Mansur, Texoma Community CU, Wichita Falls, Texas, Region 6, Asset Category 2;
  • Carol Murray, Express-News FCU, San Antonio, Region 2, Asset Category 1;
  • Robert C. Peterson, One Source FCU, El Paso, Texas, Region 3, Asset Category 2;
  • James S. Tuggle, Transtar FCU, Houston, Region 1, Asset Category 1;
  • JoBetsy Tyler, First Central CU, Waco, Texas, Region 2, Asset Category 2;
  • Gina A. Wilson, Oklahoma Central CU, Tulsa, Okla., Region 4, Asset Category 2; and
  • Paul Withey, Texas Bay Area CU, Houston, Region 2, Asset Category 3.

Oregon Governor Signs CU Act Improvement Bill

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SALEM, Ore. (7/1/13)--Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed legislation this week that updates the Oregon Credit Union Act, as he acted quickly to acknowledge strong legislative support for the bill, said the Northwest Credit Union Association.

NWCUA backed the bill because of recommendations by the Oregon State Model Act Subcommittee, chaired by Scott Burgess, president/CEO of Rivermark Community CU in Beaverton (NWCUA's The Anthem June 27).

"The sub-committee put a tremendous amount of work and analysis into the legislation signed by the governor, and we're very pleased with the outcome," Burgess told NWCUA. "As the chairman of the sub-committee, I know I speak for the group in saying that we're all particularly proud that, in Oregon, we routinely open up the Credit Union Act to seek out legislative changes that will help credit unions better serve their members in these challenging times."

The updated Oregon Credit Union Act will:

  • Broaden Oregon's parity authority by allowing Oregon credit unions to invoke parity with out-of-state credit unions and streamline the process for invoking parity with federally chartered credit unions.
  • Clarify the role of the supervisory committee in governance-related matters.
  • Extend additional liability protection to credit union directors and officers.
  • Remove wording in Oregon law that requires a board to "perform other duties as the members of the credit union from time to time direct and perform or authorize any action not inconsistent with this chapter and not specifically reserved by the bylaws for the members."
  • Remove language in Oregon law that permits a credit union to employ a chief operating officer/president and a security officer.
  • Make the declaring of dividends a power that can be delegated under Oregon law; and increase the loans-to-one-borrower limit to the larger of $100,000 or 15% of a credit union's equity.
The updates will take effect Jan. 1.

Filene Report On CEOs: Personality Matters More Than Ability

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MADISON, Wis. (7/1/13)--CEOs' personality is more important than CEOs' ability in influencing employee engagement and organization performance, according to a new study from the Filene Research Institute.

The study, "Leading for Credit Union Success: The Roles of Personality and Practices in CEOs," was based on a survey of employees at 84 credit unions across the U.S. and Canada. At each credit union, four senior management team members, four middle managers four entry-level employees and the CEO were surveyed.

Among the report highlights:

  • CEO conscientiousness is the top trait when predicting employee engagement. High scorers in conscientiousness have a strong sense of purpose and urgency that leads them to achieve organizational objectives. While this gets reflected in their leadership behavior, the results show this one trait has a remarkably large effect on overall employee engagement.
  • Emotional stability is the best predictor of organizational performance, while agreeableness is the best personality predictor of CEO leadership. Thus, CEOs who tend to be calm, hardy, secure, and confident (emotionally stable) are linked to more effective leadership and higher organizational performance.
  • Successful CEOs do a better job of maintaining relationships, which is important to transformational leadership. CEOs who tend to be skilled at building and maintaining relationships (relationship competence) are linked to more effective leadership and higher organizational performance.
  • Not all abilities are created equal. The study examined three key CEO abilities: Strategic change competence, the ability to accomplish tasks, and the capacity to build and nurture relationships. Although strategic change competence is the best way to predict a CEO's ability to be a transformative leader, relationship competence is a better indicator of organizational performance.
  • Smarter hiring can make a difference. Credit unions should recognize the importance of these personality traits and abilities when hiring and factor them into the recruiting process, the report said. 
To download the report, use the link.