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Thousands arrive for Belvoir FCU event for military civilians

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WOODBRIDGE, Vt. (7/28/11)--Belvoir FCU in Woodbridge,Va., celebrated the sixth annual Installation Appreciation Day on Saturday in Fort Belvoir, Va. With thousands in attendance, Belvoir Federal demonstrated their appreciation for the military and civilian families associated with the Fort Belvoir community. The event was due in part to the contributions from surrounding businesses, credit union partners and vendor sponsorships. With these combined efforts, the $269 million asset Belvoir FCU provided free activities, including: a rock climbing wall, car showcase, fire truck display, face painters, a clown, musical entertainment, free food and celebrities signing autographs. The Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team and the USO of Metropolitan Washington provided games for attendees. Belvoir Federal also held a drawing for more than 20 prizes, including a vacation cruise. During the three-hour event, Belvoir Federal’s CEO/President Patricia Kimmel, presented the USO a $5,000 check to illustrate the continued support of the base and the mission to continually serve its members. Garrison Commander Colonel John Strycula and Command Sergeant Major Gabriel Berhane were also present during the check presentation to the USO. Strycula commented on the wonderful relationship the base has with the credit union and hopes the partnership continues to grow in the years to come. “Belvoir Federal is honored to be the credit union for Fort Belvoir and enjoys giving back to the community whenever the occasion presents itself,” Kimmel said. Belvoir Federal has served the Fort Belvoir and U.S. Armed Forces community since 1946.

Rabines named WOCCU chair at World CU Conference

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GLASGOW, Scotland (7/28/11)--Manuel Rabines, general manager of Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito del Perú (FENACREP), the trade association serving Peru's credit unions, has been named chair of World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) board of directors.
Click to view larger image Outgoing World Council of Credit Unions Chair Barry Jolette (left) congratulates incoming Chair Manuel Rabines during Tuesday's general session at the World Credit Union Conference's general session on Glasgow, Scotland.
Rabines, who succeeded previous chair Barry Jolette, president/CEO of San Mateo CU in Redwood City, Calif., formally accepted the chair’s chain of office during the World Credit Union Conference’s general session on Tuesday in Glasgow. “Together with my family, there is nothing more important to me than the credit union movement,” Rabines said. “The challenge for WOCCU is to continue being an enduring voice for credit unions around the world and dedicate its greatest efforts to articulating and defending our cause.” Rabines joined the Peruvian credit union movement in August 1962 as an assistant at Santa Elisa CU, then Peru's largest financial cooperative, and eventually became its CEO. Since 1988, he has held the position of FENACREP’s general manager, interrupted from 1990-1992 when he served as Peru's deputy minister of labor.
Click to view larger image "The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) needs to be the enduring voice for credit unions around the world," said incoming WOCCU Chair Manuel Rabines.
Other new board officers, elected at WOCCU’s annual general meeting Monday afternoon, included: First Vice Chair Grzegorz Bierecki, Poland; Second Vice Chair Anne Cochran, U.S.; Treasurer Daniel Burns, Canada; and Secretary Louise Petschler, Australia. Veteran directors Penny Reeves, Canada, and Catherine Roberts, U.S., left the WOCCU board Monday, and their positions were filled by Scott Kennedy, Canada, and Patrick Jury, U.S. Tuesday’s general session also included a panel discussion focused on credit unions’ social responsibility and how “giving back” to members can actually propel credit union growth forward. The panel, moderated by WOCCU Secretary Louise Petschler, included Tamara Vrooman, CEO of VanCity, Canada’s largest credit union; Jeff Post, president/CEO of CUNA Mutual Group; and Peter Marks, group chief executive of The Co-operative Group, the United Kingdom’s largest business cooperative. Panel discussion topics included business ethics, the challenge of good governance, developing a connection with and commitment to the community and dealing with difficult regulatory requirements.
Click to view larger image Tuesday panelist Peter Marks (second from left) makes a point about cooperatives as fellow panelists (from left) Tamara Vrooman and Jeff Post and moderator Louise Petschler look on at the World Credit Union Conference's in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
Throughout the session and the subsequent question-and-answer period, panelists stressed that a high ethical level can generate multiple types of return that are both profitable and critical, especially in light of credit unions’ strong performance during the global economic crisis. “Values and trust form a critical stepping stone, but providing good products at competitive prices is necessary for success,” Post said. “We’re facing the greatest opportunities of the past 40 or 50 years. If we can figure out how to vault the regulatory hurdles, we're going to shine.” Vrooman agreed, noting that serving the member is not only the right thing to do, but one of the best possible business strategies. “We are the good guys, and we have tremendous responsibilities given the trust of our members,” Vrooman said. “Now we have to execute that trust with confidence, because it's confidence that will allow us to be a success in the future.” Tuesday’s slate of speakers also included Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), who discussed the 2012 United Nations International Year of Cooperatives and the importance of having all cooperatives participate in order to strengthen the cooperative image globally. “WOCCU is one of ICA’s most important members, and I am delighted to see they are a big part of the International Year of Cooperatives,” said Green, a former member of the European Parliament. “Acting together, we have a chance to create the strongest growth opportunities for cooperatives and credit unions that we have seen in decades.” WOCCU's World Credit Union Conference ran through Wednesday.

CU System briefs (07/27/2011)

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* COMPTON, Calif. (7/28/11)--Mid Cities CU, Compton, Calif., received a $30,000 grant from The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. “Mid Cities board and staff are excited to receive grant assistance to help our aging members to reach their financial goals,” said Melia Keller, president/CEO. With 26% of the credit union’s members over the age of 65 with an additional 8% turning 65 within the next five years, the grant will allow the credit union to implement senior programs and counseling to better assist our core group of members.” The grant was issued to Mid Cities CU by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions--not the National Council on Aging, as earlier stated in a July 22 News Now story. Mid Cities CU has clarified its information on the grant that was reported in News Now … * SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (7/27/11)--The third annual “Run for the Troops” Fun Run was held on July 9, at the Elmen Trailhead Park in Sioux Falls, S.D. Organized by the Credit Union Association of Dakotas Sioux Valley Chapter Social Responsibility Committee, the event consisted of a 5K and 10k run, and 2-mile family walk. This year, $700 was raised by the 40 participants, including surprise participant U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). Senator Thune’s staff had informed him of the fund-raising event, which is open to the community. The proceeds will benefit military members and their families. In the photo, from left, Autumn Myers, Darla Erb, Sen. Thune and Gretchen Miller. (Photo provided by Credit Union Association of Dakotas) …

The Members Group names Iowa CUs biggest concerns

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DES MOINES, Iowa (7/28/11)--Tackling of-the-moment issues, including debit regulations, alternative payments and social media, The Members’ Group (TMG) Client Conference speakers recently addressed concerns of credit unions in attendance. Among the contemporary issues addressed at the conference were the emerging technologies consumers are using to make every-day financial transactions. TMG Client Conference survey respondents indicated this was a big area of importance for them, with half claiming they are likely to add an alternative payments platform within the next 12 months. Another 43% said it was somewhat likely they would add alternative payments within the next 12 months. Debit card portfolio management was a second popular topic for credit union attendees. More than 80% of event survey respondents believed debit to be their customers’ preferred method of payment. When asked what other issues are of importance, survey respondents listed topics like chip-and-Personal identification number (PIN)/Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV), maximizing portfolios in the current environment and how to remain competitive. Each of the nine sessions, led by presenters such as McDonald Marketing’s Kelly McDonald, PolicyWorks’ Andrea Stritzke and The Financial Brand’s Jeffry Pilcher, achieved high rankings by a majority of those responding to the event survey, TMG said. “The educational sessions were helpful because they were all so relevant to the issues facing financial institutions right now,” said Lisa Hommel, a vice president at Vermont State Employees CU, Montpelier. “Compliance, regulations, new products and fraud have an impact on all of us, regardless of our size or to which type of members we cater.” TMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Affiliates Management Company, which is owned by Iowa credit unions and their members. As a financial and credit union service organization (CUSO), TMG provides card processing and payment solutions to credit unions and financial institutions across North America. TMG’s core products include credit, debit, ATM and ATIRA-branded prepaid solutions, and online reporting, automated clearing house and asset liability management services. TMG plans to repeat the event next July in San Diego.

Mo. credit unions make a difference in Joplin

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ST. LOUIS (7/27/11)--Hundreds of people in Joplin received assistance from the Missouri credit union community in the wake of a May 22 tornado. Credit unions and their business partners donated $109,250 to the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation (MCUCF) in the days and weeks following the tornado Missouri Credit Union Association (The Missouri Difference July 26). “We’ve seen an enormous outpouring from our friends in the credit union movement,” says Mike Beall, association president/CEO. “It’s heartwarming to be involved in such an industry that so takes care of its own.” MCUCF distributed initial grants in the amount of $500 to 322 adults, 106 children, eight employees, and one volunteer. Following the immediate distribution, additional funds were disbursed to applicants based on need, including 103 that were determined critical. Don Ackerman, president/CEO of TelComm CU in Springfield, decided he and his staff wanted to do more to help the people of Joplin. The credit union staff and volunteers took to the phones to gather donations of clothing, supplies and food for distribution to local residents in need. Ackerman and other volunteers have made several trips to Joplin with vans full of supplies. “We can’t thank them enough for all that they have done,” says Karen Jones, business development at Joplin (Mo.) Metro CU.

Membership growth prompts UW CU to buy Borders property

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MADISON, Wis. (7/28/11)--The UW Credit Union, Madison, Wis., has purchased a former Borders building to accommodate membership growth and increased workforce needs. The credit union plans to move the branch retail space and investment services offices from its current headquarters building just blocks away to the former book store building. UW CU’s corporate offices will remain in the current location. The Borders building was constructed in 2001. To accommodate the relocation, the interior will be remodeled and drive-up lanes will be added to the rear of the building. UW Credit Union expects to have the transition completed by December 2011. Since the credit union opened its headquarter offices in 1995, its membership has grown to more than 158,000 from 69,000, according to Brad McClain, UW CU executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Over the last two years, we’ve seen membership grow, on average, by about 13,000 per year,” McClain said. “We’ve quickly outgrown our current space, so we’ve had to identify ways to accommodate our increasing space needs” In addition to membership growth, $1.6 billion UW CU has increased its workforce to keep up with the needs of the membership. The move will provide for additional employee workspaces and parking for future growth at the corporate office, McClain said. “When Borders announced it was closing their location so close to our headquarters, we identified the opportunity to utilize the convenience of this retail space,” said UW CU President/CEO Paul Kundert. “By relocating our retail branch services to the new building, we will accommodate space needs created by growth and make it possible for our corporate office to serve our needs for many more years.”

Buffalo CU offers Money and Me

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (7/28/11)--For five mornings, beginning Aug. 15, $76 million-asset Buffalo Metropolitan FCU will provide lessons to teens on financial responsibility through Money & Me. Money & Me is a hands-on experience that teaches teenagers the basics of money management and how to make it work for them. The program covers budgeting, credit advantages and pitfalls, responsible checking account habits, how to save for a big purchase and investing for the future. “In the past year, we have seen how essential it is to ensure that all Americans gain the financial literacy they need to thrive,” said Buffalo Metropolitan FCU CEO Patricia Edinger. “By offering Money & Me, we can start by educating the next generation of savers and investors here and now.” Participants will receive a letter of reference teens can use for college and job applications. An opening deposit to the credit union’s teen account program will also be given to any participants wishing to open a Savings Account. Money & Me is a program of the New York Credit Union Foundation, the charitable arm of the Credit Union Association of New York.