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October learning opportunities plentiful from CUNA

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MADISON, Wis. (8/21/08)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will offer more than a dozen learning events covering a variety of credit union disciplines this October. The Collections and Bankruptcy School: Introduction and Advanced, in Denver, will teach credit union professionals how to work with delinquent members. During Introduction, Oct. 5-10, students will explore collection basics, bankruptcy, repossessions, and tools and tips. Advanced, Oct. 5-8, explores challenges and best practices in collections, along with negotiations, compliance and collection law. Business Development School: Parts I and II will take place Oct. 5-10 in San Francisco to help improve credit union business development programs. Part I addresses building business plans that are aligned with overall credit union strategy. Issues specific to community charters and segmented employee groups also will be discussed. Part II advances a credit union’s growing business development program with new strategies to bring in business and grow existing relationships. Branch Management Institute: Foundations and Strategies will take place concurrently Oct. 6-9 in San Francisco. Foundations teaches financial management skills, compliance, and recruiting/managing to increase employee retention. Strategies focuses on leadership skills, sales, and more. The 2008 Community Credit Union Conference, Oct. 8-11 in San Diego, focuses on the challenges, compliance issues, best practices, and trends that are unique to a community charter. The conference will delve into marketing strategies, community relations, bringing in new members, member business lending, emerging markets, mergers, and performance issues for community credit unions. The Reach Out! Conference: Strategies for Serving Low wealth, Immigrants and Youth will take place Oct. 12-15 in San Francisco. Presented by CUNA in cooperation with the National Credit Union Foundation, the conference will help attendees leverage the credit union “People Helping People” philosophy into an actionable plan for their credit unions. The Bank Secrecy Act Conference (BSA), Oct. 19-22 in Atlanta, will offer topics including: developing an organization-wide BSA risk assessment, importance of BSA due diligence prior to a merger, shared-branching considerations, automated clearing house and wire issues, and the potential problems of alternative payment methods. Management Essentials for Supervisors: Introduction and Advanced in Atlanta will help managers raise their performance and retain and develop staff. Introduction, Oct. 19-24, covers technical management skills, including hiring, interviewing, retaining, coaching, disciplining, and firing. Advanced, Oct. 19-23, will teach ethical leadership, management skills and effective communications. The World-Class Customer Service Executive Institute, Oct. 19-23 in Denver, will provide attendees with an opportunity to gauge their credit unions’ member service skills compared with an organization considered a world-renowned expert in the field: the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. Using the Ritz as a backdrop, participants learn the hotel’s “Gold Standards” and strategies, explore its methods in action, and apply these techniques to the credit union environment. The CUNA Volunteer Institute, Oct. 25-29, takes place in Maui, Hawaii, and helps maximize the board’s knowledge and effectiveness. Sessions on the economy, due diligence for third-party vendors, bankruptcy, and more will be offered. The Experience Learning Live! Conference, Oct. 26-29 in Tempe, Ariz., will teach new training techniques and provide information to increase learning. Sessions will address: the psychology of learning, creativity, multiple intelligences, demonstrating and reporting training value, and more. The Residential Mortgage Lending eSchool, Oct. 14-Nov. 17, enables credit union lending staff to learn how to make their residential mortgage lending programs more efficient and successful during. The seven-session eSchool explores appraisals, loan servicing and underwriting. Participants will learn about applicable regulations, marketing issues and best practices, and how to develop a strategic business plan. For more information, use the links.

Consultant launches Gen Y focus group service

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (8/21/08)--Credit union consulting firm Glatt Consulting announced that it will launch a Generation Y focus group service for credit unions on Monday. The service, created by Gen Y marketing consultant Justin Ho, gathers a virtual group of Gen Y members to whom credit unions can pitch their ideas. The members are from schools such as the University of Southern California, the Wharton School of Business, and Stanford. “Credit unions are making great strides in Gen Y outreach,” Ho said. “Unfortunately, the majority of credit unions do not have an effective means to test their efforts before taking them to market. Ideally, a credit union tests new offers with a focus group, but the dilemma for launching youth-centered products is that credit unions lack solid Gen-Y relationships from which to draw quality focus group participants.” Credit unions can submit product plans and marketing campaign materials to the group, which will assemble a key-findings document with feedback and suggestions for improvement. The credit union will be debriefed by Ho. “A common goal all credit unions seem to share is establishing relationships with youth,” said Tom Glatt Jr., owner, Glatt Consulting. “In almost every planning session, board and management team members will voice concerns about maintaining the relevance of credit unions across generations, yet few have an in-depth perspective on youth needs.”

TNB buys CUs card portfolio

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DALLAS (8/21/08)--1st CU of Gainesville, Fla., sold its $4 million card portfolio to TNB Card Services. The sale aims to provide 1st CU members with a more competitive card offering and strong rewards program. TNB Card Services, based in Dallas, provides electronic payments processing for credit unions nationwide. “As the economic environment changed last year, we realized in order to offer our members a robust card product and to be able to compete, we were going to have to make major changes to our card program,” said Wendy Richter, chief financial officer, 1st CU. “TNB’s partnership approach allows us to continue to market the card under our brand, and share in some of the decisions about the portfolio,” she added. 1st CU has assets of $44 million.