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CU System briefs (04/06/2011)
* NAPERVILLE, Ill. (4/7/11)--Nearly 750 executives representing 110 credit unions are expected to attend today's kick-off of the Illinois Credit Union League's 81st Annual Convention, which runs through Saturday in Chicago. This year's 70s' theme is "Get Your Groove On!" Keynote speaker Mike Rayburn, guitarist and stand-up comedian, will present a musical and motivational address, "What if?" The Exhibit Hall will feature more than 80 vendors. The event includes more than 20 educational sessions, including a pre-convention workshop. Saturday's closing session will feature Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney, in his first formal visit to Illinois credit unions … * NORWOOD, Mass. (4/7/11)--Stephen Shinnick, a former vice principal at Coakley Middle School, Norwood, Mass., was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for stealing more than $250,000 over a period of years and causing the failure of Norwood School Employee FCU. Shinnick, who was treasurer at the credit union, pleaded guilty to larceny over a period of years. He is to serve six months of the term with the balance suspended for five years, and pay restitution. According to the court documents, he had a gambling problem and used credit union funds to pay more than $164,516 in personal bills, to issue checks payable to himself totaling $130,402 and to pay his children a total of $13,000. The credit union ceased operating in June 2009 and was merged into Rockland (Mass.) CU ( April 5) … * SAN DIEGO (4/7/11)--A San Diego couple was charged with commercial burglary after stealing toys for a holiday toy drive from a Ronald McDonald donation box in the lobby of a branch of North Island CU on Dec. 16. Timoteo Orque, 49, and Rowena Orque, 33, allegedly left the credit union with about $200 in toys and gave them to their children. They were traced through an automobile caught on a surveillance camera and arrested Monday (Los Angeles Times April 5) … * ALBANY, N.Y. (4/7/11)--Sunmark FCU, based in Latham, N.Y., is teaming with All Over Albany to offer grants to microbusinesses and start-ups. The Sunmark Grants program is open to small and new businesses as well as Capital District musicians and artists. They will compete for a $1,500 award and free consulting in the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce's Entrepreneur Boot Camp. Deadline for submissions is April 20. The award recipient will be announced May 16 (The Daily Gazette April 6) … * LANSING, Mich. (4/7/11)--The name of Auto Body CU, a $150 million asset credit union based in Lansing, Mich., has been changed to Astera CU, according to the credit union's website. It changed its name Monday to reflect the variety of select employee groups in its field of membership, said the Lansing State Journal (April 5). Astera serves about 20,000 members with five branches … * SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (4/7/11)--The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) has promoted Keith Sias to vice president, state governmental affairs, and Patrick Smith to vice president, communications and regulatory affairs. Both operate from ICUL's Springfield office. Sias joined ICUL in March 1993 and served as a lobbyist representing credit unions before the Illinois General Assembly. He is responsible for analyzing and tracking legislative issues for credit unions, educating them about legislative/regulatory issues, and overseeing state operations of the Credit Union Political Action Council. Before joining ICUL, he was legislative liaison to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Chicago, and a policy analyst for the Illinois House legislative staff. Smith joined ICUL in October 2004 as director of strategic services. His responsibilities have crossed corporate and department lines of ICUL and ICUL Service Corp. Smith provided consulting services to member credit unions on regulatory, compliance and technical issues, and developed corrective plans to address operational challenges. He previously worked for the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, Credit Union Division, for 17 years, as an examiner, downstate assistant supervisor and supervisor of the division …


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