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CUNA CUs celebrating choice on ICU Day
MADISON, Wis. (10/15/09)--This year’s International Credit Union Day theme--Your Money. Your Choice. Your Credit Union--celebrates choice, which is what gave birth to the credit union as a not-for profit, cooperative alternative to for-profit, investor-owned banks, according to Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica. Today is ICU Day. It has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948 to celebrate what credit unions do to improve their members’ financial well-being, Mica said. “Whether it is opening that first account for a child, arranging financing on a used car, making a small-business loan, holding a seminar on improving credit scores or opening a branch in a community without financial services, credit unions play a role in changing lives,” he added. “As we celebrate International Credit Union Day, we recommit to the credit union spirit of unity and service to members,” Mica said. “We also look to spread the credit union idea to the millions in the U.S. and abroad who are yet unfamiliar with our philosophy and benefits so that they may discover what millions already know: When you are a member, it really is your credit union.” On ICU Day, credit unions are recommitting to the credit union spirit of unity and service to members and spreading the credit union philosophy to those in the U.S. and overseas. The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is kicking off its celebration with a “Celebrating Our Heritage” webinar, led by WOCCU President/CEO Pete Crear. The webinar takes place at 2 p.m. EDT today. “The role credit unions play has gained even greater importance this past year in light of the global financial crisis, which continues to negatively affect our members worldwide,” said Barry Jolette, WOCCU chair. “The strength and empowerment that comes through cooperative financial ownership cannot be underestimated, making credit union access more critical to members than ever before.” Jolette also echoed Mica’s thoughts about the importance of choice. “On ICU Day and every day, credit union involvement is a choice we have made,” he said. “It remains the responsibility of each of us to make sure the world understands the value of credit unions so that next year, even more people will be served by credit unions.”
Click to view larger image In the Florida governor’s office to witness the International Credit Union Day proclamation signing were, (from left) Andy Price, League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU); Amy Jowers and Justin Thames, LSCU; Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum; Ray Cromer, Envision CU; Cecilia Homison, Florida Commerce CU; Florida Gov. Charlie Crist; Patrick La Pine, LSCU president/CEO; Aletta Shutes, former Florida Credit Union League executive vice president; Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink; Guy Hood, former league president/CEO; Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson; Sandra Hood; Mark Landreth, LSCU and Cassandra Grayson, LSCU; and Mary Estes, Florida Commerce CU. (Photo provided by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions)
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed today as Credit Union Day in the state to celebrate the 75th year of the Washington Credit Union League. This is the fifth consecutive year the governor has proclaimed ICU Day as Credit Union Day. Several credit unions, including O Bee CU in Tumwater and Evergreen Direct CU in Olympia, also are participating in a contest that honors the 75,000th new credit union member with gift certificates and prizes. More than 67,000 Washingtonians joined credit unions by the end of June, and 75,000th person is expected to join during the remainder of the year (The Olympian Oct. 13). The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association is hosting a reception today at Credit Union House in Washington, D.C., with guest speakers including National Credit Union Administration board member Gigi Hyland and Mica. The association also will celebrate its international partnerships with the United Kingdom and Nicaraguan credit union movements (Focus newsletter Oct. 12). BECU, Tukwila, Wash., is reaching out to college students this week by teaching them how to manage their finances and avoid scams. The BECU Mobile Financial Center will lead the “GO BECU Tour” with visits to four college campuses around Puget Sound, Wash., to teach students about money. The average college student graduates with between $3,000 and $4,000 in credit card debt, according to the credit union. “The ‘Go BECU Tour’ is about making sure students know their options and understand how to navigate the confusing financial landscape,” said Gary Oakland, BECU CEO. Alabama and Florida state government declared today as ICU Day. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), in honor of its Alabama and Florida member credit unions, created a proclamation that recognized accomplishments of the credit union movement, and submitted it for signature to the governors of both states. “We at LSCU wanted to highlight in a public way the many reasons why people choose credit unions for access to fair and affordable financial services,” said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of LSCU. “Credit union members reap the benefits of doing business with a financial institution they own--one focused on service to its members, not profits for its stockholders. That means value, service, respect, and the opportunity to be part of a financially sound and socially responsible institution.” In Alabama, Gov. Bob Riley signed the proclamation. In Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist and members of the Florida Cabinet signed and presented the proclamation at a Sept. 29 cabinet meeting. Retired Florida league leaders Guy M. Hood, former president/CEO, and Aletta Shutes, former executive vice president, were also honored for their many contributions to the credit union movement. Both retired from the league in August and July, respectively.
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