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Houston chapter receives TCULs first 12 of 2012
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (2/1/12)--The Houston Chapter of Credit Unions' "Experience a Houston Credit Union" initiative is the first recipient of the Texas Credit Union League's (TCUL) 12 of 2012 recognition program. 

Click to view larger image The Houston Chapter of Credit Unions was named as the first recipient of the Texas Credit Union League's 12 of 2012 recognition program for its Experience a Houston Credit Union" co-op advertising program. The 12 of 2012 is a year-long recognition program to recognize the state's brightest credit union stars. The 12 of 2012 is a year-long recognition program to recognize the state's brightest credit union stars.

Click to view larger image Pictured is the promotions group of the Houston Chapter's Experience a Houston Credit Union initiative. Front row, from left, Diana Fisher, vice president, marketing, Member Source CU; Stephanie Olszewski, marketing manager at Members Choice CU; Patsy Jalomo, marketing and business development manager, People's Trust FCU; Michelle Oshinski, senior vice president, government affairs and marketing, Primeway FCU. Back row, Malcolm Rene, chief financial officer/executive vice president, United Community CU, Galena Park, Texas; Frank Bucci, marketing manager, Primeway FCU; and Brian Ellis, vice president of marketing and business management at InvesTex CU. (Photos provided by Texas Credit Union League) The initiative got off to a slow start, said Tuggle. When the group's first website failed to attract many visitors, Malcolm Rene, executive vice president at United Community CU, Galena Park, Texas, led the formation of three committees: one to redesign the website, another to raise money for advertising, and a third to develop an advertising plan.

The renewed efforts generated $63,000 in funding. "We had to recognize that we weren't after a certain demographic: We were after web traffic," said Brian Ellis, vice president  of marketing and business management for InvestTex CU. Within two months the redesigned site had attracted three million visitors. By the end of the year, seven million had visited the site.

The team also added a local spokesman to the mix. Michael Garfield now promotes credit unions regularly in his role as the "High Tech Texan" on talk radio.

The success of this new, hybrid model of an ad co-op has heightened interest in credit union collaboration in the region, Tuggle said. During the last legislative session, the chapter recruited area credit union leaders who hadn't take part in past advocacy efforts. The group held a luncheon in Austin under the banner of "Experience Houston Credit Unions."

The success has inspired the group to reach out to TCUL, which is working to roll out the idea across the state.


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