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Illinois small CUs group begins regional workshops
NAPERVILLE Ill. (11/22/11)--The Illinois Credit Union League's (ICUL) Small Asset Size (SAS) Advisory Group launched its new "Lunch and Learn" workshop series last week for credit unions with less than  $25 million in assets to help them with compliance, regulatory topics and networking.

Joni Senkpeil, director of small credit union development for the Illinois Credit Union League, leads a Lunch and Learn workshop in Rosemont, Illinois Nov. 17. The workshop series aims to help credit unions with less than $25 million in assets with compliance, regulatory topics and networking. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League)
The first two workshops were held in Rockford and Rosemont. Four additional meetings are scheduled for western, central and southern Illinois between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2.

"If there's one thing that stands out in our industry, it's the ease in which small credit unions share and learn from each other and the value that comes from this unique quality that our industry possesses," said Joni Senkpeil, ICUL director of small credit union development.

"These meetings represent the first stage of what we hope will be a stepping stone to an ongoing program that will bring our small credit unions together and enhance the environment in which our small credit unions will flourish," she added.

SAS workgroups statewide have four priorities for action:

  • Reduce the regulatory and compliance burden. Small credit unions have identified regulatory compliance as a barrier to running an effective day-to-day operation.  Assistance in this area will include "Hot Topic" multi-chapter events, enhancing and expanding the online small credit union resource center available through the league's website, e-mail updates, and developing a centralized clearinghouse of common vendors.
  • Promote collaboration. Small credit unions will benefit from joining together on products and services, ideas and projects, said the league. The advisory group will help to build partnerships, establish peer networks, provide credit union mentoring, and coordinate a "market place" to catalog the availability of low-cost or no-cost furniture and equipment.
  • Enhance communication. Opening an ongoing dialogue within the small credit union community is essential to the effective implementation of programs. Initiatives, such as small credit union workgroups, "Hot Topics" conference calls, information sharing, and alternate communication methods such as the ICUL's small-credit union listserv will be facilitated.
  • Increase competitiveness. The advisory group believes adopting plans to reach non-members will bring increased unity, growth and stability. SAS credit unions will receive help promoting their Web presence, participating in the Illinois REAL Solutions program, using a marketing toolkit, and strengthening their niche in the marketplace.
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