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LSCU State GAC attracts 23 lawmakers
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/30/12)--The League of Southeastern Credit Unions hosted its annual State Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Tallahassee, Fla., Tuesday and Wednesday.

Attendees of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions' annual State Governmental Affairs Conference in Tallahassee, Fla., gained insight from state lawmakers and regulators. Pictured, from left, are: Art Wood, CEO of Railroad and Industrial FCU, Tampa, Fla.; Mary Wood, CEO of Florida West Coast CU, Hillsborough, Fla.; Sen. John Thrasher (R-8) and State Rep. Rachel Burgin (R-56).
Attendees explored federal and state regulatory and legislative issues, underscored by recurring themes: The credit union message to lawmakers must clear and focused on the members, and bankers will no longer define the credit unions.

Twenty-three lawmakers attended the Lawmaker Reception at the Governor's Club. Credit union representatives spent two hours talking about issues and building new relationships with their local policy makers, said the league.

The visits to the statehouse the next day were fast and furious, because lawmakers were also meeting in session and committees, the league said. Credit unions carved out small chunks of time with lawmakers in offices, meeting rooms and sometimes in the hall.

"The most important part of these events is the meeting with lawmakers," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "We had a great legislative reception the night before with 23 legislators stopping by to visit with our credit unions and then the final day we spent time in many of our lawmakers' offices talking about public deposits, foreclosure legislation and our tax-exempt status."

The LSCU State GAC featured speaker John McKechnie, who has more than 25 years of experience with credit unions through his work at the Credit Union National Association and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Also, credit union representatives met with federal and state regulators during the Regulatory Roundtable, which included NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles, Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Director Linda Charity and OFR Bureau Chief Bruce Ricca.

New for 2012 was the league's Florida Lawmaker of the Year award, which was presented to Speaker Designate of the Florida House of Representatives Will Weatherford (R-61). Weatherford worked closely with the LSCU Governmental Affairs team on the public deposits legislation.

The league will hold a State GAC for its Alabama member credit unions on April 4-5 in Montgomery, Ala.

From left: D.W. Smith, chairman of Tyndall FCU, Panama City, Fla.; Sen. Don Gaetz (R-4); and Jim Warren, CEO of Tyndall FCU. Rep. Jim Frishe (R-54) talks with League of Southeastern Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine. (Photos provided by League of Southeastern Credit Unions)


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