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News Now

CU System
N.Y. advocate hits the road to build startup CU
BUFFALO, N.Y.  (1/28/14)--Starting up a credit union requires lots of enthusiasm, energy, supplies and--if you are lucky--generosity.

Last November Emma Smalley, financial counselor at $30 million-asset Boulevard FCU, Amherst, N.Y. sent out an email, she says, asking her credit union friends to "look around their offices" for anything they could donate to the startup Good Neighbors FCU in Buffalo, N.Y.

Her friends were generous, Smalley says.  That was the good news--but it sparked the quandary:  How to actually get the stuff.

"Light bulb moment?" said Smalley, a former member of the Credit Union Association of New York's Young Professionals Commission, "CU road trip!"

Her brainchild will result in April with "CU on the road," collecting donations from state credit unions.

"I got a really good response," Smalley told News Now. "The problem is that the commission is throughout the whole state and [GNFCU] is in Buffalo. We didn't know how we were going to collect all this stuff--so we planned a road trip."
 
GNFCU organizers are seeking deposit pledges, donations and in-kind donations such as general office equipment and supplies.
 
"CU on the road" also offers an opportunity for GNFCU to publicly acknowledge contributors for donations. Organizers have developed a website for the event, which can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter. Each stop of the event will be promoted with photos, videos and interviews with credit union employees.
 
Planning for GNFCU has been under way for more than a year. The credit union held its first steering committee meeting in April and has received preliminary approval from the National Credit Union Administration.
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