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Dino app transports young patients thanks to U of Mich., CU

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (11/25/14)--A trip back through time, to the age of the dinosaur, is bringing some fun to children faced with hospital stays.

The University of Michigan CU teamed up with the University of Michigan Health System to produce a fun app for kids to enjoy during their hospital stays. (Michigan Credit Union League Photo) 
The University of Michigan CU, Ann Arbor, Mich., has partnered with the University of Michigan Health System to create an iPad app called Foozel that helps families pass the time during hospital stays.

The $561 million-asset credit union recently pledged $342,000 over three years to benefit the C.S. Mott Children's and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospitals, in part to fund the app, and in part to fund the "Ancient Arb I" bronze fossil floor showcased in the main entrance of the hospital.

"The app is a great way to pass the time during what can be a tense waiting period," said Doug Holdsworth, father of a patient at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Michigan Monitor Nov. 24). "As a bonus, there's a coloring book that goes with it, keeping (my daughter) occupied and actually excited to be here."

Foozel, which was introduced this month, brings users along on a virtual prehistoric adventure using the image of the bronze fossil floor.

In the app, the fossil floor breaks apart and becomes a starry sky, leading to games where the user must track down fossils, repair the floor and return to present day.

The app and the coloring book were both designed and developed by University of Michigan students and alumni.

"The University of Michigan CU was able to bring the Foozel app to life with the ongoing support and facilitation of the University of Michigan's Business Engagement Center," said Marian Perez, creative director for Foozel and the University of Michigan CU's graphic designer.

Household liquidity 1st innovation challenge for CSFI

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SAN FRANCISCO (11/25/14)--Uncertain income and trouble managing expenses create cash flow problems for households nationwide.

Moreover, nearly one-third of Americans encounter significant variation in their income over the course of a given year. This suggests that household liquidity is not a problem that affects just part-time, self-employed and seasonal workers--the reach and impact is far wider.

Armed with this knowledge, The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) announced that household liquidity--the management and alignment of income and expenses--will be the focus of its first innovation challenge.

"Household cash flow challenges create a stressful and often expensive balancing act for millions of American families," said Sarah Gordon, CFSI vice president of innovation labs. "But there are talented entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders who are leveraging technology to solve this problem. By focusing on this issue for our first challenge, the Financial Solutions Lab can serve as a powerful platform to help innovators build new solutions."

Exploring innovative ideas related to improving day-to-day income and expenses, building emergency funds and improving open access to lower-cost, higher-quality small-dollar credit options are among the ways in which the Financial Solutions Lab community will approach solving for household liquidity challenges.

The Financial Solutions Lab is a cross-industry initiative supporting the development of innovative, technology-enabled strategies, products and services that align with consumers' financial needs.

In addition to announcing the focus area of household cash flow, CFSI is assembling a group financial technology entrepreneurs, nonprofits and consumer advocacy groups, behavioral economists and academics to provide ongoing guidance, share best practices and support the development of scalable financial solutions based on the Financial Solutions Lab's innovations.

Early next year, the lab will announce the opening of the first innovation challenge focused on household cash flow. The challenge will provide winning organizations with capital, technical assistance and connections to industry leaders to assist them in building better products and services that can have a national impact.

CUs build system for Ohio health care CUs

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DUBLIN, Ohio (11/25/14)--Two Ohio credit unions with a focus on the health care community will operate as divisions of the Healthcare Credit Union System (HCUS).
Ohio HealthCare FCU, Dublin, Ohio, with $72 million in assets, and Med-Pro FCU, Akron, with $17 million in assets, make up HCUS. Earlier this year, they decided on a collaborative initiative that allows them to share back-office duties and expenses to better serve health care professionals throughout Ohio.
Each credit union retains its individual brand and name.
"Laying the building blocks for the Healthcare Credit Union System is an important opportunity for healthcare credit unions in Ohio," said HCUS President Bill Butler. "Our passion is to serve Ohio's health care workforce. HCUS provides us with a framework to effectively serve the entire health care community throughout Ohio."
HCUS allows the health care-focused credit unions to expand services and boost convenience.
Med-Pro FCU CEO Becky Howell said, "When healthcare credit unions partner together to provide more services and opportunities to the thousands of members they serve, everyone wins."
HCUS now serves more than 12,000 health care professionals and their families.

CU System briefs (11/25/14)

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  • WASHINGTON (11/25/14)--The Credit Union National Association is hosting a Twitter chat today at 3 p.m. (ET) to talk about recent findings in the American Customer Satisfaction Index that ranked credit unions significantly higher than banks in consumer satisfaction. The chat will feature a breakdown of the survey numbers, as well as a question-and-answer session discussing credit union best practices for member service. Interested parties can follow along and submit their own answers using the hashtag #CUServiceExcellence ...
  • ATLANTA (4/25/14)--Delta Community CU, a $4.6 billion-asset credit union in Atlanta, has established a speakers' bureau that the community can tap for subject-matter experts on a wide variety of financial information. Members of the group are available for speaking opportunities and lectures pertaining to the financial services industry or other related topics, particularly for metro Atlanta businesses, civic organizations, colleges, schools and nonprofit organizations. Experts range from President/CEO Hank Halter to leaders in finance, information technology, lending, risk management, payments, insurance and marketing ...
  • LIVONIA, Mich., and NEWARK, Del. (11/25/14)--Richard "Dick" Meissner, the first manager of Delta County Catholic CU, died Nov. 10. He was 89. In 1960, Meissner helped found what is now $114 million-asset Delta County CU, Escanaba, Mich. In 1973, the credit union was one of the first two credit unions in the country to offer Visa credit cards to its members. "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Dick has had on the credit union industry, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come," said CEO Brenda Lippens (Michigan Monitor Nov. 24). Eugene Holley Sr., the longest tenured employee of Daimler Chrysler Corp., Newark, Del., died Nov. 14. He was 85. In June 1979, he founded the United Caucus, which became part of American Spirit FCU, Newark, Del., with $66 million in assets (The News Journal Nov. 21) ...

CUNA receives 2 more nominations for board election

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MADISON, Wis. (11/25/14)--Another two nominations have been submitted to the Credit Union National Association for open director positions on the trade association's board.
For District 3, which covers Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates, was nominated for Class D. Class D represents league presidents.
Brett Martinez, president/CEO, Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., with $2.3 billion in assets, was nominated for District 6--Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Midway Atoll, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll and Wake Atoll. He was nominated in Class C, which represents credit unions having at least 101,000 natural-person members.
The deadline for nominations is Dec. 15, and official ballots will be sent Dec. 29.
Previously submitted nominees include:
District 4--Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
  • Class B: Credit unions having at least 28,000 but not more than 100,999 natural-person members: Peter Dzuris, president/CEO, Northland Area FCU, Oscoda, Mich., with $279 million in assets; and
District 5-- Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
  • Class A: Credit unions having less than 28,000 natural person members: Winona Nava, president/CEO, Guadalupe CU, Santa Fe, N.M., with $135 million in assets; and Donna Neal, president/CEO, My Community FCU, Midland, Texas, with $299 million in assets.
Other open seats are:
  • District 1--Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, Class B;
  • District 2--Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia, Class C;
  • District 3, Class A; and
  • District 4, Class D.

CUs honored with national Maxwell awards for social responsibility

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MADISON, Wis. (11/25/14)--The Credit Union National Association's National Awards Committee recently selected the recipients of the 2014 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award. The awards, which are given in several credit union asset sizes, were selected among the winning entries at a league level.
Dora Maxwell was an original signer of CUNA's constitution and a tireless organizer of hundreds of credit unions throughout the United States. She also developed volunteer organizer clubs and worked diligently with organizations on behalf of the poor.
The Maxwell Award is presented to credit unions and a chapter of multiple credit unions for outstanding social responsibility projects in their communities. Activities may include: solving core community problems, coordinating supply drives for the needy, raising money or organizing special events for charitable organizations, or mentoring students.
Credit unions recognized include:
$5 million to $20 million in assets:
  • First place: Virginia United Methodist CU, Glen Allen, Va., with $19 million in assets; and
  • Second place: Clarence (N.Y.) Community & Schools FCU; with $20 million in assets.
 $20 million to $50 million in assets:
  • First place: Casco FCU, Gorham, Maine, with $47 million in assets;
  • Second place: Financial Health FCU, Indianapolis, with $29 million in assets; and
  • Honorable mention: Cove FCU, Edgewood, Ky., with $46 million in assets.
 $50 million to $100 million in assets:
  • First place: Natco CU, Richmond, Ind., with $69 million in assets;
  • Second place: Voyage FCU, Sioux Falls, S.D., with $75 million in assets; and
  • Honorable mention: HealthCare First CU, Johnstown, Pa., with $59 million in assets.
 $100 million to $200 million in assets:
  • First place: Lake State CU, Moose Lake, Minn., with $188 million in assets;
  • Second place: Assemblies of God CU, Springfield, Mo., with $141 million in assets; and
  • Honorable Mention: Mid Oregon FCU, Bend, Ore.; with $185 million in assets.
 $200 million to $500 million in assets:
  • First place: Credit Union of New Jersey, Ewing, N.J., with $333 million in assets;
  • Second place: Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU, Chalfont, Pa., with $529 million in assets; and
  • Honorable mention: Five County CU, Bath, Maine, with $216 million in assets.
 $500 million to $1 billion in assets:
  • First place: FAA CU, Oklahoma City, with $563 million in assets;
  • Second place: Alabama CU, Tuscaloosa, Ala., with $640 million in assets; and
  • Honorable mention: Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska, with $893 million in assets.
More than $1 billion in assets
  • First place: MECU of Baltimore, with $1.2 billion in assets;
  • Second place:  Indiana Members CU, Indianapolis, with $1.4 billion in assets; and
  • Honorable mention: Desert Schools FCU, Phoenix, with $3.8 billion in assets.
Credit union chapters or multiple credit union groups:
  • First place: Utica-Rome (N.Y.) Credit Union Chapter;
  • Second Place: Sioux Falls (S.D.) Area Credit Unions; and
  • Honorable mention: Kansas City (Mo.) Chapter of Credit Unions.
News Now will publish the national winners of the Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award and the Desjardins Financial Education Award programs in upcoming issues.

Things get hairy at CUs during Movember

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (11/25/14)--Tuck away the electric razors and trimmers, as credit unions and their male staff members grow out their facial hair for "Movember," a month-long event dedicated to raising awareness for men's health.

New Jersey Credit Union League President/CEO Greg Michlig took the Movember challenge along with other league staff and New Jersey credit union leaders. If all of the New Jersey participants steer clear of razors until Sunday, the league will donate $1,000 to the Movember Foundation. (New Jersey Credit Union League Photos)

The month also encourages fundraising for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health programs.

The New Jersey Credit Union League has decided to take an especially proactive role this year, with Greg Michlig, league president/CEO, John Hendery, league business consultant, and Austin Rigby, the league's fall intern, shelving the shavers in hopes that member credit unions will take up the cause with them (The Daily Exchange Nov. 20).

"As Thanksgiving weekend and the final days of Movember coincide ... I encourage all to reflect on the things for which we are MOst thankful and also bring awareness to issues that matter MOst," Michlig wrote in The Daily Exchange.

The league will donate $10 to the Movember Foundation for each person, or "Mo Bro," who participates in the event. The league also will donate $1 for each day each participant doesn't shave.  

So far, the league has had 25 participants from New Jersey credit unions sign up, including a number of staffers from Aspire FCU, Clark, with $183 million in assets; Essex County Teachers FCU, Bloomfield, with $14 million in assets; Garden Savings FCU, with $292 million in assets; and Rutgers FCU, New Brunswick, with $82 million in assets.

If each participant remains unshaven for the full 30 days in November, it will amount to a $1,000 donation from the league to the cause.

Affinity FCU, Basking Ridge, with $2.3 billion in assets, has 12 employees participating. The group has been divided into two groups called Team Joe and Team John. The two teams are competing to raise money to support free prostate cancer screenings at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Follow the progress of those participating in the league's event on its Facebook page. Mo Bros also can participate on Twitter using the month's universal hashtags #Movember or #Movember2014.