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Iowa Corporate to work with NCB to design business model

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DES MOINES, Iowa (10/29/10)--A tri-party declaration of intent to work cooperatively towards the design of a business model to meet the needs of Iowa credit unions for correspondent banking services has been signed by the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) FSB, a subsidiary of National Consumer Cooperative Bank, Iowa Corporate Central CU (ICCCU) and Affiliates Management Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Iowa Credit Union League. “Although Iowa Corporate has the highest capital ratio of any corporate, due to our small size we felt it necessary to explore alternative ways of continuing to meet the needs of our members,” said Sara Flynn, CEO, ICCCU. “We are excited to work with NCB, an organization that holds many current relationships with the credit union industry and shares our mission and values of providing cooperative solutions.” The three parties to the agreement are currently working through operational details, according to a release from the Iowa Credit Union League. If they are successful in reaching a definitive agreement, they plan to review the proposal for service offerings with credit unions at a series of town hall meetings throughout Iowa when the work is finalized. “We feel strongly that our members will be offered a competitive alternative in terms of security, member service and cost,” Flynn said. “Our No. 1 priority is the continuity of service for our credit unions.” “NCB is pleased to be working with Iowa Corporate and Iowa credit unions," said Steve Brookner, president/CEO of NCB, FSB. “In furthering its mission of serving cooperatives nationwide, NCB looks forward to achieving our mutual objectives through this collaborative effort.”

The Golden 1 CU opens account for fire victims

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SCRAMENTO, Calif. (10/29/10)--The Golden 1 CU in Sacramento, Calif., announced it has opened an account to allow members of the community to donate much-needed funds to River City Food Bank, following a devastating fire that damaged both the organization’s building and its stockpile of food. “We are grateful the River City Food Bank is there year-round for the community, providing food for those in need,” said Donna Bland, interim president/CEO of the credit union. “We have made it a priority to help this organization get back on its feet as quickly as possible and part of that is providing the community with an easy way to make monetary contributions.” Eileen Thomas, executive director of the River City Food Bank, said: “We thank Golden 1 and its employees for their support. Efforts such as these will help us get back on our feet much quicker.” Establishing an account for relief efforts is the most recent action Golden 1 has made to help the River City Food Bank recover from the fire that occurred Oct. 22. Other measures include the donation of $5,000 cash and an employee canned-food drive spanning Sacramento, which has already resulted in a great response. “We have had an outpouring from employees inquiring how they can help,” Bland said. “It is always inspiring to see the sense of civic duty present in our staff.” Donations to the River City Food Bank Fire Fund account will be accepted at all Golden 1 branches. The Golden 1 has $7 billion in assets.

CUNA Lending Council announces new exec. committee

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Madison, Wis. (10/29/10)--The 2011 executive committee and officers for the CUNA Lending Council were announced during the council’s 16th annual conference held Oct. 17-20 in Las Vegas. The annual election by the council membership was held earlier in the year. The new council chair, Aaron Bresko, vice president of lending, BECU, Tukwila, Wash., succeeds Lloyd Gill, president and CEO, City County CU, Margate, Fla., who completed two terms on the executive committee. Bill Vogeney, senior vice president and chief lending officer, Ent FCU, Colorado Springs, Colo., was re-elected to the committee and named vice chair. Two new members were elected to three-year terms:
* Jennifer Cowles, vice president for real estate lending, American Eagle CU, East Hartford, Conn.; and * Dale Frankhouse, director of business services and mortgage lending, Sun Federal CU, Maumee, Ohio.
Also elected to a first term on the committee was Jason Osterhage, senior vice president and chief lending officer, Delta Employees CU, Atlanta, Ga., who was appointed earlier in the year. In addition to Gill, Dana Rawlings, CEO, Pioneer West Virginia FCU, East Charleston, W.Va. completed his executive committee term. The CUNA Lending Council executive committee also currently includes:
* Michael Long, executive vice president and chief credit officer, UW CU, Madison, Wis.; * Bonnie Doolin, senior vice president for business development, Massachusetts Credit Union League, Inc., Marlborough, Mass.; * Gayle Rust Gustafson, vice president for finance services, Rivermark Community CU, Beaverton, Ore.; * Keith Reynolds, vice president for lending/business services, Citizens Equity First CU, San Jose, Calif.; and * Charles Anderson, executive vice president for commercial banking, Arizona State CU, Phoenix, Ariz.
The CUNA Lending Council is one of the six organizations that make up the CUNA Councils, a network of nearly 5,000 credit union professionals.

Kinecta FCU helps students reach for financial empowerment

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MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (10/29/10)--Students from Richstone Family Center recently learned about keeping money safe and secure, ways to protect themselves from identity theft, and careers in the financial services industry during a visit to Kinecta FCU’s Manhattan Beach Member Service Center. In addition to learning these valuable lessons from Kinecta’s Financial Empowerment program, the students had the opportunity to tour the credit union and talk with the staff. “At the Richstone Center, children and teens have the opportunity to learn essential skills to help prepare them for success. The ability to manage money and plan their finances is extremely important,” said Rolando Ramirez, executive director, Richstone Family Center. Kinecta’s Financial Empowerment program is one component of the credit union’s ongoing support of the Richstone Family Center based in Hawthorne. Since 2007, Kinecta employees have volunteered to present money management lessons, provide assistance to families in need through holiday giving programs, and rally teams to participate in Richstone’s annual Pier-to-Pier Walkathon. “There is a pressing need to increase financial literacy among young people today,” said Tigran Kojoglyan, vice president, Retail Services. For more than 36 years, the Richstone Family Center has worked to prevent and treat child abuse, strengthen families, and prevent violence in families, schools and communities.

Two Houston CUs plan to merge similar cultures

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HOUSTON, Tex. (10/29/10)--First Service CU and Right Choice CU are awaiting to hear that a merger application sent to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Texas Credit Union Department (TCUD) has been approved to combine the two institutions, it was announced on Wednesday. Both First Service President/CEO Jerry Shrode and Right Choice President/CEO David Bleazard see the merger as ‘a partnership’ between the two credit unions. “Size matters for community credit unions’ survival long term,” said David Bleazard. “We see this as a partnership of similar cultures, complimentary memberships and services.” Although Right Choice is the acquiring credit union in the transaction, the new, combined credit union will take the name First Service Credit Union to retain the brand identity. First Service is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Bleazard will be president and CEO of the combined credit union, with Shrode alongside focusing on strategic business development. Right Choice CU’s membership voted to convert from a federal to a state charter at a special membership meeting on July 15. Bleazard said the move to a state charter brings flexibility to concentrate on members’ needs within a 10-mile radius and allows Right Choice to focus on the underserved in the community. In addition, First Service, already a state-chartered credit union, is one of a group of credit unions that owns Town North Bank via the holding company CU Bank Shares, Inc. In order to retain First Service CU’s shares with the merger it was necessary to convert to the state charter, said Bleazard. Once First Service gets primary approval for the merger by NCUA, communications will go out to the membership on the Special Membership Meeting that tentatively set for Nov. 29, said Bleazard. First Service and Right Choice both are Houston based full-service credit unions. First Service currently serves over 34,000 members and has over $180 million in assets. Right serves over 17,000 members and has over $120 million in assets.

Spirit of International Credit Union Day hits CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (10/29/10)--In the spirit of International Credit Union (ICU) Day on Oct. 22, many activities were celebrated at credit unions nationwide to pay tribute to this year’s theme which was “Local. Trusted. Serving You.” Some credit union events and festivities to celebrate ICU Day included:
* Mid-Cities Financial CU in Compton, Calif., asked members to give testimony as to why they are credit union members in celebration of ICU Day. “We wanted to celebrate International Credit Union Day with more than the traditional branch balloons and cookies,” said President/CEO Melia Keller. “We wanted our members to talk about why their Credit Union is so important to their lives and well-being. To see the heart-warming messages of the numerous ways we’ve helped our members touched our board and staff.” To view the video stream testimonials, use the resource link for Mid Cities Financial CU. * The University of Louisiana FCU (ULFC) in Lafayette, La., got into
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the spirit of ICU Week, beginning by dressing in camouflage. The rest of the week, the staff was dressed in New Orleans Saints football gear, pajamas, and ULFCU dress to celebrate ULFCU’s homecoming last weekend. ULFCU also had some fun things planned for its members. Wednesday was kids day, when kids came in and received a special gift and entered the coloring contest. Thursday was member-appreciation day, in which members enjoyed hot dogs and door prizes. Friday, anyone who joined the credit union received a gift and those who referred them received a free gift. * Discovery FCU in Wyomissing, Pa., celebrated ICU day with lots of free treats, goodies, and giveaways for everyone to enjoy. The credit union held a drawing for one member to win a $50 gift certificate to Target, and members were encouraged to take an environmentally friendly tote bag and fill it with all sorts of free items such as notepads, pens, hand sanitizers and more. Discovery employees also participated in a popular community Halloween parade and distributed credit union information and treats. “International Credit Union Day would not be possible if it wasn’t for our members,” said Ed Williams, president/CEO of Discovery FCU. “This day is dedicated to them, as much as we are dedicated towards providing them premium financial products and outstanding member service.” * Pennsylvania State Employees CU (PSECU) in Harrisburg, Pa., participated in several activities, including what is now an annual tradition: allowing employees to spend the day assisting local nonprofit organizations. In the Harrisburg area, nine credit union volunteers spent the day at the American Red Cross of the Susquehanna Valley, the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, the Humane Society, and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. In State College, one employee assisted The Second Mile, an organization whose mission is to help young people. In Indiana, Pa., one volunteer lent a hand at the Indiana County Community Action Program. Also, members of the PSECU Senior Management team volunteered at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank packing Elder Share food boxes later that day. Barbara J. Bowker, vice president of Marketing for PSECU, said, “Having our employees working out in the community gives us an opportunity to not only share manpower but to also show how we put the credit union philosophy of People Helping People into action.” * Service 1st FCU in Danville, Pa., planned a full week of community
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service projects to celebrate this year’s International Credit Union Week slogan, “Local. Trusted. Serving you.” The weeklong lineup of volunteer projects dubbed “C.U. Around Town” began on Oct. 18 and continued through Oct. 22. Projects included cleaning at the Ronald McDonald House and House of Care, trail clean-up at the Montour Area Recreation Commission, landscaping and clean-up at Hope Enterprises, Inc, staffing the Danville Child Development Center’s book sale, and baking desserts for the Gate House Shelter’s ham loaf dinner. In addition to supporting the community through service projects, Service 1st has used only local businesses to cater its four Ribbon Cutting, Open House, and Grand Opening events for the week in celebration of the new Service 1st Corporate Center located in Danville. * Two North Carolina credit union chapters got an early start on ICU Day, holding their celebrations on the evening of Oct. 19. The Foothills Chapter celebrated in Hickory, while the Western Chapter converged on Mills River to hold their event. Folks in the Foothills marked the worldwide celebration of credit unions with live music at the Gateway Best Hotel in Hickory. The Adam Rose Band provided entertainment through the evening to the more than 40 people in attendance, playing hits from the 1970s and 1980s. Meanwhile out west, nearly 150 people converged on the Forge Valley Event Center in Mills River as the Western Chapter celebrated with a night of food and entertainment. The Wayne Dalton Band provided an energetic mix of music through parts of the evening, and the chapter also continued the trend that has swept the state in recent years by holding a talent show to cap the evening's excitement (North Carolina Credit Union League’s The Weekly Update Oct. 22). * Members of San Diego-based Credit Union Car Club (CUCC) presented
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a $21,500 donation to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego on ICU Day. The donation included a matching amount from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based CO-OP Financial Services and proceeds from CUCC’s Third Annual Car Show and its first car sale. Proceeds came from participating dealers, vendors, credit unions and credit union organizations including the California Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association. The event was held in the parking lot of California Coast CU’s corporate headquarters in San Diego on Sept.18-19. Credit unions promoted the event and provided onsite loan approvals.