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Filene report CUs employer of choice for new MBAs

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MADISON, Wis. (11/18/09)--MBAs, or business school students, can provide fresh perspectives to credit unions through summer internship programs, according to the Filene Research Institute in a recent paper. The paper, “Credit Unions as Employers of Choice for the New MBA: A Report on the Filene Summer Fellowships,” by Ben Rogers, Filene Research director, tracks seven students’ experiences interning at credit unions nationwide during the summers of 2008 and 2009. Credit unions who hire business students can give the students projects to work on without having to pay for an outside consultant or vendor, and they can attract top-level talent without committing to a new hire. Hiring an MBA also allows them to gather insights outside of the credit union system, and improve mid-level succession planning by building relationships with potential managers. “Business students’ growing interest in public service, non profits, and social responsibility provides an opportunity--perhaps fleeting--for credit unions,” the paper said. “Even institutions that don’t have a full-time position to offer a summer MBA intern can receive real value from bringing a fresh outside view to priority projects.” Credit unions seeking to hire MBAs should:
* Send leaders. Summer fellows were impressed by attention from senior vice presidents and other senior leaders in the recruiting process. A recruiting call to the prospect from the CEO will differentiate the credit union. * Offer meaningful projects. Offer a project that can be accomplished during a summer stay, and give the student an opportunity to present it to senior leaders and the board of directors. Prepare a written timeline of tasks and responsibilities before the intern lands, suggested Diana Dykstra, CEO of San Francisco Fire CU. * Move quickly. Small organizations should be nimble, so offer phone and in-person interviews in quick succession. Employers typically interview in January and February, and students receive internship offers by early March. If the process takes longer, students perceive a lack of interest and professionalism. * Emphasize uniqueness. Peers at Fortune 500 companies will be just one among many, while credit unions can offer MBA interns a key place and high-level work much more quickly.
The report also includes interns' perspectives and insight into some of the projects they worked on over the summer at their credit unions. For more information, use the link.

CUAO announces awards at annual meeting

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (11/18/09)--The Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO) honored individuals contributing to the state’s credit union
Fred Wong, volunteer, OnPoint Community CU, received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO). From left are Troy Stang, president/CEO, CUAO; Wong; and Doug Mountain, CEO, Legacy FCU and chair of the Distinguished Service Award Committee. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of Oregon)
movement during an awards banquet held with CUAO’s Annual Meeting and Convention in Salem, Ore. CUAO honored Fred Wong, OnPoint Community CU, with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Wong has been a member of the credit union for 48 years and volunteered for 38 years. He has served on the board of directors and on several committees. OnPoint Community is based in Portland (Oregon Outlook November 2009). Gene Pelham of Rogue FCU, Medford, was honored with the Professional of the Year Award. He has served on the Oregon Credit Union Foundation board and is board chair of CUAO. He also is an honors graduate of Western CUNA Management School and serves as a trustee for the school. Other individual award winners included:
* Top Classroom Presenter of the Year, Anissa Arthenayake, OSU FCU, Corvallis; * Credit Union Advocate of the Year, Volunteer, Don Gleason, Northwest Community CU, Eugene; * Credit Union Advocate of the Year, Professional, Mark Turnham, president/CEO of NW Priority CU; * Heidemann Scholar Award, Karen Zerger, Rogue FCU; and * Young Credit Union Professional of the Year, Erin Mulkins, Northwest Resource FCU, Portland.
Credit union award winners included:
* Cutting Edge FCU, Milwaukie, Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action; * Mid-Oregon FCU, Bend, Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award; * Pacific Crest FCU, Klamath Falls, Louise Herring and Desjardins Youth Education Award; and * Rogue FCU, Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins awards.

Royal CU to acquire 11 AnchorBank branches

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (11/18/09)--Royal CU (RCU), Eau Claire, Wis., announced that it will acquire 11 branches in northwestern Wisconsin from AnchorBank. The acquisition is awaiting regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in first quarter 2010. Under the agreement, RCU will assume $177 million in deposits and a proportionate amount in loans, real estate and other assets. RCU will buy nine of the branches and assume the lease on the other two branches. When the acquisition is complete, RCU will have 26 branches, with 23 in Wisconsin and three in the Twin Cities, Minn., area. RCU will retain all AnchorBank employees and all of the bank’s customers will become RCU members. The acquisition is not a merger or an acquisition of AnchorBank itself, RCU said in a release. The acquisition fits into RCU’s five-year plan, said RCU CEO Charles Grossklaus. The credit union has recently been expanding in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The credit union merged with REAL Financial CU in Minneapolis in August and opened a new office in Menomonie, Wis., in March. “We have been successful in part because we are actively involved in the communities and we staff our offices with people who live in those communities,” Grossklaus said. “We feel that AnchorBank customers would benefit from becoming RCU members and taking advantage of what we have to offer as a full-service, community credit union.” The transaction also will help AnchorBank make “significant progress” toward its goal of increasing capital ratios to address the challenges the bank is facing in the current economic climate, said AnchorBank CEO Chris Bauer. “The sale will allow AnchorBank to further reduce core-operating expenses and identify potential areas for additional savings in a streamlined branch network,” he added.

Holiday shopping will be down says N.J. CU survey

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (11/18/09)--Consumers plan to spend less this holiday season, and most consumers will pay for gifts with cash, according to a holiday spending survey conducted by New Jersey’s largest credit union. The $1.984 billion asset, Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Affinity FCU recently surveyed its members in response to a report released by Deloitte Services L.P. that forecast a drop in sales this coming holiday shopping season (PR Newswire Nov. 16). “The economy has created a great impact on consumers’ decisions concerning gift purchases,” Donna LoStocco, spokeswoman for Affinity FCU, told the news service. “More and more are paying in cash or debit cards in order to better monitor spending.” The survey indicated that 82% of respondents plan to spend less and save more, and that more than 59% of respondents plan to purchase gifts with cash or a majority of cash this season. Consumers won’t be spending as much in department stores or at the mall, the survey said. More than 60% of respondents said they plan to purchase gifts online or at discount stores this year, compared to only 20% who plan to go to the mall. “Consumers are beginning to shop earlier as well,” LoStocco said. “Black Friday is no longer the big day to wait for to stock up on gifts. With leading retailers like Kmart offering holiday layaway services as early as Nov. 1, consumers are also buying earlier to stretch their dollars." The survey results back up this theory, indicating more than 50% of consumers have already started their holiday shopping.

NCUF board nominations due Friday

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MADISON, Wis.(11/18/09)--The deadline for the National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) board nominations is Friday. NCUF is seeking nominations for two board seats: Credit Union Executive or Director, and System Affiliate. For the executive or director seat, each candidate must be an executive officer or director of a credit union. The incumbent for the seat is Mark Twisdale; senior vice president of human resources for State Employees’ CU in Raleigh, N.C. Twisdale is completing his first three-year term on the NCUF board. Volunteers can serve up to three three-year terms on the board as long as they are re-nominated by the NCUF Governance and Nominations Committee and re-elected by the NCUF board. For the system affiliate seat, each candidate must be an executive officer or director of a national organization that meets all the following criteria:
* The organization’s primary purpose is to support credit unions or some element of the credit union movement; * A significant portion of the organization’s ownership or membership comes from the credit union system, and; * The organization has demonstrated a commitment to the purposes of the foundation. NCUF's mission is to “promote and improve consumers' financial independence through credit unions.”
The current incumbent in the system affiliate seat is not eligible for re-election. Francois Henriquez, recently appointed interim CEO of U.S. Central FCU in Lenexa, Kan., is serving the final year of his third three-year term on the NCUF board. To apply for either seat, use the resource link and click “Volunteer for our Board.” The board will vote on the nominees in December. In January, NCUF board members will elect four officers at their organizational meeting. The 13 voting seats on the NCUF board include representatives of seven consumer credit unions, two national organizations serving credit unions, one corporate credit union, one state credit union foundation, one state credit union league and one at-large seat.

Schenk to IBankrateI Consumers driven by net worth

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MADISON, Wis. (11/18/09)--Economic measurements such as a household’s net worth directly impact consumers’ behavior more than broader traditional measurements such as gross domestic product (GDP), a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist told Bankrate.com Tuesday. GDP is a measure of the output of goods and services produced in the U.S. The Bureau of Economic Analysis issues a quarterly report on GDP. “The traditional measure of the economy has been growth in GDP and growth in economic output,” Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics, told Bankrate. But as yardsticks go, GDP is hard to work with, Bankrate said. The only sure long-term strategy for individuals and the country is the savings model. If everyone is saving and not spending, there may be a temporary setback to the economy. But eventually all of the savers will have the confidence to spend more money, Bankrate added. “Since the beginning of 2008, households have lost $11 trillion in net worth. That is about the size of the entire U.S. banking industry,” Schenk told Bankrate. “Net worth has declined and declined significantly, and it won't come roaring back--unless you can foresee or forecast significant asset bubbles in the future--in part, because the way it will come back is the old-fashioned way of people setting more aside in their savings accounts and retirement accounts,” Schenk concluded. When consumers eliminate their debt and bolster their savings, the economy proceeds at a much faster pace, Bankratesaid. To read the article, use the link.