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CU System Archive

CU System

Harriet May To Be 2014 Co-op Hall Of Fame Inductee

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WASHINGTON (11/19/13)--Credit union movement luminary Harriet May will be rewarded for her four decades of service when she is inducted into the 2014 Cooperative Development Foundation's (CDF) Cooperative Hall of Fame on May 7.
 
Click to view larger image Harriet May is shown here as she addresses the 2012 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference as she prepares to exit the CUNA board chairman post. (CUNA Photo)
May is a former president/CEO of Government Employees CU, El Paso, Texas,  and a former Credit Union National Association board chairman. Upon her retirement from GECU, she was named president emerita.

Rural utilities leader Martin J. Lowery, international leader Papa M.D. Sene and cooperative financer Barry Silver will also be inducted during the 2014 Cooperative Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the National Press Club.
 
"The roster of the Cooperative Hall of Fame tells the story of the U.S. cooperative community through the lives and accomplishments of extraordinary individuals. Induction to the Cooperative Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made genuinely heroic contributions to the cooperative community," CDF Board Chair Gasper Kovach, Jr., said.
 
May began working at Government Employees CU in 1974 and was promoted to CEO in 1996. During her tenure, May helped GECU double its asset size to more than $1.8 billion with more than 300,000 members. Under her leadership, GECU deployed about $125 million into the community each year.

CDF in a release noted May's "standout cooperative leader at the state, national, and international levels," and her work to make home ownership available to lower income, minority members of her west Texas community. This was done through the establishment of an Affordable Housing Credit Union Service Organization that has provided countless workshops, helped open first-time savings accounts and provided $8 million in total down payment assistance and $23 million in total mortgage loans.
 
CUNA also looked to May in the past to valiantly defend the tax status of the U.S. credit union movement, CDF added.
 
Other awards May has received in her career include:
  • The National Credit Union Foundation's Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Individual Achievement;
  • The World Council of Credit Unions Distinguished Service Award;
  • Recognition for her leadership in supporting the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals; and
  • The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions' Annie Vamper "Helping Hands" Award.

CU System Briefs (11/19/2013)

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  • SEATTLE, Wash. (11/19/13)--Verity CU announced Friday that current Executive Vice President John Zmolek will become its new president/CEO in the new year. The Seattle-based credit union's board of directors approved unanimously of Zmolek's appointment. "I'm excited to continue Verity's mission of enhancing members' lives through exceptional financial services," Zmolek said. "We have come through the recession in a good position to grow and enhance our products and services." Zmolek first joined Verity as a board member in 1986 and became chief financial officer in 1990. He has also served as the credit union's chief lending officer, its head of information technology, and as president of CU Home Mortgage Solutions, a mortgage services provider to Verity and other credit unions in Washington. Zmolek has also served on the regional board of the Credit Union Executives Council and is involved with a variety of non-profit organizations. Incumbent CEO William Hayes is retiring on Dec. 31, after serving the credit union for 34 years ...
  • VANDALIA, Ohio (11/19/13)--Abbey CU President/CEO Lynn Cook announced Monday that she will retire at the end of March (Dayton Business Journal Online Nov. 18). The credit union's board said it will soon launch a search for a replacement. Abbey is the 11th largest credit union in the Dayton, Ohio region by deposit market share. Based here, it has $82 million in assets and operates three branches. "It is never an easy decision to retire," Cook said. "I just hope my guidance and management decisions have brought a great deal of value to our community, families and the members of Abbey CU over the years." She has served Abbey for 21 years ...

NCUF Dinner Sponsorships And Tickets Available

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MADISON, Wis. (11/19/13)--Sponsorships and tickets are available for the next National Credit Union Foundation dinner presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards.
 
The 26th annual dinner will take place on Feb. 24, 2014 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.
 
Denise Gabel, chief operating officer of the Northwest Credit Union Association, will return as the evening's master of ceremonies. There are a variety of new sponsorship and ticket levels for this premier event. The deadline to purchase tickets is Feb. 1.Use the link to purchase tickets or sponsorships.
 
"I've joked that this is the credit union system's version of the Oscars, but the Foundation Dinner and accompanying awards presentations are truly inspiring and energizing," said Gigi Hyland, NCUF executive director. "You won't want to miss the 2014 Foundation Dinner which will honor and celebrate four outstanding Wegner Award winners."
 
The awards ceremony celebrates the highest national honors in the credit union movement. The 2014 honorees are:
  • Lifetime Achievement: Gary Oakland, retired president/CEO, BECU, Seattle;
  • Lifetime Achievement: Jim McCormack, president/CEO of Pennsylvania Credit Union Association;
  • Lifetime Achievement: Tim Haegelin, retired president/CEO of Generations FCU, San Antonio; and
  • Individual Achievement: Sarah Canepa Bang, president/COO of CO-OP Shared Branching--FSCC, LLC and chief strategy officer of CO-OP Shared Branching.

Minn. Dept. Of Commerce Commissioner Visits Student Branch

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OWATONNA, Minn. (11/19/13)--Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman visited HomeTown CU's student-run branch at Owatonna (Minn.) Senior High School (OHS) on Nov. 12 as part of his statewide financial literacy outreach tour.
 
Click to view larger image As part of his statewide outreach tour, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman visited HomeTown CU's student-run branch at Owatonna High School. From left, Dave Snyder, Asset Building Coalition; Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman; Chad Ohl, Owatonna High School business teacher; Kaitlyn Seykora, OHS student worker; Scott Pierce, OHS business teacher; and Jack Livingston, OHS student worker. (Photo provided by Minnesota Credit Union Network)
During the visit, Rothman recognized the positive impact of the long-standing partnership between Owatonna Senior High School and HomeTown CU, based in Owatonna. The relationship gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working at the branch while also learning about personal finances.
 
"This program just makes sense," said Rothman. "It's a good way for kids to start to learn about their finances."
 
Rothman also met with OHS principal Mark Randall, business teachers Scott Pierce, Chad Ohl and Tate Cummins, HomeTown CU Youth Education Supervisor David Dorsett and student workers Kaitlyn Seykora, Jack Livingston and Abbie Matson. Their discussion centered on the importance of starting financial awareness at an early age and how the student workers have shared that message with their peers.
 
"We've been hiring student interns to work at our other branches for the last 20 years," said Marian Murphy, vice president of business growth at the credit union. "They are trained and treated like any other credit union staff member."
 
The OHS branch, which opened in Sept. 2011 was the first student-run branch to launch in Minnesota.

Study: CUs Still Beat Banks on Overdraft Fees

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MADISON, Wis. (11/19/13)--A new study from GoBankingRates.com reveals that a single checking overdraft fee can wipe out a year's worth of deposit interest. But on the bright side, the study also shows credit unions offer higher rates and lower overdraft fees on average than banks.
 
In its latest study, GoBankingRates.com compared the cost of overdraft fees against 2,781 checking account interest rates today, to determine the real return that depositors can expect to earn.
 
On the national level, average checking account rates stand at 0.27% annual percentage yield. Credit unions continue to demonstrate their ability to offer depositors higher average checking account returns, with rates at 0.32% APY compared with a 0.26% APY for banks.
 
Comparing average checking account interest rates with overdraft fees by region, GoBankingRates.com found depositors can expect to lose between 96.67% and 145% of their return on a $10,000 deposit with a single overdraft.
 
The national median overdraft fee stands at $30 for 2013, according to Moebs Services. Median bank overdraft fees are also $30, while credit unions charge $28 for an overdraft.
 
But just one overdraft can easily reverse customers' returns. The GoBankingRates.com study revealed that one overdraft in the course of a year equals 111.11% of a depositor's annual return, meaning that one misstep can not only jeopardize interest earnings, but also cut into principal deposits.
 
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report on financial institution overdraft protection plans and continues to gather information about the variety of programs offered and how they affect consumers' ability to anticipate and control their costs for financial services.
 
For credit unions, the Credit Union National Association points out,  overdraft protection and 'courtesy pay' are designed to be a service to their consumer members, who have asked that they have continued access to such programs.
 
Given that credit unions are member-owned financial services providers, credit unions strive to develop these programs in such a way the costs can be covered for the programs, but at reasonable fees for the members requesting the service, CUNA has noted.
 
Importantly, GoBankingRates.com underscores that overdraft fees are controllable and avoidable by the account holder.

DHCU's CashBack Offers Returns

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MOLINE, Ill. (11/19/13)--Moline, Ill.-based DHCU Community CU's CashBack Checking, an account that pays members each time they use their debit CheckCard and Visa cards, has produced big returns, paying back members $58,000 in October, the first month of the program.
 
More 60% of checking account members are discouraged by pricing and fee changes on checking account, according to Raddon Financial Group, a financial research provider based out of Chicago. Of those, 25% are upset with fees associated with having a checking account, not maintaining a minimum balance in the account. DHCU is taking an out-of-the-box approach by rewarding member for using their cards.
 
Each time members use their DHCU CheckCard or Visa credit card, they earn an introductory cashback offer of ten cents for each CheckCard transaction and 20 cents for each DHCU Visa credit card transaction. CashBack rewards will accumulate throughout the program year and be paid as a deposit into the member's CashBack checking account each November.
 
The program includes both signature and PIN debit transactions. There is no minimums set on the number of transactions and no cap on how much a member can earn through the program.