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Trunzo To Succeed Jeff Post As CUNA Mutual Group President/CEO

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MADISON, Wis. (11/8/13)--CUNA Mutual Group today announced that Robert N. "Bob" Trunzo will be its next president/CEO, succeeding Jeff Post, who is retiring.  The appointment is effective, Jan. 1, 2014.
 
Since joining CUNA Mutual Group in June 2005, Trunzo has held a number of senior leadership positions, most recently as president of CUNA Mutual Group Insurance and Financial Services. Trunzo becomes the eighth president of CUNA Mutual Group in its 78-year history. 
 
"After a thorough succession planning process and extensive consideration, the Board of Directors is excited to have Bob carry on CUNA Mutual Group's rich tradition and execute our future strategy," said Eldon Arnold, board chairman.
 
"Bob is uniquely qualified to carry on the work we started nine years ago to help credit unions, their members, small business owners and America's farmers reach their financial goals.  He has been an integral part of what we built and is the best person to carry the vision forward," Post said.

In his role as president of CUNA Mutual Group Insurance and Financial Services, Trunzo was responsible for the products, distribution and service of the company's U.S. credit union businesses as well as its 401(k) business. Trunzo was responsible for nearly 3,000 of the company's 4,500 employees and approximately $2 billion of CUNA Mutual Group's annual revenues.
 
"Jeff will be assisting the Board and Bob to assure a smooth transition through July of 2014," Arnold said.
 
Post joined CUNA Mutual Group in January of 2005. He led a multi-year transformation plan that repositioned the organization for success in the credit union marketplace and beyond. The plan included reinvention of CUNA Mutual Group's sales distribution model and its customer service, product and investment strategies.

More detail will be provided in Tuesday's News Now.

Michael Reagan On CUs' Success: 'It's About Grassroots'

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FREEPORT, Maine (11/8/13)--President Ronald Reagan's eldest son exhorted the value of member-controlled organizations at the Maine Credit Union League's 19th Annual Legislative Forum on Wednesday.
 
Click to view larger image Michael Reagan, center, President Ronald Reagan's oldest son and heir to his legacy and vision, was keynote speaker at the Maine Credit Union League's Annual Legislative Forum Wednesday. From left are: Roger Sirois, chair of the league's Governmental Affairs Committee; Tucker Cole, chair of the League's Political Involvement Committee; Reagan; John Murphy, league president; Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs; and Jon Paradise, league assistant vice president of governmental and public affairs. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League)
Michael Reagan, an author and former talk show host, told the 125 credit union representatives gathered at the meeting, that the defining features of the industry's model are often borrowed by savvy politicians.
 
"Credit unions are about grassroots and successful politics is, too," he said. "You don't focus on the interests of a few; you focus on the interests of all of your members.  That is how it should be and was one of the reasons why my father was successful.
 
"I applaud what credit unions have done to serve your members," he commented, "especially in light of the how poorly big banks have treated their customers in recent years."
 
Reagan added that he believes his father would not win the presidential nomination in today's Republican Party.
 
"My father believed and I believe that politics requires compromise and working with people of all political beliefs," he said. "That is not only not being done today; in fact, it is frowned upon and that is a sad commentary on politics today,"
 
League President John Murphy said that he appreciated Reagan's insight.
 
"Michael Reagan really connected with the audience, and gave a wonderful presentation by sharing some intimate stories from his father's presidency, which the audience appreciated," he said. "Though President Reagan was discussed at length, Michael did a masterful job of bringing it all together to make it relevant in today's political environment."
 
The gathering also featured a foreclosure panel with three state legislators--Sen. Linda Valentino, Rep. Sharon Treat, and Rep. Jarod Crockett. The trio discussed foreclosure in the state and asked for feedback. League representatives said they believe foreclosure will be a hot-button issue throughout the next legislative session, and anticipate having a significant role throughout the legislative process.

CUs Have Presence At BAI

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DENVER (11/8/13)--
Click to view larger image Peter Alvarez, emerging markets manager for Redstone FCU, Huntsville, Ala., and Laura Castro de Cortes, vice president of alternative financial services for Centris FCU, Omaha, Neb., discussed their success in serving the underserved Wednesday at BAI's Retail Delivery Conference in Denver.
Credit unions had a presence at the BAI Retail Delivery Conference, which met in Denver this week, both as participating panelists and attendees.
 
A panel on serving the underserved featured Peter Alvarez, emerging markets manager for Redstone FCU, a $3.5 billion asset credit union based in Huntsville, Ala., and Laura Castro de Cortes, vice president of alternative financial services for $512 million asset Centris FCU,  Omaha, Neb.
 
"About 40% of the households in the Huntsville, Alabama, area are either unbanked or underbanked," Alvarez told those attending the session.
 
Redstone FCU created Right Choice Money Services outlets to serve primarily Hispanics in the Huntsville area., said Alvarez. "We're a credit union," he said. "Our mandate is to serve people of modest means."
 
Click to view larger imageCelent Senior Analyst Bob Meara (left) presented research on consumers' use of branches at BAI's Retail Delivery Conference Wednesday. Steve Kubala, senior vice president and chief operating officer of University FCU in Austin, Texas, discussed his credit union's innovative self-service model blending technology, culture, and organizational change.
In a session on consumers' use of branches, Bob Meara, senior analyst with Celent, presented research on the topic. Celent is a research and advisory firm that helps financial institutions with business and technology strategies.
 
Also in that session, Steve Kubala, senior vice president and chief operating officer of  the $1.64 billion University FCU in Austin, Texas, talked about his credit union's innovative self-service model that blends technology, culture, and organizational change. In its first six months, the initiative saved more than $400,000 per branch in annual operating costs and more than doubled sales productivity, he said.

The credit union was named a Celent Model Financial Institution in 2013.
 
Click to view larger image Belinda Caillouet (right), chair of the CUNA Technology Council and vice president of IT for Spokane (Wash.) Teachers CU, presents the council's Best of Show Award to Mitek--a mobile banking imaging software innovator. Accepting the award at BAI's Retail Delivery Conference is Keith Gray, vice president of sales for Mitek. Looking on is BAI CEO Debbie Bianucci.
Also at the conference, CUNA Technology Council presented its Best of Show Award to Mitek, a mobile banking imaging software provider.

Earlier this fall, Mitek introduced a mobile photo account opening product that captures a picture on the front and back of a driver's license and the validated data is automatically populated into an application to open an account (News Now Sept. 11).
 
Other activities during the conference included:
  • Peter Sheahan, author of the best-selling books FL!P and Generation Y, who told conference attendees during Thursday morning's general session that consumers want to do business with companies that solve problems for them.  That means your company's'  brand should promise to solve problems, he said. "It's important that your financial institution take more controlled risks because action always precedes clarity," Sheahan added.
  • Click to view larger image Peter Sheahan, author of FL!P and Generation Y, told BAI's conference that
    brands should promise to solve problems. (Photos provided by CUNA)
    Steve Chen, co-founder of video sharing website YouTube, which has more than 6.3 million followers on Google +, who discussed theories of innovation in a panel session with Brian Wong, co-founder and CEO of Kiip!, a mobile rewards network.  "Every minute, 18 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube," Chen told attendees during the session, which was moderated by  Sheahan.
The conference ended Thursday.

Monday a Federal Holiday, CUNA Open, No News Now

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (11/8/13)--The Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association will be open Monday, which is a federal holiday, Veterans Day.  However, News Now will not publish a Monday issue.
 
News Now will resume regular publication Tuesday.

Filene Report To CUs: Create Community, Integrated Social Media Presence

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MADISON, Wis. (11/8/13)--"You don't win in social media just by showing up. While using Facebook or Twitter might have been buzzworthy in 2009, today's members are not impressed with mere presence. If they don't sense a purpose in your efforts, they will not pay attention." So says a new study from the Filene Research Institute.
 
Many credit unions are discovering that deep member engagement with social media comes only after a lot of work, said Filene's report, "From Presence to Purpose: Developing Social Media Strategies and Metrics for Credit Unions."  It studied 157 credit unions with social media programs.  Its conclusion:  Credit unions need to create community and an integrated social media presence.
 
Of the 157 credit unions studied, nearly 40% are "prospectors" who stake a social media claim but don't do much with it; more than half are "flirts," who approach social media sporadically, without long-term commitment, and 10% are "settlers" who stick around and finish what they started. Seven percent become MacGyvers, able to use a variety of tools to accomplish their social media goals.
 
The study's authors, Hope Jensen Schau, Ph.D.,  of the University of Arizona and Per Ivar Schau of the Carondelet Health Network, address two pressing challenges for credit unions:
  • Integrating legacy marketing/member service relationships with social media. This involves educating credit union decision makers about the role and purpose of social media and how it interconnects with the credit union's overall strategic branding decisions. This includes moving from a minimal social media presence to an active, value-added social media engagement; identifying and engaging the appropriate member base; and incorporating measurements of success.
  • Addressing the often missed credit union opportunity of data gathering and analysis. This entails developing appropriate metrics against which social media strategies can be evaluated. Using metrics and dashboards to access social media strategies and branding efforts helps resource-constrained employees locate quick strategic wins, said the report.
The report noted that all credit unions studied have unique websites, some with specific branch websites. Nearly all have member login prompts that lead to online banking systems from the corporate landing page. About half the credit unions surveyed use Twitter and YouTube, while 93% have at least one Facebook presence. Roughly 16% of those studied have blogs devoted to the credit union. The credit unions' most effective engagement strategy was with Twitter, which suggests credit unions may benefit from devoting more time and attention to social media strategies using Twitter.
 
The study recommended that credit unions looking to effectively use social media should work on creating community, use social media platforms for their respective strengths, support value-creating practices and encourage member-generated content.
 
For more information from the report, use the link.

Michael Reagan On CUs' Success: 'It's About Grassroots'

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FREEPORT, Maine (11/8/13)--President Ronald Reagan's eldest son exhorted the value of member-controlled organizations at the Maine Credit Union League's 19th Annual Legislative Forum on Wednesday.
 
Click to view larger image Michael Reagan, center, President Ronald Reagan's oldest son and heir to his legacy and vision, was keynote speaker at the Maine Credit Union League's Annual Legislative Forum Wednesday. From left are: Roger Sirois, chair of the league's Governmental Affairs Committee; Tucker Cole, chair of the League's Political Involvement Committee; Reagan; John Murphy, league president; Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs; and Jon Paradise, league assistant vice president of governmental and public affairs. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League)
Michael Reagan, an author and former talk show host, told the 125 credit union representatives gathered at the meeting, that the defining features of the industry's model are often borrowed by savvy politicians.
 
"Credit unions are about grassroots and successful politics is, too," he said. "You don't focus on the interests of a few; you focus on the interests of all of your members.  That is how it should be and was one of the reasons why my father was successful.
 
"I applaud what credit unions have done to serve your members," he commented, "especially in light of the how poorly big banks have treated their customers in recent years."
 
Reagan added that he believes his father would not win the presidential nomination in today's Republican Party.
 
"My father believed and I believe that politics requires compromise and working with people of all political beliefs," he said. "That is not only not being done today; in fact, it is frowned upon and that is a sad commentary on politics today,"
 
League President John Murphy said that he appreciated Reagan's insight.
 
"Michael Reagan really connected with the audience, and gave a wonderful presentation by sharing some intimate stories from his father's presidency, which the audience appreciated," he said. "Though President Reagan was discussed at length, Michael did a masterful job of bringing it all together to make it relevant in today's political environment."
 
The gathering also featured a foreclosure panel with three state legislators--Sen. Linda Valentino, Rep. Sharon Treat, and Rep. Jarod Crockett. The trio discussed foreclosure in the state and asked for feedback. League representatives said they believe foreclosure will be a hot-button issue throughout the next legislative session, and anticipate having a significant role throughout the legislative process.

Texas Lawmakers: CU Political Involvement Important

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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (11/8/13)--
Former Texas state legislator and current Texoma Community CU board member David Farabee speaks at a meeting of the Wichita Falls Chapter of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.
A Texas state legislator recommended to a Wichita Falls Chapter meeting of the Cornerstone Credit Union League that credit unions get engaged in the political process because being disengaged could prove extremely consequential (The Advocate Nov. 6).
 
State Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) told about 60 credit union representatives at the meeting last week that credit unions could influence multi-tasking lawmakers by familiarizing themselves with parliamentary process and legislation. He added that they could do it effectively through trade association groups like Cornerstone Credit Union League.
 
"One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors," he said, quoting Plato.
 
Among those attending the Wichita Falls, Texas, credit union chapter meeting last week were, from left: Christina Alvarez, Wichita Falls Teachers CU; Chantel Brooks, Union Square FCU; Stephanie Snider, Wichita Falls FCU; Julie Farr, Postel CU; Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls); Kate Donovan, Texoma Community CU; and Elizabeth Schenk and Henny Barron, Windthorst FCU. (Photos provided by the Cornerstone Credit Union League)
 
Frank's message was echoed by former Texas state representative and current Texoma Community CU board member David Farabee. "If you're not involved, then government will happen to you, not for you," he said.
 
Farabee also recalled appreciating the positive impact credit unions made in helping him campaigning during two tight races that he won. He said he was certain it was the local credit union folks who walked blocks for him that made the difference in the race's outcome.
 
Following the dinner, Jim Phelps, Cornerstone vice president of advocacy, gave a 15-minute presentation, which included an update on the Credit Union National Association's and the leagues' "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign," and recommended Wichita Falls credit unions to involve themselves with Cornerstone's lobbying efforts.

Assets, Net Worth Rise At Wis. State-chartered CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (11/8/13)--State-chartered credit unions are growing in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
 
Data from the state regulator showed that the credit unions saw assets grow by 5.7% to $24.45 billion, and aggregate net worth edge up to 10.43% in the first three quarters of 2013. After the same period in 2012, state-chartered credit unions had a net worth of 10.09% and cumulative assets worth $23.13 billion.
 
The Wisconsin DFI also found that credit unions regulated in Madison saw loan portfolios grow by 5.8% to $17.9 billion, with half of the growth in real estate financing, and loan delinquency reaching a six-year low, falling to 1.17% at the end of the third quarter in 2013 from 1.5% at the end of the third quarter in 2012.
 
State-chartered credit unions did see net income fall by 0.1% between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013. But DFI Secretary Peter Bildsten said that net income is still robust, with net worth rising and loan delinquency rates dropping.
 
Kim Santos, director of the Office of Credit Unions at DFI, also noted that credit unions' cost of funds fell by almost $22 million, or 20.2%, in the first three quarters this year. She hailed the trend as "critical" with interest rates low throughout the financial sector.