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Pre-conference offers CUNA Board Fin Lit Certificate

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MADISON, Wis. (2/28/11)--A new pre-conference workshop has been added to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Volunteer Institute taking place May 1-4 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The pre-conference workshop, set for April 30, will address the National Credit Union Administration's recently issued rule requiring that credit union directors be financially literate. The pre-conference curriculum aims tol help directors:
* Understand what it means to be financially literate; * Make sense of the balance sheet and income statement; * Understand capital; * Explore major risks every credit union faces; and * Ensure adequate internal controls over risk.
Participants will receive a handbook, a ratio formula sheet and a Board DashBoard template. Those who successfully complete the onsite exam will receive the CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate and pin. For more information about the pre-conference workshop, visit the link. To learn more about four other options to earn the certificate and the new requirement, use the link.

Biz continuity disaster prep focus of CSS Ongoing Ops alliance

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MADISON, Wis. (2/28/11)--Whether a hurricane or a knocked-out power grid, disruptions to a credit union's operations need to be
Click to view larger image CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) announced two new alliance providers--Ongoing Operations and Passageways--and the renewal of two relationships--Harland Clarke and Perimeter E-Security--Sunday at Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. From left: Brian Otte, senior vice president corporate development, Perimeter E-Security, Milford, Conn.; Julie Esser, director new alliances, CSS; Christopher Beltran, co-founder/vice president product development, Passageways, West Lafayette, Ind.; Jerry Austin, executive director, Harland Clarke, San Antonio, Texas; and Kirk Drake, CEO, Ongoing Operations, Hagerstown, Md. (Photo provided by CUNA Strategic Services)
corrected quickly and efficiently. To help credit unions prepare for any situation, CUNA Strategic Services Inc. (CSS) has entered into a strategic alliance with Ongoing Operations LLC. "Ongoing Operations provides a full range of business continuity and disaster recovery services to 130 clients nationwide," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "It protects more than 20% of industry assets." The Hagerstown, Md.-based credit union service organizagion was selected after a proactive request for proposal and due diligence process, said CSS. Ongoing Operations will offer CU Recover, which includes:
* Business continuity planning methodology and software; * Business impact analysis; * Business continuity plan development; * Risk assessments; * Disaster recovery testing; * Disaster recovery audits; * Crisis management notification systems; * Crisis management plans; and * Tabletop exercises.
"With our firsthand knowledge of the industry, we are uniquely positioned to offer solutions developed specifically for credit union requirements," said Kirk Drake, CEO of Ongoing Operations.

Passageways is CSS new provider for streamlined compliance

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MADISON, Wis. (2/28/11)--A new alliance between CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) and Passageways LLC offers credit unions ways to collaborate across a wide range of company initiatives. "Credit unions need ways of efficiently sharing information across many audiences, whether they are board volunteers, staff members or executives," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "Passageways provides the tools for credit unions to effectively communicate governance, compliance and operational issues." The Passageways solutions include portals for boards; strategic planning; and community, vendor, knowledge, lobby, sales and learning management. "As credit unions look for operational efficiencies, making the right information available to staff and volunteers assumes importance," said Paroon Chadha, co-founder/vice president. "Passageways continues to serve credit unions across the country through various collaborative solutions. This alliance will bring increased awareness about our offerings, especially the board and vendor management portals." Based in West Lafayette, Ind., Passageways is privately held by Purdue FCU and Passageway employees. It added 40 new customers in 2010 for its portal products.

Allpoint APTUS forge agreement on surcharge-free ATMs

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BETHESDA, Md. (2/28/11)--ATM network operator Allpoint has entered into an agreement with ATM operator APTUS Financial, Portland, Ore. The agreement provides Allpoint’s 1,100 member issuers and more than 25 million card holders with access to about 1,000 surcharge-free ATMs in 20 states. “Continuing to increase the scale and density of surcharge-free access provides our member banks and credit unions with a strong convenience message to their cardholders and allows our member prepaid issuers to compete more effectively for new business,” said Ben Psillas, president of Allpoint. “The ability of Allpoint to drive traffic to ATMs and the retail locations where they are placed is well proven,” said Rick Holt, president of APTUS Financial. “Allpoint puts significant effort into driving network value through its mobile ATM locator apps, online tools, financial-institution marketing and other initiatives. This makes Allpoint an ideal partner for APTUS as we look to increase transaction volumes across our portfolio.”

CUAnswers McQueen create ALM alliance

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (2/28/11)--CU*Answers, a core processing credit union service organization, and McQueen Financial Advisors, a Securities Exchange Commission-registered investment advisory and asset liability management (ALM) provider, have formed an alliance to improve the ALM processes and reporting for their clients. Through the alliance the two firms will collaborate on data sharing, reporting of ideas, new tools, educational programs and more in-depth consulting. “The level of knowledge and analytical skills required to manage risks has increased exponentially in the last five years, and the goals of this alliance step outside the normal ALM practices and increase awareness of all facets of risk management through analytical tools,” said Jim Vilker, vice president of professional services at CU*Answers. The two firms have scheduled a calendar of educational events that include classroom training, regional training events, conference training and webinars for 2011.