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CU System Archive

CU System

Two April 10-11 webinars focus on disaster assistance

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MADISON, Wis., and WASHINGTON (3/29/12)--Two webinars in April will highlight disaster assistance and feature CUNA Strategic Services provider Agility Recovery Solutions as a host.

The April 10 webinar, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. It will present "Five Things You May Not Know about SBA Disaster Assistance." The session will discuss the range and depth of SBA's disaster assistance programs and will focus on questions asked by the public and local media after a disaster.

It also will clarify SBA's partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and discuss SBA's outreach to local financial institutions to expand the support network for business recovery after a disaster. Use the link for more information.

On April 11 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, Agility will present "Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Hot Topics: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED," which will be driven by viewer/listener questions.

Agility is taking questions ahead of time and the most frequently asked questions or those broad in scope will be answered live during the webinar.  All other questions will be answered off-line individually, said Agility.  To submit questions use this link.

Both webinars are free. Use the links for more information.

Desjardins philosophy outlined in new book

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QUEBEC (3/29/12)--A book outlining the philosophy of Alfonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement, is being launched by Canada's Desjardins Group to mark the International Year of Cooperatives.

Entitled Alphonse Desjardins: le pouvoir d'agir, the book is the work of Monique F. Leroux, president/CEO of Desjardins Group, one of three co-hosts of the 2012 International Summit of Cooperatives.

Desjardins and his wife Dorimene founded the first caisse populaire (credit union) in Levis, Quebec, Canada, in 1900.

The book uses Desjardins' thoughts to show how the cooperative model remains relevant and how it can prove invaluable in addressing challenges in 2012.

Desjardins, who made his living as a writer and never earned a cent from starting the caisses, decided to design a cooperative financial system after hearing of a man who was ordered by the court to pay $5,000 in interest fees on an initial loan of $150.

He sought advice from all over the world about how to design a cooperative financial system suited to Quebec's needs and corresponded with several French, Belgian, Italian and Swiss heads of rural savings and credit cooperatives. He spent  months poring over materials sent him, and he came up with the combined rules of European credit cooperatives with the experience of North American savings banks, Leroux' book reports

The book noted that at the dawn of the 20th century, Desjardins was well aware of the importance of international collaboration between cooperatives..

Desjardins is the namesake of the Credit Union National Association's annual Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards.

2012 Diamond Award winners honored by council

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MADISON, Wis. (3/29/12)--Listerhill CU in Muscle Shoals, Ala., was awarded the "Diamond Award Best of Show"--the highest "Best of Show" award in the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council's Diamond Awards competition.

The winners were acknowledged during the council's 19th annual conference, March 7-10 in New Orleans.

Entered in the Complete Campaign category, the $541 million asset Listerhill CU looked to increase the number of new loans through a promotion that offered low rates and an immediate cash back incentive to those interested in refinancing. To achieve its goals, Listerhill employed a mix of media, including radio, billboards, newspaper ads, video, coffee sleeves and Facebook.

This year's awards competition received more than 1,100 entries. Judges awarded five entries as Best of Show, along with 87 Category's Best and 260 Diamond Awards.

Other Best of Show honorees included:

  • Color Award for Best Use of Art: Delta Community CU in Atlanta, Ga., for its entry in the Annual Reports category. The credit union showcased elements of its "Where Life Comes Together" marketing campaign in its annual report by using die-cut holes and integrating campaign images such as toy cars, doll-house figures and building blocks.
  • Best Use of Humor: America First CU in Riverdale, Utah, for its "Penny & Buck TV Ads" campaign. The credit union used fun, light-hearted TV ads featuring piggy bank characters named Penny & Buck discussing the benefits of membership instead of a more traditional spot using a spokesperson.
  • Cut Award for Most Edgy: Generations FCU in San Antonio for its youth logos. Generations conducted focus group research to determine what the youth market, the Millennials, looked for in a financial institution. The compass 'g' logo was created to speak directly to this group of members. The logo has been well received and has become recognizable to students and younger members.
  • Clarity Award for Most Sentimental: Alabama CU in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for its Community/Public Relations Program, "Secret Meals for Hungry Children." The program helps to discreetly feed hungry schoolchildren throughout Alabama with packets of food in their backpacks for the weekend. Alabama CU promotes and administers the Secret Meals program on a volunteer basis, with 100% of the donated funds going directly toward food purchases.
The Diamond Awards, representing credit union marketing and business development, feature 33 categories, ranging from direct mail and website marketing, to public relations and social media. Judges evaluated entries based on strategy, design and production, creative concept, copy and communication and results.

A complete list of award winners is available at the link.

League highlights CU difference on Wisconsin radio

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (3/29/12)--The Wisconsin Credit Union League highlighted some of the differences between credit unions and banks, the effect of Bank Transfer Day (BTD), and savings realized by credit union members in a radio segment with Milwaukee area radio station WUWM.

The theme of the "Lake Effect" show was how credit unions have benefitted after many banks--most notably Bank of America--received heat from consumers for either raising fees or announcing intentions to increase fees for accountholders.  

Show host Ed Makowski asked guest Christine Henzig, Wisconsin league director of communications, how credit unions keep money local.

"Credit unions keep money local by returning their earnings to their full membership and in terms of how they price financial services," Henzig replied.   

In 2011, Wisconsin credit unions saved consumers $201 million through competitive rates, savings on loans, and lower and fewer fees, she added.

The fundamental difference between credit unions and banks is that credit unions are locally owned and run democratically by their members, who are owners, Henzig said.

Makowski asked Henzig about the results of BTD.  "BTD was a great opportunity for credit unions to make consumers aware of savings they can get through membership at their financial institutions," Henzig said.

About 40,000 new members joined credit unions nationwide on BTD, she added. Also, 441,000 new members joined credit unions in the two months prior to BTD, according to Credit Union National Association estimates. "That represents 75% of all credit union member growth in all of 2010," Henzig said.

When asked if credit unions advertise the way banks do, Henzig replied that although credit unions do advertise in traditional ways, their best advertising comes through social media and word of mouth.

"Credit unions give members better rates and better treatment. People have been abuzz about that, and that's been the best form of advertising over the past couple of years," she concluded.

CU System briefs (03/28/2012)

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  • LIVE OAK, Texas (3/29/12)--Low rates have helped boost lending at Live Oak, Texas-based Randolph-Brooks FCU (RBFCU), which exceeded the $3 billion milestone in total lending for the first time in its 60-year history. The $4.9 billion asset credit unions said it saw marked growth in all facets of lending, including mortgage loans, auto loans, small business loans and credit cards. "A low-rate environment can be very positive for consumers, as they have the opportunity to make needed purchases without unduly stretching their finances," said Mark Sekula, executive vice president and chief lending officer for RBFCU. "We're providing affordable solutions for our members, putting them into vehicles and homes they can afford. At the same time, their choice to take advantage of borrowing opportunities helps stimulate our South Central Texas economy," he added …
  • ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/29/12)--Commonwealth One FCU member Marco Moore withdrew $40 from an ATM--and hit the jackpot. He won the $10,000 Big Money Madness grand prize in a sweepstakes presented by Allpoint Network and 7-Eleven stores.  Moore initiated the at a surcharge-free withdrawal at an Allpoint Network ATM inside a 7-Eleven in Washington D.C. in December.  He received his winnings last month at an in-store ceremony hosted by 7-Eleven and attended by Allpoint Network and Commonwealth One FCU representatives.  Commonwealth One is based in Alexandria, Va., and has more than $297 million in assets. (Photo provided by Commonwealth One FCU) …
  • WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (3/29/12)--Courtney Rejniak, left,  of West County, Mo., who refinanced her car at Vantage CU during its Golden Opportunity loan campaign, was awarded four tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals home opener on April 13, plus a $250 Visa gift card to use while downtown and four green Cardinals ball caps. Financial Services Representative Tom Szelag, right, helped with the refinancing transaction.  The promotion ended on St. Patrick's Day.  Members Kimberly Mack, Dawn Osness, Jacqueline Yates, Kim Bruner, Emily Mark, Jenny Housewright and Donna Brown each won ball caps for answering trivia questions during the Golden Opportunity loan promotion, which ran eight weeks.  (Photo provided by Vantage CU) …

New report Co-op membership hits 1B worldwide

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MADISON, Wis. (3/29/12)--Roughly one billion people in 96 countries belong to cooperatives, with credit unions constituting the second-largest segment, according to a new report from Worldwatch Institute.

Also, 99% of cooperative businesses primarily operate within seven economic sectors (2012intlsummit.coop March 28).

Those sectors, including their annual revenue (in U.S. dollars) and percentage share of all cooperatives worldwide are:

  • Agriculture/Forestry, $472 billion, 29%;
  • Cooperative Banking/Credit Unions, $430 billion, 26%;
  • Consumer/Retail, $354 billion, 22%;
  • Insurance, $282 billion, 17%;
  • Workers/Industrial, $35 billion, 2%;
  • Health, $27 billion, 2%;
  • Utilities, $18 billion, 1%; and
  • Other, $17 billion, 1%.
The one billion members of cooperatives worldwide exceed the 893 million direct and indirect shareholders of corporations, the report noted.  Also, 13.8% of the world's population is a member of at least one cooperative, compared with 5% who are direct shareholders.

Credit union branches comprise 23% of financial institutions worldwide and serve 870 million people, making credit unions the second-largest financial services network in the world, the report noted. 

For a free copy of the report, contact Supria Kumar at skumar@worldwatch.org.

Financial four brackets 32 financial concepts

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DENVER (3/29/12)--The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) have partnered to create the Financial Four, a March Madness-like bracket of 32 concepts that helps consumers identify the financial areas that are most important to them.

Using rankings from more than 300 financial experts from FPA membership, NEFE and the FPA identified the primary topics that consumers can use to move toward financial independence.

"There aren't any upsets in this bracket," says Ted Beck, NEFE president/CEO. "It can be overwhelming to prioritize all of the things you need to accomplish to keep your financial life in order. The Financial Four is a fun way for people to visually rank and arrange their financial responsibilities."

The participating planners and advisers turned "bracketologists" ranked their priorities.

Based on their voting results, here is the 2012 Financial Four:

  1. Live within your means.
  1. Obtain adequate insurance.
  1. Build an emergency savings account.
  1. Establish life insurance for wage earner(s).

CUNA Tech Council Best of Show goes to FI-MOBILE

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MADISON, Wis. (3/29/12)--FI-MOBILE received the CUNA Technology Council's Best of Show Award for innovation in mobile solutions for financial institutions.

Click to view larger image The CUNA Technology Council (CTC) recognized FI-MOBILE with its Best of Show Award during the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference, in Washington, D.C. From left, Chris Chippindale, vice president of enterprise initiatives, Ent FCU, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Heather Moshier, CTC chairman and executive vice president of information technology, San Diego (Calif.) County CU; Chris O'Brien, regional sales manager, FI-MOBILE; Steve Maloney, founder, FI-MOBILE; Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO; and Jeff Johnson, CTC vice chairman and senior vice president of information technology, Baxter CU, Vernon Hills, Ill. (Photo provided by CUNA Technology Council).
The award was presented during the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), March 18-22, in Washington, D.C.

FI-MOBILE develops the UniFi platform, which gives financial institutions the ability to unite all mobile-enabled content into a single, downloadable application.

"FI-MOBILE understands a financial institution's need to offer and compete with various mobile solutions," said Heather Moshier, council chair and executive vice president of information technology for San Diego County CU, in presenting the award. "CU FI-MOBILE can deliver mobile apps with an average time to market of 30-45 days."

"We're honored to be selected as this year's top technology offering by the CUNA Technology Council," said Steve Maloney, founder of the FI-MOBILE. "We've proven that any financial institution can deliver the best mobile banking experience to their customers and members quickly and easily."

Since 2001, the CUNA Technology Council has presented the Best of Show award to the exhibitor that demonstrates a commitment to delivering technology that will further the growth of products and services in the credit union marketplace. Vendors' products are evaluated according to affordability, the benefit to credit unions and their members, a commitment to open standards currently in use, and health of the company.

CU House announces 2012 Hall of Leaders

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WASHINGTON (3/29/12)--
Click to view larger image From left: Credit Union House  Chairman Charles Elliott; Texas Credit Union League President/CEO Dick Ensweiler; Credit Union House Hall of Leaders inductee Harriet May, former president/CEO of GECU, El Paso, Texas; and  Credit Union House Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney.
Credit Union House LLC named its newest inductees to the 2012 Credit Union House Hall of Leaders at its annual meeting of members March 18.

Thirteen credit union leaders have been inducted for 2012.

The newest inductees, inducted at the meeting, are:

  • Harriet May, former president/CEO GECU, El Paso, Texas. She is former chairman of the Texas Credit Union League and former chairman of the Credit Union National Association.
  • Russ Plunkett, president, CEO of Postal CU in Woodbury, Minn.
  • Oliver King, former manager/treasurer of Magnolia FCU, Jackson, Miss.
 

Scott Earl, president/CEO, Mountain West Credit Union Association, was inducted at a special event later.

T
Click to view larger image Charles Elliott, left,  chairman of Credit Union House and president/CEO of the Mississippi Credit Union Association, with Credit Union House Hall of Leaders inductee Oliver King, former manager/treasurer of Magnolia FCU, Jackson, Miss.
hey join nine others inducted earlier in the year:

  • Audrey Bollinger, CEO of Peoples Advantage FCU, Petersburg, Va.;
  • Landel Casey, former CEO of Guardian CU, Montgomery, Ala.;
  • Tom Griffiths, former president/CEO, Iowa Credit Union League;


  • Charles Grossklaus, former president/CEO of Royal CU, Eau Claire, Wis.;
  • Lynn Kothe, president/CEO of North Memorial FCU,  Robbinsdale, Minn.;
  • Cyril Mann, chairman, Listerhill CU, Muscle Shoals, Ala.;


  • John Prumo, president/CEO, GPO FCU,  New Hartford, N.Y.;
  • Diana Roberts, president/CEO of Hershey FCU, Hummelstown, Pa.; and
  • William "Bill" F. Marquardt, posthumously, City County CU, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Click to view larger image Russ Plunkett, center, president/CEO, Postal CU, Woodbury, Minn., was inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders. With him, from left: Credit Union House Chairman Charles Elliott and Minnesota Credit Union Network President/CEO Mark Cummins. (Photos provided by Credit Union House LLC)
"The Credit Union House Hall of Leaders was introduced to provide lasting recognition for credit union leaders whose commitment has made a significant impact on the credit union movement at the local, state, or national level," said Charles Elliott, chairman of Credit Union House LLC and president/CEO of the Mississippi Credit Union Association. "Being inducted to the Hall of Leaders is a high honor and has been an excellent way to acknowledge those who serve credit unions."

In its fifth year, the Hall of Leaders program has recognized 55 inductees from 27 states. Members of the Hall of Leaders have shown commitment that inspires others in the credit union movement.

Inductees include board chairmen, league presidents, credit union CEOs, league board members and volunteers.

Their names remind all who visit Credit Union House of the many individuals who have volunteered their time to perpetuate the credit union movement and who demonstrate commitment to the values and mission on which credit unions were founded.