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CU System briefs (03/28/2014)

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  • RALEIGH, N.C. (3/28/14)--Carolinas Credit Union League President/CEO John Radebaugh announced the league is forming a working group to review the National Credit Union Administration's risk-based capital proposal (In the Loop March 27). He noted that the "proposal will have a dramatic impact on credit unions, particularly in its current form. A coordinated effort is under way to ensure that the NCUA rethinks the proposal and makes significant changes before approving a final rule." Jeanne Couchois, league vice president regulatory/compliance counsel, will leadp the working group. Affiliated credit unions interested in participating should contact Couchois at jcouchois@carolinasleague.org or Dan Schline, senior vice president association services, dschline@carolinasleague.org, by Monday ...
     
  • NEW YORK (3/28/14)--Monday is the registration deadline for early-bird pricing for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions' annual conference. The federation is celebrating its 40th anniversary at this year's conference, set for May 14-15 in Detroit. Preferred hotel pricing is available until April 7 ...
     
  • CARIBOU, Maine (3/28/14)--The County FCU, a $190 million-asset credit union based in Caribou, Maine, announced Ryan Ellsworth will be its new president/CEO, effective June 2. Currently executive vice president, Ellsworth will succeed Ken Hensler, who is retiring in July. The board conducted a national search for the position and received 43 candidates. Board Chairman Shawn Anderson said Ellsworth is well-known in the community and is "the consummate financial professional," adding, "He competed with highly qualified candidates on a national level, but in the end the best choice was one of our own" ...

Data security laws need state attention too, says Calif. league

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (3/28/14)--California credit union leaders are looking to apply pressure on state lawmakers to ratchet up security standards for merchants in safeguarding consumer financial information.

To double-down on that effort, members of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are urging industry professionals to attend its 2014 Government Relations Rally in Sacramento, so legislators can hear their concerns loud and clear: that inequity exists in current data security laws.

 "As with all legislative pushes of this scope, it's important that we share our viewpoint on what a good solution looks like," Bob Arnould, league vice president of advocacy, told CU Weekly (March 26). "Without credit union input, there is a significant threat of faulty approaches being included in legislation meant to fix the data security problem."

The credit union advocacy and educational event will take place April 7-8.

The Credit Union National Association estimates that credit unions nationwide have thus far incurred costs of $30.6 million just for the Target breach alone, and reissued around 4.6 million credit and debit cards.

CUNA has asked the U.S. Congress to address data security concerning merchants, who aren't held to the same standards as credit unions and other financial institutions.

"Data breaches are more prevalent than ever, and California's laws need updating to better protect consumers when they swipe their cards," Arnould said.

CUNA Strategic Services elects board for 2014

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MADISON, Wis. (3/28/14)--The board of CUNA Strategic Services Inc. (CSS) elected its members and executive directors for 2014.
 
Rod Staatz, president/CEO, SECU, Linthicum, Md., was re-elected to a three-year term on the board. He was elected chairman of the board, replacing Dennis Pierce, president/CEO, CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan. Pierce now serves as chairman of the Credit Union National Association and as an ex officio on the CSS board.
 
Scott Earl, president/CEO, Mountain West Credit Union Association, also was re-elected to a three-year term on the board and as vice chairman. Murray Williams, chief operating officer, Iowa Credit Union League, was appointed to serve a one-year term as the LSC Executive ex-officio.
 
Tony Budet, president/CEO, University FCU, Austin, Texas, is new to the CSS board, being elected for a three-year term. Other board members are:
  • Robert Cashman, president/CEO, Metro CU, Chelsea, Mass.;
  • Mark Cummins, president/CEO, Minnesota Credit Union Network;
  • Diana Dykstra, president/CEO, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues;
  • Roger Heacock, president/CEO, Black Hills FCU, Rapid City, S.D.;
  • Bill Cheney, president/CEO, CUNA (ex officio); and
  • Wendell Lyons, president/ CEO, Kentucky Credit Union League, and chair, American Association of Credit Union Leagues (ex officio).
The executive committee consists of Staatz, chairman; Earl, vice chairman; Cummins, secretary; and Cashman, treasurer.
 
Outgoing board members were Pat Wesenberg, president, Central City CU, Marshfield, Wis.; Eric Gelly, executive vice president/chief operating officer, Carolinas Credit Union League; and Bill Mellin, president/CEO, Credit Union Association of New York.

Food bank honors Maine CUs with humanitarian award

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AUBURN, Maine (3/28/14)--For a statewide campaign to end hunger, Maine credit unions collectively will be awarded next week the JoAnn Pike Humanitarian Award, sponsored by the Maine-based Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Through the Maine Credit Unions League's Campaign for Ending Hunger, credit unions across the state have raised more than $5 million since 1990 to help end hunger in the state (Sun Journal March 26).

The 2013 campaign raised a record $513,000.

As one in four children in Maine are considered food insecure, league leaders know they're focusing their efforts in the right places.

"(It's) one of the most important issues that we are dealing with in Maine," said Jon Paradise, MCUL vice president of governmental and public affairs. "Maine's credit unions are committed to being a leader in doing whatever we can to help the nearly 15% of Mainers ... who are food insecure."

The league campaign also just announced an extension of its support with a multi-year commitment to aid Good Shepherd in its ongoing effort to end childhood hunger.

In addition to donating funds to food pantries, Maine-based credit unions also send funds to other statewide initiatives that strive to end hunger.

But the community support doesn't end there. They also raise funds to promote financial literacy and to support other organizations in Maine, such as the Red Cross, Special Olympics, according to the Sun Journal (March 26).  

Credit union employees in the state have given more than 293,000 hours volunteering, setting a record last year with 37,000 hours.

Record $710K raised for CMNH in Calif., Nev.

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DANA POINT, Calif. (3/28/14)--The ninth annual California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction raised a record $710,000 for the 11 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.
 
The sold-out event, which took place March 14 in Dana Point, Calif. drew more than 415 attendees and was supported by more than 150 credit unions, business partners and hospitals. More than $2.6 million has been raised by the Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction since 2006.
 
Under the umbrella of Credit Unions for Kids, the credit union movement is the third-largest corporate contributor to CMN Hospitals, behind only Wal-Mart and Costco. Credit Unions for Kids has raised more than $110 million for CMN Hospitals since its inception in 1996.
 
"Through the efforts and generosity of our amazing sponsors, donors, and volunteers, we have once again surpassed all expectations by raising a record amount of money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the 11 Children's Hospitals in California and Nevada," said Jeff York, event chairman and president and CEO of CoastHills FCU.  "The remarkable success of the auction reflects credit unions' close relationship with and commitment to their local communities."   
 
With a Great Gatsby, Roaring Twenties theme, the evening included fine dining, dancing and both silent and live auctions.  Attendees had the opportunity to bid on more than 350 gift packages that included bottles of fine wine, vacations, sporting events and a collection of premium whiskeys. Charity auctioneer and comedian Sean Kelly entertained attendees and was the event's wine auctioneer.
 
"Our credit union partners have demonstrated remarkable generosity and unwavering commitment to our California and Nevada children's hospitals with their support of this year's wine auction," said Joe Dearborn, Credit Unions for Kids senior director. "It's a true testament to the credit union philosophy of people helping people. The Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction is the largest single national fundraising event for Credit Unions for Kids."
 
Corporate sponsors of this year's event were CU Direct, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, CO-OP Financial Services and CUNA Mutual Group.

SEFCU part of N.Y. bridge loan program for women, minorities

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ALBANY, N.Y. (3/28/14)--SEFCU is one of five lenders--and the only credit union--participating in a statewide program that aims to expand access to short-term bridge loans for minority- and women-owned businesses in New York.
 
"This new loan program will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs--specifically those that are owned by women and minorities--the opportunity to compete for and execute state contracts by providing the working capital they need," said Michael Castellana, president/CEO of the $2.7 billion-asset credit union (The Point March 27).
 
Under the "Bridge to Success" program, Albany, N.Y.-based SEFCU and other lenders will make $20 million available in short-term, working capital loans to qualifying businesses.
 
Most loans made through the program will be for less than $200,000 and with terms of less than two years. The funds can be used to hire staff, buy materials or purchase equipment.
 
"We believe by providing these young companies, as well as seasoned ones, the necessary cash flow, they can compete and expand their business, boosting the economic vitality of our region," Castellana said.

N.Y. state lawmakers stress importance of face-to-face visits

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ALBANY, N.Y. (3/28/14)--Opportunities for one-on-one time with lawmakers can be few and far between. That's why New York State legislators are encouraging credit union leaders to come to Albany April 28-30 for the Credit Union Association of New York's State Governmental Affairs Conference (The Point March 27).

Credit union leaders who attend will have many chances to sit down with the elected officials who represent them.

"Credit unions and credit union members are a key part of my constituency," said Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome). "It's important for me to know what challenges they're facing and what I can do to help address those challenges. By spending face-to-face time together during events like the association's Governmental Affairs Conference, we can keep the dialogue open."

Assemblywoman Annette Robinson (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the Assembly's bank committee, said it's important for credit union leaders to share their "valuable insights," no matter if they relate to legislative reform or local community initiatives.

"Relationships are built on communication," added Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford). "So it's critical that we as elected representatives hear from our constituents. For groups like credit unions that have such a significant impact on their communities, participating in the political process is extremely important."

Fla. wraps up state GAC with official visits

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/28/14)--The Florida Credit Union Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), held Tuesday and Wednesday, featured interaction with lawmakers, regulators, the media and award presentations.
 
The first day of the GAC was dedicated to visits with lawmakers (eSignal March 25 and March 26). The primary issues stressed by credit union representatives were public deposits, data security, financial literacy and regulatory relief. Forty-seven attendees made 27 visits with legislators that included Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Destin) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), among others.
 
Click to view larger image From left, Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) accepts the Florida Credit Union Association Lawmaker of the Year Award from Jared Ross, League of Southeastern Credit Unions senior vice president of association services.
Many lawmakers also attended a reception Tuesday evening.
 
Earlier in the day, the state GAC kicked off with a welcome from League of Southeastern Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine.  
 
Wednesday featured presentations by regulators, lawmakers, cabinet members, the media and award presentations. Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) was honored as the LSCU Lawmaker of the Year. Garcia was a sponsor of a public deposits bill in 2013, and this year he partnered with two credit unions to offer financial literacy to Spanish-speaking citizens. Incoming Senate President, Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando), provided attendees with an overview of this year's legislation and applauded credit unions for the work they do in their communities.
 
Click to view larger image Florida credit union representatives visited House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) during the Florida Credit Union Association's Governmental Affairs Conference this week. From left, Art Wood, president/CEO, Railroad and Industrial FCU, Tampa; Mary Wood, LSCU board chairman and president/CEO of Florida West Coast CU, Brandon; Weatherford; Marie Peet, president/CEO, West Coast Federal Employees CU, Sarasota; Gary Vien, senior vice president, Suncoast CU, Tampa; and Kevin Johnson, executive vice president, Suncoast CU. (League of Southeastern Credit Unions photos)
National Credit Union Administration Region III Director Myra Toeppe and Florida Office of Financial Regulation Credit Unions Chief Bruce Ricca were among the speakers. Toeppe said interest-rate risk and cybersecurity are the NCUA's top priorities for 2014. She also discussed risk-based capital and encouraged credit unions to comment about the NCUA's proposed risk-based capital rule before the May 28 deadline.
 
Ricca described how 75% of Florida's credit unions were capitalized over 10%, while none were under 7%. He said his department would continue to encourage state examiners to work with credit unions on problems.
 
Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief Steve Bosquet provided an overview of upcoming elections and what to expect in Florida's governor's race. He also said that the governor's race would be one of the races most watched by the national media.

Filene seeks CUs for Just4You testing panel

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MADISON, Wis. (3/28/14)--The Filene Research Institute is seeking three to five credit unions to participate in its Just4You member service program.
 
Developed by a team of Filene i3 innovators, Just4You provides member service representatives (MSRs) with six questions to help guide a member's experience and product selection.
 
The multiple-choice questions help MSRs identify a profile and the appropriate products and services for the member.
 
According to Filene, initial tests of Just4You showed one credit union saw an increase of members using three or more products to 13% from 4%. Another credit union more than doubled its rate of credit card acquisition by new members.
 
Deadline to apply for the panel is Wednesday.