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Its National Volunteer Week

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MADISON, Wis. (4/12/11)--National Volunteer Week is this week and its theme--Celebrating People in Action--recognizes the 63 million Americans who gave their time last year in community service. Many of them are volunteers from credit unions. "This is a time to recognize your volunteers and the tremendous impact they make in your credit union, guiding you through your successes, challenges, and into the future," said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association in its newsletter, Life is a Highway Monday. The week presents an opportunity to celebrate the ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things through service, PCUA said. At least one league--the Maine Credit Union League--keeps track of how much the state's credit unions volunteer through its Credit Unions Share for ME. In 2010, Maine's credit unions--staff and directors--volunteered a record-setting 31,349.75 hours--a 35% increase over their total hours in 2009--to various community projects. Since it began in 2001, the program has documented more than 180,000 volunteer hours completed, said the league on its website. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the value of one hour volunteered in Maine at $16.53. That brings the value of the time volunteered by Maine's credit unions equal to $518,000 in 2010, said the league. More than 2,000 individuals volunteered in their communities this past year. An average of 334 credit union staff and directors volunteered each month in 2010. In 2010, the top five credit unions in Maine contributing the most volunteer hours were: Saco Valley CU, based in Saco, with 3,808 hours volunteered; Community CU in Lewiston (2,562.25); University CU in Orono (2,388.50); Rainbow FCU in Lewiston (2,301); and Five County CU in Bath (2,108). The top five credit unions in the state with the highest average number of individuals volunteering each month were: University CU (30 people); Maine Savings FCU in Hampden (24); Saco Valley CU (19); Rainbow FCU (18); and Community CU and Five County CU tied for fifth place with an average of 16 staff members volunteering each month. "Credit unions were formed by volunteers and, to this day, are still governed by a volunteer board of directors," said John Murphy, president of the Maine league. "The participation and involvement on the part of Maine credit unions in the communities they serve is a commitment that credit unions take very seriously. From working to end hunger to taking a leadership role in helping to bring financial education to students in record numbers, giving back through time is a core value and philosophy of Maine's credit unions. Volunteering is part of the fabric of what credit unions are all about," Murphy added. Credit unions volunteer in their communities nearly every single day, said Jon Paradise, Maine league governmental and public affairs manager. "Credit union staff and directors are active on non-profit boards, helping in schools and at soup kitchens, as well as countless other activities and events. The reason is simple--helping others is the right thing to do." In 2010, the Maine program averaged 2,612 hours volunteered per month, a 31% increase over the previous year, with an average of 334 volunteers participating--nearly double 2009 participation levels. These figures are only the documented figures provided by participating Maine credit unions; "the actual number is likely significantly higher but we are pleased with the growth the program experienced in the past year," said Paradise. In his proclamation of National Volunteer Week, President Barack Obama noted that, "During National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the profound impact of volunteers and encourage all Americans to discover their own power to make a difference." National Volunteer Week, sponsored by Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network, the nation's largest volunteer network, was established in 1974. This year's recognition is a week earlier than the traditional third week of April to avoid conflicts with religious holidays of Passover and Easter, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.

Gen X Y job seekers values align with FIs

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WINDSOR, Conn. (4/12/11)--Credit unions hoping to attract young talent will need to change their recruiting strategies if they want Gen X and Y job seekers to apply for job openings. According to a new study, Gen X and Y job seekers have values that align with a financial services profession--but their perceptions of financial services get in the way. Younger generation job seekers have a disconnect related to financial services jobs, said LIMRA Distribution Research, a research, consulting and professional development organization for insurance and financial services companies, which conducted focus groups and surveys of recruiters in the industry. Generations X and Y job seekers, when asked if they are interested in a financial services sales position, say no. However, almost all say "yes," when asked if they are interested in working in a stable industry with lots of growth potential and opportunities to make a difference in people's lives--something the financial services industry provides. "Gen X and Y job seekers have some real misperceptions about the financial services industry and the image of a sales person within the industry," said Polly Painter Eggers, analyst with the company. "Strikingly, the core values that these job seekers profess are the same attributes of the financial services industry. While some of the divide can be overcome by better communication, there are opportunities for companies to adapt their recruiting strategy to attract more candidates," she added. The financial services industry has one of the most rigorous recruiting processes to help the candidate and the company determine how well they fit together, and the process works well with those who use it, LIMRA said. It found 85% of financial representatives are extremely satisfied with their choice of profession, and 66% would highly recommended their profession to young job seekers. However, the industry isn't attracting as many viable candidates as it could. LIMRA's study of 272 recruiters in the iindustry indicates that many companies have held on to traditional recruiting and compensation structures that, while popular with Baby Boomers, have not attracted the younger job seekers. For example, Gen X and Y job seekers surveyed said they value stability and security over the potential for making a lot of money. However, industry recruits still use the opportunity to make money and the lifestyle that follows to sweeten the pot. The younger generations network online--both personally and professionally--and expect the latest technological tools at their disposal to help them communicate with their network. Many companies are slow to adopt new technologies. As a result, industry recruiters describe building a network in the traditional sense, through social events and other contacts. Mostly, Gen X and Y job seekers are interested in being a part of a team that they feel will make a difference in their world. However, recruiters tend to emphasize the individual aspects of sales and the ability to "be your own boss"-- not the team element. "We know that many of these disconnects are just a lack of understanding by both the job seekers and the recruiters," said Painter Eggers. "Most industry sales positions have significant support through their field managers and other staff support. And while the first five years may be challenging, agents who make it through stay on the job because the industry offers the stability and security second to none." Recruiters who align their message with the job qualities valued by the younger generations will be most successful in overcoming the preconceived ideas about the industry and attract people to a position that is both personally satisfying and financially rewarding," she added. LIMRA serves more than 850 companies in 73 countries, helping them increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness.

Awards highlight Illinois league annual convention

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (4/12/11)--The Illinois Credit Union League's (ICUL) Keynote and Awards Program honored individuals and credit unions during ICUL's 81st Annual Convention last weekend in Chicago. First place recipients of Desjardins Awards for youth financial education were:
* NuMark CU, Joliet, $50 million-$150 million assets; * Abri CU, Romeoville, $150 million-$500 million assets; and * Great Lakes CU, North Chicago, more than $500 million assets.
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award first-place honorees included:
* Cornerstone CU, $50 million-$100 million assets; * Streator Onized CU, Streator, $100 million-$200 million assets; * GCS FCU, Granite City, $200 million-$500 million assets; and * Great Lakes CU, more than $500 million assets.
Two individuals were inducted into the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame, one with a leadership award, and the other for lifetime achievement: Don Leber, board member at Rockford Bell CU, Rockford, and Penni Gebke, ICUL regional director. Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award winner, in the more than $500 million asset category, was Scott CU, Collinsville. The Spirit of Service award for Employee of the Year went to Phyllis Louis, office manager, Gideon FCU, Waukegan.

CU System briefs (04/11/2011)

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* OAKLAND, Calif. (4/12/11)--An employee of the Alamo, Calif.-based post office was charged with exchanging fake money made in Nigeria for real currency at his cash register and depositing counterfeit bills with Provident FCU's Hayward branch as well as a credit union branch in Oakland. Emmanuel Odion Esezobor, 50, of Hayward did not enter a plea. He is suspected of passing as much as $25,900 in counterfeit currency throughout the area. He allegedly bought money orders with the fake bills that he placed in his cash register and cashed the money orders to pay utility bills. He visited the Provident CU in Hayward twice last year, depositing $1,450 the first time. On his second trip to the credit union to make a $1,200 deposit three fake $100 bills were confiscated San Francisco Chronicle April 9) … * PORTLAND, Maine (4/12/11)--Maine Credit Unions began celebrating April as Youth Financial Education Awareness Month with four Financial Fitness-Money Management Experience events April 5-7 for nearly 1,000 local high school students. According to Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager at the Maine Credit Union League, the fairs reinforce "the commitment and dedication that credit unions throughout Maine have to supporting youth financial education in Maine." He noted that volunteers from more than 30 credit unions participated and that they helped students "understand the importance of making smart financial decisions, in a difficult financial climate." Here, PeoplesChoice CU Board Chair Craig Pendleton assists a Sanford High School senior with his "vehicle" at the Transportation Booth. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League) … * ALBANY, N.Y. (4/12/11)--Corning CU staff hosted four legislators
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
for a tour of its student-run branch, InfoWerx, at the Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES Bush Campus. The visitors presented proclamations and letters of recognition. From left are: Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R-Finger Lakes/Southern Tier); InfoWerx alumnus Kurtis Strong; Assemblyman Phillip Palmesano (R-Finger Lakes); Info Werx alumnus Chad Wright; students Bradley Hannula, Justin Evans and Joseph Sabin Jr.; Elmira Deputy Mayor John Corsi; and U.S. Rep. Thomas Reed (R-N.Y.). The Credit Union Association of New York coordinated the branch tour. Info Werx was established in 2008 and is staffed entirely by GST BOCES students, who receive training and support from Corning CU.During their visit, the lawmakers met with staff, alumni who are now attending college, and association staff. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New York) … * LANSING, Mich.(4/12/11)--Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder will for the first time address the Michigan credit union community during the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) & Affliates Annual Convention and Exposition May 12-14 in Grand Rapids. The convention will also feature keynoter Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Super Freakonomics; National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz; financial analyst and consultant Bert Ely, addressing interchange fees and other challenges; Dr. Paul Isely of Grand Valley State University with an economic forecast for the next 12 months; Anthony Huey, owner of Reputation Management Associates, discussing advanced public relations tactics; and demographer Ken Gronbach, addressing small business lending. MCUL CEO David Adams will provide welcoming remarks. (Michigan Monitor April 11) … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (4/12/11)--Pennsylvania credit unions will sponsor a student-lending event at the state Capitol Rotunda Wednesday. The event is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA)and its lending partner, CU Student Choice. Six credit unions will exhibit various types of loans they make available to the state's college students. As state and federal governments cut budgets and reduce funding for higher education, credit unions have stepped up to provide financing for students of public and private four-year colleges and universities, and graduate schools, said PCUA …

Pacific Marine CU acquires bank branch

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. (4/12/11)--Pacific Marine CU in Oceanside, Calif., said last week it acquired a Temecula, Calif., branch of Provident Financial Holdings Inc. of Riverside, Calif. “Provident was looking to move out of that location [in Temecula] and lease a smaller location, because they mostly do just mortgage-related business,” Brad Smith, Pacific Marine vice president of strategic development, told News Now. “So we purchased that building and land.” Pacific Marine is currently leasing a building in Temecula and will move into the building it just purchased from Provident--probably by July, Smith said. The $588 million-asset Pacific Marine CU spent roughly $2.33 million for the Provident branch in Temecula, Smith said.

Two CUs announce branch closures

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (4/12/11)--Altura CU in Riverside, Calif., and Security Service FCU, based in San Antonio, Texas, announced last Friday they each will close a branch. Altura said it is closing its branch inside the Moreno Valley WalMart Super Center on May 18, converting three other branch locations to all-electronic branches beginning May 10, and eliminating 26 jobs concurrent with the branch changes. The 26 branch positions being eliminated represent 11% of Altura’s work force. “Although the U.S. government reported the recession officially ended in June of 2009, and the nation’s economy is steadily improving, the Inland Empire’s recovery is moving at a slower pace,” said Altura CEO Mark Hawkins. “The Riverside/Inland Empire area appears to be stabilizing, but not yet staging a comeback. Unemployment remains high at 14.1%, which impacts our members’ lives and their ability to repay loans. As a result, Altura’s loan losses peaked in 2010.” Altura restated its 2010 financial results after its auditors recommended boosting reserves for potential loan and lease losses by $3 million. Altura’s restated financials show a loss of $5.8 million for the year on assets of $726.8 million. Originally, Altura reported a loss of $2.9 million for 2010. The restated results are a marked improvement compared to 2009’s net loss of $20.1 million. Altura’s capital ratio for 2010 was also adjusted to 5.81% from the earlier reported 6.18%. The National Credit Union Administration considers 6% to be adequately capitalized. “Although we believe the local economy has begun to stabilize, we felt it prudent to set aside more funds in reserve for potential losses,” said Hawkins. “We also have tightened our loan underwriting standards to limit risk. Unfortunately, that has reduced the number of new loans and the resulting income.” “As a result, we continue to examine ways to further reduce our day-to-day operating expenses," he added. "That is why we made the difficult decision to close our only in-store branch and transition three others to all-electronic locations. The goal is to return Altura to profitability while minimizing disruptions in service to our members." After May 17, Altura will have 12 branch locations in Riverside County, four of which will be all-electronic. Altura also offers online, mobile and telephone banking for its members’ convenience. Also, Security Service FCU will permanently close the Lindon, Utah, Wal-Mart Service Center, formerly a First FCU location, effective May 1. The credit union said it decided to close the branch because of its close proximity to the Security Service branch in Pleasant Grove. The Pleasant Grove branch will offer added services for members, such as four drive-thru lanes, a drive-up ATM, and full teller and member-service operations. The branch closure will not result in any layoffs, the credit union said. Lindon Branch employees are being offered jobs at other area Security Service locations with no change in compensation. Security Service said it is not contemplating any other branch closures in Utah. The $6.2 billion-asset Security Service FCU is based in San Antonio, Texas, and has members in Texas, Utah and Colorado.

MnCUN elects directors at annual meeting

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (4/12/11)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) held its Annual Meeting and Convention Friday and Saturday in Bloomington, Minn., where it elected its board directors.
Click to view larger image During MnCUN’s Annual Meeting on April 8-9, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman thanked credit unions for their service to Minnesotans and encouraged them to develop strong relationships with the state’s regulatory agency. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
More than 460 credit union professionals and volunteers attended, representing 75 credit unions. Also, the meeting welcomed more than 140 individuals from 50 service organizations. At the meeting, featured guest speaker Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman stressed the importance of strong relationships between credit unions and the state’s regulatory agency. He commended credit unions for the value they bring to Minnesota consumers and encouraged them to continue their exemplary service. “On behalf of the governor and the Department of Commerce, thank you for the quality, professional service you provide to the people of Minnesota,” Rothman said. “Value is important to the state, and you bring that virtue to communities through what you do every day.” Rothman also announced his financial literacy roundtable initiative, which will include more than 40 business leaders, nonprofits, legislators and government representatives. The group will examine current financial literacy initiatives and facilitate new ideas and collaboration. He encouraged credit unions to continue their efforts to teach members and communities the principles of financial literacy. Also at MnCUN’s annual business meeting, three incumbents and two new representatives were elected to three-year terms on the MnCUN board of directors:
* Daniel Stoltz of SPIRE FCU in Falcon Heights, to represent credit unions in Minnesota’s seven-county metro area; * Tammy Heikkinen of Members Cooperative CU in Cloquet, who will continue to represent credit unions outside of Minnesota’s seven-county metro area; * Paul Knorr of Accentra CU in Austin was elected to represent credit unions outside of Minnesota’s seven-county metro area; * Karen Fleming of HBI Employees CU in St. Paul was re-elected and will continue to represent credit unions with 2,000 or fewer members; and * Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus FCU in St. Paul, who will continue to represent credit unions with more than 10,000 members.
The MnCUN also re-elected its table officers for 2011:
* Chairman--Markland; * Vice Chairman--Patrick Pierce of City & County CU in St. Paul; and * Secretary/Treasurer--Chuck Albrecht of Mid-Minnesota FCU in Brainerd.

Herring Society raises 50K for Ohio Foundation

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (4/12/11)--The William A. Herring Society has raised more than $50,000 for the Ohio Credit Union Foundation (OCUF). The newly announced planned giving opportunity, which recognizes employees and volunteers who have shown a commitment to credit unions, honors Bill Herring, CEO of Cincinnati Central CU, as the inaugural inductee. The unveiling was announced before more than 500 attendees during the Ohio Credit Union League’s annual conference, InVest48. All funds contributed to the William A. Herring Society will be used by OCUF to support credit union social responsibility initiatives that reach people of modest means. “The honor of being inducted into the William A. Herring Society is bestowed upon individuals who are, or have been, key credit union leaders. Their passion, integrity, and leadership have made a lasting impact on their credit union and its members,” said Tom Furrey, OCUF chair and CEO of Western CU, Columbus. Herring is a charter member of the OCUF Board of Trustees and was instrumental in its founding. He has also served in numerous state and national credit union leadership positions. “His credit union outreach program in the Over the Rhine section of Cincinnati is a national and global model,” said Furrey. “Credit unions are needed now more than ever. We must be truly motivated by what is best for the member, and give equal citizenship to the social mission of credit unions. I am overwhelmed that my family name will be forever linked to a program which has the potential to do so much good to reach out and help people of modest means,” Herring said. Furrey introduced the first Herring Society inductees, the four former chairs of OCUF, who were all present to receive an engraved silver medallion from Herring: Willard Hopkins, CEO of First Miami University Student & Alumni FCU, Oxford; Tim Mislansky, senior vice president of Wright-Patt CU, Fairborn; Rose Bartolomucci, CEO of TeleCommunity CU, Akron; and Kathy Kanipe, CEO of Parish FCU, Toledo. Four credit union-sponsored inductees also were recognized during the ceremony: Richard English, 24-year board member of MidWest Community CU, Defiance; Bruce Campbell, credit union advocate from Superior FCU, Lima; Robert Hallier, 25-year board member from CSE FCU, Canton; and Howard Smith, 19-year board member and former interim CEO of Western CU, Columbus. Donations to the society were made by American Share Insurance, Corporate One FCU, the OCUF, and the Ohio Credit Union League Services Corp.

Biz Kid close NYSE launch five episodes

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NEW YORK (4/12/11)--Representatives from Biz Kid$, the Emmy-award winning financial literacy series on public television, rang the New York Stock Exchange closing bell Monday to celebrate the launch of five new episodes this month. Lauren du Pree, one of the show’s hosts, and Roxanne Kruger, vice president of the Washington Credit Union Foundation, rang the bell. They were joined on the bell podium by Jamie Hammond and Jeannine Glista, executive producers of Biz Kid$, along with eight young entrepreneurs from Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., and New York who have been featured on the series. While in New York, the group was interviewed live on Fox News Online about business, financial literacy and Biz Kid$. Biz Kid$ is a national financial literacy initiative, which includes a TV series, outreach activities, free curriculum, a website and a monthly newsletter. It is sponsored by America’s credit unions.

Illinois league elects officers directors

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (4/12/11)--Elections by the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) and its affiliated organizations were held during the league's 81st Annual Convention, which ended Saturday in Chicago with 750 executives representing 110 credit unions attending. League officers, elected to a second one-year term, and a new league director are:
* Chairman, Dennis Hall, CEO, I.H. Mississippi Valley CU, East Moline, who also will continue to serve as League Service Corp. (LSC) chairman; * Vice chairman, Geraldine Burek, CEO of South Division CU, Evergreen Park, who will continue as LSC vice chairman; * Secretary/treasurer, Pete Paulson, CEO of Corporate America Family CU, Elgin. * New director, Melanie Macy, collection manager, Blackhawk Area CU, Savanna, who will represent the Northwest Illinois Chapter of Credit Unions.
Click to view larger image Illinois Credit Union Foundation officers and new board member include, from left: Foundation chairman, Greg Worthen, director of lending, 1st MidAmerica CU, Bethalto; Secretary Treasurer Tom Pierce, CEO, Canals & Trails CU, Lockport; Peggy Cummins, CEO, Three Rivers Community CU, Mt. Carmel; Tom Lex, chief operations officer, Heartland CU, Springfield; Janet Francoeur, CEO, Riverside Community CU, Kankakee; Geraldine Burek, CEO, South Division CU, Evergreen Park; John Fiore, CEO, Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg; and Michael Lee, president, Midwest region, Members United Bridge Corporate FCU, Warrenville. Not pictured is foundation Vice chairman David Mooney, CEO, Alliant CU, Chicago.
Click to view larger image The Illinois Credit Union Political Action Committee (CUPAC) new officers and board members are, from left: Seated, Brenda Crane, CUPAC vice chairman and chief operations officer, Credit Union 1, Rantoul; Christine Dickover, CEO of H-F CU, Country Club Hills; John Fiore, CUPAC chairman and CEO, Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg; Karen Woods, marketing director, Decatur Earthmover CU, Decatur; and RaeAnn Love, CEO, Commonwealth CU, Bourbonnais. Standing, Mike Frye, chairman, Shell Community FCU, East Alton; Pete Fauth, CUPAC secretary and vice president/chief financial officer, Financial Plus CU, Ottawa; Tom Enos, CUPAC treasurer and business development director, First Northern CU, Chicago; Robert Schroeder, CEO, Illinois Community CU, Sycamore; and Frank Padak, CEO, Scott CU, Collinsville. (Photos provided by the Illinois Credit Union League)
Illinois Credit Union Foundation officers and a new director elected include:
* Chairman, Greg Worthen, director of lending, 1st MidAmerica CU, Bethalto; * Vice chairman, David Mooney, CEO, Alliant CU, Chicago; * Secretary/treasurer, Tom Pierce, CEO, Canals & Trails CU, Lockport; and * New director, Tom Lex, chief operations officer, Heartland CU, Springfield, elected to fill an unexpired term, which ends 2013, due to a retirement.
New officers for the Credit Union Political Action Council (CUPAC) include:
* Chairman, John Fiore, CEO, Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg; * Vice chairman, Brenda Crane, chief operations officer, Credit Union 1, Rantoul; * Treasurer, Tom Enos, business development director, First Northern CU, Chicago; and * Secretary, Pete Fauth, vice president and chief financial officer, Financial Plus CU, Ottawa.
Elected to the Illinois Youth Involvement Council (IYIC) executive committee are:
* Chairman, Shelli Chesnutt, president/CEO, Aurora Policemen CU, Aurora; * Vice chairman, Jeri Hansen, president, Danville Consolidated CU, Danville; and * Secretary/treasurer, Wednesday Medlen, business development and membership officer, Community Plus FCU, Rantoul.