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CU System briefs (04/15/2011)

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* ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (4/18/11)--Sandia Laboratory FCU (SLFCU), based in Albuquerque, N.M., reported on its website Friday that members and nonmembers have received phone calls and e-mails saying their cards or accounts will be deactivated if they don't provide sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. The calls and e-mails specifically mentioned SLFCU's name. Members also reported receiving fraudulent e-mails saying their SLFCU account "has been hacked" and the account has been temporarily put on hold. The $1.6 billion asset credit union and the state attorney general's office warned that anyone getting the message should not respond and that the credit union would not solicit information through phone calls or e-mail (kob.com April 14) … * WASHINGTON (4/18/11)--Two former employees of Washington, D.C.-based Clara Barton FCU pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal court in Washington to defrauding the credit union of $675,000 in a loan scheme (Department of Justice Documents April 13). Tracy S. Kemper, 35, Temple Hills, Md., a former loan processor, and Tiffany A. Samuells, 34, Greenbelt, Md., a former member services representative, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and agreed to pay restitution and forfeit at least $519,028. The pair issued loans to friends, relatives and associates in exchange for receiving a kickback or part of the loan proceeds from the borrowers. However, some borrowers stopped paying on the loans and the two were forced to use kickback money for minimum payments on the loan. The problem was discovered when the tiny credit union merged with Pentagon FCU in November 2008. The credit union served current and former employees of the American Red Cross and their families … * St.LOUIS, Mo. (4/18/11)--The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) announced Friday that John McKechnie, senior vice president of Washington, D.C.-based Total Spectrum, will join MCUA's credit union advocacy team in Washington, D.C. He will work with MCUA Vice President of Federal Legislative Affairs Amy McLard to lobby credit union issues before U.S. Congress and other governmental entities and will advise MCUA in developing educational programs to motivate credit union professionals and volunteers to increase their involvement in the political process. McKechnie previously was director of public and congressional affairs at the National Credit Union Administration for five years and was a former senior vice president of legislative affairs staff at the Credit Union National Association … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (4/18/11)--Fran Muto, longtime president/CEO of People First FCU, Allentown, Pa., announced he will retire, effective June 30. His credit union career began in 1974 after working as an examiner for the National Credit Union Administration. For the past 36 years, Muto led the People First from a $4 million asset, single sponsor organization to a full-service, community-chartered credit union with more than $374 million in assets. He has served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, Associated Credit Bureau Services, Card Services for Credit Unions, and Member Business Financial Services. Muto is a past president of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of Credit Unions. He will be honored by PCUA as its Professional of the Year at its annual convention next month in Hershey, said PCUA. Susan Phillips has been named as acting president/CEO (Life is a Highway April 15) …

Cyber threats skyrocket in volume savvy

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (4/18/11)--Cyber threats have skyrocketed in volume and sophistication, with more than 286 million new threats last year and several new megatrends, including targeted attacks, social networking threats, mobile device security issues and the proliferation of attack toolkits--according to a new security study. Credit unions and their members can be impacted by cyber threats in any of these areas, but with the trend in credit unions to offer more social networking interaction with members and online banking for mobile devices, credit unions will need to be even more vigilant about their keeping their members' data secure and educating members about these security threats. Symantec Corp.'s Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 16 highlights what the security management solutions company terms as "dramatic increases in both the frequency and sophistication of targeted attacks on enterprises, the continued growth of social networking sites as an attack distribution platform; and a change in attackers' infection tactics, increasingly targeting vulnerabilities in Java to break into traditional computer systems." The report also explores how attackers are exhibiting a notable shift in focus toward mobile devices. Targeted attacks in 2010 increased against a diverse collection of corporations and government agencies, and a surprising number of smaller companies, said Symanteck. Often, the cyber crooks researched key victims in each corporation and used tailored social engineering attacks to gain entry. Many attacks--because they were targeted--succeeded--even though the organization had basic security measures in place. Many obtained personal information that could be used in an identity theft. The report noted that hacking breaches in 2010 resulted in more than 260,000 identities exposed per breach. Social network platforms attracted a large volume of malicious software or malware. One technique cyber crooks use on social networking sites involves shortened addresses of websites or URLs. The abbreviated URLs make it more efficient to share a link to a complicated web address in an e-mail or on a web page. But they also make it easier to reel in data theft victims. In 2010, attackers posted millions of these shortened links on social networking sites to trick victims in phishing and malware attacks. Symantec said the abbreviated URLs "dramatically" increased the rate of successful infection. The report also found that attackers overwhelming leveraged the news-feed capabilities on popular social networking sites to mass-distribute attacks. Last year, 65% of malicious links in news feeds observed by Symantec used shortened URLs. Of those, 73% were clicked 11 times or more, with 33% receiving between 11 and 50 clicks. Another trend is an increase in attack toolkits--software programs used by novices and experts to launch widespread attacks on networked computers. These are increasingly targeting weakenesses in the Java system, which accounted for 17% of all vulnerabilities affecting browser plug-ins last year. The number of measured Web-based attacks per day rose by 93% last year. Two thirds of the activity observed by Symantec was directly related to attack kits. The popularity of mobile platforms has grabbed attackers' attention, and Symantec said it expects attacks on these platforms to rise. In 2010, most attacks against mobile devices took the form of Trojan Horse programs masquerading as legitimate applications or "apps." Attackers can bypass new security architectures by attacking inherent vulnerabilities in the mobile platforms' implementation. Symantec said these are commonplace. It documented 163 vulnerabilities last year that attackers could use to gain partial or complete control over devices running on mobile platforms, and these infected hundreds of thousands of devices. Other findings:
* 93% hike in Web-based attacks; * 260,000 identities exposed per breach; * 14 new zero-day vulnerabilities; * 6,253 new vulnerabilities in 2010; * 42% more mobile vulnerabilities; * One botnet with more than a million spambots; * 74% of spam related to pharmaceuticals; and * Seven cents to $100 per credit card--the price for credit card data on underground forums. Factors dictating price include the rarity of the card and discounts offered for bulk purchases.

Mazuma CU sponsors Suze Ormans visit

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KANSAS CITY (4/15/11)--Mazuma CU, in partnership with the Missouri Credit Union Association, was among the sponsors of personal finance guru Suze Orman’s appearance at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan., March 22. Orman, on a nationwide tour promoting her latest book, “The Money Class,” was in the Kansas City area as a guest speaker for local radio station, 98.1 KUDL FM, as part of its WomenWise Luncheon Series. Many businesses partnered with the radio station, but Mazuma CU was the only financial institution to sponsor Orman’s visit. “We felt it was important that a credit union sponsor Suze’s visit to the Kansas City area, since she is an advocate of credit unions,” said Rob Givens, president/CEO of the $420 million-asset financial institution. Orman, who works with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) on educating the public about the similarities between NCUA and FDIC protection, has promoted the credit union difference and the advantages of using a credit card from a credit union. Credit union credit cards are typically lower in interest rates and fees. Several MCUA-affiliated credit unions attended the event, providing information to the public regarding the credit union difference. Mazuma CU conducted a drawing for 10 pairs of tickets for Orman’s appearance and gave them to members and an additional pair to a non-member. More than 1,100 members and consumers entered the drawing. Orman spoke to an audience of about 500 people. Due to the current economic situation, it may be necessary for people to lower their expectations of owning a home, she said. People should be realistic about their finances and, most important, must create their own version of the “New American Dream,” she said. In “The Money Class,” Orman wrote that many people fear the unknown because they are not sure what works for them now. “The truth is, you must learn to trust yourself. To follow a path that is right for you, to make choices that are realistic for you and your family,” she wrote.

Ohio league honors state award recipients

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (4/18/11)--In front of nearly 500 peers, Ohio credit union leaders were honored during InVest48, the Ohio Credit Union League’s annual conference, for their contributions to the movement, their credit unions and the communities they serve. Highlighting the 2011 awards were this year’s Claude Clark Political Inspiration Award Winners: Tom Furrey, CEO of Western CU, and Greg Kidwell, CEO of Members First CU, both of Columbus. In 2010, inspiration award winners Furrey and Kidwell helped elect a credit union supporter to Congress, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio). Their support helped Stivers win election to the 15th congressional district, where he is now a strong credit union advocate on the influential House Financial Services Committee. Also, both Furrey and Kidwell have led strong Political Action Committee campaigns at their credit unions, raising a combined total of $6,000 last year. Eileen Meeker of AurGroup Financial CU, Fairfield was introduced as the Professional of the Year. Meeker has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars and awareness for causes, including Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shared Harvest Food Bank, United Way, and the West Chester Community Back-Pack Program. Her passion includes providing financial education to the underserved and unbanked, and to students in Butler County. Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards were presented to:
* Classic FCU, Amelia, which hosted Reality Store events for more than 300 students on the importance of managing money. * Fiberglas FCU, Newark, and Harvest FCU, Heath, which joined forces to introduce Mad City Money to high schools, and to inform educators and parents about the importance of financial education.
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Awards were presented to:
* Wayne County Community FCU, Smithville, which hosted Shredding Hunger, where members could shred a box of documents for every bag of groceries donated. More than 5,000 pounds were shredded and enough food was collected to stock two local food pantries. * KEMBA Financial CU, Columbus, which created “KEMBA Cares,” to provide community partnerships. The credit union turned twice-a-year, all-day staff meetings into outreach opportunities by closing its offices and investing time in the community.
Communicating Arts CU, Cincinnati, received the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action. Communicating Arts CU celebrated its 70th anniversary by offering a 7-month share certificate at 7% APR. The intent was to both reward members for their dedication to the credit union, and incent them to develop a savings plan. Cutting-Edge Marketing Brilliance Awards were presented to:
* Ohio University CU, Athens, which increased its membership by 2.57% with its “I Love O-U-C-U” campaign. Members referred family and friends, earning them credit union “points” and entry for prizes. * Ohio HealthCare FCU, Columbus, which engaged its statewide professional field of membership to create buzz about the benefits of the credit union through a member contest, “Next Top Credit Union Member.” Members provided video testimonials about how the credit union has made a difference in their lives.

CUNAs ACUC aims to deliver high-impact program

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MADISON, Wis. (4/18/11)--The 2011 America's Credit Union Conference & Expo (ACUC), hosted by the Credit Union National Association, June 19-22 in San Antonio, Texas, aims to deliver a high impact program. The key innovation and leadership event for credit unions, this year's conference theme is Big Time: Big Ideas & Big Opportunities. In addition to keynote speakers Dan Pink, Alison Levine, Eric Saperston, Doug Hall and Dan Heath, CUNA is announcing ACUC will feature several thought leaders. They include:
* Strategist John Lass, speaking about "Supplemental Capital." Lass will present research identifying successful financial strategies for achieving sustainable credit union growth. * Author and former chief customer officer Jeanne Bliss, speaking about "Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad." Bliss will discuss an elite few companies who have true advocates, and five decisions of beloved and prosperous companies. * Marketing guru Scott Stratten, speaking on "UnMarketing." Traditional marketing methods are leading to diminishing returns and disaffected customers. Stratten will show how to unlearn the old ways and consistently attract and engage the right customers--by creating a relationship with members and becoming the logical choice for their needs. * Corporate coach and author Lee Silber, with "The Undercover Speaker. Based on the hit CBS show, "Undercover Boss," Silber's presentation will share examples of credit union executives and employees who do things right. He will talk about perseverance, positive acts of exceptional service, teamwork and cooperation, and how small things make a difference. * Performer Charlie Todd, with "Causing a Scene." The founder of Improv Everywhere, a scene causing performance company whose more than 80 missions has featured thousands of undercover agents, will share how credit unions can tap into their creativity and stand out in a crowded market. * CUNA economists Bill Hampel and Mike Schenk, speaking on "The Economy and its Impact on Credit Unions." They will provide an outlook of the U.S. economy for the rest of 2011 and discuss how the future will impact the financial operations of credit unions for the years ahead.
New this year: CUNA is partnering with CUNA Mutual Group to offer CUNA Mutual's Discovery Conference sessions at ACUC. "ACUC is consistently lauded for its innovative, forward-thinking agenda and unmatched speaker line up," said Bill Cheney, president/CEO of CUNA, who promised the collaboration will be "a one-of-a-kind experience." According to Jeff Post, CUNA Mutual president/CEO, "The credit union movement faces unprecedented challenges, but also opportunities. Best practices and fresh thinking are more relevant than ever." ACUC will continue its exclusive Executive Series, which will allow credit union CEOs and executives to network and hear from leading business authors. Also, special pre- and post-conference meetings will include a Latino Membership Growth Forum and a Small Credit Union Roundtable. Discovery breakout session topics include:
* The Revolutionary Role of Leadership; * Principles of Highly Effective Credit Unions; * Essential Drivers of Member Loyalty; * Helping Members Climb Back from the Financial Crisis; * Health Care Reform and the Compliance Maze; * The Competitive Opportunity for Small Business Services; * Boards of Directors and Governance; * Mobile Technology; * A View to the Future of Credit Unions With Gen Y; * Lending Regulations Update; * Business Services Risk Management; * Social Media and Social Marketing; * Amazing Sales and Service Cultures; * Digital Culture and Strategy; * Strategy and Your Financial Statements; * Constructing a New Vision for Lending; and * Top Fraud Trends in 2011.
ACUC's five keynote speakers will address these topics:
* Dan Pink, best-selling author of A Whole New Mind, "Drive; What the Science of Motivation Can Teach Your About High Performance. * Dan Heath, entrepreneur who has worked with key organizations such as Harvard Business School and Microsoft, "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard." * Alison Levine, adventurer,"Beyond Boundaries." * Doug Hall, founder/CEO of Eureka! Ranch, "Innovative Engineering: How to Innovate and Grow Your Credit Union." * Eric Saperston, who convinced friends to ask some of the world's most powerful people out or a cup of coffee, "The Journey: Lessons from America's Most Influential Leaders."
"This event has great energy," said CUNA Board Chairman Harriet May. "We give credit union decision makers unique access to big thinkers and big ideas in a setting that fosters leadership, unity and strength. From dealing with regulatory challenges to recalibrating for a changing economy to equipping your credit union to seize its greatest opportunities, ACUC delivers a powerful agenda."

42 CU professionals certified as CUDEs

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MADISON, Wis. (4/18/11)--Forty-two credit union professionals earned their Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) designation after a week of intensive training at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.
Click to view larger image Forty-two credit union professionals were led by eight facilitators and mentors through Credit Union Development Education (CUDE) training April 6-13 in Madison, Wis. Pictured are the graduates of 2011 DE Training outside the World Credit Union Center in Madison. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Foundation)
During the program they were guided by eight facilitators and mentors and participated in group exercises, were encouraged to ask questions of visiting speakers, and completed team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations. The mission of the CUDE program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is the primary sponsor of the Development Educator (DE) program. Support is provided by CUNA Mutual Group, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the World Council of Credit Unions, state foundations and leagues. “We refresh the studies every year, incorporating challenges credit unions face today while continuing to provide critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy,” said Lois Kitsch, DE facilitator and national program director for NCUF. “It is timeliness that we strive for in the entire DE training experience as participants work through critical issues that include interchange legislation, mergers and small credit unions, growth plan, financial capability plans, 2012 as the ‘Year of the Cooperative,’ and credit union development in Iraq.” “The DE experience has reignited my passion for working in the credit union movement,” said Meghann Dawson, class attendee and instructional design manager at CUNA. “It has provided a solid foundation with cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and global development issues. I believe that having the knowledge provided by DE combined with the network of other CUDEs, I will now be able to play a more purposeful role in the current and future success of the industry.” For a list of the CUDE graduates use the link.

Maine committee tables state interchange vote

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PORTLAND, Maine (4/18/11)--A Maine legislative committee tabled a vote April 8 on a state interchange bill for three weeks and directed interested parties to participate in a stakeholders’ group meeting held last Friday. At the work session April 8, on LD 1251--An Act To Prevent Credit Card Company Unfair Trade Practices, an anticipated debate and vote by the Insurance & Financial Services Committee did not happen, according to the Maine Credit Union league (Weekly Update April 15). “Many members of the committee seemed inclined to agree with our position so we were cautiously optimistic that the majority of the committee would vote in opposition to the bill,” said Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs. “Although we were disappointed that no vote occurred, we will continue to work to have this bill defeated.” “Credit unions have done a great job stating our position and communicating our opposition with members of the committee, and we anticipate coordinating additional, aggressive grassroots communications once the work session is rescheduled,” league President John Murphy said. “We intend to continue to outline the significant, negative impact that this legislation would have on credit unions and, ultimately, consumers,” Murphy added. “We have made that clear from the beginning and will remain focused on providing factual information to all parties,” he stated. The league will provide updates on the status of the bill and the date for the work session as soon as information becomes available. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) opposes a proposal in Congress capping interchange fees and has told federal lawmakers that such action would harm consumers by driving up costs of debit cards, limiting consumer options, and harming competition and technological innovation. Interchange fees allow business costs, including the risk of consumer nonpayment, to be shared by the payments participants, CUNA said.

Ten receive scholarships to global womens forum

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MADISON, Wis. (4/18/11)--The Global Women’s Leadership Network, co-founded by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), announced Thursday it awarded 10 scholarships for its 2011 Global Women’s Leadership Forum. Network members and the CCA funded the scholarships to empower and support women credit union leaders worldwide. “The network enhances the development of credit unions around the globe by focusing on women professionals and leaders,” said Jo-Anne Ferguson, CCA senior director of the international development program. She added the network enables “women from rich and poor countries to meet their common commitment--professional development and learning, improved credit unions and personal enrichment.” This year’s scholarship recipients include: Eliane Jose Ferreira, Brazil; Elena Koleda, Belarus; Mercedes Castillo, Philippines; Amilvia Rios Martinez, Colombia; Veronica Muthoni Muchim, Kenya; Edith Concepcion Perez Gauto, Paraguay; Anna Chepotib Renoh, Kenya; Rosa Aminta Perez Guido, Nicaragua; Success Swanzi Mbiliyawaka, Malawi; and Rose Angeyando, Uganda. All scholarship recipients will receive a one-year membership to the network; registration to attend the forum July 24, and registration for the World Credit Union Conference, July 24-27, both in Glasgow, Scotland; and additional funding to help cover travel costs. The Global Women’s Leadership Network formed in 2009 to promote professional and personal development of credit union women around the world through peer-to-peer networking, social media and educational workshops. The network “is dedicated to sharing resources to make a difference in our member's communities,” said Susan Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic Associates, and a network member. “Through scholarships, members who might not be able to attend without financial support are given an opportunity to join us at the forum where we all learn from each other.” After the forum, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions will host a golf tournament July 28 at The Carrick on Loch Lomond in Scotland to benefit the network. Proceeds will help fund future scholarships and development programs designed to alleviate poverty by empowering women around the world with access to financial services. For more information, use the links.

Minn. CU committees recognize two volunteers

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (4/18/11)--The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee and Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC) recently honored two individuals for their contributions to their respective committees. Steve Oien of Minnco CU, Cambridge, and Bridget Moeller of Greater Minnesota CU, Mora, received their volunteer awards April 9 at a banquet during the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MnCUN’s) 2011 Annual Meeting and Convention. Oien has served as president/CEO of Minnco CU for nearly 20 years. He joined the MnCU4Kids committee in 2003 and was co-chair from 2004-2008. Oien received the Volunteer of the Year honor for his active involvement in the committee’s golf tournament, Annual Meeting, and Bowl-O-Rama subcommittees and more. This is the third consecutive year Oien has received the MnCU4Kids Volunteer of the Year Award. Last year, Minnesota raised more than $168,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, which has outreach clinics statewide. Fundraising for CU4Kids takes place in all 50 states. Moeller, vice president of human resources/training at Greater Minnesota CU, earned the Minnesota Family Involvement Council’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for her service on the committee. Moeller joined the FIC in 2005 and has served as vice chair since 2007.

Money Mission scholarship winners announced

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MADISON, Wis. (4/18/11)--Money Mission’s first scholarship giveaway in late March awarded three Wisconsin high school seniors a total of $12,000 in scholarships. Recipients included:
* Nathan Carpenter, Harbor CU, Green Bay; * Anquette Kirksey, Heartland CU, Madison; and * Obiageli Nwabuzor, Heartland CU.
Each student received a $4,000 scholarship based on an essay they submitted that outlined what they learned from playing the game. Money Mission, offered by 23 credit unions, is an online interactive game that challenges teens to balance their life along with their finances. Money Mission is a partnership between the Wisconsin Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association. Twenty-three credit unions, including two outside Wisconsin, offer Money Mission. To view two videos on the award winners, use the link.