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Two elected to South Carolina CU League board

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (4/30/12)--South Carolina credit unions elected one new director and re-elected another to the South Carolina Credit Union League (SCCUL) Board of Directors, and both will serve full three-year terms.

Election results were announced at the April 21 business session of the SCCUL & Affiliates 2012 Annual Meeting in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

New to the 2012-2013 SCCUL Board of Directors is Nick Wodogaza, president/CEO of Palmetto Citizens FCU, Columbia. Re-elected is Faye Crocker, CEO of Greater Abbeville (S.C.) FCU.

Continuing their multi-year terms in 2012-2013 are: Rick Hammond, president/CEO of S.C. State FCU, Columbia; Robert Harris, CEO of Health Facilities FCU, Florence; W. Ray Partain, board member for Anderson (S.C.) FCU; Anne Shivers, president/CEO of Carolina Collegiate FCU, Columbia; and Linda Weatherford, vice president at SPC CU, Hartsville.

Following the business session, the board named its officers: Crocker, chairman; Shivers, vice chairman; Partain, treasurer; and Harris, secretary.

As immediate past chairman, Weatherford will serve one more term as a board member before acting as an ex officio member. Scott Woods, president/CEO of SC FCU, North Charleston, remains as an ex officio member of the board, as is SCCUL President/CEO Steve Fowler.

Of the 73 member credit unions eligible to vote for the new directors, 59 completed required voting credentials. Of those, 57 submitted ballots to independent accounting firm Cantey, Tiller, Pierce, & Green, LLP of Camden, S.C.

40 CU professionals become CU Dev. Educators

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MADISON, Wis. (4/30/12)--Forty credit union professionals were guided by eight program facilitators and mentors through the week-long Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training. The April 18-25 training was held on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis., said the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).

During the week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, encouraged to ask questions of visiting speakers, and completed team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.

"DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today," 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 member business lending, mergers and small credit unions, bank conversion, serving emerging markets, national branding, and credit union development in Haiti."

"This was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to separate myself from my daily routine and take a macro view of our movement," said Tony Emerson, class attendee and president/ CEO of The Credit Union League of Connecticut. "As a league president, I found it especially motivating to see the passion and dedication others have for seeing our industry survive and be there for our members. It should be everyone's goal to attain this designation."

The 2012 graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S. and one from Kenya participating through the African DE Scholars Program.

"Industry trainings and conferences remind you that you are a part of something bigger than yourself and your credit union, but DE Training goes a step beyond," said Lisa Totaro, marketing associate at Sunmark FCU in Latham, N.Y. "DE reminds us that we are part of a worldwide cooperative movement united by deep philosophical principles, and helps cement what sets us apart. It reminds us what 'people helping people' is really about."

"The Poverty Simulation (or Life Simulation) on its own, is worth the price of attendance," said Jeff Kunberger, service center manager at Suncoast Schools FCU location. "Being able to put yourself in your member's shoes as they live week to week and day to day, and the frustration of all the obstacles placed in front of them opens your eyes to all the potential products, services and solutions we as a credit union can offer to improve the quality of our member's lives."

The next DE Training will be held at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis., Sept. 6-13. Registration is still open and can be found at the NCUF website. Use the link.

To see a list of the new 40 Credit Union Development Educators, use the link.

Federation highlights CU difference at NYC Green Festival

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NEW YORK (4/30/12)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and several of its member credit unions highlighted their advantages for individuals looking for affordable financial services and access to credit, during New York City's Green Festival held at the New York City's Javits Convention Center earlier this month.

The event also showcased the economic benefit of financial cooperatives to the communities they serve.

Several New York City-based member credit unions participated, including Bethex FCU, the Lower East Side People's FCU, Union Settlement FCU and United Nations FCU. The federation's table was located near the front of the 20,000 square-foot convention room.

The event--with more than 25,000 visitors attending--afforded the federation and its member credit unions (CDCUs) the opportunity to discuss the benefits of community-based financial cooperatives regarding the advantages available to individuals looking for affordable financial services and access to credit.

The federation's credit union volunteers were among the few exhibitors discussing alternative banking and responsible financial services. They answered questions from interested consumers looking to learn more about the differences between credit unions and banks, the types of products offered at credit unions, where to find their local credit union and how to join.

"It was great to have our volunteers come out and represent UNFCU at this event to discuss our greening initiatives, as well as to support the federation in this UN-declared International Year of Cooperatives," said Pamela Agnone, senior vice president of retail services at United Nations FCU. "There was just so much positive energy filling the exhibit hall, with each organization working to do their part for their communities and the environment."

"This was an extremely successful event," said federation program associate Elizabeth Friedrich, who coordinated the credit union volunteers participating at the festival. "There was a lot of interest in the work that credit unions are doing. We spoke with literally hundreds of attendees about the benefits of banking local through credit unions and handed out nearly all the informational materials we brought with us. Hopefully our member CDCUs will have lots of new members knocking on their doors as a result of our efforts."

The Green Festival--one of the premier sustainability events in the U.S.--hosted more than 100 authors, leaders and educators, including Russell Simmons and Amy Goodman; how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for children; organic beer and wine; vegetarian cuisine; and live music.

MCUA adds CUDE expertise

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ST. LOUIS (4/30/12)--The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) has expanded its team of Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Three MCUA staff members earned their CUDE designation last week, bringing MCUA's staff total to 13 CUDEs.

Kevin Brueseke, chief financial officer; Don Cohenour, chief membership officer and Mark Hohenstein, shared branching vice president, joined 37 credit union professionals from across the world for the Spring program in Madison, WI.

After completing development educator school in 2005, Kevin Shaw, MCUA  Office of Small Credit Unions director, returned to the program to serve as a group mentor.   

"MCUA is the most invested league in the country, and perhaps organization, in the country in our credit union movements premier philosophy training program and boot camp," said Mike Beall, president/CEO. "At MCUA, we believe that our commitment to our credit unions, and to the philosophy of our movement is made stronger by the CUDE designations earned by these professionals."

MCUA's commitment to the CUDE philosophy extends beyond internal staff to outside counsel and business partners including legal, strategic, corporate, foundation and website consultants. 

"Each of these folks adds to the value of what MCUA brings to the table in our work with and on behalf of credit unions," said Beall.

Minn. CU4Kids committee members recognized

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (4/30/12)--The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee and the Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC), committees of the MNCU Foundation, recently honored two members for their contributions.

Roxi Jensen (right) assistant manager of Embarrass (Minn.) Vermillion CU, was recognized as the Minnesota Credit Union for Kids Volunteer of the Year at an awards banquet held in conjunction with the Minnesota Credit Union Network's (MnCUN's) 2012 Annual Meeting & Convention. Jensen is pictured with Mark Cummins, president/CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network.
Roxi Jensen of Embarrass (Minn.) Vermillion CU and Bridget Moeller of Greater Minnesota CU received their volunteer awards on April 14 during an awards banquet held in conjunction with the Minnesota Credit Union Network's (MnCUN's) 2012 Annual Meeting & Convention.

Jensen, assistant manager of Embarrass Vermillion FCU, was recognized for her contributions to MnCU4Kids with its Volunteer of the Year Award. She became a committee member in 2006. She has been actively involved in serving on subcommittees for the Credit Union for Kids golf tournament, annual meeting fundraiser and the Bowl-O-Rama event.

"I'm honored to be recognized for this award, and I'm happy to serve on a committee that raises money for such a worthwhile cause," Jensen said. "With our fundraisers and other activities, we can directly help the kids and families who need it at Gillette. It's fulfilling work, and I'm proud to be a volunteer for this committee."

Bridget Moeller, right, vice president of human resources and training at Greater Minnesota CU, Mora, Minn., was honored for the second time as the Minnesota Family Involvement Council Outstanding Volunteer. Moeller is pictured with Mark Cummins, president/CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. (Photos provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Last year, Minnesota raised nearly $160,000 for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, which has outreach clinics statewide. Nationally, fundraising for CU4Kids takes place in all 50 states.

Moeller, vice president of human resources and training at Greater Minnesota CU in Mora, earned the Minnesota Family Involvement Council's Outstanding Volunteer Award for her service on the committee. Moeller joined the FIC in 2005 and was elected to serve as the chair of the committee in 2011.

Before serving Chair, Moeller served as the FIC's vice chair since 2007. She plays an integral role in coordinating the committee's annual silent auction fundraiser, and she is involved in the committee's scholarship program. This is the second consecutive year she has received the award.

The FIC is a volunteer-based organization run by credit union professionals. Its mission is to enhance the future of the credit union movement by providing financial awareness to families. The FIC focuses on providing scholarships to Minnesota credit union members to help further their education and to nurture their relationship with credit unions. The recipient of the annual award is voted on by members of the council.

"The FIC is an incredible group of people," Moeller said. "I know there are many people on this committee who work very hard and are quite deserving of this award, and it is a great honor to be recognized by them again. The committee's dedication to our scholarship program and their commitment to financial education are notable contributions to Minnesota's credit unions. It's a great feeling to be part of this team."

"It's the dedication of people like Roxi and Bridget and their significant contributions to credit unions that help strengthen the movement," said Rachel Anderson, MnCUN director of communications and MnCU4Kids and FIC liaison. "They truly believe in their respective causes, and the accolades they received are well-deserved."

Illinois league seats new board officials elected

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (4/30/12)--Many elections by the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) and affiliated organizations have taken place at ICUL's 82nd Annual Convention, including the seating of ICUL's new 12-member board of directors.

The change in the size of the ICUL board was as a result of a bylaw amendment passed by the delegates in 2009 to address corporate governance of the league, through a reduction in the current size of its board to 12 directors, effective Jan.1. The bylaw amendment also redefined the league board by three multi-chapter regions (districts) of four directors each based on member size: less than 3,000 members (Class A), 3,000 to 9,999 (Class B), 10,000 or more (Class C) and At Large (Class D).

New Illinois Credit Union League Board chairman Geri Burek, took her oath of office with outgoing Chairman Dennis Hall, CEO, IH Mississippi Valley CU, at ICUL's 82nd Annual Convention held last week. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League)
Geraldine Burek, CEO of South Division CU, Evergreen Park, was elected chairman. Burek will serve on the league board as the Class B director for District 2 and has been an ICUL director since 2003. During that time, she has also been chairman of the annual convention and legislative committees, served on the executive committee, and on the CUPAC board for 21 years. In addition, she began serving on the ICU Foundation board in 2009. Burek also willserve as ICUL Service Corporation (LSC) chairman.

Pete Paulson, CEO, Corporate America Family CU, Elgin, was elected vice chairman. Paulson, from the Fox Valley Chapter, will serve as the Class D At Large director for District 3 and has been on the League board since 2003. During that time, Paulson has also participated on the annual convention and executive committees. He also was on the LSC board for four years.  Paulson will serve as LSC vice chairman.

Peggy Cummins, CEO, Three Rivers Community CU, Mt. Carmel, was elected secretary/treasurer. Cummins, from the Southern Illinois Chapter, will serve as the Class A director for District 1. She has been on the league board since 1996 and during that time has also served on the annual convention, credit union support group, executive and legislative committees. In addition, she has served on the ICU Foundation board since 2001.

Election of new officers for the Illinois Credit Union (ICU) Foundation; Credit Union Political Action Council (CUPAC) and Illinois Youth Involvement Council (IYIC) also took place.

The ICU Foundation held its annual meeting and elected its officers. In addition, CUPAC elected new officers at its annual meeting held in conjunction with the convention. The IYIC re-elected its executive committee, also during the convention.

With a sports theme of "Get in the Game!" ICUL's three-day convention concluded Saturday at the Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center. More than 650 executives representing 120 credit unions attended.

NJCUL contest winner announced helps disabled

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TOTOWA, N.J. (4/30/12)--North Jersey FCU, Totowa, N.J., has been named the winner of New Jersey Credit Union League's (NJCUL) "Banking You Can Trust" story contest for its happy tale of helping one member, who had been turned down again and again by banks, get the financing she needed for a wheelchair accessible van for her disabled son.

North Jersey FCU President/CEO Lourdes Cortez (left) receives a "Banking You Can Trust" certificate from New Jersey Credit Union League Marketing and Communications Coordinator Marissa Anema. (Photo provided by New Jersey Credit Union League)
NJCUL asked credit unions to share their personal stories about how they have helped members in a profound way (The Daily Exchange April 27).

As the winner of NJCUL's "Banking You Can Trust" Story Contest, North Jersey FCU receives a feature story in NJCUL's Weekly Exchange newsletter, a framed reprint of the story, a feature story in NJCUL's legislative newsletter NJ CU Digest, the story featured on the home page of the league website, the story sent to the local press, and a certificate certifying that the credit union provides "Banking You Can Trust."