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CU System Archive

CU System

Three CUs help get word out theres money to lend

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SAGINAW, Mich. (5/19/10)--Three credit unions in Saginaw County, Mich., are helping get the word out that there's money to lend to small businesses. Wildfire CU of Kochville Township, United Financial CU of Bridgeport, and Frankenmuth (Mich.) CU have earmarked a collective $2.5 million specifically for small businesses, said The Saginaw News (via mlive.com May 18). The three credit unions are among more than 30 credit unions in the state that formed the Michigan Credit Union Small Business Financing Alliance, pledging a collective $43 million to lend through the program. Wildfire said it pledged $1 million because there is a need in the community for business lending. Andrea Hales, Wildfire's vice president of business lending, noted the economy has tightened credit and businesses are finding it harder to get loans. As a result credit unions "have become bigger players in the market, which gives customers an alternative," she told the newspaper. Wildfire has loaned to small businesses for years, but the alliance makes the process easier because it is getting the word out that credit unions have money to lend,. Some people still don't know that, Hales said. The alliance works with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s 12 regional Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers across the state to educate entrepreneurs and small business owners about how to start a business and apply for credit, said Dave Adams CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League. While Michigan banks cut back on small business loans by 68% in 2009, Michigan credit unions increased small business loans by 18%, Adams told the newspaper. United Financial CU told the newspaper it earmarked $1 million for the program but would lend more if the opportunity arose. Frankenmuth CU said the cooperative effort will make a difference because small business lending is the biggest addition to its business.

Bergengrens daughter Dorothy Hartman dies

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BERLIN, Vt. (5/19/10)--Dorothy Bergengren Hartman, daughter of credit union pioneer and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) founder Roy F. Bergengren, died May 3 in Berlin, Vt., CUNA has learned. Hartman died at her home at the age of 93. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward M. Hartman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1939. She was Berlin town clerk from 1987 to 2002 and assistant town clerk from 1973 to 1987 (Times Argus May 4). Bergengren founded the Credit Union National Extension Bureau--CUNA's predecessor--in 1921 to work toward establishing credit union laws in all states and at the federal level. He served as CUNA's first managing director (now CEO) when it was formed in 1934. Hartman's daughter Kathleen Pelletier spoke at the America's Credit Union Conference in Boston, Mass., last year as part of CUNA's commemoration of its 75th anniversary. Hartman is survived by four children, 21 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Mid-America CUA announces Dakotas scholarships

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BISMARCK, N.D. (5/19/10)--Mid-America Credit Union Association awarded 10 scholarships of $500 each to North Dakota and South Dakota high school students. Five students from these North Dakota high schools received scholarships:
* Richardton-Taylor (N.D.) High School; * Devils Lake (N.D.) High School; * Edgeley (N.D.) High School; * Bishop Ryan High School, Minot; and * Century High School, Bismarck.
Five students from these South Dakota high schools received scholarships:
* Timber Lake (S.D.) High School; * Britton-Hecia School, Britton; * Tea (S.D.) Area High School; * Watertown (S.D.) Senior High School; and * Andes Central High School, Lake Andes.
The scholarships are awarded to students who are credit union members. Recipients are selected by a panel of five judges. Applicants must write an essay answering one of two questions, “How, through your involvement in community/school activities, events or volunteer efforts, have you shown the cooperative spirit?” or, “What can your credit union do to continue providing you with financial solutions for a lifetime?”

Where are low card rates At CUs says IForbesI

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NEW YORK (5/19/10)--Credit unions are good places for consumers to look for low interest rates on credit cards, Forbes.com said Monday. In an article titled, “Where the Low Credit Card Rates are Hiding,” writer Asher Hawkins said Forbes has urged readers for a long time to look into the benefits of joining a credit union. “There are eligibility rules for these organizations as well, but chances are there’s at least one credit union you’ll be eligible to join,” Hawkins wrote. “Credit unions have become increasingly attractive as consumers tire of high rates and various fees charged on plastic issued by big commercial banks,” he added. To read the article, use the link.

Shot fired during robbery no one hurt

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SUFFOLK, Va. (5/19/10)--A man who Monday attempted to rob Metropolitan Church FCU in Suffolk, Va., fired a shot in the credit union, but no one was hurt. The masked robber entered the credit union, flashed his gun and demanded money, according to Suffolk police (The Virginian Pilot via HamptonRoads.com May 18). The man fired a shot when a teller ran to the back of the credit union. He fled the credit union on foot. Police are investigating the incident.

Illinois youth saved 861756 during challenge

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (5/19/10)--Illinois youth saved $861,756 during the National Youth Saving Challenge as a part of National Credit Union Youth Week, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) April 19-23. Nineteen Illinois credit unions participated in the challenge, said the Illinois Credit Union League. The money youth saved at Illinois credit unions is part of the $25 million saved by youth nationwide. This year’s theme was “Get in the Savings Game.” The number of youth savers increased nationwide by 21.6% and the number of new youth savings accounts increased by 4.4%, said CUNA. About 168,438 youth made deposits and opened 10,385 new accounts, with an average deposit of $147. In 2009, about 138,444 youth deposited $26 million and opened 9,946 new accounts. The average deposit was $190. Credit unions nationwide hosted special activities and events at their branches to celebrate Youth Week. Many also offered financial literacy lessons. Next year’s National Credit Union Youth Week will be held April 17-23.

Oregon CU advocates help raise candidates profile

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (5/19/10)--Eight Oregon credit unions put a message of thanks on their website home pages to raise the profile for Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Ore.), who ran for state treasurer in Tuesday’s election. Results were not yet available as of press time. Metsger has supported credit unions for many years, according to the Credit Union Association of Oregon. UFCW FCU, Portland, placed information about Metsger on its Facebook page, and Rogue FCU met with the senator in Medford and said it would get the word out on his campaign to membership. CUAO also advocated for Metsger. CUAO named Metsger its Legislator of the Decade at last year’s annual meeting. The treasurer position opened after the death of another longtime credit union friend, Ben Westlund, in March, said CUAO.

Recession shapes consumer choices for personal finance

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (5/19/10)--The recession is shaping consumers’ choices for personal financial tools, according to CO-OP Financial Services. Many consumers are weighing safety, convenience and services, and are discovering that credit unions are changing the way people manage their money. “These are times when people are looking to get the most from their time and money, and they’re actively looking for alternatives to for-profit banks,” said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. Credit unions are offering increasingly technologically-advanced financial tools, such as mobile banking through mobile phones or iPhones, home check scanning and deposits, debit card services, reloadable prepaid cards, kiosks with branch-teller services, member call centers, and branch and ATM locator technologies through text, smart phones or global positioning systems. Credit unions also are expanding convenience to their members through shared branching. Members can access CO-OP’s 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs at credit union branches and retail locations such as 7-Eleven, Costco, Walgreens and Publix. “Interestingly, younger credit union members are not only early adopters of credit unions’ advanced electronic channels, but are also the largest member segment to use brick and mortar shared branching,” Hollen added. CO-OP Financial Services, a credit union service organization, is based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Former Porsche CEO Crear at N.Y. CUs meeting

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ALBANY, N.Y. (5/19/10)--Peter Schutz, former president/CEO of Porsche AG Worldwide, and Pete Crear, president/CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), will address credit unions and credit union supporters during the Credit Union Association of New York’s three-day Annual Business Meeting and Convention.
The event will be held in Cooperstown, N.Y., June 7-9. Baseball great Johnny Bench also will be a convention keynoter. Schutz will provide techniques for gaining and sustaining a competitive edge. Under his leadership from 1981 to 1988, Porsche’s worldwide sales nearly doubled, and revenues more than tripled. His work earned him the Henry Townley Heald Award, presented to individuals whose positive ethics impact an entire industry. Today, Schutz lectures on management techniques around the globe. He also authored “The Driving Force: Extraordinary Results from Ordinary People.” Crear has directed the activities of WOCCU since 2005. He will discuss global credit union growth and the role credit unions play in developing countries. Crear is a member of the Michigan Credit Union League Hall of Fame, Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) and the Cooperative Development Foundation, and is the recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the African-American Credit Union Coalition and the National Credit Union Foundation. New York’s 2010 Annual Business Meeting and Convention also will feature 16 education sessions led by industry experts on topics ranging from compliance to risk management to growth strategies.

Wendell Bucky Sebastian named NCUF exec director

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WASHINGTON (5/19/10)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) board Tuesday named credit union system veteran Wendell “Bucky” Sebastian as the charitable organization’s new executive director, effective June 14. Sebastian is well known within the credit union community, having spent 20 years as CEO of Tampa, Fla.-based GTE FCU. He also was executive director and general counsel of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) from 1981 to 1985 during Edgar F. Callahan’s tenure as chairman. After his service at NCUA, Sebastian co-founded Callahan & Associates, a credit union consulting firm. He is also a former general counsel of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions. “Bucky is an innovator whose breadth of experience, deep understanding of the credit union movement, and passion for our mission make him the ideal choice to take the foundation to new and higher levels of success,” said NCUF board Chairman Allan Kemp McMorris, CEO of Oakland County CU, Waterford, Mich. The executive director position had been vacant since the departure in December of Steve Delfin, who left to become CEO of America’s Charities. NCUF has been run on an interim basis by Managing Administrative Director Tom Candell during the executive search process. The search committee was chaired by Gary Oakland, CEO of BECU, Tukwila, Wash. Candell will continue in his role as the NCUF’s managing administrative director. As executive director, Sebastian will manage the foundation’s eight-member staff, cultivate and maintain relationships with the credit union system’s donor constituency, seek grants for program priorities and foster initiatives that further the NCUF’s development goals. He will be based in the foundation’s Washington, D.C. office. Sebastian also has served on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, CO-OP Financial Services and has chaired the boards of National Center for Member Trust and the Tampa Firefighter’s Museum.

CU System briefs (05/18/2010)

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* SALT LAKE CITY (5/19/10)--Tyson James, also known as James Michael Thayne, 31, was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing TransWest CU in Salt Lake City on April 14, 2008. U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball also said James will be placed on supervised release for three years after the prison term. James pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He pulled out a Smith & Wesson pistol, racked a bullet into the gun's chamber, and demanded money before fleeing with more than $6,300. A family member identified James as the robber after viewing the credit union's surveillance tape (The Salt Lake Tribune May 14) ... * LANSING, Mich. (5/19/10)--Michele Myrick, former executive vice president of Port Huron, Mich.-based E&A CU, who died March 17, has been honored posthumously with the Michigan Credit Union Foundation's 2010 Community Credit Union Volunteer Award. for exemplary volunteer service outside the credit union system. Myrick was involved in many organizations, including the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce, Blue Water YWCA, the Sanilac Economic Alliance, and charitable causes such as the March of Dimes and United Way's "Walk for Babies." Also, the CURE Defense Fund board of trustees voted to name scholarships created from CURE Golf Outing funds the "Michele Myrick CURE Defense Fund Scholarships." The scholarships are used to send Michigan credit union leaders to grassroots lobbying events in Washington, D.C. (Michigan Monitor May 17) ... * RALEIGH, N.C. (5/19/10)--State Employees' CU (SECU) members through the SECU Foundation granted $300,000 to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care to assist with the construction of an additional hospice facility in the county. On hand were the foundation's check presentation were hospice officials, credit union representatives, and SECU Advisory Board volunteers, including Joan Vaughn of the Lenoir Board and Peggy Throneburg of the Granite Falls Board. Currently under construction, the 15,135-sq.ft., 12-bed patient care unit is located in Hudson, N.C. The facility will triple the capacity of hospice beds in the country to 18 from the current six. The patient care unit also will provide a family living and dining area, family kitchen, chapel, and children's play room. The center serves more than 120 hospice patients a day. (Photo provided by State Employees' CU) ... * GERMANTOWN, Md. (5/19/10)--Mid-Atlantic FCU (MAFCU)has been selected as a "2010 Workplace Excellence Winner" by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) for the fourth consecutive year. For the past 11 years, the alliance has identified the Washington, D.C., area's best places to work. The award highlights businesses that promote professional fulfillment and personal wellness at work, at home and in the community. "We are continuously evaluating our benefits programs," said Theresa Elliott, vice president of human resources with MAFCU. "It is important to find creative ways to fulfill the changing needs of our employees so that they can maintain work-life balance." The award will be presented June 1 at AWE's annual awards luncheon ...