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CU System briefs (06/11/2014)

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  • HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/11/14)-- The Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation board unanimously approved a $1,000 disaster relief grant to Bellco FCU, Wyomissing, to assist repairing a roof that was damaged by a severe hailstorm May 27 ( Life is a Highway June 10).  "I thank the foundation board for acting so swiftly to assist Bellco FCU during this time of need," said Patrick Conway, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. "I also hope for a speedy recovery of credit union staff and members who sustained damage to personal property." (Pennsylvania Credit Union Association photo) ...
  • MIAMI and SAN ANTONIO (6/11/14)-- As the NBA finals kick into high gear this week with the San Antonio Spurs taking on last year's champion, the Miami Heat, credit unions in each city are getting into the competitive spirit. San Antonio-based Generations FCU, with $519 million in assets, is challenging Miami's South Florida Educational CU, with $876 million in assets. If San Antonio wins the series, South Florida Educational's CEO Mike DiBenedetto will have to wear a Spurs jersey to his office for a day. If Miami wins, Generations CEO Steve Schipull will have to wear a Heat jersey for the day. Photographic proof will be sent to the winning credit union. Also, the losing CEO will make a $250 donation to Credit Unions for Kids on behalf of the winning CEO and his credit union ...
  • FITCHBURG, Mass. (6/11/14)-- Members of IC FCU, Fitchburg, Mass., can take advantage of sweet treats courtesy of their credit union Friday. The talent management team of the $538 million-asset credit union gave away Dylan & Pete's ice cream last Friday and will be passing out coupons at branches for this week's giveaway. "Who doesn't love ice cream?" said President/CEO Tony Emerson, who served up members last week. "Sharing a summer treat with our members and employees is just another way we have fun here" (IC FCU photo) ...
     
  • WESTBROOK, Maine (6/11/14)-- Young and Free Maine announced the finalists for its spokester position: Alexis Albert, 24, Old Orchard; Andrew Soucy, 20, Biddeford; and Mallory Lavoie, 24, Orono. This is the fourth year Maine credit unions have had a spokester to represent credit unions, write blog entries and post videos to the Young and Free website. "While the competition from our field of applicants was fierce, these three candidates truly demonstrated their potential to fill this unique role, and we look forward to seeing how they apply these talents to the next phase of the competition," said John Murphy, president/CEO, Maine Credit Union League. Voting is open on the YoungFreeMaine.com website until June 27 ...
  • MADISON, Wis. (6/11/14)-- Tom Moller is the new president/CEO of Affinity First FCU, Minot, N.D. Moller succeeds Janice Katin who recently retired from the $49 million-asset credit union ( The Memo June 10). He previously worked at Walhalla (N.D.) State Bank and Citizens State Bank, Waverly, Minn. He most recently owned and managed a family business in Rugby, N.D. Moller graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor of science in agricultural economics and a minor in business. The board of Coast360 FCU, Maite, Guam, announced Monday that Gener Deliquina is its new CEO. Deliquina, who had been the chief financial officer for the $321 million-asset credit union, replaces Richard Northey , who retired last month. Deliquina received his bachelor's of business administration in accounting from the University of Guam. "Having been with the credit union for almost 10 years now, he has played a key role in moving our credit union forward in this ever-changing environment," said board Chair Paul Leon Guerrero ( Pacific Daily News June 10). CorePlus FCU, a $195 million-asset credit union in Norwich, Conn., announced that Nicholas Kortson is the new president/CEO. Kortson succeeds Warren Scholl , who retired after a 36-year credit union career ( Your Weekly Update June 10). Fortson joined CorePlus in May 2009 as chief financial officer. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Valparaiso (Ind.) University and is a certified public accountant ... 

Mass. league CEO weighs in on student loan relief

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (6/11/14)--Credit unions and the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Credit Union Leagues received prominent media coverage Monday when league president Paul Gentile was quoted in a Fox Business News article on President Barack Obama's executive order to expand the 2010 "Pay as You Earn" student loan program.
 
The executive order allows borrowers to limit repayment of federal student loans to 10% of their monthly incomes. It will take effect in December 2015 and will affect roughly 5 million borrowers.

The order also increases eligibility in the program to include those who took out loans before 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011 ( Daily CU Scan June 10).  It is expected that the new guidelines will make it possible for an additional 5 million people to participate in this program.
 
Obama also announced he is directing the government to renegotiate contracts with federal student loan servicers to encourage them to make it easier for borrowers to avoid defaulting on their loans. He asked the U.S. Treasury and Education departments to work with major tax preparers to increase awareness about tuition tax credits and flexible repayment options available to borrowers.
 
In the article, Gentile suggested the government should allow private lenders to consolidate federal student loans.
 
Also, more information should be provided to students ahead of college enrollment, Gentile suggested. "We need to train our young adults to make sound decisions in their choice of college and loan amounts," Gentile said. "Right now, they don't have the necessary data to make these decisions with all the information they need."
 
To read the full article use the link.

Monday is deadline for World Council young professional program

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MADISON, Wis. (6/11/14)--Only a few days remain to apply for the World Council Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) scholarship program.

Those interested must submit their nominations for the program by Monday, the World Council of Credit Unions said this week.

Applicants should demonstrate a passion for credit unions and should be interested in networking with young leaders from around the world.

The winners of the scholarship will be announced at an awards ceremony July 30 at the World Credit Union Conference in Gold Coast, Australia.

Each winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip--including conference registration fee, travel costs, hotel accommodations and meals--to attend the 2015 World Credit Union conference in Denver.

"A top priority everywhere today is to grow young adult membership," said Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO. "We find tremendous insights that the industry can tap from the generation itself."

To be eligible for the award, applicants must:
  • Be 35 years of age or younger as of Jan. 1, 2014;
     
  • Demonstrate leadership, personal commitment and the potential to significantly influence credit unions in and outside their country;
     
  • Be sponsored by a World Council member organization to attend the 2014 World Credit Union Conference in Australia;
     
  • Submit a completed nomination form and supporting materials by Monday;
     
  • Not have been a previous scholarship recipient; and
     
  • Not be a World Council employee.
To learn more about the WYCUP scholarship program or to download a nomination form, use the resource link.

CU sweetens up community with chocolate bar proceeds

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WACO, Texas (6/11/14)--First Central CU, Waco, Texas, with $61 million in assets, has a sweet deal going for the community it serves--the proceeds from the chocolate bars it sells at its branches are all finding their way back into town ( Brownwood Bulletin June 10).

Recently, the credit union used part of its chocolate sales to award two local elementary students with bicycles for achieving perfect attendance at school this year.

First Central granted the new bicycles through a partnership with Waco I.S.D. Bells Hill Elementary School, which rewards one boy and one girl with perfect attendance a brand-new set of wheels twice a year.

Any elementary student with perfect attendance is eligible for the prize, according to Brownwood Bulletin.

The credit union also funded part of the elementary school's field day festivities with the candy money, providing drinks, snacks and popsicles.

Also, First Central uses the chocolate cash to help fund Books 4 Kids, a program that guarantees that every second-grader in Brown County receives a book at Christmastime.

Finally, after hearing the story of an 8-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in McLennan County, the credit union used part of its chocolate-bar sales money to help pay for his family's expenses, such as for gas money for the boy's mother to drive him to doctor's appointments, and to recoup money lost from her missing work.

CUNA community conference focuses on CUs' timeless message

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MADISON, Wis. (6/11/14)--Jeff Rendel has been announced as the emcee and opening keynoter for this year's Credit Union National Association Community Credit Union and Growth Conference, to be held Nov. 3-6 in Las Vegas.
 
Rendel will discuss the need for a reinvented movement propelled by timeless credit union principles.
 
"The idea of CUNA's Community Credit Union and Growth Conference is to prompt future-focused action by bringing credit union leaders together," said Meghann Dawson, CUNA director of learning events. "With a forward-thinker like Rendel at the helm, this year's event will not only foster important relationships between credit unions, but inspire change in line with this year's theme: Looking back to look forward."
 
Attendees of Rendel's keynote session, "It's 1934 All Over Again--A Revitalized Movement and a Promised Future for All," will hear how credit unions' pursuit of universal value and service can be directed to fuel the growth and innovation that they will need to thrive.
 
During hot-topic sessions, industry experts and speakers will introduce new perspectives, strategies and action plans for overcoming the biggest challenges facing today's community credit unions.
 
Also onsite, the 2014 Community Credit Union of the Year award will be presented. This distinction is bestowed upon credit unions that, in all aspects, consistently excel in the advancement of the ideals of the credit union movement, are proactive in their community and provide a wide array of services that meet the needs of their diverse communities.

Risk high, actual loss low for remote deposit capture

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NEW YORK (6/11/14)--Remote-deposit capture (RDC) technology brings physical checks into the digital world but with a risk that still has some credit unions wary.
 
With 33% of non-cash transactions still occurring via checks, both in-person check-cashing services and RDC are needed by consumers.
 
According to a recent report from the Center for Financial Services Innovation, duplicate presentment of a check is the significant source of mobile RDC-related fraud.
 
One of the most common schemes is when a consumer deposits funds with his mobile device and goes almost immediately to a check-cashing service with the same item, the report noted. The mobile RDC channel has more than twice the average rate for returned checks both in the prior two years and past 60 days, according to data provided to CSFI from Certegy.
 
However, in a survey of nearly 250 financial institutions, 80% reported no losses had occurred due to RDC, according to RemoteDepositCapture.com (May 21).
 
Availability of funds is one way to control risk, said John Leekley, founder/CEO of RemoteDepositCapture.com. Twenty-eight percent of respondents provide same-day or immediate funds, 51% offer next-day availability, and 16% have a two-day policy.
 
An additional tool to mitigate fraud is to apply risk ratings to individual deposits based on account size, deposit amount, frequency of deposits, previous fraud incidents and member segmentation, said Leekley ( Bank Systems and Technology May 21).

Bethpage FCU's custom card benefits Long Beach relief fund

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LONG BEACH, N.Y. (6/11/14)--New York's largest credit union has opened its first branch in Long Beach and, with it, has launched a community-specific debit card that will drum up donations for Superstorm Sandy relief efforts ( Newsday June 9).

Bethpage FCU's newest branch will issue debit cards to raise funds for the City of Long Beach Relief Fund. (Bethpage FCU photo)
Bethpage (N.Y.) FCU, with $5.6 billion in assets, said it will donate $50 to the City of Long Beach Relief Fund and $50 to the credit union member for each checking account opened with direct deposit at the new branch.

This initiative comes on the heels of the credit union helping drive an "Open for Business" ad campaign last year, in partnership with the city, to bring attention to the city's resurgence following the deadly and destructive hurricane that ravaged the East Coast in 2012.

A Bethpage representative told Newsday that the debit card program will serve as a pilot for potential, future customized community debit cards.

The new branch--the credit union's 28th--will offer service to both English- and Spanish-speaking members, and will be staffed by six full-time and two part-time employees.

Dubuque neighborhood perks up with CU's Caisse Cafe

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (6/11/14)--Credit unions, and other community financial institutions, have long sought a formula to create a branch that could serve as more than a place for routine transactions, but as a destination for members and the community to gather. Later this summer, Dubuque, Iowa-based IntegrUS CU, with $19 million in assets, will offer its community just that when it opens a branch that includes a wireless cafe and coffee shop.

In addition to serving as a full-service branch, Caisse Cafe-- a loose French translation of "credit union coffee"--will serve gourmet and flavored coffees, specialty beverages, and a limited assortment of baked goods and breakfast items. The location will also feature a 24-hour ATM in the branch entry.

"People will get a chance to stop by, buy a great cup of coffee, sit awhile and relax. Caisse Cafe will help us serve our members and potential members on a more personal basis," said President/CEO Jonathon Miller.

The coffee and food served at Caisse Cafe will also have community ties. Jumpy Monkey Coffee is made with select beans from around the world and then hand-roasted in Sioux City, Iowa, by individuals with disabilities.

Opportunities Unlimited purchased the Seattle-based Jumpy Monkey brand for the purpose of providing meaningful and purposeful employment to persons with disabilities.

The cafe will also feature baked goods produced locally by East Mill Bakeshop and Catering. The bakery uses locally farmed ingredients in many of its products.

Dakotas board makes officer changes at annual meeting

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (6/11/14)--The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) held its eighth annual business meeting June 6, during which it elected new directors to its board.
 
CUAD President/CEO Robbie Thompson led the meeting of nearly 90 delegates representing credit unions in North Dakota and South Dakota ( The Memo June 9).
 
The board determined its executive committee for the next term:
  • Chair: Travis Kasten, president/CEO, Service First FCU, Sioux Falls, S.D., with $132 million in assets (South Dakota Division A);
     
  • First vice chair: Steve Davis, chief operating officer of Capital CU, Bismarck, N.D., with $362 million in assets (North Dakota Division A);
     
  • Second vice chair: Shannon Webster, senior vice president of marketing, Town and Country CU, Minot, N.D., with $352 million in assets (North Dakota at-large position);
     
  • Secretary/treasurer:  Veronica Holweger, manager, Riverfork FCU, Grand Forks, N.D., with $23 million in assets (North Dakota Division C); and
     
  • Mid-America Service Corp. chair: Peter Butterfield, president/CEO, Dakota Plains FCU, Lemmon, S.D., with $46 million in asset (South Dakota Division B).
The board of directors includes:
  • Mike Reisnour, president/CEO, Dakota Plains CU, Edgeley, N.D., with $62 million in assets (Multi-state at-large position);
     
  • Mary Connick, president/CEO, Minuteman Community FCU, Rapid City, S.D. (South Dakota Division C);
     
  • Joel Metz, director, Prairie FCU, Minot, N.D., with $106 million in assets (elected unopposed for North Dakota Division B); and
     
  • George Jewett, director, Black Hills FCU, Rapid City, S.D., with $995 million in assets (won election for South Dakota at-large position).