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Oregon CU Act Improvement Bill Sent To Governor

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SALEM, Ore. (6/18/13)--A bill to update the Oregon Credit Union Act passed in the state House Wednesday. The Northwest Credit Union Association backed the bill.

The bill passed with 59 "yes" votes and one "excused" vote (Anthem Recap June 13).

Recommendations by NWCUA's Oregon State Model Act Subcommittee resulted in the legislation. The subcommittee is chaired by Scott Burgess, president/CEO of the $569 million asset Rivermark Community CU, Beaverton, Ore.

The bill will:

  • Broaden Oregon's parity authority by allowing the state's credit unions to invoke parity with out-of-state credit unions and streamline the process for invoking parity with federally chartered credit unions;
  • Clarify the role of the supervisory committee in governance-related matters;
  • Extend additional liability protection to credit union directors and officers;
  • Remove wording in the state law that requires the board to "perform other duties as the members of the credit union from time to time direct and perform or authorize any action not inconsistent with this chapter and not specifically reserved by the bylaws for the members";
  • Remove duplicative and unnecessary language in Oregon law that permits a credit union to employ a chief operating officer/president and a security officer; and
  • Make the declaring of dividends a power that can be delegated under Oregon law.

CU System Briefs (06/18/2013)

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  • AMARILLO, Texas (6/18/13)--A former loan officer at Pampa Teachers FCU, Pampa, Texas, was sentenced June 13 to 36 months in federal prison for embezzling $422,973 from the credit union.  Erin Dawn Trevathan, 26, of Amarillo, Texas., also was ordered to pay $442,297 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson, according to a Department of Justice press release. Trevathan pleaded guilty in April to one count of fraud, said the U.S. Attorney's  office for the Northern District of Texas.  Trevathan was the sole loan officer at the branch from July 2008 to December 2010. An audit discovered irregularities. She allegedly admitted making false entries and stealing cash from the credit union's main account for personal use ...
  • DENVER (6/18/13)--Yolanda Marie Gonzalez, 42, of Wheat Ridge, Colo., was sentenced Friday to two years in a jail work-release program for stealing nearly $80,000 from Green Mountain Westerra CU in Lakewood, Colo. (The Denver Post June 14). Gonzalez is the former manager of the branch. The money was stolen while she worked there from August 2011 to February 2012, said the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. She allegedly moved the stolen cash into family members' accounts, then altered the books to disguise the theft. She also was sentenced to seven years of intensive supervision probation after the jail sentence ...
  • ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (6/18/13)--
    Click to view larger image Click for larger view
    Credit unions and banks in St. Joseph, Mich., collaborated on hosting an informal gathering with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to discuss legislation and other issues impacting credit unions and other financial institutions in Michigan's Congressional District 6. The meeting was co-hosted by United FCU President/CEO Gary Easterling and Edgewater Bank President/CEO Rick Dyer to bring together competing institutions with common issues. Many issues, such as the Dodd-Frank Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, have implications that touch all financial institutions, they said. Upton discussed these and other issues including the ability to qualify for mortgages, the cost of growth for companies, the 2014 Senate race and tax reform. Credit unions represented included United FCU, St. Joseph; Consumers CU, Kalamazoo; Country Heritage CU, Buchanan; Dowagiac (Mich.) Area FCU;  Greater Niles Community FCU, Niles; and Honor CU, St. Joseph.  Pictured are, from left: Easterling, Upton and Dyer. (Photo provided by United FCU) ...
  • ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/18/13)--National Credit Union Administration Board Member Michael E. Fryzel praised the scholarship and student outreach program of the Polish & Slavic FCU, Mt. Prospect, Ill., Saturday at the credit union's 2013 Scholarship Ceremony. "The credit union's commitment to supporting the education of tomorrow's leaders is commendable and to be applauded," Fryzel said. "When the credit union provides scholarships to these students, it's a clear example of the founding philosophy of the credit union movement--people helping people."  Thirty-seven credit union members received scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000. The celebration was part of the credit union's program that awarded 269 winners in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. The program demonstrated the credit union's strong roots in the Chicagoland community and its role as a strong force in the financial industry, Fryzel said ...

Judge Whose FOM Ruling Was Upheld By Supreme Court Dies

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WASHINGTON (6/18/13)--A U.S. District Court judge--whose ruling that federal credit unions may not take on new members who don't share a common bond was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996--has died. The ruling led to the passage of the National Credit Union Membership Access Act.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson died from complications of cancer at the age of 76, according to The New York Times (June 15).

In 1996, Jackson ordered the National Credit Union Administration to rescind 31 credit union expansions based on multiple groups. At issue was the Federal Credit Union Act's limitation of membership to "groups having common bonds of occupation or association or to groups within a well-defined neighborhood, community or rural district."

NCUA had expanded that definition in 1982 to allow small businesses, which were too small to form their own credit unions, to join existing ones.

The outspoken Jackson ordered that credit unions could not expand beyond their core membership, and said NCUA had loosened its rules to expand the charters to circumvent his injunction. He called NCUA a "rogue" agency (L.A. Times Dec. 5, 1996, and Christian Science Monitor Oct. 31, 1996).

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld his ruling, but Congress overturned the Supreme Court decision by enacting HR 1151, the National Credit Union Membership Access Act in 1998.

Jackson was most noted for presiding over high-profile cases including the Microsoft antitrust case, in which he ruled in 1999 that Microsoft should be split in half because it was a monopoly and had coerced the computer market into endorsing its Internet Explorer browser (News Now July 5, 2005). He also presided over the drug possession trial of former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. in 1990.

65,000 In Northwest Benefitted From CUs' Financial Education

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (6/18/13)--Financial education presentations made by Northwest credit union professionals last year benefitted more than 65,000 people, according to the Northwest Credit Union Association.

"If a credit union hosts a Financial Reality Fair in the community, it is a real value for the students and we've found very fulfilling for the credit union staff, too," said Kasey Rockwell, NWCUA director of outreach programs (Anthem Recap June 11). Rockwell recently organized Reality Fairs during state capitol advocacy days in Olympia, Wash., and Salem, Ore. "It is probably the most effective one-day event you could sponsor that students would remember and benefit from for the rest of their lives."

Despite those numbers, 48 out of 50 credit unions responding to a regional survey last year noted barriers such as availability of presentation materials, difficulty building relationships with schools and time constraints.

The NWCUA's Credit Union Financial Education Committee is providing solutions to those barriers by hosting two Best Practice Roundtable events this summer. The roundtables are funded by a grant from the Northwest Credit Union Foundation.

The agenda for the first workshop includes a mock "Financial Reality Fair" during which attendees will learn how to organize an interactive budgeting exercise. Students select a career, research the starting salary and come prepared to navigate a maze of necessary and luxury purchases such as food, transportation, clothing and entertainment. They must leave with balanced budgets.

Credit union educators Teresa Shivley from Gesa CU in Richland, Wash., and Danette LaChapelle from iQ CU in Vancouver, Wash., will share strategies for in-school credit union branches.

Also on the agenda is Linda Jekel, director of credit unions for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. Jekel helps make the Financial Education Public Private Partnership available to credit union educators and classrooms. Her topic is "Helping Teachers with Financial Education."

Terry Belcoe, CEO of North Coast CU, Bellingham, Wash., will share the vision of "One Community, One Voice," a program pooling resources of financial institutions and community organizations in Bellingham, to help under-banked consumers build assets.

In a related topic, a panel of credit union educators will share models credit unions can use to reach adults through community events.

CUNA ERM Certification Institute Dates Announced

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MADISON, Wis. (6/18/13)--Registration is now available for the CUNA Enterprise Risk Management Certification Institute, taking place Dec. 9-12 in Las Vegas.

The institute is in collaboration with The Rochdale Group Inc., said the Credit Union National Association.

"We are hearing from credit unions that adoption of strategic risk management models is returning significant benefit--organizationally and financially," said Todd Spiczenski, senior vice president, CUNA Center for Professional Development. "Following our sold-out conferences this year, this will be our fourth ERM event with The Rochdale Group."

Credit union executives attending will receive extensive risk management knowledge including tools to incorporate risk management into the culture of their credit unions. They will leave the institute with an understanding of their own risk appetite, risk beyond investments, and how risk management can drive decision making at their credit union.

At the last institute in May, 91 individuals received the Credit Union Enterprise Risk Management Expert (CUERME) certifications. Attendees at the December institute can earn their CUERME designations and be officially certified as credit union ERM experts.

For more information, use the link.

Board Officers, Directors Of CUANY Elected

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ALBANY, N.Y. (6/18/13)--The Credit Union Association of New York announced its new board of directors and officers during its annual meeting.

Board officers include:

  • Chair--Laurie Baker, senior vice president/chief operating officer, The Summit FCU, Rochester;
  • Vice chair--Mark Pfisterer, president/CEO, AmeriCU CU, Rome;
  • Treasurer--Marie Betti, CEO, Western New York FCU, West Seneca; and
  • Secretary--Ann Hynes, president/CEO, St. Pius X Church FCU, Rochester.
Click to view larger image The Credit Union Association of New York board includes, bottom row, from left: Chair Laurie Baker, senior vice president/chief operating officer, The Summit FCU; Treasurer Marie Betti, CEO, Western New York FCU; Shirley Jenkins, board member, Municipal CU; Louis Jimenez, CEO/treasurer, Montauk CU; Robyn Young, president/CEO, Great Erie FCU; and vice chair Mark Pfisterer, president/CEO, AmeriCU CU. Back row, from left: Barbara Dillon, CEO, SUNY Geneseo FCU; Alfred Frosolone, president/CEO Niagara's Choice FCU; Michael Tobler, president/CEO, Albany Firemen's FCU; John C. Gibardi, president/CEO, Entertainment Industries FCU; and Secretary Ann Hynes, president/CEO, St. Pius X Church FCU. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New York)
Baker served as vice chair for the past two years and will succeed outgoing chairman Lou Jimenez, CEO/treasurer of Montauk CU, New York. Jimenez will continue to serve as a board member.

Re-elected to serve new three-year terms on the association board were:

  • Michael Tobler, president/CEO, Albany (N.Y.) Firemen's FCU, representing the asset category of up to $25 million;
  • Alfred Frosolone, president/CEO Niagara's Choice FCU, Niagara Falls,  $25 million to $100 million;
  • Hynes, $25 million to $100 million; and
  • Baker, more than $100 million.
Rounding out the 11-member board are:

  • Barbara Dillon, CEO, SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) FCU;
  • John C. Gibardi, president/CEO, Entertainment Industries FCU, New York;
  • Shirley Jenkins, board member, Municipal CU, New York;
  • Jimenez; and
  • Robyn Young, president/CEO, Great Erie FCU, Orchard Park.

N.C. League Resolution Supports Immigration Reform

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RALEIGH, N.C. (6/18/13)--North Carolina credit unions approved a resolution last week calling for the U.S. Congress to join with President Barack Obama to pass a comprehensive immigration reform law. The resolution was made at the North Carolina Credit Union League's 78th Annual Meeting.

Drafted and submitted by Self-Help CU in Durham, N.C., the resolution was unanimously approved during the league's business meeting June 11 in Pinehurst, N.C.

It details the impact immigrants have on the state's economy, including $22.9 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the more than $10 billion in receipts generated by and 63,000 jobs provided at North Carolina immigrant-owned businesses. The resolution also points out that North Carolina credit unions have been a leading service provider to immigrant populations through the years.          

Immigration reform has surfaced as a legislative priority in Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of the 2012 election, the league said. The credit union resolution outlines a broad set of values to be included in any legislation that passes, including border security and a process for workers already in the U.S. to obtain earned legal status.

The credit unions also approved language calling upon immigration reform that respects national economic and security interests and fosters legal migration.

The delegates also called on credit unions and credit union organizations nationwide to voice their support for immigration reform.