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ACUC starts with historical focus

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BOSTON (6/22/09)--America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) and Expo is now in progress, with 1,500 total attendees scheduled today to continue the celebration in Boston of the 100th anniversary of credit unions and the 75th anniversary of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
Click for slide showEmcee Patrick Adams, president of St. Louis Community CU, noted that passion is what separates credit union people from other industries and turns them into heroes during the opening general session Sunday of America's Credit Union Conference and Expo in Boston (Photo provided by CUNA)
Sunday’s kickoff reception and general session focused on the movement’s revolutionary heroes, both past and present. Emcee Patrick Adams, president, of St. Louis Community CU, noted that “the passion of the movement exceeds the numbers on your paycheck. A lot of industries can’t say that. Ours is pure. Retain it.” His definition of a hero: One who does what is needed, one who hears “no” but thinks “not yet,” whose creativity and innovation may be mocked by traditionalists, who rushes in when everyone else is rushing out, and who fans the flames of progress. Highlights of the evening included:
* Kathy Pelletier of Berlin, Vt., shared family reminiscences of her grandfather, Roy F. Bergengren, who pioneered credit unions throughout the U.S. and helped found what is now CUNA. “My research took me to another understanding inside the gentle man who I learned was tenacious” in advocating for credit unions. During his crusade with Edward A. Filene to form credit unions, he said, “We agreed that when we disagreed, I’d make the decisions. Filene was Credit Union National and I was the Extension Bureau.” * CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica presented Credit Union Magazine’s 2009 Credit Union Hero Award to Cathie Tierney, CEO of Community First CU, Appleton, Wis. The credit union recently won its lawsuit against the U.S. government over the Internal Revenue Service’s policy on unrelated business income tax. The credit union stepped forward to help all credit unions. “You did it,” he told Tierney. “It took the jury about 12 seconds to rule in favor of Cathie’s credit union” in a decision “that affects all 8,000 credit unions,” he said. Mica noted that CUNA, CUNA Mutual, and the leagues spent more than $1 million to defend credit unions in the case and that other credit unions may be asked to step up on behalf of credit unions. * Attendees were treated to a special appearance by historic U.S. Sen. George Norris from Nebraska, who gave a “first hand account” of the events leading up to the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934. Norris was portrayed by former state legislator Dave Landis, who noted that “nothing is so irritating as a good example” and that’s what credit unions have been doing to banks.
In addition to regular coverage of the events, News Now will be blogging and tweeting during ACUC. Use the link to access the blog and check LiveWire regularly for tweets. Also check for daily stories.