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SunCorp appoints exec committee

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DENVER (6/24/08)--SunCorp recently appointed three new members to its executive committee. “They each bring many years of credit union expertise coupled with SunCorp Board experience to their roles on the executive committee,” said SunCorp President/CEO Tom Graham. New members are:
* Chairman: Mark Lau, president/CEO, Denver Fire Department FCU. He previously served as senior vice president of retail delivery at Premier Members FCU, Boulder, Colo. He also served as president/CEO, Boulder Municipal Employees FCU from May 1991 to April 2002; * Shelley Clarke, president/CEO, Goldenwest FCU, Odgen Utah. She has served as president/CEO for 31 years. She also serves on the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Subcommittee and the Filene Research Council; and * Kimberley Withers, president, Meridian Trust FCU, Cheyenne, Wyo. Withers has worked in the credit union industry since 1987, serving at Warren FCU, Cheyenne, and Cheyenne-Laramie County Employees FCU. She currently is vice president of Wyoming’s governmental affairs committee.
SunCorp, a corporate credit union, provides financial services and payment systems solutions to credit unions and credit union service organizations in 20 states.

CU System briefs (06/23/2008)

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* DUBLIN, Ohio (6/24/08)--The Ohio Credit Union Foundation (OCUF) has disbursed a $5,000 Disaster Relief Grant to the Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) to assist credit unions and their employees, volunteers and members affected by flooding this month. It was the first disaster relief grant issued by OCUF in 2008. Becky Hart, OCUF executive director, noted that contributors from across Ohio "are proud to be able to provide this grant to the victims of the devastating floods, and we will continue to encourage additional donations from credit unions in our state." According to the website, more than 20 credit union locations in Iowa closed in the current floods and many others were affected with outages. In 2007, OCUF provided $85,000 in disaster relief assistance to help victims of August floods in Ohio, California wildfires, and Peru's earthquake. OCUF's goal is to grant $250,000 in 2008, which is OCUF's 10th anniversary … * PROVIDENCE, R.I. (6/24/08)--Rhode Island credit unions have raised $50,000 for Special Olympics in various efforts. The latest, on May 30, saw more than 60 volunteers from 10 credit unions and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island helping make the Special Olympics of Rhode Island Summer Games a success. Volunteers worked with the walking and running events, checking athletes in, gathering them into "heats" for their races and escorting them to the track. Mary Ellen Buckley, vice president branch operations at Westerly Community CU, serves on the association's Social Responsibility Committee, which coordinated the activities that the association undertakes to support the Special Olympics … * APPLETON, Wis. (6/24/08)--Appleton-based Prospera CU on June 18 opened a GoodMoney payday lending alternative inside Green Bay's newest Goodwill Store and Donation Center. The payday loan alternative will assist people with modest assets to secure loans they need in a more responsible manner, said Wisconsin State Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass. GoodMoney, launched in 2005 in Darboy by the credit union, has been featured in USA Today and The New York Times. It provides a more affordable short-term loan solution for payday loan users while offering them help so they don't need a payday loan in the future, said Ken Eiden, CEO of the $146.8 million asset credit union. Since Prospera and Goodwill launched the program three years ago, almost 11,000 GoodMoney short-term loans have been processed … * CINCINNATI (6/24/08)--Arthur S. Herring, husband of the late credit union pioneer Louise Herring, died June 14 at the age of 97. Funeral services were June 18. He was survived by five children--including William Herring, CEO of Cincinnati Central CU, and Catherine Herring, CEO of Communicating Arts CU, Cincinnati--and four grandchildren. Louise Herring is the namesake of the Credit Union National Association's Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award … * NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (6/24/08)--The Michigan Credit Union League has learned of the death of V. Ray Fradenburgh, former league director and retired general manager of Communicating Arts CU in Detroit (Michigan Monitor June 23). Fradenburgh died April 4 at the age of 90. He was a former chairperson of the Downriver and Bergengren credit union chapters. He is survived by his wife Jean; two sons, seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Altura CU receives Bergengren award

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (6/24/08)--Altura CU, Riverside, Calif., is the 2008 recipient of CUNA Mutual Group’s Roy F. Bergengren Award. The award, named for the credit union pioneer, was presented Saturday at the closing session of CUNA Mutual’s 2008 Discovery Conference. It recognizes individuals and credit unions that exemplify credit union movement leadership, financial growth, human resource development, and innovation.
Altura CU President/CEO Mark Hawkins accepts the Roy F. Bergengren Award at CUNA Mutual Group's annual Discovery Conference. CUNA Mutual Board Chairman Loretta Burd and Chief Sales Officer Bob Trunzo are in the background. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
Altura opened its doors 51 years ago and ended 2007 with more than $1 billion in assets and nearly 112,000 members. “We pride ourselves on being actively involved in the credit union movement by enhancing our employees’ professional development, educating our members on credit union advocacy issues and being a positive influence in our community," said Mark Hawkins, president/CEO of Altura. "This award validates all our hard work.” The credit union is a leader in the development and training of staff in the principles and philosophy of credit unions and has been named a "Top Company to Work for in the Inland Empire" and the "Best Company to Work For" by regional publications and their readers. Altura ranks member service as the No. 1 way it differentiates itself from the competition. It offers online banking, Web bill pay, e-statements, online banking demonstrations, investment portfolio, and eVISION online trading. It also provides small-business services including lending, checking, and savings options geared for business. The credit union supports its community through contributions of more than $300,000 annually, and time and energy. It supports education-related causes, including youth efforts, and provides scholarships, teacher awards, essay contests and financial literacy projects. The credit union also supports employees’ volunteer efforts. Last year, its employees volunteered more than 2,000 hours in the community.

BizKid topic of WGN radio interview

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (6/24/08)--BizKid$ will be the topic of a radio interview on WGN, one of Chicago’s largest talk radio stations, Saturday. BizKid$ kid Lizzie Wright and show executive producer Jamie Hammond will be guests on “The Money Show” with host Bill Moller from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. CDT. WGN radio reaches 38 states and is live-streamed over the Internet, according to the Illinois Credit Union League. Wright was featured in BizKid$ episode No. 9, titled “Cash and Credit.” She is a creative designer and makes her own clothing. Wright brings her sewing machine to work during downtime on the set. Her specialty is altering prom dresses. BizKid$ is a television series designed to teach youth about money. It is produced by the creators of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and features stories about young entrepreneurs, reinforcing the importance of budgeting, saving and giving back to the community. Twenty-six episodes have been produced. The show was developed by the Washington Credit Union League in partnership with Junior Achievement and WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, N.Y. America’s Credit Unions and the National Credit Union Foundation provided funding for the show. BizKid$ currently airs on 311 of the nation’s 343 PBS stations and is airing in the United Kingdom and in Ireland.

Study of victims shows how to handle a data breach

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SAN FRANCISCO (6/24/08)--When a data breach occurs, what do consumers expect of their financial institution? A recent study indicates that offering a preventative solution for the future--without being asked to do so--helps ease any loss of confidence from a data-breach victim. Javelin Strategy & Research, a San Francisco based research of financial services topics, surveyed 400 data breach victims about their expectations for the breached institution. More than half (55%) of consumers who had experienced a breach expressed diminished confidence in the organization's ability to protect and manage their personal data. When consumer confidence is shaken, it weakens relationships with the institution, said Javelin's report. Fifty-six percent of data breach victims favor a solution that prevents fraud, Javelin said, who added that these efforts will help mitigate any decreased confidence related to a breach:
* Contact the member/consumer; * Create an audit trail that law enforcement can use; * Preserve the member/consumer's privacy; and * Prove that the solution works.
Providing a fraud solution makes a difference in customer approval of a breached organization's management and handling of the incident, said Javelin. Of those who were offered a fraud protection solution, 55% were more satisfied with the institution's handling of the incident than were consumers who were not offered the solution. Javelin made these recommendations:
* Given the variety of fraud-protection solutions and their varying features, engage in comprehensive research of the services available to understand how they play a role in prevention, detection and resolution of fraud. * Select a solution that is convenient and easy for the breach victim, both in terms of enrollment and use, with an understanding of the impact on prevent new accounts fraud. * Understand that offering a breach solution is a "best practice" from a member/customer service standpoint. Avoid creating a situation in which members and/or employees have to ask for fraud protection assistance. Take the proactive approach and offer the assistance up front.
For more information, visit the resource link.

Workers comp experts tout benefits of education

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (6/24/08)--A commitment to safety and health in the workplace from top management and a proactive return-to-work program can help prevent workplace injuries and reduce the duration and cost of disabilities, workers’ compensation experts told credit union attendees at the Discovery Conference Friday.
(From left) Kurt Salter, account consultant, national market loss prevention, Liberty Mutual; Paul Bedrosian, service director, Liberty Mutual; and Fred Filiaggi, Midwest loss prevention manager, Liberty Mutual, and Jim Hunt, underwriting specialist, CUNA Mutual Group credit union protection division, discuss workers’ compensation issues at this year’s Discovery Conference. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
Experts included Jim Hunt, underwriting specialist, CUNA Mutual Group credit union protection division; Kurt Salter, account consultant, national market loss prevention, Liberty Mutual; Paul Bedrosian, service director, Liberty Mutual; and Fred Filiaggi, Midwest loss prevention manager, Liberty Mutual. “Top management, supervisors, and all employees play a critical role in injury prevention,” Salter said. “Identifying causes for common workplace injuries and taking steps to mitigate those risks can greatly decrease incidents of injury.” Injuries caused by overexerting oneself through excess lifting or pushing was the most common cause of disabling workplace injuries in 2005, according to research by Liberty Mutual. CUNA Mutual’s claims data supports the findings, Hunt said. Employees moving 50-pound bags of coins often use two-wheel hand trucks. Those don’t work well, because bags tend to roll onto the floor. Dropped bags require employees to bend over and pick them up--which results in back and shoulder problems. The solution is to use low-profile, four-wheel carts and educate employees on proper posture and lifting techniques. Educational resources, such as CUNA Mutual’s Workers Safety Web page, should also be used, Salter said. When injuries occur, a supervisor’s response can play a key role in helping employees return to work, Filiaggi said. “Immediate response by supervisors to employees’ reports of work-related discomfort significantly influences length of disability.” Negative supervisor attitudes and practices can impede return to work and rehabilitation for injured employees. Employees often perceived that their supervisors:
* Blamed the employee for the injury; * Never contacted the employee after the injury; * Didn’t speak with the employee privately; * Discouraged the employee from filing a claim; * Didn’t believe the symptoms were real; * Were angry with the employee for being injured; and * Didn’t try to work out solutions with the employee.
Supervisors responding positively to reports of work-related discomfort can have significant and independent effects on disability outcomes, Filiaggi said. “It’s very important to communicate regularly and positively with employees. Show them that you care, encourage them and tell them you look forward to their return to work.” Supervisors trained to properly respond, communicate and problem-solve with employees reduced new disability claims by 47% and active lost-time claims by 18%. “Credit unions need to report claims quickly, help direct medical care and provide alternative duty to workers who can work, but can’t yet do all the functions of their everyday job,” he said. CUNA Mutual and Liberty Mutual partnered in 2007. Liberty is a compensation insurance provider and the second largest workers’ compensation insurer in the nation. The Discovery Conference ended Saturday.

Federation honors Jacob Morrisey

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NEW YORK (6/24/08)--Two leaders of community development credit unions (CDCUs) received top honors at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’ 34th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved held in Dallas June 13.
(From left) Cliff Rosenthal, president/CEO, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, presents Ed Jacob, president/CEO, Northside Community FCU, Chicago, with a Vamper Award for his contributions to the credit union movement. Federation Board Chairman Eunice Rogers also helped to present the award.
Daniel Morrisey, treasurer and manager of Queen of Peace Arlington (Va.) FCU, speaks after receiving a Vamper Award from the federation. (Photos provided by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions)
The awards are named in honor of the late Annie Vamper, a pioneering African-American credit union manager, regulator and associated director of the federation. Ed Jacob, CEO, Northside Community FCU, Chicago, received the award for his work in developing alternatives to payday loans and helping immigrants. “I am proud and honored to be part of a movement that does this work, and to be able to send out a few of these tiny ripples of hope from Chicago,” he said during his acceptance speech. Dan Morrisey, treasurer and manager, Queen of Peace Arlington (Va.) FCU, received the award for his volunteer work, which spans more than three decades. His credit union is based in a church, and he believes that faith is important for all credit unions. “What we CDCUs, and really all credit unions, do day-in and day-out is to take a leap of faith in our members,” Morrisey said. “When we make loans we have faith that our members will repay that loan.” “Both Dan and Ed represent the best traditions of the credit union movement,” said Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “With limited resources, they have made it their mission to stretch further to reach people in need--immigrants, people with disabilities, people who have been victimized by payday lenders. They have strengthened not only their communities but the CDCU movement nationwide.” Separately, the Federation honored Maurice Calderon, retiring senior vice president, minority development, Arrowhead CU, San Bernardino, Calif.; and Ralph Paige, CEO, Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, Atlanta, with Friend of the Federation awards for their contributions to the credit union movement.