Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

SE CUNA Management School ditches ropes for folks

 Permanent link
ATHENS, Ga. (6/29/09)--This year, third-year students at Southeast CUNA Management School in Athens, Ga., decided to “ditch the ropes to help folks” by forgoing a planned ropes course and participating in a community service project (Athens-Banner Herald June 25). The class normally participates in a ropes course, and while the students like the ropes course, this year they wanted to give back, Jennifer Green, assistant vice president of the Louisiana Credit Union League, told News Now. The students, who gathered in Athens, Ga., for CUNA Management school, worked to promote a credit-repair class to reach Athens residents. The CreditAbility class was held June 18, with 30 credit union professionals helping 29 residents. The professionals taught the basics of credit and budgeting, and met privately to review credit reports and discuss financial concerns with the residents. Melanie Lankau, a University of Georgia professor and adviser for Southeast CUNA Management School, helped organize the project, Green said. The group’s efforts also were noted by Cathi Watkins of the Athens Banner-Herald, who wrote a column last week thanking the students for their help. “We deeply appreciate the outreach to our community from this group, which convenes here from across the Southeast,” Watkins wrote. “The endeavor was a gift to the Athens community.”

Florida league names Maxwell Herring winners

 Permanent link
ORLANDO, Fla. (6/29/09)--Winners of the 2009 statewide competition in the Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility and the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action were recognized at the 75th Annual Florida Credit Union League Convention & Exposition held June 17-20 in Orlando. Each credit union recognized as a first place, second place, or honorable mention winner was awarded a plaque at the convention’s general session June 19. The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award is given to credit unions for their social responsibility projects within the community. First-place winners were:
* PBC CU, West Palm Beach, in the $50 million to $100 million asset category; * Insight Financial CU, Orlando, $200 million to $500 million; and * Pen Air FCU, Pensacola, $500 million or more.
The Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action is given to a credit union for its practical application of credit union philosophy within the actual operation of the credit union. First-place winners were:
* Gold Coast FCU, West Palm Beach, in the $50 million to 250 million in asset category; and * CFE FCU, Tampa, $250 million or more.

CU System briefs (06/26/2009)

 Permanent link
* WASHINGTON (6/29/09)--Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty proclaimed June 18 as District Government Employees FCU (DGEFCU) Day, calling upon all city residents to join him in commending credit unions for helping to enhance the quality of life of others. DGEFCU held its 55th annual membership meeting on the same day. “Credit unions pool personal resources and leadership abilities for the good of the cooperative, encourage a regular habit of saving and foster the desire to repay loans so members may have access to credit when needed,” according to the proclamation. Pictured are DGEFCU Board Chair Joann Clark (left) and DGEFCU President/CEO Carla Decker with the mayor’s proclamation plaque. DGEFCU has more than $40 million in assets. (Photo provided by District Government Employees FCU) ... * NEW YORK (6/29/09)--William Spearman, president/CEO of Mid-Hudson Valley FCU in Kingston, N.Y., was elected treasurer of the Credit Union Association of New York’s board of directors (Poughkeepsie Journal June 25). He was elected during the association’s annual meeting in Albany. Spearman has been president/CEO of Mid-Hudson Valley FCU for 13 years. Mid-Hudson Valley FCU has $611 million in assets ...

Several CUs report more scams

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (6/29/09)--Credit unions in Maine and Texas reported that recent scams have targeted their members. The scams have involved:
* Brewer (Maine) FCU, which is warning its members about attempts to fleece their accounts. Scam artists are sending checks to credit union members for items bought on Craigslist and other Internet sites that are “in excess of the purchase price with a request to return the excess,” said a Brewer FCU press release. Or, scammers send checks to members and ask that the checks be cashed for the scammers. “Inevitably these checks are returned either for insufficient funds or because they are fraudulent altogether,” the $39.1 million-asset credit union said (Bangor Daily News June 23). * The $6.2 million-asset, Sugar Land (Texas) Employees FCU, whose members have been targeted by text messages sent by scammers posing as the credit union. The messages claim that members’ debit cards had to be deactivated for security reasons, and that members should call an 800 number and give out personal information to reactivate their cards, according to the Texas attorney general’s office (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram June 21). * New Dimensions FCU, Waterville, Maine, which is advising members to ignore pre-recorded phone calls that tells members--for instance--that their Visa card has been restricted for supermarket use only, and that they must call a specific phone number to contact Visa security and a press “1” to speak to someone. The $5.8 million-asset credit union and local police are advising members that the calls are a scam and to ignore them.

Mission SF FCU helps teens avoid economic pitfalls

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (6/29/09)--A team of youth who reached out to more than 500 young San Franciscans to teach them about financial literacy is passing its responsibilities to a new team of youth charged with teaching their peers about money. The founders of the Youth Trainers for Economic Power (YTEP) prepared its new team by providing tips and reflections on their experiences with YTEP at a June 10 event in San Francisco. YTEP was founded by eight youth three years ago in connection with the Mission SF Community Financial Center, the nonprofit affiliate of Mission SF FCU in San Francisco. “Although we are moving on, we feel content that our work and efforts will continue to be carried out by a new generation of YTEP leaders,” said Glenda Flores, 18, YTEP founder. “The knowledge and experience we have learned during our participation, we will take with us and continue to create change in our community, our nation and the world.” During their tenure, YTEP founders developed a youth-friendly financial curriculum relevant to youth from urban low-income and immigrant families. They also developed an evaluation system to test the curriculum, shot videos to bring the concepts of economics and investment to life, and designed visuals. YTEP hopes to continue expanding, according to Margaret Libby, Mission SF Community Financial Center executive director. “Our vision with YTEP is to prepare youth to navigate the financial system as empowered consumers and to inspire them to be community leaders and advocates for improved financial services and a more equitable financial system overall,” she said. “We are growing the program to reach more youth in San Francisco, as well as other places, in particular communities like ours with a high concentration of fringe outlets.” One in two African-Americans and Latinos in San Francisco are unbanked and use high-cost fringe outlets, such as payday lenders, for transactions--costing $2,000 annually. YTEP aims to help low-income youth and youth of color who will be targets of predatory financial outlets when they turn 18, the center said. Mission SF Community Financial Center operates youth employment, leadership and financial training programs. It receives support from Patelco CU, San Francisco, the RMJ Foundation and others.

Arizona State CU to provide emergency assistance to workers

 Permanent link
PHOENIX (6/29/09)--Arizona State CU will offer emergency financial assistance to state and university employees who could be without paychecks if the state budget is not resolved. This is the second year in row that the credit union has prepared to offer emergency assistance (PR Newswire June 25). “If the Arizona state budget is not put in place in time, Arizona State CU is prepared to offer state employees emergency financial assistance,” said David E. Doss, president/CEO. “We will offer alternative products and services to help members who may not be compensated in the coming week.” The first type of assistance the credit union will offer is an extended line of credit on checking accounts that would normally have payroll direct deposit from the state. For members with these accounts, the credit union will automatically provide a $1,500 line of credit with no fees or interest. The second option, available for employees who may need more help, is an emergency payroll loan with a low-interest rate. Also, a skip-a-payment program will be offered to state employees with a loan provided through the credit union. “Arizona State CU was founded in 1951 to serve Arizona state employees,” Doss said. “Although our eligibility for membership has greatly increased, we still maintain a close relationship with state employees to ensure that they are equipped with solutions tailored to their needs. The benefit of being a member-owned financial cooperative is that we are flexible enough to move quickly so that we can provide assistance in a very meaningful way.” Arizona State CU, based in Phoenix, has $1.268 billion in assets.

ACUC attendees sign True Commitment to CUs

 Permanent link
BOSTON (6/29/09)–Attendees of the 2009 America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) in Boston pledged their “True Commitment” to credit unions by adding their signature to a signature wall in the ACUC exhibit hall.
Click to view larger image NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin (center) accepted a $2,500 check representing the first 500 signatures on CUNA's Mutual Group's "Sign of Commitment" wall at the 2009 ACUC presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Presenting the check were Don Davidson (left), CUNA Mutual vice president of system relations--sales, and Chris Roe (right), CUNA Mutual senior vice president of corporate and legislative affairs. Roe also serves as a volunteer board member for NCUF. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Foundation)
With each signature, they also raised money for the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). CUNA Mutual Group contributed $5 to NCUF for every ACUC attendee who demonstrated a commitment to credit unions by adding their signature to a 5’-by-8’ signature wall displayed at CUNA Mutual’s booth in the ACUC exhibit hall. Everyone who added their name to the Sign of Commitment was handed a wristband to wear as a symbol of their commitment to the credit union movement. “This challenging economic environment is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the cooperative character that binds us,” said Chris Roe, CUNA Mutual senior vice president of corporate and legislative affairs, who also serves as a volunteer board member for NCUF. “The Sign of Commitment is one way CUNA Mutual continues to show our support and reinforce the movement’s philosophy of ‘people helping people.’” “On behalf of the entire NCUF Board, we greatly appreciate CUNA Mutual’s ongoing commitment to the credit union movement and to the foundation,” said NCUF Chairman Allan Kemp McMorris. CUNA Mutual’s additional support will enable NCUF to sustain and grow the Development Education (DE) program, which helps credit unions leverage their commitment to cooperative principles as a competitive advantage in the financial marketplace. Nearly 900 credit union professionals and volunteers have undergone DE training and earned the designation of Credit Union Development Educator. Throughout 2009, the centennial year of the first credit union law, CUNA Mutual has been taking the Sign of Commitment to major credit union events as an opportunity to honor credit unions and their members. The signature wall was first displayed at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. During the GAC, 600 credit union advocates signed their commitment and raised $3,000 for NCUF (News Now Feb. 25).

MDDCCUA board reorganizes elects new chair

 Permanent link
BALTIMORE (6/29/09)--The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA) elected Bert Hash, president/CEO of MECU in Baltimore, as its chairman during a reorganization meeting immediately following the association’s annual business meeting June 12. Other officers elected include:
* Vice Chairman: Miquel Boluda, president/CEO, PAHO/WHO FCU, Washington, D.C.; * Secretary: Rod Staatz, president/CEO, SECU of Maryland, Linthicum; and * Treasurer: Chris Conway, president/CEO, Educational Systems FCU, Greenbelt, Md.
Martin Breland, president/CEO of Tower FCU, Laurel, and Theresa Mann, president/CEO of The Partnership FCU, Washington, D.C., were elected to serve on at-large seats. Other directors are: Joe Sparacino, chairman of Montgomery County EFCU, Germantown; and Jim Norris, president/CEO of AFL-CIO FCU, Washington, D.C. The board also reorganized the association’s committee structure to better match its strategic plan. Staatz will oversee the advocacy committee; Debbie Connors, president/CEO of Money One FCU, Largo, Md., will oversee the Community Outreach Committee; and Joan Moran, president/CEO of the Department of Labor FCU, Merrifield, Va., will chair Credit Union Services Inc.

FCUL honors CU volunteer professional of year

 Permanent link
ORLANDO, Fla. (6/29/09)--The Florida Credit Union League (FCUL) awarded its 2009 credit union Volunteer and Professional of the Year during the league’s 75th annual convention June 17-20 in Orlando,
Fla. FCUL awarded the late John A. Davis Jr., former president/CEO of Pen Air FCU, Pensacola, as the 2009 Professional of the Year. Davis died in October after serving as Pen Air FCU president/CEO for more than 10 years. He also was active in FCUL, service as vice chairman of the FCUL Service Group Board of Directors. H.C. “Chris” Brooks of Gulf Winds CU, Pensacola, received the Volunteer of the Year award. He has been a member of Gulf Winds since 1959 and served as president/CEO of the credit union for 10 years. He also is an active member of the Northwest Chapter of Credit Unions, where he served as president for three years. Brooks served as director of the FCUL board for nine years and treasurer for six years. He has volunteered on the Gulf Winds board for 30 years. Both recipients were chosen by an FCUL-appointed committee based on his or her record of productive service to their credit union, chapter, the Florida league, the Credit Union National Association, or service to the credit union movement of special Florida significant, FCUL said.