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CU System briefs (07/10/2014)

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  • ST. LOUIS (7/10/14)-­The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's 90 "Top Workplaces" included four area credit unions, showing that not only are credit unions good places to bank but are good places to work (Missouri Difference July 7). The results are based on employee surveys by Workplace Dynamics. 1st Financial FCU, Wentzville, with $202 million in assets, also was recently nominated by Small Business Monthly as one of the "Best Credit Unions in St. Louis." Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, St. Louis, with $1.4 billion in assets, is ranked as a "Top 150" credit union in the United States. This is the second year on the list for First Community CU, Chesterfield, with $1.9 billion in assets. Scott CU, Edwardsville, with $961 million in assets, was one of only 15 companies to be recognized for the third consecutive year ...
     
  • SACRAMENTO, Calif. (7/10/14)--The Friends of the California State Fair bestowed one of its highest honors--the Golden Bear Award--to Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif. U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Davis) also was on hand to present a commendation to Donna Bland, president/CEO of the $8.4 billion-asset credit union. The Golden Bear Award acknowledges individuals and businesses that have furthered the state fair's mission of showcasing California's economic and cultural diversity. For more than 15 years, Golden 1 CU has sponsored a concert stage, provided more than 20 ATMs throughout the Cal Expo grounds and funded the installation of the CALIFORNIA letters at the main entrance of the fairgrounds ...
  • MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (7/10/14)--The merger of SJB FCU, Fall River, Mass., with $24 million in assets, and Southern Mass CU, Fairhaven, Mass., with $187 million in assets, became effective July 1 (Daily CU Scan July 9). Southern Mass CU also received regulatory approval to expand its field of membership to the Massachusetts counties of Dukes and Nantucket and cities and towns in Providence County, Rhode Island. SJB FCU was founded in 1940 as St. Jean Baptiste FCU as a parish credit union, eventually expanding to the Bristol County, Mass., and the Rhode Island towns of Tiverton and Little Compton ...
  • WARMINSTER, Pa. (7/10/14)--Effective July 4, John King succeeded retiring Lee MacMinn as president/CEO at Freedom CU, a $647 million-asset credit union in Warminster, Pa. King, who was executive vice president/chief operating officer at Freedom CU, has credit union experience dating back to his senior year in high school. He previously worked at three other Philadelphia-area credit unions, until becoming CEO at Fischer and Porter CU, now Freedom CU. King earned degrees from Bucks County Community College and the Philadelphia College of Textile and Science ...
 

Shared branching awareness campaign goes national

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ST. LOUIS (7/10/14)--A shared branching video created by the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) has developed a growing national audience.
 
Since the 90-second clip debuted in October, several other state leagues have asked to link to the video, which helps consumers understand how to use the CO-OP Shared Branch Network. Among the state leagues that feature the video are Vermont, Utah, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
 


MCUA is also working with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association to have the video translated in Ukrainian.
 
"We're happy to share the shared branch video because we want more members using this valuable service," says Mark Hohenstein, MCUA vice president of the credit union shared branch network (Missouri Difference July 9). "I want to thank the shared branch task force for their support of this project."
 
The shared branch task force includes:
  • Louie Delk, president/CEO, Conservation Employees' CU, Jefferson City, with $97 million in assets;
  • Chris McCreary, president/CEO, United Consumers CU, Independence, with $123 million in assets;
  • Brandon Michaels, president/CEO, Mazuma CU, Kansas City, with $488 million in assets;
  • Stan Moeckli, president/CEO, Electro Savings CU, St. Louis, with $151 million in assets;
  • Dave Osborn, president/CEO, Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, St. Louis, with $1.4 billion in assets;
  • Kathie Peterie, president/CEO, Metro CU, Springfield, with $52 million in assets; and
  • Randy Yeck, vice president, human resources, Vantage CU, Bridgeton, with $737 million in assets.
Among the ways credit unions and leagues can feature the video:
 
  • On a website. A text link to the YouTube channel would be the simplest way to share the video with members. Use the resource link below to access the YouTube video.
  • On social media. Depending on which social media channels the credit union uses, the process will vary. For assistance sharing a video, contact Nora Holloway, MCUA public relations and online community director, at nholloway@mcua.org or call 800.392.3074, ext. 1349.
  • In a branch lobby. Burn a copy of the video to a disc or add it to the current programming lineup. For assistance, contact Brianna O'Hara, MCUA marketing director at bohara@mcua.org or call 800.392.3074, ext. 1360.
  • Via an email in a link or in an online member newsletter. Statistics show that consumers engage with video and find it useful in making decisions, MCUA said.

Two CUs rake in more than $30K for youth charities

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SAN DIEGO and HERNDON, Va. (7/10/14)--Children's Miracle Network Hospitals on opposite sides of the country were among the recipients of two credit unions' generosity during recent fundraising campaigns.
 
Cabrillo CU, San Diego, raised more than $17,000 to benefit Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego during the $222 million-asset credit union's annual effort.
 
"In our 21 years of fundraising for Rady Children's, this has been one of our biggest years yet," said Senior Vice President Anne McClure.
 
During its Miracle Month of May campaign, the credit union sold paper balloons in its branches, and its employees also hosted a silent and live auction that brought in more than $3,000.
 
Carrie M. holds the keys to a 2014 Honda Civic, which she won in Herndon, Va.-based Northwest FCU's "Help Us Help Our Kids Car Raffle," which raised funds for the Children's Miracle Network and the Ben DeFelice Scholarship program. (Northwest FCU Photo)
Across the country, in Herndon, Va., Northwest FCU and its charitable arm, the NWFCU Foundation, raised $15,615 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and for its Ben DeFelice Scholarship fund.
 
In its "Help Us Help Our Kids Car Raffle," the $2.6 billion-asset credit union gave away a 2014 Honda Civic, thanks to a partnership with Sport Honda, a dealership in Silver Spring, Md.
 
"We far exceeded our goal for the event, which was to raise $10,000," said Linda Rogus, executive director, NWFCU Foundation.
 
The NWFCU Foundation awards the Ben DeFelice Scholarship to credit union members who are attending graduate, undergraduate or associate degree programs and who exhibit leadership, dedication and commitment in school, at home and in the community. The scholarship honors the longest-tenured board chair who was instrumental in the growth and success of the credit union.

LSCU ready to support state's adoption of nat'l fin. ed. standards

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/10/14)--It's now mandatory that students in Florida receive at least some training in financial literacy.

Florida's Board of Education adopted a financial literacy "strand" into its social studies curriculum standards last month, the first state in the nation to do so.

Developed by the Council for Economic Education's Standards for Financial Literacy, the program includes lessons in financial literacy topics such as savings and investment. The standard is also expected to be a precursor to a mandatory full course on the subject in the future.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions supported legislation by Sen. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Rep. Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen (R-Fort Myers) that would have required students to complete a one-semester financial literacy course, but SB 212 and HB 367 did not leave the committee process in the 2014 session (eSignal Daily July 9).

The league said it will continue to work on that legislation with its sponsors during the next session.

FAA CU 1st in Okla. to receive Juntos Avanzamos designation

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OKLAHOMA CITY (7/10/14)--The Cornerstone Credit Union League has bestowed its Juntos Avanzamos designation on FAA CU, Oklahoma City, with $546 million in assets (Leaguer July 9).

Juntos Avanzamos translates to "Together We Advance" in Spanish.

The designation--the first assigned to a credit union in Oklahoma and the 27th overall--recognizes credit unions that successfully complete a rigorous application process that affirms its capacity, commitment and compassion to serve the financial needs of Hispanic families.

"We have been serving the Hispanic population for a number of years and we are committed to serving, empowering and enriching these families," Steve Rasmussen, FAA CU president/CEO, told Leaguer. "This designation demonstrates and strengthens our commitment to help our members in the community build strong financial futures."

FAA CU's second-busiest branch operates from the heart of a Hispanic community in the Oklahoma City metro area, according to Rasmussen.

The branch employs a bilingual staff, and its interior design is intended specifically to engage Hispanic members.

Further, the credit union provides top-quality services geared towards Hispanic members, including:
  • Bilingual services in six of its seven branches;
  • Second chance checking;
  • Credit-building loans;
  • Lines of credit and credit cards;
  • A home loan product;
  • Financial education;
  • A Spanish call queue for non-English speaking members;
  • Signage and marketing materials in both English and Spanish; and
  • Advertising with local Spanish media.
FAA CU will officially be awarded the Juntos Avanzamos designation with a flag-raising ceremony hosted by Cornerstone.

Faces, stories begin to fill 100M membership website

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MADISON,
"I may be 1 in 100 million members, but my credit union treats me like I'm #1 every time!," wrote Brianne from Edina, Minn. "I am confident that I am making the best financial choices for my family and that we are part of a larger community of consumers who want to make a difference in this world!"
Wis. (7/10/14)--The newly constructed Membership Map on the Credit Union National Association's 100 million membership campaign website is beginning to fill up with the faces of credit union members from throughout the country.

Credit union members are showing "what 100 million looks like" by sending selfies of themselves and corresponding credit union stories to www.americascreditunions.org, as part of a campaign to highlight the industry's milestone of reaching 100 million memberships, a feat it expects to achieve later this summer.

To see how many selfies each state has collected, access the Membership Map by clicking on the red menu tab on the main page of the site, clicking on an individual state, and then on the "Other Credit Union Members From This State" link. Use the resource links to either access the full map or to submit a selfie.

"My credit union helped me build my credit with a share-secured loan when I was 18 and now I have my first car loan!" wrote Morgana, from Hunersville, N.C. "I also like their free debit card and Vacation, Holiday & Back-to-School savings clubs."
In addition to the pages full of faces, those who access the interactive map also will stumble upon interesting facts about each state--facts that of course relate back to the number 100 million.

Click on California and find out the world's tallest tree, a 369-foot California Redwood, would need to be stacked on top of itself 271,000 times in order to equal 100 million feet.

Click on Illinois and discover that Illinois' 12 million acres of cornfields would need to be expanded eight-fold to cover 100 million acres.

The website also features news and a full gallery of all the selfies that have been submitted. Check back often to see how many selfies have been posted from your state--and to see your own.

Small-biz lending surge of 20% drives Mich. Q1 loan growth

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LANSING, Mich. (7/10/14)--Michigan's credit unions showed strong growth in the first quarter--buoyed by small-business lending that at $1.7 billion was 20% more than the same period last year.
 
"Supporting our communities is a vital component of the credit union difference. Helping small businesses grow and thrive is a key part of that mission," said David Adams, Michigan Credit Union League and Affiliates CEO.
 
Over the past 10 years, small-business loan growth has climbed steadily in Michigan to $1.7 billion in 2014 from $875 million in 2010 and $200 million in 2004.
 
In cooperation with the Michigan Business Connection, Lake Trust CU, a $1.6 billion-asset credit union in Brighton, granted a loan to Shirley Decker Prescott; her husband, Mert Prescott; and son, Brandon Decker. Shirley and Mert both lost their jobs in the grocery industry and decided to open their own meat and seafood market. Funding was a challenge until Lake Trust CU approved the loan.
 
Three years later, Mert's Specialty Meats is thriving with two locations in Okemos and Lansing. "We have customers every day who thank us for being here," Shirley said.
 
Small-business loans are just one of the lending categories that is improving in the first quarter.
 
New-vehicle loans totaled $1.8 billion, a more than 10% boost from $1.6 billion a year ago. Used-autos also are up to $5.8 billion from $5 billion year-over-year.
 
Credit unions continue to provide mortgages to Michigan residents with fixed-rate mortgages coming in at $7.9 billion in the first quarter, a 10% increase from the same time last year.
 
Membership continues to expand as well--4.6 million Michiganders are credit union members, showing an increase of 83,245 members from a year ago.

Three league-backed bills await N.Y. gov. signature

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ALBANY (7/10/14)--With the support of the Credit Union Association of New York's state-level advocacy efforts, three important pieces of pro-credit union legislation recently passed through both houses of the New York Legislature.
 
The three bills are now waiting to be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law (The Point July 8).
 
The bills include:
  • S.6805B/A.9037A, which would allow credit unions and other financial institutions to establish prize-linked savings accounts, passed the Legislature May 28--just weeks after hundreds of credit union advocates gathered at the state Capitol to lobby lawmakers during the league's state governmental affairs conference. The Assembly version of the legislation was introduced by Rep. Annette Robinson (D-Metropolitan). The Senate version was introduced by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Metropolitan).
  • S.6735/A.9057, which would extend the state's 2007 "wild card" law for an additional five years, passed the Legislature June 10. The legislation would extend a law that provides state-chartered credit unions, banks and thrifts with the opportunity to exercise the same banking powers that are available to federally chartered institutions. The Assembly bill was introduced by Robinson, and the Senate version was introduced by Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Utica-Rome).
  • S.7112/A.9408, which would allow state-chartered credit unions to apply for the ability to combine select employer, associational and community groups into a single field of membership, was passed on June 19--the last day of the legislative session--after weeks of advocacy efforts from the league. The Assembly bill was introduced by Robinson. The Senate bill was introduced by Griffo.
"The [league] remains committed to ensuring that New York's credit unions are represented fairly during the legislative process, and we will continue to work closely with lawmakers and agencies at both the state and federal levels," said Mike Lanotte, league senior vice president/general counsel. "I would again like to thank all of the lawmakers--especially our bill sponsors--who put aside partisan differences to pass legislation that will benefit the state's credit unions and their members."
 
The league successfully lobbied against other pieces of legislation that would have been harmful to credit unions, including:
  • S.3868B/A.7056, which would have prohibited the use of consumer credit reports in hiring and employment decisions;
  • A.7223, which would have imposed additional disclosure requirements of electronic fund transfers;
  • S.6906A/A.9189, which would have authorized municipalities to treat unpaid building code, property maintenance and nuisance violations as unpaid real property taxes;
  • S.6551A, which would have required credit card issuers to issue cards with smart chip technology without imposing any requirements on merchants; and
  • S.7350A/A.9341A, which would have required mortgage lenders and servicers to maintain properties on delinquent mortgages.

NCUF reminds of July 31 Wegner award nomination deadline

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MADISON, Wis. (7/10/14)--July 31 is the deadline to nominate individuals and organizations for the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented by the National Credit Union Foundation.
 
Winners will be honored at NCUF's annual awards dinner on March 9 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
 
"Don't delay to nominate the finest individuals and organizations or programs for what are widely considered the highest national honors in the credit union movement," said Danielle Brown, NCUF director of development and donor relations.
 
The nominations are being accepted for:
  • The Individual Achievement Award honors an unsung hero for their innovative concepts and/or accomplishments that are ongoing and current contributions to the credit union community for their work within the past three to five years. Accomplishments must have had a significant impact or a potential impact on the local or national or international credit union movement with measured results. Nominations must cite a specific subject of achievement such as financial literacy, service to the underserved, alternatives to predatory lending, and/or new products.
  • The Outstanding Organization/Program Award honors an organization, program or business for their innovative concepts or product and services that have had a significant impact on the local or national or international credit union movement with measured results.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has dedicated their life to promoting the credit union philosophy, created innovative concepts and provided leadership that has had a significant and lasting impact on the local or national or international credit union movement.
Nominations can come from individuals or organizations. To make a nomination:
  • Complete the Wegner Awards nomination form on the NCUF website. Use the link.
  • Gather at least five letters of recommendation citing examples of the nominee's achievements relevant to the award criteria
  • Send the nomination form and recommendation letters electronically to NCUF by July 31.
Questions about the Wegner Awards can be directed to Danielle Brown at dbrown@ncuf.coop or 608-556-2406.