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Filene offers 4 steps to further women's leadership

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MADISON, Wis. (7/8/14)--Women at credit unions with female CEOs feel more effective, that their skills are move valued, and that they are more committed and competent. Those were among the key takeaways at a Women in Leadership Colloquium hosted by the Filene Research Institute and World Council of Credit Unions at the University of Southern California last month.
In short, female CEOs change the possibilities for other women in their organizations, according to colloquium participants. On important measures such as ambition, competence and self-perception, women with female CEOs rated higher than those at credit unions led by men.
The colloquium offered four first steps to address the gender intelligence challenge:
  • It's essential for women (and men) to differentiate between mentors and sponsors, participants said. Mentors offer advice and encouragement, but sponsors do that and more, by using their own political capital lobbying for your next raise, promotion or new job.
  • Boards and hiring executives should exercise their influence by demanding diverse candidate slates for important positions. The more search firms and human resource departments see diversity consideration as a necessary step, the more they will emphasize it in their own steps.
  • Women in organizations with visible female leaders feel more empowered and are more engaged. Each organization should feel responsible for building a "first generation" of powerful women so that up-and-coming women have role models and potential sponsors.
  • Credit unions should track data about how many women are leading in their organizations. This allows the organization to know whether women leaders are arriving by accident or intentionally. It also helps the organization determine if it is improving.

CU System briefs (07/08/2014)

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  • RADCLIFF, Ky. (7/8/14)-- Ray Springsteen took over Wednesday as president/CEO of Fort Knox FCU. Springsteen, who previously served as executive vice president, succeeds William J. "Bill" Rissel, who retired after 23 years as CEO of the $1.1 billion Radcliff, Ky.-based credit union ( The News - Enterprise July 6) ...
  • ARLINGTON, Va. (7/8/14)-- The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors recently approved the reaccreditation of the Alabama Credit Union Administration (ACUA) and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Division of Credit Unions. The ACUA, which is led by Sarah H. Moore, supervises 65 credit unions with combined assets of roughly $10.7 billion. The DFI, led by Scott Jarvis, supervises 62 credit unions with combined assets of about $35.9 billion ...

Law fraternity makes the case for CU benefits

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TOWSON, Md. (7/8/14)--In an article titled "Credit Unions: for your Chapters and your life," a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International, based out of Towson, Md., wrote on the fraternity's website about the numerous advantages of credit unions compared with banks.

"For some reason I thought it made sense that the banks I was using should charge me all sorts of fees for me to use my own money," wrote Byron K. Rupp, director for the fraternity's pre-law operations and the article's author on . "Then I looked into credit unions and realized that I could (receive) all of the same benefits ... but instead a credit union would give me money (and lower interest rates) to use my money."

Since the discovery, Rupp said, he's been a credit union convert.

After listing several ways in which credit unions differ from banks--including that they're not-for-profits that return revenues back to members through free ATM use, offer lower interest rates and fewer fees, and are governed by democratically elected boards of directors who live by "one member, one vote" philosophies--Rupp explained why credit unions are important to fraternity chapters and their operations.

"It seems to be getting harder to find a bank that will offer our chapters free checking accounts," Rupp wrote, adding that he recently received an email from one chapter that had lost more than $200 to their current bank in fees alone over the last year.

"The idea that a Charter should do significant fundraising just to pay bank fees is pretty appalling," Rupp said. "Simply put, why should you pay a bank for the right to use your own money?"

Select FCU fills payday lending gap in San Antonio

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SAN ANTONIO (7/8/14)--Select FCU is providing consumers with access to affordable funds after the city of San Antonio filed a lawsuit against seven payday lending establishments that were allegedly in violation of a city ordinance.
The ordinance requires payday and auto-title lenders to register with the city, pay a fee, and limits the amount of the loan. Perhaps the biggest challenge is enforcement. If the city's lawsuit prevails, it will be a major victory for the regulatory effectiveness of city law.
To be effective as a replacement for payday lenders, SFCU first had to establish a presence where the loans were needed. The credit union established a branch at the Ella Austin Community Center.
"We want to dedicate this branch to sitting down and talking with people," John Garcia, head of business development and marketing at $33 million-asset credit union, told The Rivard Report (July 7).
The credit union is also working on other partnerships with local businesses and institutions to bring virtual or mini-branches to their facilities.
The credit union doesn't want to simply offer loans, it wants to help members obtain financial stability, Garcia said.
SFCU is a designated community development financial institution, one of only two in San Antonio. As a CDFI, the credit union identifies members who seem to be relying on payday loans for non-essential costs and can offer financial counseling to help them curb their spending.
SFCU is also working with the City of San Antonio to align lenders for applicants who want to move into Wheatley Courts, a former Section 8 development that being transformed into mixed-income housing.

ACUC: A packed, powerful week for attendees

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SAN FRANCISCO (7/8/14)--It was a packed week for the Credit Union National Association's 2014 America's Credit Union Conference in San Francisco, with a schedule chock-full of educational breakout sessions, stirring speeches and even the occasional excursion throughout the city.  

Click to view larger image Attendees of the Credit Union National Association's 2014 America's Credit Union Conference in San Francisco wear "100 million membership" T-shirts to the final keynote address of the week on the conference's last day Thursday. (CUNA Photo)
From June 29 to July 3, roughly 1,200 attendees had access to a wealth of credit union resources such as networking opportunities with other professionals, Q&A sessions with inspiring keynote speakers and ample time to pick the brains of vendors at the daily exhibit hall.

The vendors also find the experience valuable.

"What I like about ACUC is the people, everybody is very friendly, very open, very questioning, and they want to learn," Abbe Mahaffey, Diebold director of integrated services, told News Now . "Everybody is excited to be here, everybody is excited to see each other and work together and learn from each other."

The general sessions, emceed by TV personality Mark DeCarlo, featured a varied lineup of keynote addresses, capped Thursday with former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's enthralling story about how he survived an ambush in Afghanistan in 2005--a tale recently recaptured by Hollywood in the movie "Lone Survivor."

Conference attendees also heard from a National Credit Union Administration official on the NCUA's reasoning behind and current stance on the controversial risk-based capital proposal at a heavily attended special general session during the week.

The main takeaway was that the NCUA will use as long as it takes to put together the "right" capital requirement regulation for credit unions, according to Larry Fazio, NCUA director of the Office of Examination and Insurance.

Attendees also enjoyed using a social media app that CUNA created specifically for the conference. The app featured the conference schedule, allowed attendees to interact and post photos and comments about their experiences and highlighted bios of the various speakers, sessions and events.  

Other highlights from the conference included:
  • A selfie kiosk outside the general session ballroom where conference attendees could take photos of themselves to be posted on CUNA's new website, , for its recently launched 100 million membership campaign;
  •  Young credit union professionals sat in on an executive series session where they were able to listen to top industry leaders discuss the most pressing issues facing credit unions today;
  • Industry trend educational talks such as "Engineering the Right Branch Experience," "Creating Member Loyalty," and "Serving Members Who No Longer Need Branches;" and
  •  An experimental breakout session at San Francisco's Exploratorium Museum.On

Thursday, DeCarlo also teased next year's conference, which is set to take place in Denver July 12-15. In conjunction with the World Council of Credit Union's annual conference, the week is expected to take on an international twist.

Kansas CUs report solid 1Q results

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WICHITA, Kan. (7/8/14)--Kansas credit unions posted solid first quarter results, including loan growth of 9% that exceeds the national average of 8.8%.
Auto loans and credit cards ticked upward at 11.4% and 10.1%, respectively, followed by a strong showing of first mortgages with 7.8% annual growth, according to the Kansas Credit Union Association ( Vision July 1).
Members continue to deepen their relationship with their credit unions with an average relationship--outstanding loan and share balances combined--coming in at $12,937 with a 4.1% annual growth rate.
Kansas credit unions added nearly 16,000 members over the past year--an annual growth rate of 2.5%.
For the first quarter, credit quality remains high. At 0.74%, Kansas credit unions have a lower delinquency rate than local banks as well as banks and credit unions nationwide.

First-generation American shares financial challenges

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LOS ANGELES (7/8/14)--Jennifer Calonia, editorial manager for , recently shared the financial challenges she faced as a first-generation American--information credit unions can use to meet the financial needs of their memberships, especially financial education.
  • Finding cash for college. "My parents and family insisted on me getting an good education," Calonia wrote. "Throughout my childhood, I was told that a college degree--specifically one that would lead me to a career in medicine or law--would be my gateway to a successful life. As a kid, I bought into that notion, and had aspirations to become a pediatrician, but at 10 years old, I didn't fully understand the financial implications of that educational path."

Calonia did not have a 529 savings plan to fund her tuition. Her parents worked hard and provided a safe, loving environment, but they didn't have the resources their daughter's college education. Nor did they know the ins-and-outs of where to find financial aid.

  • Navigating the contradictions of the American dream. "Growing up, I heard stories from my grandparents, aunts and uncles about how hard life was back in their native country, and how some people there assumed that anyone in the U.S. had the means to buy luxury cars and lavish homes," Calonia wrote. "My first experience visiting the Philippines confirmed the prevalence of this idealized notion of the American lifestyle."

At the same time, Calonia's budget for the trip to the Philippines was so tight that she could only afford to bring $50 in spending money for the entire trip. She was $25,000 deep in student loan debt, had $2,000 in credit card debt and couldn't even afford a car. "It was at that moment that I learned how disconnected the foreign perception of the American dream can be to the cost-of-living realities Americans face daily," she wrote.

  • Learning by trial and error. "Unfortunately, in my house, discussions about money were very polarized--either I should behave one way, or shouldn't--but there was no conversation about how to improve upon my parents' experiences," Calonia wrote. "So there were no talks about the pros and cons of credit card use, or how to be responsible with debt, or even what it meant to have a line of credit. All of those lessons, I had to pick up along the way, without my family's help."