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CU System briefs (08/01/2011)

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* NEW ORLEANS (8/2/11)--A New Orleans man, Gerard A. Jackson Jr., 44, was sentenced Thursday in a U.S. District Court to 22 years in prison for his role in two armed robberies in New Orleans. The first occurred at ASI FCU on June 11, 2009, and the second was on July 1, 2009, at Capital One Bank. Jackson also was sentenced for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; for attempting to conceal information from a law enforcement officer by having his girlfriend report her car, used as a getaway vehicle, as stolen; and attempting to coerce others to provide a false alibi. Judge Carl J. Barbier also imposed eight years of supervised release after the prison term, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (US Fed News July 28) … * EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (8/2/11)--A Connecticut man has been charged with first-degree robbery and third-degree larceny after his arrest Saturday in connection with a robbery of the American Eagle FCU, East Hartford, Conn., on Thursday morning. Nigel Cobb, 32, allegedly passed a note demanding cash to a teller and left with an undisclosed amount. It was not clear whether the robber had a weapon (HartfordCourant July 30) … * ATLANTA (8/2/11)--The fourth defendant in an armed bank robbery of the Statesboro, Ga., branch of Hinesville, Ga.-based GeoVista FCU, was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison for her role as getaway driver and organizer of the Sept. 7, 2010 robbery. Tymesha Hamilton, 24, helped then-GeoVista employee Nicholas O'Brian Roberts plan the robbery and recruited Clifton Allen and Marcus Dar-rell Dean to enter the credit union with firearms and rob it. They fled with $27,000. The three men were sentenced in April to prison terms. Hamilton was also ordered to pay $17,200 in restitution and a fine of $2,400, and undergo five years of supervised release, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (States News Service July 7) … * WEST MONROE, La. (8/2/11)--Donna Wagoner, who has been CEO of Ouachita Valley FCU, based in West Monroe, La., since 2003, retired Friday. She is succeeded, effective yesterday, by Katie Pilcher, who has been with the credit union for 21 years. Wagoner arrived at the credit union in 1986 with her husband, Julius Wagoner, then-CEO of the credit union. The couple rescued the troubled credit union, and she took over as CEO in 2003. Today it has $138 million in assets, 25,000 members and five full-service branches. She was inducted in the Louisiana Credit Union Hall of Fame in 2010 and continues serving as a director for the Louisiana Credit Union League ( July 30) … * LANSING, Mich. (8/2/11)--Michael Fitzgerald, former Michigan Credit Union Division director and former chairman of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), died July 22, according to the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. Fitzgerald was employed with the Michigan Financial Institutions Bureau for 28 years and was responsible for the supervision of more than 300 state-chartered credit unions. He became director of the division in March 1981, after serving in several other positions, including assistant director. He served on the NASCUS board from 1981 through 1988 and was chairman during 1986-1987. He also chaired the State Liaison Committee to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and was active in NASCUS' Accreditation Program. He was a proponent for the development of an independent accreditation program of credit union supervisory agencies and was instrumental in forming the NASCUS program. Under his watch, Michigan's credit union examination program was the first in the nation to submit to independent review and receive accreditation in 1989 …

Credit on campuses declined 17 in 2010

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CHICAGO (8/2/11)--The number of new credit card accounts issued through colleges and affiliated groups such as alumni associations, dropped 17% in 2010, according to a Federal Reserve Board report released in July. Card accounts fell by 340,409--to 1.7 million cards in 2010 from more than two million in 2009. The Fed survey also indicated that the number of marketing agreements between credit card companies and colleges, universities and alumni associations also declined, by 41, to 1,004 agreements, a 4% drop during the same period. However, while some banks are dropping their agreements, credit unions have taken the opportunity to get agreements of their own on campus. Some analysts said the survey results reflect the implementation of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, which prevents card companies from issuing credit cards to students under age 21, unless they can prove sufficient income or have a co-signer on the account ( July 14). The law also specifies that card issuers cannot send pre-approved credit card offers via mail, that they must stay 1,000 feet away from campus when trying to market the cards to students, and that they no longer provide incentives to students if they apply for a credit card ( (July 22). Others say that although the law has resulted in lower revenues for colleges and alumni associations, it is unclear how well the law succeeded in its goal of keeping students with little income from getting into credit card debt (Chicago Tribune July 31). A survey last fall by the University of Houston Law Center indicated that roughly three-fourths of students surveyed who are younger than 21 reported receiving a credit card offer since the beginning of 2010. The act became effective in February, 2010. Credit card companies can still contact students and offer gifts in exchange for signing up for credit cards so long as it is done electronically, and students can open checking accounts, which may lead to taking out a credit card. In 2009, banks spent nearly $84.5 million in colleges, universities and institutions of higher education to promote student credit cards. In 2010, that fell to nearly $73.3 million--a 13% drop. The number of student credit card accounts opened as a result of this spending dropped 13% also, said Banks are weighing the level of effort the agreements take against the number of accounts they get through that channel and some have left campus. Bank of America and the University of Illinois Alumni Association recently ended their affiliation, and a credit union has the new agreement. University of Illinois Employees CU paid $500,000 to the alumni group during the last six months of 2010 and opened more than 770 accounts, said the Chicago Tribune. Under the agreement the credit union can make six contacts a year by e-mail or direct mail with potential members who are graduates, former students, faculty, staff and university donors who are at least 21. However, it can't contact undergraduates regardless of their age, according to the alumni group. The alumni group gets $5 for each new account that stays open for at least 90 days and that's used at least once, and 1.25% of whatever purchases the member makes. At Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan State University FCU has a $400,000-a-year agreement that allows it to issue credit cards with MSU trademarks, said the Lansing State Journal.

Milton elected as federation board chairman

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NEW YORK (8/2/11)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions elected five members to its board of directors, and elected a new board chairman during its 37th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved. The elections resulted in five new directors representing two of the federation’s regions and the at-large (nationwide) category, and re-election of incumbents in the remaining two regions. Election results include:
* Chairman--Lynda Milton, president/CEO Team Financial FCU, Houston; * Vice-Chair--Deyanira DelRío, board chairman at the Lower East Side People’s FCU, New York; *Treasurer-- Edgar Cosner, president/CEO of The United FCU, Morgantown, W.Va.; * Recording Secretary--Shirley Spruill, manager & president of Renaissance Community Development CU, Somerset, N.J.; * Corresponding Secretary--Michael Chan, board president of Northeast Community FCU, San Francisco.
There are currently nine females and six males on the board of directors; eight are African-American, one is Asian, one is Latino, and five are white/Anglo. Elected to three-year terms are:
* In Region 1 (East), Shirley Spruill, manager and president of the board at Renaissance Community Development CU, Somerset, NJ; * In Region 2 (South), Permelia “Pam” Murphy, president and board treasurer, Citizens Choice FCU, Natchez, Miss., and Mignhon Tourné, president/CEO of ASI FCU, Harahan, La.; * In Region 3 (Mid/South West), Milton. * In Region 4 (West), Gary Bell, CEO, Cooperative Center FCU, Berkeley, Calif., and Robin Romano, CEO, MariSol FCU, Phoenix. * At-large director, Sheilah Montgomery, president/CEO of Credit Union of Atlanta.
Federation directors may serve up to three, three-year terms. Board officers serve one-year terms.

Illinois small CUs meeting this week

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (8/2/11)--More than 80 attendees are expected for the Illinois Credit Union League’s (ICUL) annual Small Asset Size (SAS) Conference for credit unions under $20 million in assets. The two-day event begins today at ICUL’s offices in Naperville, Ill. Many session topics will center on helping small credit unions compete in today’s marketplace. Time also will be built into the schedule for attendees to network and share best practices. Among the highlights from the first day of sessions will be a presentation on “The Economy and the Small credit union” by Mike Schenk, vice president of economics and statistics at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Richard Klecun, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) economic development specialist; Gerald Schultz, NCUA supervisory examiner; David Anderson, Illinois Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) senior financial institutions examiner, and Brad Losch, DFI acting assistant supervisor, will also speak on the first day. Session topics and speakers on the second day include “Collections” by Shelia O’Leary, manager of Collectors Resource Services (CRS), a division of the ICUL Service Corp., and “Exam Directives vs. Recommendations” by Patrick Smith, ICUL’s vice president of communications and regulatory affairs, and Mike Daugherty, president of Community Plus FCU, Rantoul, Ill. The conference will conclude with an open forum and networking lunch, facilitated by Joni Senkpeil, ICUL director of small credit union development. This year’s event is sponsored by ICUL, the Illinois Credit Union Foundation and CUNA Mutual Group.

BizKid gets 250K grant from SECU Foundation

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RALEIGH, N.C. (8/2/11)--State Employees’ CU (SECU) Foundation announced that SECU members have provided a $250,000 grant to help fund the ongoing production of Biz Kid$--an award-winning public television series promoting financial education for elementary and middle-school students. Beginning production of a fourth season, the series engages youth in topics such as saving, budgeting and entrepreneurship. This is the second SECU foundation grant in two years provided for production assistance, with $125,000 given in 2009. The SECU foundation is the charitable arm of the credit union. Biz Kid$, with its educational focus, was a clear choice for foundation support and is heavily used by SECU personnel in North Carolina middle schools, according to SECU. Staff members in SECU branches have been trained with the curriculum, and the credit union continues to work with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to train teachers about the program. Biz Kid$ television episodes and corresponding learning activities are shared with middle-school students primarily in social studies and career and technical education classes. Thousands of students have already been reached through SECU’s efforts. “State Employees’ CU has always placed financial education as a high priority and providing funding for Biz Kid$ is a great way to expand our reach with North Carolina students,” SECU Foundation Board Chair Shirley Bell said. “With today’s continuing economic crisis, our members realize that learning the basics of financial management is more critical than ever. Biz Kid$ has been well received since its debut and we look forward to seeing its continued positive impact.” Based in Raleigh, N.C., SECU has more than $21 billion in assets.

Entries due Aug. 31 for 10K CO-OP THINK prize

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (8/2/11)--The deadline for entries to the CO-OP THINK Prize 2012 is Aug. 31 for round-one applicants vying for the $10,000 grand prize. “The CO-OP THINK Prize is designed to initiate and reward new thinking on how to propel the credit union movement forward,” said Stan Hollen, president/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. “We had a great inaugural competition in 2011 and we are looking forward to the 2012 contest once again serving as a conduit for the innovation and creativity of credit union employees.” Entrants must complete six short-answer questions in round one via the online form. The entries will be judged by representatives of CO-OP and the Filene Research Institute, with judging based on impact, creativity and shareability. After Aug. 31, 25 semi-finalists will be notified around Sept. 30. Semi-finalists will have until Nov. 30 to complete their round-two work. Three finalists will be named around Jan. 5, and the grand prize winner will be announced at the THINK 12 Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., on April 30. In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, the three finalists and one guest each will have round-trip travel and hotel accommodation costs covered for their attendance at THINK 12. The 25 semi-finalists will each receive a $150 gift card. In May, Matt Weidler of Evangelical Christian CU, Brea, Calif., won $10,000 in the 2011 inaugural CO-OP THINK Prize competition. With more than 3,000 credit union members, 30 million cardholders, 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 4,300 shared branch locations and more than two billion annual transactions, CO-OP Financial Services, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is the nation’s largest credit union service organization. For more information, use the link.

Catalyst Corporate announces board

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DULUTH, Ga. (8/2/11)--Eleven credit union leaders were named to the board of the future Catalyst Corporate FCU, which will arise from the merger of Georgia Corporate and Southwest Bridge Corporate. Beginning on Sept. 6, the first day of Catalyst Corporate operations, the credit union’s board will include:
* Lin Hodges, president/CEO, Associated CU, Norcross, Ga., chairman; * Bobbie Threlkeld, president/CEO, Baptist Health FCU, Little Rock, Ark.; * Ronald Johnston, president/CEO, Artesia (N.M.) CU; * John Papagno, chief financial officer, Healthcare’s Cooperative CU, Jacksonville, Fla.; * Ayn Talley, president/CEO, Houston (Texas) Police FCU; * Michael Hooper, La Capitol FCU, Baton Rouge, La.; * Rick Hein, president/CEO, OSU FCU, Corvallis, Ore.; * Connie Cofer, senior vice president/chief financial officer, Communication FCU, Oklahoma City, Okla.; and * Rod Taylor, Barksdale FCU, president/CEO, Bossier City, La.
Serving on the Supervisory Committee will be:
* Craig Atkinson, president/CEO, Houston (Texas) Highway CU; * Kerry Parker, president/CEO, A+ FCU, Austin, Texas; and * Candy Bracewell, senior vice president/chief financial officer, LGE Community CU, Marietta, Ga.
More than 857 credit unions and other organizations throughout the country have committed to Catalyst Corporate, according to Greg Moore, president/CEO of Georgia Corporate. “With a membership this size, the decisions of Catalyst’s board of directors will have considerable influence on the credit union community,” Moore said. “One of our objectives was to ensure that the board truly represents our membership as a whole,” said Dianne Addington, president/CEO of Southwest Bridge Corporate. The board and supervisory committee were selected through a process that began early this year, when Georgia Corporate’s board of directors appointed a Governance Advisory Council consisting of Tim Adams, president/CEO, SPCO CU, Houston; Willie Jacobs, president/CEO, White Sands CU, Las Cruces, N.M., and Randy Smith, president/CEO, Randolph-Brooks CU, Live Oaks, Texas. They were charged with evaluating more than 21 executives who applied to serve as directors or committee members for Catalyst Corporate FCU.

Missouri Corporate members commit 21M in PCC

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ST. LOUIS (8/2/11)--Missouri Corporate CU has raised $21.4 in perpetual contributed capital (PCC), exceeding the capitalization level required by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA deadline for members to make their commitment for purchasing PCC was Monday. Missouri Corporate exceeded its PCC goal of $17.5 million by 22%, according to President/CEO Dennis DeGroodt. Credit unions in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and North Dakota made capital commitments, and more are expected, DeGroodt said. Missouri Corporate, with about $450 million in assets, was chartered in 1976 and serves more than 200 natural person credit unions in the U.S. The PPC is required by NCUA to build capital in each corporate as part of the agency’s overall corporate stabilization plan.

CUNA reminds of NCUSIF in IWSJI debt-limit article

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WASHINGTON (8/2/11)--The U.S. debt-ceiling debate has brought advice from The Wall Street Journal for consumers to review their savings accounts and other deposits to make sure their cash is protected by federal insurance. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) took the opportunity to educate the Journal and its readers about credit unions' federal deposit insurance fund. Money deposited at a federal credit union is generally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which works under the same account-category rules as Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel told the Journal (July 31). Most, but not all, state-chartered credit unions are also covered by the NCUSIF, Hampel noted in the article. "If you're not sure, ask your credit union," the article said, pointing readers to a deposit-insurance calculator on the National Credit Union Administration website. Use the link to review the full article. The article was also featured in MarketWatch (July 31).