WICHITA, Kan. (8/26/13)--Wichita, Kan., police gave chase early Thursday to a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck whose driver may be a suspect in a rash of thefts at ATMs in the area, but the driver and truck got away. The truck was caught on security video footage at about 3:20 a.m. Thursday at an ATM. Police tried to stop the vehicle, but it sped off. And extended chase followed, but was eventually called off after the suspect drove erratically and plowed through a fence. The vehicle was also caught on the surveillance footage at an ATM 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at a branch of Meritrust CU, where an attempt to pry open that ATM was unsuccessful. ATMs were hauled off at two hotels recently, and an attempt to steal a local bank's ATM was unsuccessful. The truck sported a Kansas license plate, D435FF, said police (Wichita Eagle Aug. 22) ...
BISMARCK, N.D. (8/26/13)--The mailing address for the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas will change, effective Sept. 1, CUAD announced Friday. The association's new mailing address will be 2005 North Kavaney Drive, Bismarck, ND 58501. It will no longer receive mail at its PO Box 7250 address (The Memo Aug. 23) ...
WARRENVILLE, Ill. (8/26/13, UPDATED 2:50 p.m. CT)--Alloya Corporate FCU announced Monday that Bill Walby will resign as Alloya's CEO for personal reasons. His resignation is effective Sept. 15, 2013.
"This was a difficult decision for me. The merger of Alloya and CenCorp operations is proceeding well, and we are beginning to see some of the anticipated benefits," said Walby. "Unfortunately, I also have some personal responsibilities that are difficult to address along with my responsibilities as Alloya CEO," he added.
"Alloya's board has regretfully accepted Bill's resignation," said Amy Sink, chair of Alloya's board. "
She noted that the corporate's second quarter financials, released last week, "demonstrate that Alloya is on a sound footing. System and organizational integrations are on track, starting with the successful conversion of Michigan members to Premier View (Alloya's secure internet portal) on July 1. We understand Bill's decision, and wish him continued success."
The corporate's board has begun a search for a new CEO. "We are seeking a CEO to build upon the strong financial base and business model in place today. Alloya is capitalized and supported by approximately 20% of credit unions nationally," Sink said.
Todd Adams, Alloya senior vice president and president of Balance Sheet Solutions LLC, was named interim CEO, effective upon Walby's departure.
ONTARIO, Calif. (8/26/13)--The Summit Round Table--a body of the 50 largest California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' member credit unions--has pledged to engage at least 5% of its credit union members in the national "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign.
The leagues seek to persuade credit union members to send letters to Congress through Connect For The Cause, a grassroots website.
"I'm impressed by the level of commitment of these credit unions to the 'Don't Tax My Credit Union' campaign and their pledge to persuade 5% of their membership to send letters to legislators," said Diana Dykstra, the leagues' president/CEO. "I encourage all other credit unions, no matter how small or large, to continue to spread the word to their membership on this important campaign to preserve our tax-exempt status."
So far this year, credit union members in California and Nevada have sent 145,000 letters to congressional legislators encouraging them to support the credit union movement's tax-exempt status. Nearly 100,000 of those contacts were sent through Connect for the Cause, said the league.
Don't Tax My Credit Union is the Credit Union National Association's and state leagues' campaign to raise awareness and urge Congress to keep the tax-exempt status. For more information, check the website www.donttaxmycreditunion.org.
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (8/26/13)--Banker & Tradesman
has named its 2013 Credit Union Heroes in Massachusetts--an award recognizing local credit union professionals who go above and beyond to better their institution and community, said the Massachusetts Credit Union League.
The award celebrates those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and the community and given freely of their time, energy and resources for volunteerism, community service and charity (E-Weekly
Recipients will be honored at the 2013 Credit Union Heroes Awards dinner Sept.12 in Boston. Dawn Teixeira, executive director of Homes for Our Troops, will keynote.
The Massachusetts Credit Union Heroes are:
Ingrid Adade--financial education officer, Leominster (Mass.) CU;
Anne-Marie Bisson--vice president, financial education, Jeanne D'Arc CU, Lowell;
Robin Burns--corporate trainer, Sharon (Mass.) CU;
Catherine Goodall--vice president, controller, assistant treasurer, Workers' CU, Fitchburg;
Debra Hayward--vice president of lending, Pioneer Valley FCU, Springfield;
David A. L'Ecuyer--president/CEO, Central One FCU, Shrewsbury;
Michael Maestri--consumer loan manager, Metro CU, Chelsea;
Mariann O'Brien--assistant vice president, branch operations, Jeanne D'Arc CU;
Jon Reske--vice president of marketing and member outreach, UMassFive College FCU, Hadley;
Saritin Rizzuto--community relations and business developer officer, Metro CU;
Herb White--assistant vice president, business development, Workers' CU; and
Ray Wrobel--vice president, business development, Align CU, Lowell.
WASHINGTON (8/26/13)--Former National Credit Union Administration Board Member Gigi Hyland begins her new position today as executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation.
She will operate from NCUF's Washington office, located in the Credit Union National Association's Washington-D.C. office. Hyland succeeds Wendell "Bucky" Sebastian, who retired June 30.
Last month, Hyland told News Now
(July 16) she is eager to leverage her relationships in the financial services, philanthropic and policy arenas to raise awareness about NCUF, its reach and its potential.
"The program successes--Biz Kid$, REAL Solutions, the DE (Development Educator) program, targeted grants and the April Financial Literacy campaign--have been tremendous, but three is so much potential to do more," she said.
Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO and NCUF president, noted Hyland's "extensive insights into the philosophy and mission of credit unions will serve the entire movement well in this position."
Hyland served on NCUA's board from 2005 until October 2012. Prior to that, she was senior vice president and general counsel of Empire Corporate FCU, which is now Members United Corporate FCU.
She also served as CUNA's vice president of Corporate Credit Union Relations and executive director of the Association of Corporate Credit Unions from 1997 to 2002.
For an example of how NCUF's programs help credit unions reach out to members, see related News Now
Special Report: CU To Use Biz Kid$ Grant For Entrepreneurs Camp.
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (8/26/13)--Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed HB 2432, which will make it clear that Illinois credit unions and other deployers of ATMs are no longer required to display a physical sign disclosing ATM terminal fees, according to the Illinois Credit Union League. Quinn signed the law on Aug. 16.
The legislation provides parity with federal requirements regarding ATM disclosure. Previously, the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act mandated that ATMs contain both a physical sign and an on-screen, electronic sign to notify consumers of fees imposed when conducting a transaction.
"Now that HB 2432 has been signed into law, parity with federal law and regulation will be retained," said Stephen Olson, ICUL executive vice president and general counsel. "This measure provides credit unions that deploy terminals with relief from the risk of frivolous and spurious litigation, without impairing a member's awareness of the fees assessed for using the ATM."
In December 2012, President Barack Obama signed federal legislation removing the requirement for the physical sign, keeping intact the requirement for electronic disclosure of fees and an opportunity for the cardholder to cancel the transaction before incurring any fees.
Outside notices on ATMs were being intentionally removed by unscrupulous persons, without the knowledge of the financial institutions deploying the terminals, said the league. Perpetrators would then take pictures of the vandalized machines and file suit against the financial institutions alleging they were not in compliance with applicable disclosure rules. The federal law, as amended, helps mitigate this frivolous lawsuit-risk factor, said the league.
HB 2432 contains language to mirror the changes made to federal law by deleting the duplicative requirement in the Illinois Electronic Fund Transfer Act for a physical sign disclosing fees on an ATM terminal. The amendatory language in HB 2432 was needed to clarify and ensure credit unions' right to remove the physical sign as a matter of state law, the league said.
The Credit Union National Association and state leagues strongly advocated an amendment to the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act, and in March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau implemented a rule to eliminate redundant disclosures (News Now Aug. 2). Earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a similar state law.
LANSING, Mich. (8/26/13)--While many kids attend recreational camps in the summer, CASE CU in Lansing, Mich., will use a Biz Kid$ Education Grant to fund a financial education and entrepreneurship camp for youth from low-income families, beginning in the summer of 2014.
Biz Kid$ is a financial literacy initiative of the National Credit Union Foundation that includes an award-winning TV series, free classroom curriculum, outreach activities, a website and a monthly online newsletter targeting children 9 to 16 years old.
The genesis for the idea of the camp began with Kara Peters, financial education coordinator with the $230 million asset credit union.
"In my capacity, I go out to schools and look for educational activities for K-12 students," Peters told News Now. "Part of my job is come up with innovative items for teaching kids. I was brainstorming for ideas to reach more kids and to get the community involved, and I came across Biz Kid$ grants in doing my research.
"The grant idea is to get kids to become entrepreneurs and help the community economically," she added. "And we at the credit union are stakeholders in that."
The impetus behind the camp is to have kids develop a sound financial foundation and gain business savvy and real-world skills to help them create their own business opportunities through entrepreneurship, Peters explained.
Peters is a certified teacher and will run classes at the camp, incorporating some Biz Kid$ episodes on money basics and entrepreneurship. The kids will work as a group to develop a complete business plan including marketing, income and expense plans. One teacher fellow from middle school or high school also is funded by the grant, and CASE CU staffers will help run the camp, she said.
Community business leaders, including CASE CEO Jeffery Benson, will mentor the youth and listen to them present their business plans at the conclusion of the camp.
Although the camp still is in the formulation stage, it will be held one time next summer for two weeks or less, and CASE CU hopes to have 22 to 30 kids participating. The Biz Kid$ grant is in the $3,000 to $5,000 range, Peters said.
In the Lansing area, 77% of the youth from the area's public schools qualify for free or reduced lunches, according to official statistics, Peters said. "They have a lot of challenges that come with lower socio-economic status," she added.
Because financial education is not mandated in Michigan's public school curriculum, credit unions have an opportunity, Peters said. "It is important to note that credit unions are uniquely positioned to fill a gap in personal financial education," she concluded.
This article is part of a News Now series of exclusive, special reports on credit unions' outreach efforts and innovative ideas. Fostering service excellence, removing barriers and raising awareness about the value credit unions provide their members and communities are the foundation for the Credit Union National Association's, state credit union leagues' and credit unions' Unite For Good campaign toward a vision in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial provider.
ATLANTA (8/26/13)--The Credit Union National Association provided insight and information for a Equifax website blog, "Nine Things to Know About Banking at Credit Unions," written by nationally syndicated columnist and author Ilyce Glink.
Glink is the author of 10 books, including the bestseller 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask
, and writes the nationally syndicated column, "Real Estate Matters."
The Aug. 23 article features Paul Gentile, CUNA's executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, discussing how credit unions are different.
"Credit unions are very unique institutions because we're owned by our member-owners. What's different from a bank is that there are no shareholders at credit unions," he said. "That means the credit union doesn't have to try to drive high profits to raise shareholders value or to have a strong stock price.
"That's a power proposition today," he added. "At a credit union, the money goes back to the membership in better rates and lower fees."
The article outlines nine things consumers should know when opening an account at a credit union. In a nutshell, credit unions have:
Lower fees and better interest rates;
Membership requirements, but consumers can aSmarterChoice.org to find a credit union to join;
Widespread access to no-surcharge ATMs through CO-OP ATM Network and CO-OP Shared Branching;
Shared-branching so members can conduct business nationwide;
Deposits insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund;
Services that are tech-savvy--the first financial institution to offer online banking was a credit union;
A full suite of products, including mortgages, checking, credit cards and certificates;
Services for the underserved, including financial literacy workshops and credit counseling; and
Limited options regarding sophisticated, higher-wealth investments, but services vary at credit unions.
MADISON, Wis. (8/26/13)--Wisconsin credit unions and affiliated partners contributed more than $55,000 to the state's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, it was announced recently at the Credit Union Center campus in Madison, Wis.
Credit union industry runners and business partners gathered at CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis., to announce that more than $55,000 had been raised for Wisconsin's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. From left: SarahWainscott, Wisconsin Credit Union League; Jason Milesko, Filene Research Institute; Mark Condon, Credit Union National Association; Tom Liebe, Wisconsin Credit Union League; Holly Fearing and Christopher Roe, CUNA Mutual Group; U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), honorary co-chair of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run; and Jennifer Norr, Sheila McNeal and Alastair Shore, CUNA Mutual Group. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
The money was donated through the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), an honorary co-chair of the race held in April, met with CUNA Mutual Group runners and others affiliated with the race at the Credit Union Center to share the fund-raising results.
Of the amount, one-third or $18,333 each went to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, the Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center and Marshfield's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.
Credit Union Miracle Day (CUMD), title sponsor group for the race, has donated more than $6 million to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 2002. CUMD also sponsors the Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Run in Sacramento, Calif., and two Freedom Runs for troops overseas.
"Through CUMD, credit unions, their partners and runners all unite for good in order to support families in their time of need," said Christopher Roe, CUNA Mutual senior vice president and a former board member of CUMD. "While this race takes place in Washington, Senator Baldwin, as honorary co-chair, understands the funds raised from Wisconsin benefit local children's hospitals in the state." CUNA Mutual Group is a national business partner of the cherry blossom run.
Other Wisconsin supporters contributing to CUMD through the race include the Credit Union National Association, Fiserv, Credit Union Executives Society and the National Credit Union Foundation.
RICHMOND, Va. (8/26/13)--Virginia-based credit unions reached 21,174 students during the 2012-2013 school year through 499 personal finance classroom presentations, according to the Virginia Credit Union League's Credit Unions Care Foundation.
The efforts of Virginia's credit unions were recognized recently by the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB). Virginia credit unions captured sixth place nationally in number of students reached and seventh place nationally in the number of classroom presentations conducted.
NYIB collects financial education data each school year from the nation's credit unions, asking credit union employees and volunteers to report the number of personal finance presentations made to students, the specific topics covered, and the number of students reached during each presentation.
"Few decisions affect us more directly than the ones we make about our money," said UVA Community Credit Union's Rebecca Cardwell, chairwoman of the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia's Financial Education Committee. "And as we've learned the past few years, financial illiteracy not only takes a terrible toll on the individual, it can also have a deep and lasting impact on our communities and society as a whole."
Virginia-based have reached 261,675 students with lessons on basic budgeting and money management since 1999.
"Virginia's not-for-profit credit unions have a long history of educating consumers about money management basics," says Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow, a member of the Credit Unions Care Foundation's board of directors. He noted many credit unions in Virginia, and nationwide that "are working together to share resources and best practices in ensuring our young people grow up to be financially savvy adults, capable of making informed decisions in managing their money."
Nationally, credit unions reached 400,000 students in 12,243 classroom presentations during the 2012-2013 school year, said NYIB.
WASHINGTON (8/26/13)--Two publications have taken note that credit unions and banks are engaged in a battle of tweets--dubbed "Twitter Wars"--over the effort to preserve credit unions' tax-exempt status.
"There is a serious kerfuffle going on in the Twitterverse between banks and credit unions," said an article in the Memphis Business Journal (Aug. 23).
"While most of the country is busy tweeting about Justin Bieber or Alex Rodriguez or the sandwich they just had, advocates for credit unions--specifically CUNA Advocacy (@CUNAadvocacy)--have been trolling advocates for banks--specifically ItsTime2Pay (@ItsTime2Pay)--and vice versa."
It points out that @CUNAAdvocacy is run by the Credit Union National Association while the @ItsTime2Pay is by the American Bankers Association.
The nationwide financial publication American Banker (Aug. 23) also reported that credit unions and banks "are squaring off on a social media front" over the exemption and bankers' challenges to it.
Both publications noted the fight is an old one and each provided examples of tweets sent Friday from each Twitter handle. "These things get a lot of retweets from bankers and credit union members," said the Memphis Business Journal.
Roughly 72% of all Americans who use the Internet also use social media, according to Pew Research center. However, that number rises to 90% for people ages 18 to 29 (HTRNews.com Aug. 22). Users of social media are typically more politically engaged than the general population, and use sites like Twitter or Facebook to follow politicians and discuss issues.
The HTRNews article, which centered on how Wisconsin lawmakers are using social media, quoted Albert May, professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University who has researched Congress and social media use, as saying that "you would truly be horse-and-buggy if you didn't" use social media.
Use the links to access the articles.