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CU 24 board re-elected

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (8/4/11)--Credit Union 24 announced Wednesday that its board of directors has unanimously re-elected Mansel Guerry, president/CEO of Brighton FCU, Ridgeland, Miss., to an unprecedented fourth consecutive term as chairman of the board. The board also re-elected Bradley Blake, president/CEO, Florida State University CU, Tallahassee, Fla. as vice chairman, and Becky Hulett, chief financial officer, 121 Financial CU, Jacksonville, Fla., as secretary/treasurer. “Mansel’s leadership during the past three years as chairman has guided our credit union-owned network to continued growth and success despite a difficult economic climate, and challenges with industry regulations and market fluctuations,” said Jim Park, president/CEO of Credit Union 24. During Guerry’s tenure as chairman, Credit Union 24 has grown to become the nation’s largest credit union-owned point-of-sale (POS) network, with the nation’s largest surcharge-free ATM access available to financial institutions, and has developed electronic- funds-transfer products and services to help credit unions navigate the many challenges they’ve faced in recent years, said the company. Most recently, Credit Union 24 developed Debit Edge, a new point-of-sale (POS) program--offered in addition to its traditional credit union-owned POS program--to help credit unions protect their interchange income while facing the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Also under Guerry’s leadership as chairman, Credit Union 24 engaged FIS for delivery of switch services, which is expected to deliver even greater value and flexibility to its participating credit unions. Other board members include:
* Alvin Cowans, president/CEO of McCoy FCU, Orlando; * Adrian “Casey” Duplantier Jr., president/CEO of 1st Advantage FCU, Yorktown, Va.; * David Mooney, president/CEO of Alliant CU, Chicago; * Joan Nolan, vice president of operations support, IBM Southeast Employees FCU, Boca Raton, Fla.; * David Southall, president/CEO of Innovations FCU, Panama City Beach, Fla.; and * Dan Wollin, president/CEO of PCM Employees CU, Green Bay, Wis.

UVA Community CU receives regional SBA award

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (8/4/11)--UVA Community CU, Charlottesville, Va., was recognized for the second year in a row by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which named it the Top Credit Union in the Richmond District for fiscal year 2010.
Click to view larger image For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized UVA Community CU as the Top Credit Union in the Richmond, Va., District. From left, Donald “Scott” Dailey, SBA assistant district director of lender relations; Ronald E. Bew, SBA district director, Richmond office; Michael D. Lyster, UVA Community CU vice president of business lending; Susan Walthall, SBA office of community relations; and Antwuan Griffin, SBA senior advisor, office of field operations. (Photo provided by UVA Community CU)
The award is given to the credit union with the highest loan volume by dollar amount. The Richmond district includes all of Virginia except for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. SBA guaranteed loans are an integral part of the credit union’s portfolio of business loans and services. At year-end, the credit union had more $20 million in business loans outstanding and an increase of 69% in business member-owners. “By incorporating SBA loan programs with our portfolio of conventional loans, we gain the flexibility to meet the needs of our business community while maintaining the credit union’s loan quality standards,” said UVA Community CU President/CEO Alison DeTuncq. “We’ve found that business owners like this approach and appreciate the range of services we offer.” The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions’ MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.

CUNA Lending Council celebrates 1000 members

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MADISON, Wis. (8/4/11)--The CUNA Lending Council has reached the milestone of 1,000 members, a result of several years of growth and members’ growing commitment to collectively refining the best practices of the credit union industry. The council is one of three CUNA Councils with membership in excess of 1,000. “Reaching this milestone is significant,” said Aaron Bresko, Lending Council executive committee chair and vice president of lending at BECU in Tukwila, Wash. “The councils provide credit union lenders with a unique and active community where they can reach out to one another, grow professionally, and obtain education and resources that are specific to their lending responsibilities at the credit union. Credit union lenders recognize how unique the Lending Council is in our industry.” Gayle Rust Gustafson, Lending Council membership committee chair and senior vice president-financial services at Rivermark Community CU, Beaverton, Ore., added, “What’s really significant about the 1,000 member milestone is that we’re helping more and more credit union lenders handle immediate issues, plan for future successes, and build more competitive lending programs.” The news follows CUNA Councils' announcement of surpassing 5,000 members across all six councils. As part of the collective 5,000-member celebration, credit union executives can join any of the six councils at a special rate through Aug. 31. Current members can help councils celebrate by submitting their story about what membership means to them. Anyone joining or submitting a story is entered in a drawing to win: a grand prize of a $5,000 Credit Union National Association education/training scholarship, a complementary registration to a council conference, a 2012 council membership, an Apple iPad, or a $100 Visa gift card. “The drawings are a fun way to celebrate the ongoing success of the councils,” said Gustafson. “The council leadership remains committed to making the benefits of membership relevant, timely and affordable.”

Hawaii First CU teams with state on economic empowerment

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KAMUELA, Hawaii (8/3/11)--Hawaii First FCU has partnered with the Office for Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to help local residents become financially independent. With the support of OHA, Hawaii First FCU has developed the Native Hawaiian Prosperity Program, which will be available to Hawaii County residents seeking tools to overcome poverty and obtain self-sustainability. The program includes the expansion of the Hawaii First Community Resource Center to Hilo; free financial counseling; financial education outreach to schools; and resource assistance focused on economic empowerment. Among the tools provided through the program is Hawaii First FCU’s Individual Development Accounts (IDA). IDAs are matched savings accounts where participants set a goal, save money for that goal, then work toward that goal by achieving regular deposits, financial education, financial counseling and small-business development. After participants attain the requirements, their savings are matched $4 for every $1 saved, giving members credit toward necessary purchases required for the goal. The funds go directly from Hawaii First FCU toward their asset purchases. “We work on the front lines with our community members and see what works and what doesn’t from day to day,” said Laura Aguirre, Hawaii First FCU president/CEO. “The impact these vital resources are making on our island is what keeps us striving to make these programs possible.” The Hawaii First Community Resource Center is a community outreach program of the credit union. It provides services to residents of the Big Island.

CU Solutions Group renews 700k pledge to BizKid

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MADISON, Wis. (8/4/11)--CU Solutions Group (CUSG), through its Invest in America (IIA) program, has pledged $700,000 for the second year in a row toward the national underwriting of Biz Kid$. Biz Kid$ is the Emmy Award-winning and credit union-funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship. CUSG’s pledge, combined with its $700,000 contribution in 2010, makes it one of the largest independent sponsors of Biz Kid$, alongside the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). “CUSG’s contribution to financial literacy is tremendous,” said Gary Oakland, president/CEO of BECU in Tukwila, Wash., and chair of NCUF. “CUSG’s financial commitment in tandem with support from credit unions and leagues ensures the Biz Kid$ program and curriculum will reach more youth than ever before.” NCUF recently took ownership of fundraising, outreach and administrative responsibilities of Biz Kid$ from the Washington Credit Union Foundation to ensure the program gains the maximum support from the credit union system. CUSG’s $700,000 pledge is leading the way to achieve full funding for the fifth season, which also will put Biz Kid$ into syndication. “To continue to thrive as a system program well into the future, Biz Kid$ warrants the collaborative financial support of the credit union community,” said CU Solutions Group CEO Dave Adams. “It is our hope, that all IIA participants will participate in helping fund this critical financial literacy project by opting to allocate 10% of their year-end IIA marketing reimbursement to Biz Kid$,” said Bucky Sebastian, NCUF executive director. Last year, many credit unions and leagues did just that, as 90 credit unions and 20 leagues donated a portion of their year-end rebate which helped raise an additional $300,000 for Biz Kid$. “Our hope is that we will increase that number to 100% participation, allowing the contribution from the participants to soar to $1.2 million,” Sebastian said.

July consumer bankruptcy filings down 18

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/4/11)--U.S. consumer bankruptcies in July decreased 18% nationwide from July 2010, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), which relied on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data indicated that the overall consumer filing total for July reached 113,470--down from the 137,698 consumer filings recorded in July 2010. It was the seventh consecutive month for which there were fewer bankruptcies in 2011 than during the previous year. “The continued decline in consumer bankruptcies in tandem with a sluggish economy is a reflection of the deleveraging of household debts and tightening of consumer credit over the past year,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. “Should these trends persist, we expect to see fewer consumer bankruptcies in 2011 than were filed in 2010.” The July 2011 filings also represented a 5% decrease from the June 2011 consumer bankruptcy total of 119,768 filings. The percentage of chapter 13 filings for July was 29%, a 1% increase from June. ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database contains complete information dating back to 1995.

CU System briefs (08/03/2011)

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* HOUSTON (8/4/11)--Patricia Longoria Garcia, executive vice president of People’s Trust FCU, Houston, and CEO of Signal Hill Investment Services, died at her home July 29, after a battle with cancer, said the Texas Credit Union League (Lone Star Leaguer Aug. 2). Garcia entered financial services in 1994 as a financial adviser with Lincoln Financial Advisors. From 1994 to 1998, she worked with the top three advisers in the Houston area to develop more than 1,500 clients with more than $75 million dollars in assets. In 1998, she began to work with Shell Employees FCU as a third-party adviser to members. From 1998 to 2001, she built a business with more than 200 credit union members and more than $40 million dollars in assets. Garcia worked with the leadership of the credit union to bring the investment business into the credit union, which resulted in the formation of Signal Hill … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (8/4/11)--Service 1st FCU, Danville, Pa., hosted a meet and greet with Northumberland County State Representatives Kurt Masser (R) and Lynda Schlegel Culver (R), said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway Aug. 2). Both Masser and Schlegel serve on the State House Commerce Committee. Among those attending were Harold Hurst, Service 1st director and district director for Masser, and Christina Mihalik, PCUA vice president of governmental affairs. PCUA board member and Service 1st FCU President/CEO Bill Lavage and Service 1st FCU chairman Kathy Linn opened the meeting with an introduction to credit unions. Among the topics discussed during the meeting were small business lending, regulatory burdens and job creation … * LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (8/4/11)--Joyce Judy, the former president of Arkansas Employees FCU, Little Rock, Ark., admitted Tuesday to persuading a member to place $500,000 in a bogus investment, then losing the money when it was wired out of the country by her business partner (Associated Press Aug. 2). Judy pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. She could face a maximum of 30 years in prison. Judy persuaded the member to invest $500,000 in what she said was a certificate of deposit, according to the U.S. attorney. Judy then added $500,000 of her own money and used it for a $1 million investment. As part of her plea deal, Judy will reimburse the credit union for its $500,000 loss …

Survey Parents not saving for college education

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (8/4/11)--A recent nationwide survey indicates that 58% of parents don’t have a college education fund established for their children. The study was conducted by SimpliFi, a free online financial planning and advice service. “The average cost of college has skyrocketed in the past 30 years, so building up enough savings to pay for it has become more difficult,” said Bryan Link, SimpliFi CEO and co-founder. “To ease the stress and financial burden, it’s crucial that parents start saving for college very early--even while their kids are still in diapers," said Link. "Less than 5% of Americans have a financial plan, but those with a plan are almost three times as likely to hit their goals. If parents start saving while their children are young they won’t have to take out loans, or leave their children financially responsible to pay for school,” he said. Other key results from the SimpliFi Back-to-School survey include:
* 75% of parents who are saving for college feel they have a say in where their child goes to school; * 62% expect their children to share the responsibility of paying for their education; * 60% of parents say that they plan on paying for college in cash, while 13% are willing to take out loans, and only 10% are going to use financial aid; * 8% are planning to pay for college through scholarships--either academic or athletic; and * 22% are willing to pay for as many years of college as it takes for their child(ren) to graduate.
Credit unions have several programs available to help students and their families with financing the costs of college and to provide a way to attract younger members.