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300 attend combined Missouri Okla. CUs convention

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (9/20/10)--More than 300 credit unions and supporters attended the Credit Union Convention and Exposition, which was kicked off Sept. 14 in Branson, Mo., by the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) and the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma (CUAOK). The combined convention featured a panel discussion with Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services; Katherine Weber of the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations; and Darren Dutton, National Credit Union Administration supervisory examiner. Moderator was Frank Diekmann, editor of Credit Union Journal. Subjects discussed included credit unions thriving and surviving in the current economic environment. "It may mean trying one thing, then realizing you need to go to another direction, but you don't want to tread water," said Dutton. "You need to be striving and moving forward, or you'll end up sinking." Weber stressed that "cooperation was the basic premise of credit unions. When we go back to that through credit union service organizations, it is the way credit unions are going to survive. You can be much more efficient when you work together." Looking ahead to the next five years, Hollen noted that the key to success will be strategic planning. "If you don't know where you are going or how to get there, how will you move forward?" he asked. MCUA President/CEO Rosie Holub welcomed attendees, including CUAOK's new president, Gary Jones, and Michael Beall, who will become MCUA president/CEO on Nov. 1. "This is a great venue and sets the stage for credit union people doing what they do best--collaborate and cooperate," said Jones. "It's that collaboration and cooperation, extended across state lines, that is amazing to witness," he added. The convention, which ended Thursday, is the second year Missouri and Oklahoma credit unions have met together.

First nomination received for CUNA board seat

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MADISON, Wis. (9/20/10)--The first nomination has been received for a position on the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) board of directors. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 22. Voting will take place from Oct. 27 through Dec. 17. The nomination received is for Patricia A. Wesenberg, governmental affairs liaison, Marshfield Medical Center CU, Marshfield, Wis., for District 4, Class A. These positions are up for election:
* District 1, Class A; * District 1, Class D; * District 2, Class B; * District 2, Class D; * District 3, Class C; * District 4, Class A; * District 5, Class C; and * District 6, Class B.
Successful candidates will take office Feb. 28 and serve a three-year term that will expire at the adjournment of the 2014 CUNA Annual General Meeting. There is one special election: CUNA’s current District 6, Class C director will step down from the board at the end of this year. The successful candidate in that election will be seated Jan. 1 and serve through the 2012 CUNA Annual General Meeting.

Member tells station Switched to CU to avoid fees

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VININGS, Ga. (9/20/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) provided information for an Atlanta, Ga., television station in which a credit union member explained why she switched to a credit union. The segment aired on 11alive.com Thursday. In it Lisa Dobbs told why she switched to $3.7 billion asset Delta Community CU, based in Atlanta: "I just wanted to be at a place where I didn't want to worry about the fees every month," she told the station. "Not everyone reads their inserts and I just got to the place where there was just one charge too many," she added. Dobbs said Delta Community CU saves her about $150 a year. Credit union spokesman Matthew Shepherd said the Delta Community CU knows a lot of people who don't switch "because they think it will be a hassle." That's why the credit union has designated Oct. 1 for a "Switch From Your Bank" event with staff in the credit union's seven branches standing ready to help make it easier for consumers to switch. CUNA told the publication that credit union membership grew more than 10% last year.

Banks charge twice as much biz checking fees than CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (9/20/10)--Banks charge almost twice what credit unions and community-based financial institutions charge for business checking, according to a recent survey. Moebs Services recently conducted a survey of 2,300 banks and credit unions, and found that banks charge about $35 dollars for non sufficient funds fees. Credit unions and community banks charge an average of about $25--40% less than banks for business checking, Chicago-based Moebs said. The median limit on all types of transactions for banks and credit unions is 150 per month. Credit unions and community banks charge 25 cents per transaction when accountholders exceed their monthly allowance, whereas banks charge 50 cents per transaction. Also, about 38.1% of credit unions offer free business checking, compared with 31.8% of community banks, the survey noted. About 42% more big banks offer free checking this year than last.

Southeast Corporate appoints new board committee members

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/20/10)--Southeast Corporate FCU’s board of directors has announced new appointments to the board and its supervisory committee. Jerry Maughon was appointed to the board to fill an unexpired term held by the late William Marquardt. Marquardt, former CEO of City County CU, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., died Sept. 8. Maughon previously served on Southeast’s supervisory committee and is president/CEO of Okaloosa County Teachers FCU, Crestview, Fla. Jeanne Kucey, president/CEO of JetStream FCU in Miami Lakes, Fla., was appointed to the supervisory committee to fill Maughon’s unexpired term. “During a time when credit union leaders at all levels face great challenges, we are pleased to have two well-qualified individuals willing to do even more by serving the corporate’s member owners in a leadership role,” said Southeast Board Chairman Tim McMurry.

NCUA denies community charter for CU

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BRIDGETON, Mo. (9/20/10)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has denied an application by Bridgeton, Mo.-based Vantage CU to convert to a federal community charter. On a 2-1 vote, NCUA upheld the Region IV director’s denial of the application. The credit union, as part of its conversion application, had requested to include the city of St. Louis and seven additional counties in Missouri and Illinois in its field of membership (FOM). Most of the board denied the appeal based on the regional director’s determination that under the agency’s former FOM rule, the application did not show sufficient interaction, even though it was shown the area is similar to at least one other FOM that was approved under the prior rule. “We’re disappointed with the decision,” said Eric Acree, Vantage CU executive vice president of operations. “We disagree that we did not prove the interaction requirements as a community is defined by NCUA.” He noted that Vantage already serves many of the counties that the credit union wished to expand its FOM to as noted in the application. “We’re evaluating what our next moves will be,” he told News Now. Vantage CU has $654 million in assets.

California league honors outreach efforts

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ONTARIO, Calif. (9/20/10)--The California Credit Union League honored a credit union leader and two credit unions with its 2010 Community Outreach Awards, formerly the league's Diversity Award. Award winners are:
* Urla Abrigo, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Episcopal Community FCU, who received the award in the individual category for her efforts to coordinate the Women's Wellness Day, which attracted more than 100 women, many of whom had no health insurance; * Travis CU, Vacaville, in the greater-than-$100 million asset category, for its collaboration with a community-leaders coalition to connect foster youth to opportunities, experiences and support to help them succeed as independent adults through its Money Matters program; and * Mission SF FCU, San Francisco, in the under-$100 million asset category, for its Prize-linked Accounts for Youth (PLAY) program, which provided free savings accounts and help in learning personal finance and building a savings habit.
The awards are presented by the league's Community Outreach Committee.

CU System briefs (09/17/2010)

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* MADISON, Wis. (9/20/10)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) hired Christopher Morris as its director of communications, effective today. Morris was manager of communications and Web resources for CUNA Councils. Before joining the councils in 2007, Morris was manager of communications at NCUF, where he developed cuaid.coop, the first national online disaster relief fundraising system for credit unions. He will be based in Madison and report to Tom Candell, NCUF deputy executive director and chief operations officer/chief financial officer. He will be responsible for developing and executing NCUF's strategic communications, including creating traditional and electronic media materials and managing NCUF's online presence ... * FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (9/20/10)--Bill Marquardt, CEO of City County CU, Margate, Fla., died Sept. 8 after a brief illness (Sun Sentinel Sept. 9). Marquardt had been with the credit unions since 1993, and previously was with Tropical Telco CU, Miami. He was on the board of directors of Southeastern Corporate FCU, according to the corporate ...