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CU System Briefs (09/18/2013)

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  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (9/18/13)--Virginia Beach  police have identified the suspect shot and killed by an off-duty police officer during an attempted robbery at Chartway FCU as Courtney Andrew Holloman, 30, of Virginia Beach. Holloman died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the torso (The Virginian-Pilot Sept. 17). The incident occurred when Holloman, wearing a mask, dark clothes and gloves, entered the credit union branch and allegedly displayed what appeared to be a gun. He announced the robbery and the police officer identified himself as police to Holloman, who began to turn on the officer and was shot. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is standard procedure. No one else was injured. The branch remained open and the credit union has made one-on-one counseling available for employees (News Now Sept. 17) ...
  • BELLEVUE, Neb. (9/18/13)--Brandi Coen, 32, of Portsmouth, Neb., was sentenced to 24 months of probation after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting theft by receiving over $1,500 in stolen cash from a Dec. 7 robbery of Sac FCU in Portsmouth.  Her former husband, Gabriel L. Coen, 29, was sentenced last week to the same term. The two said they did not know about the heist and that the money was given to them by Caleb Searcy, 22, who is now serving a four- to eight-year sentence in prison for possessing stolen money.  The Coens said they thought Searcy had received a loan from his father. Searcy said he found the money in the woods near a tent where he was living a few hundred yards from the credit union ( Sept. 17) ...

Whitehouse Appointed To CUNA Mutual Group Board

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MADISON, Wis. (9/18/13)--CUNA Mutual Group has appointed Janet V. Whitehouse to its board of directors.
Whitehouse has three decades of experience in business and the insurance industry, most recently as president of Wentworth Advisory Group, which provides strategic advice to corporations in various stages of development.
A former grammar school teacher, Whitehouse served as a senior executive at two Fortune 500 insurance companies--Sun Life Financial and Unum Corp.--where she led mergers and acquisitions, financial turnarounds, organizational restructuring and business development ventures.
"Janet's proven leadership experience and vast knowledge of the insurance industry will be tremendous assets to the Board of Directors and our company," said Jeff Post, CUNA Mutual Group, president/CEO.
CUNA Mutual's board is chaired by Eldon R. Arnold, retired president/CEO, CEFCU, Peoria, Ill. Thomas C. Godlasky, retired CEO, Aviva North America, is vice chairman. Other board members include:
  • C. Alan Peppers, president/CEO, Westerra CU, Denver;
  • Joseph J. Gasper, retired president/chief operations officer, Nationwide Insurance;
  • Loretta M. Burd, retired president/CEO, Centra CU, Columbus, Ind.;
  • Bert J. Hash Jr., president/CEO, Municipal Employees CU of Baltimore Inc.;
  • Larry T. Wilson, retired president/CEO, Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C. ;
  • James W. Zilinski, retired chairman, president/CEO, Berkshire Life Insurance Co.;
  • Robert J. Marzec, retired audit partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers;
  • Randy M. Smith, retired CEO, Randolph-Brooks FCU, Live Oaks, Texas;
  • Caren C. Gabriel, president and CEO, Ascend FCU, Tullahoma, Tenn.; and
  • Post.

CUNA GAC Named Finalist For Two BizBash Top Event Awards

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MADISON, Wis. (9/17/13)--The Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference--the credit union movement's premier national conference--has been named a finalist for honors in two events by the National BizBash Event Style Awards for Best Association Event and Best Trade Show.
CUNA's GAC was nominated for both categories by Hargrove Inc.
"No event reflects the spirit and drive of the credit union system more than CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference. It is the one conference each year where credit union leaders coalesce not only around a premier education opportunity, but a premier advocacy opportunity," said CUNA CEO Bill Cheney.
CUNA's GAC culminates in Hike the Hill visits by attendees to visit their congressional leaders to advocate for credit union issues such as preserving the tax status of credit unions and lifting their member business lending cap. The 2013 theme was "Powerful Cause, Positive Effect." More than 4,200 people attended. Speakers included Tom Brokaw NBC News; Jean Chatzky, The Today Show; Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic Committee chairman; Haley Barbour, former Republican National Committee chairman; and Richard Cordray, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director.
Congressional speakers included U.S. Reps. Spencer Bacchus, Jeb Hensarling, Steny Hoyer and Ed Royce, and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. 
Founded in 2000, BizBash is the trade media for the event industry. BizBash publishes magazine and e-newsletters, hosts websites, and produces trade shows and award shows for corporate events and meeting professionals, event marketers, and sales, public relations, fund-raising and human resource executives.
CUNA's competition in the Best Association Event are:
  • Entrepreneurs' Organization University 2012;
  • ISES Minnesota Star Awards 2013;
  • ISES NYC Sustainability Summit 2012; and
  • Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala.
Other Best Trade Show Nominees besides CUNA include:
  • Bklyn Designs;
  • Data Center Summit 2013;
  • The Makeup Show NYC; and
  • PepsiCo's 2013 National Fleet/Other Goods & Services Trading Summit &Trade Show.
Among other notable companies nominated in other categories were Nike, Lego, Nokia, AOL and Bing.   
Expanding what once honored the best in the event and meeting industry by region, BizBash is bringing back the Event Style Awards as a national program. After receiving nearly 1,000 entries from across North America, the judges have narrowed each category down to the finalists. The winners will be announced at the BizBash IdeaFest New York on Oct. 30.
Watch News Now for an upcoming announcement launching the 2014 GAC, Feb. 23-27, in Washington, D.C.

NEW: Conway Named New PCUA CEO

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (UPDATED: 9/18/13, 9:30 A.M. CT)--Patrick Conway, who served as the president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association for the past 12 years, has been named the new president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.
Conway also served as president/CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County. He began his career in the district office of U.S. Rep. Bill Clinger, served as executive director of the Governor's Action Team under Gov. Tom Ridge, and ran for Congress in Pennsylvania's 5th district. 
"We are extremely pleased and fortunate to welcome Pat to the Pennsylvania credit union movement," said PCUA Board Chair Maria LaVelle. "While there were many strongly qualified candidates for the position, Pat's leadership skills, association experience, and political involvement make him a great fit for moving PCUA forward."
Conway is the PCUA's fifth president/CEO since its inception in 1934. "I feel honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to lead such a strong organization as PCUA," said Conway. "This organization has a strong tradition of advocating on behalf of Pennsylvania credit unions and for providing solutions to credit unions of all sizes. This is an exciting time for Pennsylvania's credit union movement and an exciting time for me personally as we continue to grow and thrive in what is clearly a challenging environment."
Conway will join the association on Oct. 28 and will work with current PCUA CEO Jim McCormack, who is retiring at year-end, after 32 years of service. McCormack will remain on as a consultant to PCUA through November 2014.

Southeastern CUs Grow, Hire During 2Q

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/18/13)--Alabama and Florida credit unions' growth in membership has resulted in the addition of 433 full-time staff to the two states' credit unions in the past 12 months, said the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.

Florida credit unions added 400 new staff, while Alabama credit unions added 33. The hires fall in line with the recent membership surge, said LSCU.  Alabama added 79,000 new members in two years, while Florida added 47,000 during that period.

Each state also grew in assets, with Alabama adding $1.6 billion in assets in the two-year period, and Florida adding $4 billion.

"Alabama and Florida credit unions have generally seen positive growth numbers for nearly three years," said LSCU & Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "What has been lagging behind is positive loan growth. We have seen loan numbers begin to climb the past two years. Credit unions are hiring to meet the loan demand and also adding positions that were eliminated during the recession," he added.

Alabama credit unions grew loans by $125 million--including $5 million in new member business lending (MBL)--from first to second quarter. Florida credit unions added $494 million in new loans, with $27 million of those in new MBLs.  The two states exceed the national credit union average in used-auto loans and total auto loans.

The states also continued the trend of lower delinquencies and net charge offs. Alabama delinquencies fell for the fourth straight year to 1.22%. Florida's fell to 1.96%, a 1.2% decline in four years. Net charge offs in Alabama declined 0.14% in four years to a quarterly low of 0.59%, while in Florida, they were cut in half during that period, with second quarter net charge offs at 1.06%.

"To see our Florida credit unions inching toward the national credit union average in both categories is nothing short of amazing," said La Pine. " Consumers have more disposable income  and they are once again looking at autos, buying homes and slowing expanding their businesses."

Net worth of credit unions in Alabama is a collective 11%, higher than the national credit union average of 10.5%. Florida's is 10.3% and includes a half percent growth in the past two years.  A credit unions is considered well-capitalized if its net worth is more than 7%, said LSCU.

Colorado CUs' Flood Recovery Underway

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BOULDER, Colo. (9/18/13)--Boulder, Colo.-area credit unions have for the most part been fully operational since Saturday in the wake of massive flooding, but recovery will be ongoing, representatives from credit unions told News Now Tuesday.
Some roads in Boulders remain closed; others are "literally washed out," Dennis Paul, assistant vice president for business and community development at Elevations CU, Boulder, told News Now. "But those numbers are decreasing every day," he added. "The intersections and roads are getting cleaned up. The ones that we can't open are going to take some time."
Elevations CU has also been at "100% capacity" since Saturday, but with one in four Boulder  households suffering damages, the credit union was receiving about 15 to 20 calls per hour for assistance on Tuesday, Paul said.
"The damage to individual households is even much higher than we anticipated," Paul said.
The credit union has established a $100,000 community challenge grant. Elevations will match each dollar donated by the community up to $100,000 to assist victims of the flooding.
"All funds will be specifically earmarked for victims and families displaced from the flood," Paul said.
The credit union has also instituted a resource team to work with members affected by the flood. "We'll work with members on everything from late payments to overdraft charges to loan payment deferrals and extending credit," Paul said.
Premier Members FCU, Boulder, opened all branches and its contact center on schedule Saturday after closing six branches on Thursday and three on Friday, but the credit union continues to hear from members, Andrea Balazs, community relations specialist at Premier Members FCU, told News Now. The homes of employees sustained damages.
"We have hundreds of members that were impacted in the Longmont and Boulder areas that were affected," said Balazs. The credit union is collecting donations for United Way to help victims and is assisting members with additional services.
"We are tracking where the requests are coming from," Balazs said. "We are looking at them on a case-by-case basis and trying to expedite them."
Premier is offering loans for repairs and skip-a-payment and waiving fees on early withdrawals from certificates of deposit. The credit union also waived $5,000 in fees on Visa gift cards.
Several Premier FCU employees were evacuated from their homes, Balazs said. "That was one of the reasons we weren't able to operate," she added. The homes of two employees were either destroyed or sustained extensive damage.
Boulder Valley CU, Boulder, re-opened all five of its branches Saturday after closing three on Thursday and two on Friday.
One Boulder Valley CU employee's basement was flooded, another's apartment was flooded and two employees were evacuated from their homes but have since been allowed to return, said Rick Allen, Boulder Valley president/CEO. "All told, we were lucky," Allen said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the credit union had heard from three members who needed assistance, Allen said. "I know there is a lot more damage up in the mountains," Allen said. "I'm sure there will be issues there. Our members know we are always here to assist them."

13 Missouri CUs Become CDFIs In Mass Certification

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (9/18/13)--Thirteen Missouri credit unions were awarded Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification from the U.S. Treasury Department in an unprecedented, mass certification as part of Missouri Credit Union Association's "Community Development Across Missouri" initiative.
The mass certification was funded by the largest grant in the history of the Missouri Credit Union  Charitable Foundation. CDFI grant writing firm CU Strategy Planning created the initiative for MCUA.
The credit unions are now eligible to submit a grant application annually requesting up to $2 million for loan loss reserves, capital reserves, and new products and services to support increased lending.  Corresponding CDFI grants also were submitted for approval through the Community Development Across Missouri program. The loan loss reserves requested in those grant applications and the second wave of CDFI applications from Missouri in 2014 can unlock $200 million in loans to working class families  in the state during the next three years, while creating 14,500 jobs.
The new CDFI certified credit unions are:
  • lst Financial FCU, Wentzville;
  • Alliance CU, Fenton;
  • CU Community CU, Springfield;
  • Electro Savings CU, St. Louis;
  • Joplin (Mo.) Metro CU;
  • Metro CU, Springfield;
  • Missouri Central CU, Lees Summit;
  • Poplar Bluff  (Mo.) FCU;
  • Rolla (Mo.) FCU;
  • South Central Missouri CU, Willow Springs;
  • Unite Burlington CU, St. Louis;
  • United Consumers CU, Independence, Mo.; and
  • United CU, Mexico.
"Our success with receiving the Treasury's approval of these CDFI certifications validates the Credit Union National Association's educational efforts to all Americans and Congress that not-for-profit credit unions have always and continue to be of service to working class people of modest means," said MCUA President/CEO Don Cohenour.
MCUA Board Chairman Brian Eyestone said it demonstrates "what is possible for credit unions across America.  "CDFI certification opens the door to grant funding, which supports our credit union efforts to increase services and loans to good, hard working members hit the hardest with layoffs and employment at reduced salaries during America's economic recovery. Credit unions have always been about 'People Helping People.' The CDFI certification allows Missouri's credit unions an even greater ability to fulfill this mission."
CU Strategic Planning Founder Jamie Chase noted that the company's analysis of credit unions in Missouri revealed that 100 of the state's 134 credit unions meet the Treasury's eligibility requirements. "Our research shows the same is true of credit unions in every state. In fact, there are two more CDFI certifications pending in Missouri this year, and another 10 that will be submitted for approval in 2014."
"It is not easy for a credit union association to demonstrate the incredible leadership the MCUA showed with this groundbreaking program," said Stacy Augustine, president of CU Strategic Planning, adding that new doors are opening for the credit union movement as a result of the program.  For example, the Opportunity Finance Network's Annual Conference has added a track specifically for credit unions for the first time in that organization's 30-year history.
Creating awareness of credit unions' value and fostering service excellence are some of the components of CUNA's and the leagues' Unite for Good campaign, which rallies credit unions toward the strategic vision of America's consumers choosing credit unions as their best financial partner.

42 More CUDEs Join the Force For CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (9/18/13)--The Credit Union Development Education Training program graduated 42 credit union professionals with the designation as Credit Union Development Educators last week.
Click to view larger image Graduates of the Fall 2013 Credit Union Development Education Training stand outside of the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis. (Photo provided by National Credit Union Foundation)
The Sept.4-11 training was held on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis., and included representatives from the U.S., the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa.
DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges faced by credit unions. Participants were involved in group exercises, field trips and issue discussions with speakers from the credit union system. Participants are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations.
During 2014, for the first time, three DE training sessions will be held in one year.
The first DE training of 2014 will take place Jan. 22-29 at the Rizzo Conference Center, near the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, N.C. The next two trainings will be held April 23-30 and Sept. 10-17 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.
E-mail to be put on a list to be notified when registration is open.

Tech Council Video Discusses Four CUs' Disaster Recovery

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MADISON, Wis. (9/18/13)--The CUNA Technology Council has released a new educational resource: A video white paper.
The video, "Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity: Are You Prepared?" documents four credit unions' stories of survival following the aftermath of major natural disasters.
Keesler FCU, Biloxi, Miss.; Nassau Financial FCU, Westbury, N.Y.; McGraw-Hill FCU, East Windsor, N.J.; and Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City, Okla., shared the video white paper.
Each credit union describes the impact storms had on their financial institution, staff and members--and how their disaster recovery/business continuity plans helped return them to operations to aid members in desperate need of financial assistance.
Among credit union representatives who describe their experiences on the video:
  • Tammy Williams, Keesler FCU assistant vice president of information technology. Williams describes how the Gulf Coast of Mississippi experienced a complete infrastructure failure in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the coast on Aug. 29, 2005. Keesler lost one branch. Three other branches were flooded or damaged.
  • Robert Reh, Nassau Financial FCU chief information officer. One million people in the Long Island, N.Y. area lost power as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast on Oct. 29, 2012. "We had members, employees, even board members, whose homes were destroyed," Reh said.
  • Mike Sullivan, McGraw Hill FCU executive vice president/chief information officer. McGraw-Hill FCU's New York City branch was temporarily shut down by Hurricane Sandy. "You can prepare, and put plans in place, but our plans were wiped out," Sullivan said. "We had to come up with a Plan C."
  • Grant Woldum, Tinker FCU executive vice president/chief information officer. Tinker FCU experienced two tornadoes in 11 days in May. In the first tornado, during which Tinker's Moore, Okla., branch was destroyed, 14 employees and eight members survived in a safety deposit box vault. "Some of our employees' vechicles were found a mile away on top of other buildings," Woldum said. "Anyone who was outdoors had absolutely no chance."
To download the white paper, use the link.

CU To Support WSU Business Development Program

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WICHITA, Kan. (9/18/13)--Meritrust CU, Wichita, Kan., has pledged $225,000 over three years to support Wichita State University's (WSU) Center for Entrepreneurship outreach programs.
The $894 million asset credit union said it wants to strengthen its relationship with Wichita State to serve students and businesses in the region, said James Nastars, Meritrust president/CEO.
"We want to align with the university in areas that reflect our core values and our business mission, which includes helping our business members succeed," Nastars said. "The speaker series offered through the Center for Entrepreneurship provides training and assistance we think will benefit entrepreneurs, businesses and students alike."
WSU's center fosters and promotes entrepreneurial thinking through academic and community programs.
Meritrust has been a sponsor of Barton Business Week at the university, which brings together Kansas business representatives and students in the W. Frank Barton School of Business for a week of meetings and events each spring. It also supports WSU athletics and student services and is a Lifetime Distinction Member in the WSU Foundation Fairmount Society.
Initiatives the gift will fund include:
  • Meritrust Business Booster Series. Up to 15 weekly workshops that will Oct. 18 with featured topics such as capitalizing on creative business ideas, analyzing consumer purchase decisions, franchising tips, branding strategies and website expertise.
  • Meritrust Entrepreneurship Forum Series. Panels of business leaders or individual speakers will addressentrepreneurship topics. The series will begin in spring 2014 and run through fall 2016.
  • WSU Center for Entrepreneurship efforts. Meritrust CU's support will help the center fulfill its mission to advance business creation and economic growth in the region through education, research and community involvement.
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.

Compliance Exams Change For Large Washington CUs

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (9/18/13)--Washington credit unions with assets of more than $500 million must take enhanced compliance examinations, which were effective Sept. 11, said the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Division of Credit Unions (DCU).
For credit unions with less than $500 million in total assets, DCU said it will continue to monitor compliance as part of the safety and soundness examination.
"The DFI has been working on this for the past couple of years," John Trull, director of regulatory affairs for the Northwest Credit Union Association, told News Now. "The association has supported the delays so that the launch of the program goes as well as possible and that the process is in the best interests of everyone--our credit unions and regulators alike. We will be getting feedback from our members following compliance exams."
The enhanced program is:
  • Focused solely on consumer and regulatory compliance,
  • Conducted at a different time than the annual safety and soundness exams, and
  • Completed with a compliance rating and report issued to the credit union.
For the program, DCU said it plans to complete the separate compliance examinations of those credit unions with assets of more than $500 million during the next 20 months. It will continue future separate compliance examinations of the largest credit unions on roughly a 20-month cycle. The new program should result in a more effective consumer compliance examination process, DCU said.
A pre-examination letter will be sent to the credit union about eight weeks before the examination. The letter will describe the examination scope in detail and provide a list of information/documentation to be prepared in advance of the examination.
The examination scope will cover operational functional areas such as deposits, consumer lending, mortgage lending, mortgage servicing, privacy and consumer information, and/or cover several regulations.
The examiner-in-charge (EIC) for the compliance examination will contact a credit union representative to obtain the pre-exam information. During the examination, the EIC may meet with the manager and staff, the board chair and the supervisory committee. The EIC will arrange a date and time with management for the exit conference. A separate examination report will be issued about 30 days after the exit conference.
Significant concerns found during the consumer compliance examination will be followed-up by examiners during safety and soundness exams or a special limited scope compliance exam, DCU said.

PCUA Says No Dues Increase For Third Year

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/18/13)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association's board of directors approved PCUA's 2014 membership dues, with no increases, at its Monday meeting. The dues formula will remain the same for the third consecutive year.

Dues will be based on June 30 Call Report data (Life is a Highway Sept. 17).

"I commend the board for its continued leadership in enabling the association to maintain the same dues formula for the last three years, as well as to continue funding a significant part of our statewide iBelong public awareness campaign," said Jim McCormack, association CEO.

Also, the board decided to continue Pennsylvania's iBelong campaign in 2014 on a regional basis.

iBelong is the only mandatory statewide public awareness/advocacy initiative in the country, PCUA said. The campaign promotes Pennsylvania credit unions in media such as TV, cable, radio, newspaper and magazines. Four other states have adopted iBelong during the past five years (News Now 9/3/13).

Other actions of the board meeting included modifying the Paul E. Kanjorski Advocacy Scholarship to the Paul E. Kanjorski Young Professionals Advocacy Scholarship, to specifically reach young credit union professionals, ages 18-35. The scholarship covers registration, lodging, and travel to the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 23-27.

The PCUA board also ratified the merger of the Scranton and Wyoming Valley Chapters into the newly created Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of Credit Unions.