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Lt. gov. shares CU story at N.J. convention

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (9/23/14)--New Jersey State Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno received her first car loan at a credit union, and she understands the members-first philosophy.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno shares her credit union story with attendees at the New Jersey Credit Union League's annual meeting and convention. (New Jersey Credit Union League Photo)
Guadagno trusts credit unions so much she even promised attendees of the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) milestone 80th annual meeting and convention that she would share her cell phone number with them ( The Daily Exchange Sept 22).
 
As guest speaker at the convention's opening session, she promised to work at cutting the red tape in state government, including that with electronic lien titling.
 
She stressed that New Jersey must be more business friendly, with credit unions serving as ambassadors. "I'm making you ambassadors for all that is good about New Jersey," she said. With that, she encouraged everyone in the audience to contact her with concerns.
 
NJCUL President/CEO Greg Michlig kicked off the meeting by providing a progress report on the league's accomplishments from the past year, including Plexcity, a back-office collaboration with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association; the growing success of the Banking You Can Trust campaign; offerings from the league's compliance center; and legislative and political advances.

Hope FCU 'exceptional' in minority service: GOBankingRates.com

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LOS ANGELES (9/23/14)--A credit union was recently featured in a GOBankingRates.com article that discussed a handful of financial institutions stepping up to serve underserved minority communities.

Among the "6 Exceptional Banks and Credit Unions That Serve Minority Communities" was Hope FCU, Jackson, Miss., with $188 million in assets.

Hope, which serves areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, reaches out to the communities it serves with a smartphone app that promotes financial awareness.

"Many people don't realize it, but Mississippi has the largest percentage of wireless households in the nation," Hope FCU President/CEO Bill Bynum told GOBankingRates.com (Sept. 16). "Lower-income households are foregoing getting a wired telephone line and moving straight to wireless, and they don't just have cellular phones, they have smartphones."

The money management app aims to help low-income individuals track savings and spending habits, and help them responsibly plan their future finances.

CU System briefs (09/23/2014)

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  • WICHITA, Kan. (9/23/14)-- On Monday, the Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA) officially moved into its new offices at the address of 2544 N. Maize Court, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67205. KCUA runs its training, marketing and communications departments out of the Wichita office. The office also houses the league's Expandachek division and its for-profit entity Shared Financial Solutions, which provides services to credit unions throughout Kansas and Nebraska. KCUA's Topeka office includes the governmental affairs, regulatory advocacy consulting and compliance departments ...
  • SACRAMENTO, Calif. (9/23/14)-- Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif., with $8.5 billion in assets, announced Monday that it will donate $10,000 to the King Fire Fund, which was established to support victims of the King Fire that has ravaged parts of El Dorado and Placer counties east of Sacramento. The fund, created by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, will be used entirely to provide aid to the 3,300 community members who have been affected by the wildfire. "We were relieved to learn that none of our employees live in the affected areas directly impacted by the King Fire," said Donna Bland, Golden 1 president/CEO. "However, we know that is not the case with some of our members and many of the residents in these communities. Our donation to the SRCF/King Fire Fund will provide much needed relief to the area's residents as they rebuild and restore their lives following this devastating forest fire." Golden 1 serves about 70,000 members in the counties affected by the fire. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reports that more than 12,000 single-family homes and 9,000 additional structures are threatened by the still-raging fire ...

Iowa league's affiliates among top state workplaces

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DES MOINES, Iowa (9/23/14)--Credit unions continue to strengthen their reputation as good places to work, as two credit unions and the Iowa Credit Union League's affiliate group were named to The Des Moines Register Top Workplaces for 2014.
 
The Affiliates Management Co. (AMC) is the umbrella for the league's operating companies: Coopera, PolicyWorks, The Members Group, TMG Financial Services and the Iowa Credit Union Foundation.
 
Two credit unions--University of Iowa Community CU, North Liberty, with $2.2 billion in assets, and Veridian CU, Waterloo, with $2.4 billion in assets--also made the list, which is determined by employee feedback to a WorkplaceDynamics survey.
 
AMC CEO Patrick S. Jury said the positive results from the more than 250 employees across the family of companies who took part in the survey are a reflection of everyone's hard work and dedication to the values of AMC.
 
"Everything we do is in the spirit of improving people's financial lives, and I am extremely proud to be working with such dedicated, hardworking people who are committed to helping us accomplish that goal," Jury said.
 
The Dwolla online payment network also was named to the list.

Va. league breaks ground on new HQ

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RICHMOND, Va. (9/23/14)--Virginia Credit Union League board members sank shovels into dirt last week to ceremonially begin construction on the league's new headquarters in downtown Richmond, Va.

Click to view larger imageVirginia Credit Union League board members celebrate the groundbreaking for the league's new headquarters in Richmond. Front row, from left: Chris Williams, treasurer, Henrico FCU, Richmond; Rose Gilliam, vice chair, Argent CU, Chester; Karen Orie, chair, Hampton (Va.) Roads Educators' CU; Catherine McDermott, RiverTrace FCU, Richmond; Suzanne Hodgins, University of Virginia Community CU, Charlottesville; Patsy Smith, secretary, Peoples Advantage FCU, Petersburg; and Rick Pillow, president/CEO. Back row, from left: Joe Thomas, Fairfax (Va.) County FCU; Cliff DeMars, Blue Eagle CU, Roanoke; Dan Morrisey, Queen of Peace Arlington (Va.) FCU; and Gaye DeCesare, Belvoir FCU, Woodbridge. (Virginia Credit Union League Photo)
Construction, which will cost $2.6 million, will include the renovation of four former row houses that sit two blocks from the state Capitol. Once complete, the headquarters will feature 9,000 square feet of office space and 1,000 square feet for the reception area.

"This project represents a milestone for our member credit unions and for our organization," said Karen Orie, league board chair and president/CEO of Hampton (Va.) Roads Educators' CU, with $32 million in assets. "Our primary mission during our 80-year history has been representing credit unions at the General Assembly and working with state agencies to ensure success of Virginia-based credit unions.

"We believe a permanent presence in the heart of Richmond only enhances that mission, allowing us to build on already-solid working relationships with our lawmakers and state agency officials."

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones also attended the groundbreaking ceremony and said the new headquarters will be a "wonderful addition" to the city.

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones salutes the start of construction on the Virginia Credit Union League's new headquarters, just two blocks from Capitol Square. (Virginia Credit Union League Photo)
The league and its member credit unions "are really adding to the vitality of this street and this area," Jones said. "To have the Virginia Credit Union League here in the city only adds another feather in our cap."

When the league proposed moving the headquarters from Lynchburg--where a number of the league's employees will remain--to the heart of Richmond, members were very supportive, according to Rick Pillow, league president/CEO.

"Our credit unions understand the importance of our mission in Richmond and what it means for their future," Pillow said. "After years of leasing space here in the city, we've very proud to see our credit unions' vision realized for a permanent, visible presence."

The first floor of the new facility will be designated the Credit Union House of Virginia and will feature reception space, a kitchen and a history room that celebrates credit union service.

Credit unions from throughout the state are also submitting names of individuals to be included on the Credit Union House Wall of Fame.

The wall will recognize men and women who have played extraordinary roles in building up their credit unions, or who have served the state or national credit union systems.

White House honors N.M. CU employee for Hispanic fin. lit.

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WASHINGTON (9/23/14)--Shana Runck is both a credit union employee and a teacher, and it's the marriage of those two roles that earned her recognition by the White House Monday as a Latino Champion of Change

Click to view larger imageModerator Eric Waldo, executive director, Reach Higher Initiative, leads a panel of Latino educators who were named Champions of Change by the White House. From left, Pat Sanchez, superintendent, Adams County (Colo.) School District 14; Pedro Rivera, superintendent, Lancaster (Pa. ) School District; Gonzalo La Cava, area superintendent, Fulton County (Ga.) Schools' Central Learning Community; Shana Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities, New Mexico Educators FCU, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Daniel King, superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (Texas) Independent School District.

Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities for New Mexico Educators FCU, Albuquerque, N.M., with $1.5 billion in assets, helped design a course that teaches students about jobs in the financial services industry (KRQE Sept. 21).

"The students also learn about products and services that you would need to know about (when) working at a credit union: checking accounts, savings, investment, that type of thing," Runck told KRQE.

For creating the class, Runck was nominated by her peers, and the White House chose her from a long list of finalists to receive the award, which honors Americans who are doing "extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world." 

Runck was one of 10 financial literacy educators to be honored Monday in Washington, D.C. The award presentation and a roundtable on financial education in Latino communities were streamed live on the White House's website.

"New Mexico Educators FCU is honored that Shana will receive this prestigious national honor for her work with the community and helping students pursue education and careers in the financial services industry," said CEO Terry Laudick. "The credit union has long been committed to the principles of education and community impact, and this work turns those commitments into reality."

The course Runck developed was created in collaboration with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry's Running Start for Careers program, which offers high school students an opportunity to earn dual credits for high school and college.

Runck's program culminates in an interview with New Mexico Educators FCU for a paid internship where the students can continue to receive hands-on training and credit towards graduation.

Last year the credit union employed 14 interns, more than any other organization in the state participating in the Running Start for Careers program.

"The students have very, very positive feedback," Runck said, adding that the internships are mutually beneficial, as they provide valuable experience to the students as well as an opportunity for credit unions to recruit qualified applicants, according to KRQE.

Northwest FCU Foundation celebrates Night of Magic

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HERNDON, Va. (9/23/14)--More than 100 patients receiving care at Inova Children's Hospital in Falls Church, Va., attended the Night of Magic Ball--an event sponsored by the Northwest FCU Foundation that giving chronically ill patients and their families an evening away from the stresses of being in the hospital.

Click to view larger image Children dance the night away during Northwest FCU Foundation's Night of Magic Ball. (Northwest FCU Foundation Photo)
The foundation is the charitable arm of Northwest FCU, Herndon, Va., with $2.6 billion in assets.

Night of Magic is a time of laughter, dancing, crafts, games, food, prizes and fun for those in attendance. The guests often miss out on childhood events such as father-daughter dances, after-school parties and even their high school proms. The Night of Magic Ball is a way of creating an evening where they can forget about their medical concerns for a few hours.

This year's event--a carnival theme--was coordinated with the help of 55 volunteers and donors from the surrounding communities. It started with patients selecting party attire from an assortment of new dresses and suits that were theirs to keep. Hair and makeup was completed by a team of volunteer professionals. Attendees met with the ringmaster for entry into the carnival ball, where a magician opened the evening with a performance. 

The night included music with a DJ, and dance professionals teaching the latest moves and line dances. Volunteers also provided a craft table and game area. There was plenty of food and beverages, and photo booths provided both "posed" prom photos and dress-up photos. As the evening ended, patients were able to select a special keepsake from a gift table, and all attendees received goodie bags.

One of the night's highlights was a check presentation from the foundation. Linda Rogus, the foundation's executive director, joined Northwest Federal President/CEO Chris McDonald to present $3,000 to Child Life Services at Inova Children's Hospital to purchase electronic games to be used by hospital patients.