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CU News (05-04-12)









The Pulse (05-04-12)

May 4, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 18

View 05-04-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News


Missed Annual Meeting? Watch the live video from the Business Meeting

Those who were unable to attend MnCUN's Annual Meeting & Convention on April 13-14 can watch a video of the live event. Taped during the Business Meeting, this video allows credit union professionals and volunteers to hear MnCUN's recap of its past successes and 2012 initiatives. The video features updates from CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney, MnCUN Board Chairman Kyle Markland, MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins, and representatives from various partners and committees.

Watch this video for free and receive updates about the Minnesota credit union movement. Credit unions are encouraged to show the taped event at a full staff meeting. To view the video, visit the Annual Meeting page of the Network website.


CUNA offers free webinar series focused on the needs of Hispanic members

Partnering with Coopera, CUNA is hosting a free webinar series focused on educating credit union leaders on the importance of adapting products and services to meet the needs of Hispanic members. Each hour-long webinar will offer credit unions ideas and best practices for reaching – and best serving – Hispanic consumers in local communities across the country

The next educational webinar is set for Wednesday, May 16 from 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. "Financial Education for Hispanics – What's Important to Them?” will discuss the importance of using financial education to reach Hispanic members. This webinar will give insight into relevant topics and available resources and tools to create a successful financial education strategy for Hispanic members.

Other upcoming webinars include "Are Hispanics Accessing Financial Information Online?” on Wednesday, June 27, and "How to Deliver Financial Education to Hispanics” on Wednesday, July 18. In addition, credit unions can view archived versions of other webinars in the series that were held earlier this year. To access the archived webinars and to register for the upcoming sessions, visit the Serving Hispanics Webinars page of the Network website.


Minnesota CU committee members recognized for key contributions

At MnCUN's awards banquet held on April 14, Jensen (above) received the MnCU4Kids Volunteer of the Year Award and Moeller (below) received the FIC Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee and the Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC), committees of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, recently honored two members for their contributions to their respective committees. Roxi Jensen of Embarrass Vermillion Federal Credit Union and Bridget Moeller of Greater Minnesota Credit Union received their volunteer awards on April 14 during an awards banquet held in conjunction with MnCUN's 2012 Annual Meeting & Convention.

Jensen, Assistant Manager of Embarrass Vermillion FCU in Embarrass, was recognized for her contributions to MnCU4Kids with its Volunteer of the Year Award. She became a committee member in 2006 and has contributed to the success of the MnCU4Kids committee and its fundraisers in many ways. Over the years, she has been actively involved in serving on subcommittees for the Credit Unions for Kids golf tournament, annual meeting fundraiser and the Bowl-O-Rama event.

Moeller, Vice President of Human Resources & Training at Greater Minnesota CU in Mora, earned the Minnesota Family Involvement Council's Outstanding Volunteer Award for her service on the committee. Moeller joined the FIC in 2005 and was elected to serve as the Chair of the committee in 2011. Before taking on the role of Chair, Moeller served as the FIC's Vice Chair from 2007-2011. She plays an integral role in coordinating the committee's annual silent auction fundraiser, and she is heavily involved in the committee's scholarship program. This is the second consecutive year she has received this award.

"It's the dedication of people like Roxi and Bridget and their significant contributions to credit unions that help strengthen the movement,” said Rachel Anderson, MnCUN Director of Communications and MnCU4Kids and FIC liaison. "They truly believe in their respective causes, and the accolades they received are well-deserved.”


Minnesota co-ops discuss opportunities for collaboration

During MnCUN’s Annual Meeting & Convention on April 13-14, cooperative leaders participated in a panel discussion on how credit unions can develop mutually beneficial relationships with area cooperatives.

As part of its celebration of the International Year of Cooperatives, the Network recently hosted a panel of leaders discussing how credit unions can develop mutually beneficial partnerships with local cooperatives. Held during MnCUN's Annual Meeting & Convention on April 13-14, this session provided credit unions tangible ideas of how they can help strengthen the cooperative movement.

Facilitated by cooperative consultant Adam Schwartz, the panel of cooperative leaders shared collaboration success stories. The panelists included CUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney, The Wedge General Manager Lindy Bannister, SPIRE Federal Credit Union President & CEO Dan Stoltz, and Crow Wing Power Credit Union Vice President Diane Viehauser. Schwartz, who previously served as the National Cooperative Business Association's (NCBA's) Vice President for Public Affairs, stated that it is important for credit unions to emphasize the "cooperative essence of who they are.”

Understanding the importance of cooperative partnerships, Stoltz outlined his credit union's cross-promotional work with four area grocery co-ops. SPIRE FCU offers a branded Visa card program to the members of grocery co-ops and shares a portion of the interchange income with the cooperatives. Wedge Community Co-op General Manager Bannister emphasized the benefits of the co-op's relationship with SPIRE FCU. She encouraged credit unions to examine their existing products and services and look for natural ways these offerings can be used to benefit members of other local cooperatives.

The third representative on the panel was Viehauser of Crow Wing Power CU who shared the story of how the credit union developed from the Crow Wing electric cooperative. Viehauser outlined the credit union's rapid growth and strong connection to the cooperative. She stated that community members appreciate the unique cooperative business model and strongly support the two organizations.

CUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney praised the panelists for their collaboration efforts and encouraged attendees to build similar relationships.

"I can't think of a better time to promote cooperatives – with this year being the International Year of Cooperatives,” Cheney said. "I think it's greatly important that credit unions work together with cooperatives. The bottom line is cooperatives are a better way.”

Cheney went on to outline CUNA's commitment to supporting and strengthening the cooperative movement through involvement with the NCBA and other cooperative organizations. He also highlighted examples of cooperatives around the country that educate consumers about the benefits of co-ops.

As the state with the largest number of cooperatives, Minnesota is actively involved in celebrating the International Year of Cooperatives. In addition to hosting the cooperative panel at its Annual Meeting & Convention, MnCUN has coordinated media relations and consumer awareness activities to spread the message about cooperatives and the benefits they bring to communities and individuals.


Small Business Administration seeks nonprofit lenders

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched the second round of a program intended to provide long-term loans to eligible non-profit intermediary lenders to finance loans to small businesses. Eligible intermediaries must have at least one year of lending experience, and the program is open to state and federal credit unions, along with a variety of other organizations.

Under the Intermediary Lending Pilot (ILP) Program, SBA makes loans of up to $1 million to participating lenders. The lenders then use the funds to make smaller loans to newly-established or growing small businesses. SBA anticipates that an ILP Program participant will relend the funds approximately 2.5 times over the 20-year term. While the program funded 20 ILP intermediaries in 2011, none of them were credit unions. The agency hopes to identify another 20 participants this year in the second round.

Credit unions interested in taking part in the ILP program can find more information on the Small Business Administration website. 


Minnesota Credit Union Foundation announces the launch of new Biz Kid$ season

The new season of Biz Kid$ kicked off in the first quarter of 2012, airing on public television stations across the country. In season five, the Emmy-award winning Biz Kid$ takes a closer look at the economy, businesses that give back, and how to make good financial choices.

Biz Kid$ is an educational program on public television in which kids teach kids about money and business. This show is exclusively underwritten by America's Credit Unions and is made possible through contributions from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation and more than 290 other credit union organizations throughout the country. The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) oversees fundraising, outreach and administrative responsibilities of Biz Kid$.

In Minnesota, Biz Kid$ can be seen on the following stations:

Market Stations City Air Times
Minneapolis KAWEDT, KAWEDT2 Bemidji Sundays 8:30 a.m.
Minneapolis KAWBDT, KAWBDT2 Brainerd Sundays 8:30 a.m.
Fargo-Valley City KCGEDT Crookston Sundays 11 a.m.
Duluth-Superior WDSEDT Duluth Saturdays 9:30 a.m.
Duluth-Superior WRPTDT Hibbing Saturdays 9:30 a.m.
Rochester KYINDT, KYINDT2 Mason City, IA Weekdays 5 a.m.

Additionally, credit unions have full access to the show and the curriculum, which is designed for families and children from fifth grade through high school. Box sets can be purchased at cost or recorded off of PBS, and the curriculum – which has been presented to more than a million students – is free and available for download from the Biz Kid$ website.

"This series is a terrific illustration of the power and impact credit unions have when working together to achieve a common goal,” said Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Chair Pat Brekken. "Financial literacy is near and dear to so many in the credit union movement, and the Foundation is proud to support the Biz Kid$ program and curriculum, which can be used by credit unions in Minnesota and around the country.”

For more information about Biz Kid$, visit the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website and the National Credit Union Foundation website.