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CU News (05-25-12)









The Pulse (05-25-12)

May 25, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 21

View 05-25-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News


Minnesotans named to CUNA committees & councils

In April, six individuals in the Minnesota credit union movement were appointed to national positions on CUNA committees and boards. These individuals join others around the nation in providing CUNA insight and direction on the leadership and guidance it provides to the U.S. credit union movement. Minnesota's appointees include:

  • Jim Bryan of Postal Credit Union was reappointed to serve on the Awards Committee, which oversees the judging of national credit union recognition programs, such as the Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring awards.
  • Mark Cummins of the Minnesota Credit Union Network was named to four committees. He was selected to serve as the Cooperative Alliances Committee Chair and the Finance Committee Vice Chair. His was also reappointment to serve on the CUNA Strategic Services Board of Directors. Additionally, he will once again serve as the secretary of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues, which provides support and resources to leagues across the country, including the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

  • Pam Finch of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union was appointed as Vice Chair of the Accounting Subcommittee, which advises CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee on accounting proposals and initiatives to pursue on behalf of credit unions. Since May 2009, Finch has also served as the Chair of CUNA's CFO Council.
  • Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was appointed to the Governmental Affairs Committee, which advises and provides policy recommendations to the CUNA Board of Directors regarding legislative, regulatory and political action issues affecting the credit union movement.

  • Russ Plunkett of Postal Credit Union was reappointed to the Cooperative Alliances Committee. This committee serves as the credit union system's liaison with the larger cooperative community to facilitate the exchange of ideas that foster partnerships, alliances and opportunities among credit unions and cooperatives.

  • Bill Raker of US Federal Credit Union was appointed to serve on the Examination & Supervision Subcommittee. This group addresses the concern for safe, fair and efficient examinations for federal and state credit unions; monitors the budget of state and federal credit union regulators; and recommends appropriate regulatory and legislative changes to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee. In addition, Raker will once again serve on the National Credit Union Roundtable Advisory Council, which works with CUNA to cultivate communication between credit unions, leagues and national organizations.


Submit your entries for national awards recognizing credit union achievements

Credit unions across the state continue to distinguish themselves with their programs, products and services developed to better serve their members and communities. Now is the time for these credit unions to showcase this dedication in exemplifying the "people helping people" philosophy by submitting their initiatives and activities for the annual Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins awards.

The Minnesota Credit Union Network and CUNA are excited to again be sponsoring these national recognition programs for credit unions. Last year CUNA renamed its awards to better reflect their focus and added a new award – the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award. This year there are no changes, but there are steps you can take to help ensure that you submit an award-worthy project! Visit the National Awards Programs page of the Network website for award checklists, secrets to submitting a winning entry and more! The deadline to submit entries to the statewide competition is Monday, July 16.

Below is a brief description of each award program:

  • The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award recognizes credit unions that promote social responsibility, focusing on external projects and activities that benefit the community.
  • The Louise Herring Award for Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award program recognizes practical application of the credit union philosophy in daily internal operations.
  • The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award program recognizes the leadership of individual credit unions and chapters to promote youth financial education.
  • The Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award program honors credit union efforts to teach personal finance concepts and skills to members and nonmembers age 18 and older.

Credit unions are encouraged to enter one or all of these national awards programs to bring attention to their unique programs, products and services. Statewide entries must be submitted to the Network office by Monday, July 16. Winning submissions will advance to the national competition for judging in September. With questions, contact MnCUN Communications Specialist Kelli Baxter by email or call (651) 288-5503.


Unity One launches cause marketing campaign

The Credit Union Times recently reported on cause marketing efforts of Unity One Credit Union, which is an associate member of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. With branches in Texas and Minnesota, Unity One CU has expanded its online presence to Facebook.

The credit union is promoting its Facebook "U Give” charity campaign by inviting online Facebook fans to vote on their favorite local charity, with the winning organization receiving prize funds. Members from Unity One CU's St. Paul branch have chosen to give money to Friends of Mears Park, a St. Paul group devoted to park beautification. Unity One CU devotes nearly 50 percent of its marketing budget to "U Give” style campaigns. Through these contests, the credit union is able to strengthen its community relations efforts and build positive partnerships with local organizations. The credit union says that the cause marketing campaigns enable them to build stronger account relationships with members.

To read the complete story about Unity One CU's cause marketing efforts, along with other news stories about Minnesota credit unions, visit the Online Newsfeed page of the Network website.


Member testimonials wanted

Are your members raving fans of your credit union? If so, MnCUN and CUNA want to hear those member testimonials. The Network is working with CUNA to gather Minnesota member testimonials for the national consumer website, aSmarterChoice.org.

Launched in February 2011, aSmarterChoice.org is a go-to resource for consumers around the country to learn more about credit unions and find one that they are eligible to join. One of the features of the site is the member testimonial section, which highlights credit union member stories. To build a Minnesota presence on the site, your credit union is being asked to submit member testimonials. Specifically, the short member stories should provide insight into why the member loves the credit union.

If you have member testimonials to share, please send it to MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson. You are also encouraged to check out aSmarterChoice.org, which contains basic information about credit unions, a comprehensive credit union locator, media stories about credit unions and more.


Credit unions invited to participate in co-op initiatives

In honor of the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC), cooperatives around the state and country are working to increase their prominence through a variety of activities. Minnesota credit unions are encouraged to support the cooperative movement by being involved in these initiatives.

This summer people across the country will participate in Co-cycle, which is a bike-powered tour of cooperatives across the state. Waves of people will bike across the country together to draw attention to cooperatives as economic, social and ecological alternatives to conventional business models. Minnesota credit unions can participate in this event in one of two ways. First, bike enthusiasts can sign up to bike the fifth leg of the trip, which is from Minneapolis to Milwaukee. Second, credit unions can participate in the co-op celebration event that will be held in Minneapolis. For more information about the tour, visit the Co-cycle website

In addition, Minnesota cooperatives are honoring the IYC by developing a group called CoMinnesota, which is a cross-sector cooperative effort intended to bring Minnesota's cooperative community together. The cooperative movement is in the process of creating a steering committee to guide the development of the CoMinnesota effort. They are actively seeking one or two credit union representatives who can bring to the steering committee energy, passion and ideas about cooperative enterprise and cooperative economy, particularly with a credit union perspective.

For more information about Co-cycle, CoMinnesota or IYC other activities being coordinated, visit the International Year of Cooperatives page of the Network website.


Credit union notes…

  • Two Harbors Federal Credit Union recently announced Randy Willert as its new CEO. Willert has a long history in the credit union movement, previously working at Greater Minnesota Credit Union in Mora and Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union in Baxter. Willert will start at the credit union on Monday, June 25. Until that time, Pam Jorgensen will continue to serve as Interim Manager.