August 17, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 33
View 08-17-12 issue of The Pulse
Credit Union News
Fall Conference registration deadline quickly approaches
Credit union professionals and volunteers have until next Tuesday, Aug. 21, to register for MnCUN's Fall Conference. Set for Sept. 7-9 at Madden's Resort in Brainerd, this conference will discuss current credit union topics and provide a variety of networking opportunities.
This year's sessions will focus on providing credit unions the tools and expertise to grow and thrive in today's economic environment. Credit union experts will discuss how to measure board performance, generate non-interest income and strengthen succession plans. In addition, the conference will feature a VAP session focused on growth strategies, and volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about the supervisory committee's duties and responsibilities.
For more information, a printable brochure and online registration, visit the Fall Conference page of the Network website. With questions about the conference, contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.
Minnesota Credit Union Foundation elects table officers, board members
The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MNCUF) recently named its table officers and welcomed new board members.
At a MNCUF board meeting on Aug. 9, the board elected Pat Brekken as Chair, Dave Larson as Vice Chair, and Brian Sherrick as Secretary/Treasurer. Table officers are elected for one-year terms. Brekken and Larson are entering into their third consecutive years in these roles. This is the first year that Sherrick will serve in this position.
Brekken is President of Richfield Bloomington Credit Union and Larson is Senior Vice President of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and Executive Director of the Affinity Plus Foundation. Both joined the MNCUF board in October 2009. Sherrick is the Executive Vice President of Lending & Member Services at Postal Credit Union and was elected to the MNCUF board last year.
At the MNCUF annual meeting in July, Kristi Mukomela of Novation Credit Union, Larry Champeaux of Northern Communities Credit Union and Kathy Harrington of Heartland Credit Union were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.
Mukomela has been on the Board of Directors for more than eight years, serving as MNCUF Chair from 2004-2010 and Secretary/Treasurer from 2011-2012.
Champeaux has a diverse range of credit union experience, having served the credit union movement for more than 25 years. Since 2008, he has worked as the President/CEO of Northern Communities Credit Union. He strongly supports the credit union movement's values, ideals and initiatives.
Harrington has more than 25 years of experience in the credit union industry, working at a credit union in Spain before moving to Minnesota. She has experience in nearly all areas of credit union operations and has worked as the President of Heartland Credit Union since 2010.
The new board members join the table officers and Mary Hansen of Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union, who also serves as a member of the MNCUF board. Hansen has been on the MNCUF Board of Directors since 2004 and has been in the credit union industry for more than 28 years.
"The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation has a history of strong leadership, and our new and current board members continue that tradition,” Brekken said. "We are excited to tap into each board member's areas of expertise and skills as we pursue the Foundation's goals and initiatives.”
The MNCUF was founded in 1969 to serve as a charitable arm of the Minnesota credit union movement. It has aided credit unions, their employees and volunteers in times of need, providing funds for educational scholarships, charitable purposes and for the betterment of the movement.
NCUA pre-approves low-income designation; state-chartered CUs can apply
Last week, the NCUA sent letters to more than 1,000 federally-chartered credit unions across the country to proactively alert them of their eligibility to become designated as low-income credit unions (LICUs). Based on 2010 census data, these credit unions have more than 50 percent of their membership in areas meeting defined low-income criteria. The recently-notified credit unions that wish to receive the low-income designation have an expedited approval process and must notify NCUA in writing by Monday, Sept. 10.
LICUs are authorized to make business loans beyond the statutory cap, raise supplemental capital that counts toward net worth, and receive other statutory and regulatory relief. Additional information can be obtained from the NCUA low-income designated brochure.
This proactive analysis of credit unions was not performed on state-chartered credit unions. State-chartered credit unions interested in becoming an LICU can contact NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection to determine eligibility. Contact Robert Leonard by email or phone at (703) 518-1140.
Minnesota credit unions share best practices with Ecuador visitors
Representatives from Minnesota and Ecuador were brought together last week through a credit union exchange. A group from one of the largest credit unions in South America – Cooperativa COOPROGRESO – visited four Minnesota credit unions in an effort to learn more about the U.S. financial system, as well as some credit union best practices.
Ecuador credit union Cooperativa COOPROGRESO visited four Twin Cities credit unions last week to learn about using new technology, products and services and driving membership growth.
During the trip, made possible through the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN), the Ecuadorian credit union representatives made stops at Hiway Federal Credit Union and City & County Credit Union in St. Paul, US Federal Credit Union in Burnsville, and Postal Credit Union in Woodbury. The hosting credit unions showed the visitors how Minnesota credit unions are using new technology and how they attract and retain members with their products and services. The group also learned about driving membership growth and creating credit union awareness opportunities.
"As we receive more and more requests to connect credit unions around the world, we rely on strong partners and supporters such as the Minnesota Credit Union Network,” said Victor Miguel Corro, Vice President of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions. "The ability to have peer-to-peer exchanges is invaluable as the information and operational best practices flow when the parties meet. When the World Council connects these different worlds, everyone in the exchange benefits.”
Aligning with the credit union mission of "people helping people,” the four Twin Cities credit unions offered the Ecuador contingent a chance to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences, helping to strengthen the credit union movement internationally. Understanding the importance of advancing the movement, Minnesota's credit unions, in conjunction MnCUN, strive to foster opportunities such as the visit from COOPROGRESO to help improve credit union operations worldwide.
"For our credit unions in Minnesota to be able to participate in an international exchange like this is a wonderful opportunity to share industry knowledge that helps to foster credit union development around the globe,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President and CEO. "For the credit unions that hosted our partners from Ecuador, it is a great example of the ‘people helping people' philosophy and the successes we can have when working together.”
International Credit Union Day set for Oct. 18
Mark your calendars and join your colleagues around the world on Thursday, Oct. 18 to celebrate the 2012 International Credit Union (ICU) Day. With the theme of Members Matter Most this year's ICU Day aims at the heart of the mission of credit unions as cooperatives that exist solely to serve members.
International Credit Union Day is celebrated the third Thursday of October each year and coincides with the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives, a yearlong celebration that began Oct. 31, 2011, and aimed to provide greater visibility to credit unions and other cooperatives worldwide. The first official credit union day was established in 1927, and now ICU Day celebrates the common roots of 196 million credit union members in 100 countries and their community service achievements.
For more information on this year's ICU Day event and what you can do to promote it at your credit union, visit the International Credit Union Day 2012 page of the Network website. On this page, you'll find a number of promotional items, including a sample newsletter article, a poster, web graphic and several celebration ideas.