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CU News (11-09-12)
 









The Pulse (11-09-12)

Nov. 9, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 45

View 11-09-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News


Legislative leadership, networking are key to MnCUN value, says member

Minnesota Credit Union Network members are speaking out about the value of affiliation as 2012 winds to a close. As an organization designed to serve and support the needs and interests of credit unions around the state, MnCUN works hard on behalf of its members year-round.

The Network is committed to providing a viable option for membership at an affordable price, while working to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. We do this by creating a positive public environment through leadership, political advocacy, education, awareness and regulatory assistance.

Postal Credit Union's new President/CEO Brian Sherrick is a 28-year veteran of the credit union industry.

"MnCUN’s most important role is providing legislative leadership and guidance at both the state and federal levels,” Sherrick said. "The Network monitors legislative activity and spearheads efforts to ensure credit union-friendly concerns are part of the discussion. Collaborating efforts from all credit unions to speak as one is critical, and the Network does an outstanding job in giving us the resources we need to ensure our message is heard.

"MnCUN also provides a forum for sharing information with others and opportunities to network and strengthen our industry connections,” he added. "From awareness to education, compliance and more, MnCUN works hard to ensure credit unions remain a viable alternative for consumers.”

Through our consistent presence and valuable service offerings, MnCUN has maintained an affiliation rating of above 90 percent for more than a decade. We value our members' continued trust in us, and we appreciate the opportunity to be able to serve credit unions throughout the state. Take a look at what your peers are saying about the value of membership on the MnCUN Membership page of the Network website. With questions, please contact MnCUN Vice President – Association Services Kristina Wright by email or phone at (651) 288-5507.


Paraguay reps turn to Minn. CUs for regulatory insight

Credit union representatives from Paraguay visited with regulators from the NCUA and the Minnesota Department of Commerce on Oct. 31 at the Minnesota Credit Union Network office in St. Paul.

As Paraguay begins the process of overhauling its legal framework for the country's cooperatives, its credit unions are looking to Minnesota as a compass of regulatory oversight.

To assist in this regulatory reform, the Minnesota Credit Union Network welcomed five credit union representatives from Paraguay to Minnesota on Oct. 27-Nov. 3 as part of an ongoing international exchange with that country's credit union association, Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional Ltda. (CENCOPAN). The goal of the visit was to provide insight into Minnesota credit union operations and the state and federal regulatory system as credit union representatives in Paraguay begin to delve into reforming the country's cooperative law. During their stay, the visitors immersed themselves in the U.S. credit union culture and learned from regulatory leaders.

In a meeting at the Network office, the group talked with Minnesota Department of Commerce Credit Union Chief Examiner Carl Schwartz and National Credit Union Administration Regional Examiner Justin Burleson. In their questions for the regulators, the Paraguayans focused on the exam process, how regulators identify and resolve problems, the CAMEL credit union rating system and how the U.S. regulatory system is structured and supported. Regulatory challenges noted by the group included a lack of a deposit insurance fund for credit unions in Paraguay, the faster pace of growth for credit unions in the country compared to its regulatory system, and the lack of full monetary support from the federal government to regulators. 

As part of their visit, the international credit union representatives also visited several credit unions in the state, including Hiway Federal Credit Union and St. Paul Federal Credit Union in St. Paul, SouthPoint Federal Credit Union in New Ulm, and US Federal Credit Union in Burnsville. In these more personal interactions, the host credit unions presented information about their technology developments and the movement to mobile products, operational efficiencies, collections practices and regulation management.

"This week has been very productive,” said Dejesus Agustín Brítez, a CENCOPAN Board Member and Board Chair of COOPERSAM, a $15-million credit union that serves military members and the VA hospital. "We have learned a lot of best practices that we will be going back with, and we will be looking at new ways CENCOPAN can help its credit unions.”

This international visit was part of an ongoing exchange between CENCOPAN and MnCUN that was established in 2004 through the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). Sparked by this partnership with MnCUN, the credit union association in Paraguay has led the charge to update the country's 18-year-old cooperative law. This law is now being reviewed and redesigned by WOCCU and Paraguay's regulator for cooperatives, Instituto Nacional de Cooperativismo.


Honor credit union leaders with the CU Builder Award

Does your credit union have a valuable employee or longtime board member approaching retirement? Do you want to pay tribute to an individual who has been instrumental in the growth and success of your credit union?

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation has your answer!

The Foundation created its Credit Union Builder Award in 2008 to allow credit unions and organizations to make contributions in honor or in memory of noteworthy leaders. Contributions are typically made at a special time of significance to acknowledge their commitment to their credit union and/or the industry overall.

The name of the recipient and the donating credit union are permanently displayed in the lobby of the Minnesota Credit Union Network as a tribute to those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement.

The honorees (or their families, in the case of a memoriam contribution) receive acknowledgment from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the Foundation's annual report. A minimum $1,000 contribution is required for the Credit Union Builder Award. The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. For tax purposes, contributions may be tax-deductible.

Add to the legacy today by designating a special leader as a Credit Union Builder. With questions or comments, please contact Kristina Wright, Minnesota Credit Union Foundation staff liaison.


Are your financial literacy efforts effective? Participate in a U of M webinar to find out

As part of its financial education efforts, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is promoting a free webinar from the University of Minnesota. Set for Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m, this free webinar will help organizations tackle the challenge of measuring the effectiveness of their financial literacy efforts.

Leading the webinar will be Dr. Cathy Solheim, a family social sciences professor at the U of M. Dr. Solheim will discuss available tools and make recommendations on how to incorporate evaluation into financial literacy. Webinar attendees will learn how to measure the knowledge gains and ongoing behavior changes of financial education participants to help evaluate the effectiveness of their financial education efforts.

Although it is a free webinar, advanced registration is required. To register, visit the Event Calendar page of the Network website. Those unable to attend the webinar will be able to obtain the webinar archive and evaluation tools on the Help Minnesota Save website. 


First Alliance President & CEO named to Top Women in Finance

Last week, First Alliance President & CEO Kelly McDonough was named one of Finance & Commerce's Top Women in Finance. Each year the independent daily newspaper recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the financial services industry by positively influencing their businesses and communities.

McDonough has worked in the credit union movement for more than 17 years, serving the last nine years as President & CEO of First Alliance Credit Union. During her tenure at the credit union, she has grown its assets to $125 million, loans outstanding to $82 million and deposits to $110 million. The credit union has also added 1,200 new members and now serves nearly 12,000 members. McDonough is actively involved in the credit union movement, serving as a member of MnCUN's Board of Directors and as a member of the Political Involvement Committee.

Other women selected in this 12th annual awards program include partners, executive vice presidents, CFOs, CEOs and managing directors at financial institutions and businesses throughout Minnesota. The 50 honorees were chosen by Finance & Commerce's editorial staff based on personal and professional accomplishment, leadership and community service criteria.


Credit union recognition…

  • This week, the CUNA Lending Council announced US Federal Credit Union Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Bob Stowell as one of the members of its executive committee. The CUNA Lending Council is a source of best practices information for lending professionals in the credit union industry.


Credit union notes…

  • At the end of October, Northcountry Cooperative Federal Credit Union merged into South Metro Federal Credit Union. The merged credit unions have $85 million assets and serve 3,200 members.