March 12, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 5 Archived Issues
MnCUN Annual Meeting to provide insight into hot CU issues
Could your credit union benefit from expert advice in the areas youth lending, leadership, personal accountability and change management? These topics and many others will be addressed during the MnCUN Annual Meeting, to be held on April 23-24 at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park.
This premier credit union event will offer credit union professionals and volunteers two days of education, networking and entertainment. In addition to breakout sessions, the conference will feature luncheons discussing federal legislative issues and leadership techniques. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn the results of MnCUN’s statewide consumer survey, conducted in March 2010. Discover Minnesotans' knowledge of, perceptions about, and attitudes toward credit unions.
Complete information, a printable brochure, and online registration can be found on the Annual Meeting & Convention section of the Network web site. Those that register for the conference by Thursday, April 1 will receive $30 off their registration price. With questions about the event, contact Sue Groskreutz at the Network office.
MnCUN Performance Survey sent to CUs
All affiliated credit unions received the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s 2009 Performance Survey last week. This annual questionnaire allows MnCUN to assess its performance of the previous calendar year, requesting credit union feedback on the quality of its services and product offerings.
This year’s Performance Survey is available in two formats. In addition to receiving a paper version of the questionnaire, credit union presidents were also e-mailed a link to an electronic version of the survey. Presidents are asked to complete the survey in only one format by Wednesday, March 31.
The survey results will be used to evaluate the Network’s services and monitor trends in credit union satisfaction. Take advantage of this opportunity to provide the Network Board and staff with feedback, suggestions and comments.
CU day brings light to credit unions’ local priorities
Acknowledging credit unions’ dedication to serving communities, members of Minnesota’s House and Senate leadership offered credit unions praise during MnCUN’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol on March 9. The event, which welcomed more than 130 professionals and volunteers, reminded elected officials that Minnesota credit unions’ priorities align with the state’s efforts to strengthen the local economy.
During this annual advocacy event, credit unions received political insight from several legislative leaders, including House Majority Leader Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm), House Commerce Committee Chair Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights), Senate Minority Leader David Senjem (R-Rochester), and Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center). Amidst talk about jobs creation and the state’s dismal economic forecast, the legislative leaders expressed appreciation for the support and assistance credit unions offer to Minnesotans throughout the state.
"You all play a key role as stable institutions in our communities,” Rep. Sertich said. "I commend you for that.”
Echoing those sentiments, Rep. Atkins applauded credit unions for their resilience during the recession stating that they’ve "weathered the storm better than anyone else out there.”
Sen. Senjem also acknowledged the contributions credit unions make to the quality of life in Minnesota.
"You are part of what makes our state great,” Sen. Senjem said. "Know this – you’re a vibrant part of the state. Know that you have friends at the State Capitol.”
The legislative leaders also encouraged credit unions to continue telling their story at the State Capitol. Throughout the legislative session, the Minnesota Credit Union Network and credit unions work to provide elected officials insight into how proposed legislation will impact consumers and the credit union movement.
With the theme "Serving Main Street, Not Wall Street,” this year’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol reminded lawmakers of the role credit unions play in serving "Main Street Minnesota.” Throughout the day, credit union professionals and volunteers met with elected officials to share real members’ stories that highlight credit unions’ efforts to help strengthen the state’s economy.
"Currently, legislators are faced with difficult decisions as lead the state out of the recession,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "During Credit Union Day, we were able to remind lawmakers that every day credit unions are doing their part to assist Minnesotans as they work to get back on their feet.”
In addition to legislative speakers, MnCUN’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol offered informational sessions that discussed credit unions’ 2010 legislative priorities, social media advocacy and the legislative process.
PHOTO: During MnCUN’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol, House Majority Leader Sertich commended Minnesota credit unions for the key role they play as "stable institutions in our communities.”
Minnesota credit union advocates meet with Congress on Capitol Hill
A total of 74 Minnesota credit union professionals and volunteers traveled to Washington, D.C., Feb. 21-25 for the Credit Union National Association’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), joining more than 4,000 other attendees from around the country.
During the conference, the Minnesota contingent spent an afternoon on Capitol Hill meeting with Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation to discuss credit union issues. The Network coordinated a luncheon and issues briefing for attendees, as well as meetings with all eight Congressional offices.
The credit union advocates had the ear of both Minnesota’s U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, while on Capitol Hill. Sen. Klobuchar spoke to credit union advocates at the MnCUN luncheon prior to hill visits.
Sen. Klouchar stated that these are "interesting times in Washington,” but added that she enjoys working with credit unions. She also said that she has made efforts to ensure that credit unions "don’t get ‘dinged’” during the legislative process because of mistakes made by big banks
Overall, Sen. Franken expressed a general frustration with "sketchy bank practices,” and said that he likes credit unions and appreciates hearing from constituents.
In credit unions’ meeting with legislators, advocates discussed jobs creation legislation and asked members of Congress to support a bill that would modify statutory limitations placed on credit union member business lending. By raising the arbitrary business lending cap from 12.25 percent to 25 percent of assets, it would allow Minnesota credit unions to lend an additional $176 million to small businesses, helping to create up to 2,000 jobs in the state.
Each member of Congress was asked to add his or her signature to a letter of support to expand credit unions’ business lending authority, which was written by Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) In addition, credit unions spoke to elected officials about the importance of overdraft protection programs and interchange revenue, as well as the proposed creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
"We understand the importance of continuing to build relationships with Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation and staff, and I’m pleased we were able to meet with all offices,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "We were glad to hear support for expanding credit union member business lending, which would allow credit unions to contribute more to the economic recovery.”
Raker elected to national board
Bill Raker, President & CEO of US Federal Credit Union, was elected as Chairman of the Credit Union Service Centers Network, Inc. (CUSCNI) Board of Directors last month. Through CUSCNI, CO-OP Shared Branching and Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) work together to ensure that credit union members across the globe have consistent experiences with shared branching.
"Just as credit unions should be proud of the success they share by cooperating to better serve members, we are pleased with how these two shared branching organizations have come together to provide members with thousands of account touch points around the globe,” said Raker. "It is truly indicative of the credit union spirit.” >
Today there are nearly 4,000 full-service, physical branches nationally and worldwide where members can conduct transactions, in addition to approximately 2,300 kiosk access points.
National Credit Union Youth Week to be held April 18-24
It’s time to get youth involved in the credit union game. Credit unions are encouraged to focus on their younger members by participating in National Credit Union Youth Week from April 18-24. With a theme of "Getting into the Savings Game,” this event will provide credit unions the opportunity to use sports-focused promotional materials to encourage youth to save money.
Each year Youth Week aims to inspire kids and teens to open savings accounts and deposit their money at a credit union. Credit unions are encouraged to use sport-themed events and activities to teach young members how to be financially savvy. Promotional materials and celebration ideas for the event are available on the Youth Week page of the CUNA web site.
Also during Youth Week, credit unions can participate in CUNA’s National Youth Saving Challenge. This contest encourages the habit of saving at an early age, builds member loyalty, and helps lower the average age of members. Young members participating in the challenge will have chance to win $100 cash prizes.
For additional information about National Credit Union Youth Week and to sign up for the Savings Challenge, visit the Youth Week page of the CUNA web site.
Credit union notes…
- GCM Federal Credit Union merged with Unity One Credit Union on March 1. Unity One Credit Union is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and has more than $155 million in assets. The merged credit unions will serve more than 20,000 members through their four branches, one of which is located in Minnesota.
Save the Date! Members United to host Economic & Investment Conference
Credit union professionals and volunteers should mark their calendars for Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union’s Economic & Investment Conference on Oct. 13. Attend this one-day event to investigate today’s top issues and network with peers in the credit union industry.
During the conference, presenters will discuss the economy, markets, and the influence of conditions on credit union investment portfolios. Attendees will also earn Continuing Professional Education credits as they discuss financial challenges and explore strategies during the conference.
Hosted by Members United and Balance Sheet Solutions, LLC, this event is geared toward CEOs, CFOs, portfolio managers, financial officers, and other key credit union executives and board members.
Additional conference information will be posted on Members United’s web site in late summer/early fall. For further information, contact Mary Westberg at (800) 782-2431, ext. 2708 or reach Patty Moen at (800) 782-2431, ext. 2423.
MnCUN Calendar of Events
The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Check out MnCUN's Annual Meeting event, along with the roundtables, telecourses and webcasts available to you. Visit the online Event Calendar today.