May 21, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 10 Archived Issues
Heikkinen joins Network Board
The Minnesota Credit Union Network Board of Directors recently named Tammy Heikkinen, President & CEO of Members Cooperative Credit Union in Cloquet, to fill a vacancy on the Board. Appointed to the Board's non-metro category, Heikkinen will fill the seat vacated in mid-April by Randy Willert of Greater Minnesota Credit Union.
According to the MnCUN Bylaws, Board seats vacated mid-term are filled by the current Board of Directors. Heikkinen will hold the seat until next year’s Network Annual Meeting, set for April 8-9, 2011.
Consumer research shows favorable public opinion of CUs among Minnesotans
A statewide public opinion poll conducted in February/March 2010 finds that one in five bank customers think credit unions are more attractive in light of recent troubles in the financial system. This statistic is just one of many compelling findings revealed by a consumer awareness survey commissioned by MnCUN to gauge Minnesotans' knowledge of, perceptions about and attitudes toward credit unions.
The full consumer research findings and supplemental media resources are now available for download from the Network web site! The research findings are encompassed in a 72-page document that provides an in-depth analysis of the survey results. Specifically it overviews research objectives, data collection methods, and consumers’ attitudes and opinions of credit unions. The document also analyzes the results by region.
In addition to the full findings, credit unions can also download a variety of tools and resources for sharing the survey findings with the media. Access sample press releases for each region of the state, key messages and anticipated questions, and tips on how to pitch the story to the media. In addition, credit unions can listen to last week’s Consumer Research Media Rollout webcast, which details MnCUN’s media relations strategy and how credit unions can get involved.
The research findings and media resources are available in the 2010 Consumer Awareness Survey page of the Network web site. With questions about the survey, contact MnCUN Vice President – Communications Kristina Wright or MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Kuenzel.
MnCUN recognizes Professional & Volunteer of the Year
At the MnCUN Annual Meeting Awards Banquet on April 24, the Network announced the recipients of its two most prestigious awards, the Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer of the Year and the Outstanding Credit Union Professional of the Year Awards. These awards are bestowed on individuals for demonstrated excellence in the movement.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to recognize the service of one outstanding credit union volunteer who exemplifies the credit union spirit through dedication to, and belief in, the credit union movement. This year’s honoree was Jim Snyder of City & County Credit Union (CCCU) in St. Paul.
Snyder has been a volunteer at CCCU for nearly 20 years, serving as Board Chair and a member of the Supervisory Committee during his tenure. Over the years, he has championed numerous initiatives, such as helping to develop numerous five-year plans and the 25-year vision of the credit union. Outside the credit union movement, Snyder is an active volunteer in his community, serving at the Salvation Army and in the St. Paul Public School System.
MnCUN’s Professional of the Year Award is given to recognize the service of one outstanding credit union professional who has selflessly given time, effort and talent to the support and promotion of the credit union ideal and the betterment of credit unions in Minnesota. This year’s honoree was Lynn Kothe of North Memorial Federal Credit Union (NMFCU) in Robbinsdale.
Since 1978, Kothe has served as NMFCU’s President, growing the organization from $369,000 in assets to $32 million. During her years in the movement, she has been actively involved in politics at the local, state and national levels. Today she serves the Minnesota credit union movement on the Minnesota Item Processing Board and as the Vice Chair of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation.
"Jim and Lynn are champions of the credit union movement, and the Minnesota Credit Union Network is honored to recognize them with its most prestigious awards,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "By giving their time, talent and resources, they both have made significant contributions to their credit unions and the movement as a whole.”
For view the award video tributes, event photos and a recap, visit the MnCUN Annual Meeting & Convention page of the Network web site.
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis seeks insight on credit conditions
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is seeking insights on credit conditions from financial professionals. With the help of state banking and credit union associations, the Minneapolis Fed is polling professionals from credit unions and banks throughout the Ninth District to get a better feel for credit conditions in this multi-state region.
The 13-question survey will take approximately five minutes to complete and responses are anonymous (unless you choose to identify yourself). A summary of the results will be reported in a future issue of the fedgazette and possibly more broadly by media statewide once results are released. Follow this link for the Credit Conditions survey. It is requested that credit union presidents complete this survey.
For your insights to be included in the analysis, please respond by Wednesday, May 26. With questions, please contact Ron Wirtz of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Editor of fedgazette, at (612) 204-5262.
Submit your entries for the 2010 credit union national award programs
Applications are now available for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award, Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action, and Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award. Sponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network and CUNA, these national awards programs provide credit unions the opportunity to be recognized for the difference they make through unique programs, services and activities.
- The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award recognizes credit unions for their involvement in activities that help strengthen the community. The focus of this award is to draw attention to external credit union projects and activities that benefit the community.
- The Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action focuses on the internal programs and services of a credit union. The award formally recognizes the practical application of the credit union philosophy within the actual operations of the credit union.
- The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award is awarded to credit unions and chapters (or groups of credit unions) that are leaders in youth financial education. Activities eligible for consideration include those that raise awareness and marshal resources on behalf of youth financial literacy.
Entries will be judged against submissions from other credit unions in the same asset category. Credit unions can submit entries for one or all of the awards programs.
Award submissions must be received by MnCUN by Friday, July 16. Judging will take place in August, and state winners will advance to the national competition in September. Additional information and entry forms are available on the National Credit Union Award Programs section of the Network web site.
"Teaching Financial Education Today” – workshops for CUs & educators
New legislation and today’s economic realities make it critical to teach financial education. What methods will best support students’ ability to use financial knowledge? Which methods are appropriate for the content?
The Minnesota Credit Union Network and the University of Minnesota Extension are sponsoring 12 "train the trainer” sessions at 12 sites across the state to help answer these questions and more. Entitled "Teaching Financial Education Today – Legislation, Learning styles & the HSFPP®,” this workshop will provide information on the new Credit CARD Act, decision-making, teaching and learning styles. Learn how to apply this information within the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP).
The trainings will be held from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the following locations:
| Monday, June 14: Hermantown
Hermantown Federal Credit Union, 477 LaVaque Road
| Tuesday, June 15: Marshall
Marshall Area YMCA, 200 A Street
| Wednesday, June 16: St. Paul
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, 175 West Lafayette Road
| Wednesday, June 16: Morris
U of M WCROC & Extension Regional Office, 46352 State Hwy 329
| Thursday, June 17: Brooklyn Center
City-County Federal Credit Union, 6160 Summit Drive
| Tuesday, June 22: Grand Rapids
U of M Research & Outreach Center, 1861 East U.S. Hwy 169
| Tuesday, June 22: Chaska
Carver County Government Center, 604 East 4th Street
| Wednesday, June 23: Mankato
Country Inn & Suites, 1900 Premier Drive
| Thursday, June 24: Sandstone
Lake State Federal Credit Union, 406 Commercial Avenue North
| Thursday, June 24: Rochester
UCR-Heintz Center, 1926 College View Road SE
| Tuesday, June 29: St. Cloud
|| St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, 3030 First Street South|
| Tuesday, June 29: Mahnomen
White Earth Community College, 701 East Jefferson Street
Credit union representatives who teach financial education are invited to attend these workshops, alongside teachers in family and consumer science, business education, social studies, and economics. Community agency staff and other adults who coordinate financial literacy programs for youth audiences are also encouraged to attend. The cost is $30. For additional details or to register online, visit the Teaching Financial Education Today page of the Network web site.
In addition, the Family Involvement Council will be compiling a resource guide for educators who are looking for credit union professionals to serve as classroom guest speakers. A letter was sent to all credit union presidents, marketers and business development professionals earlier last week. Those interested in being included in this listing can complete the survey online. Follow this link for the FIC Financial Education Survey.
Central Chapter golf outing set for June 7
The Central Minnesota Chapter of Credit Unions will host its annual golf outing on Monday, June 7. The event will take place at Spring Brook Golf Course in Mora. Golf will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a social hour and dinner at 4:30 p.m.
All tournament registrations must be received by Wednesday, May 26. For more information visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Applicants sought for Filene's i3 program
The Filene Research Institute is seeking 17 new members who are passionate about the credit union movement to join its i3 group for two-year terms beginning in fall 2010. This group is dedicated to developing innovative thinking in the next generation of credit union CEOs.
Filene i3 is a work group of innovative, insightful, energetic credit union professionals, who have not yet reached the CEO level but are in a position with substantial responsibility. This creative group strives to be transformational leaders in building the future of credit unions and to create, innovate and implement new ideas for the benefit of the credit union industry.
To access the application, visit the Filene Research Institute web site. The deadline for applications is noon on June 13. Candidates will be selected and notified by July 16.
Products & Services Corner
Study shows shared branching helps build profits
Shared branching users are some of the credit union industry’s most profitable members, according to a study commissioned by CO-OP Shared Branching. The survey results declared that on average, the annual household profit for shared branching users was $90.25, compared to a profit of only $7.07 on households that do not use shared branching.
The survey found that those who take advantage of shared branching use it regularly, with 47.9 percent making 25 or more transactions each year. In addition, the results showed that younger members were among the heavy users of shared branching services.
"It is no secret that convenience is essential to consumers,” said Caroll Beach, Chief Operating Officer for CO-OP Shared Branching. "This study gives us hard data demonstrating that shared branching makes credit unions more accessible, which leads to deeper relationships that help remain active and profitable members.”
Shared branching is a cooperative program that enables credit unions to provide their members with thousands of convenient locations to perform transactions just as if they were at their home credit union. By sharing facilities, credit unions extend their reach to offer greater convenience to all members in Minnesota and across the nation.
To learn more about the opportunities available to your credit union through shared branching, contact Peter Skaalen, MnCUN Executive Vice President, by e-mail or at (651) 288-5505.
CSS alliance offers student loan program
CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) announced in February an alliance with Fynanz, Inc., a national company that offers custom student lending programs. Minnesota joins 27 states throughout the county in supporting this strategic alliance that will provide credit unions with products and services to meet student members’ needs.
Fynanz offers both custom and private turn-key student loan programs and end-to-end solutions. The components of the lending program include:
- Fynanz Academic Credit Score (FACS) which helps to mitigate risk;
- Yearly loan applications, providing students the chance to obtain a lower rate if their FACS improves;
- Monthly e-mail billing and notifications to both borrower and co-signer; and
- Electronic loan certification and funds disbursement.
Fynanz handles origination, underwriting, servicing and marketing, which allows credit unions to focus on filling the financial gap that many students experience. In addition, the company powers www.custudentloans.org, a private lending marketplace.
Discover today how your credit union can enter the student lending marketplace. With questions about Fynanz, contact Vickie Ganrude, MnCUN Director of Business Development, by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Calendar of Events
The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Check out the roundtables, telecourses and webcasts available throughout the summer. Visit the online Event Calendar today.
- May 24 (8:30 a.m.): Financial Management School - Parts 1 and 2
- May 25 (2 p.m.): Mortgage Recapture & 1st Time Home Buyers
- May 26 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Repossession & Sale of Collateral
- May 27 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Alternatives to Predatory Car Loans
- June 2 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Reg E
- June 2 (2 p.m.): WebCast - 5300 Report Changes
- June 7 (10:30 a.m.): Central Chapter Golf Outing
- June 8 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Bankruptcy Update
- June 9 (2 p.m.): WebCast - The New Accounts Dilemma
- June 10 (10 a.m.): Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Board Meeting
- June 10 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Remote Deposit & Risk