July 2, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 13 Archived Issues
MnCUN website and publication receive national recognition
The Minnesota Credit Union Network was recognized last week for web site and publication excellence, earning two second place awards in the 2010 Pro & Blockbuster Awards competition. MnCUN was one of the state leagues and associations recognized on June 22 for excellence in public relations, marketing and advertising during the American Association of Credit Union Leagues’ 2010 Communicators/GAPS Conference in Washington, D.C.
The Pro & Blockbuster awards, presented by the Credit Union National Association, recognize excellence in communications and marketing that reaches out to credit unions, members and the general public and builds a positive public image of credit unions. These awards are the highest communication honors bestowed on leagues.
One of MnCUN’s second place recognitions was in the Pro Award’s "Best Web Site” category. Launched in April of 2009, the new web site was completely rewritten with a refreshed look, upgraded architecture and new functionality. The new mncun.org is separated into two sides – one for credit unions and one for consumers. In the last five months of 2009, the site received more than 1.7 million hits, which extrapolates to more than 4 million hits in a full year.
MnCUN’s other honorable mention recognition was in the Blockbuster Award’s "Best Print Material” category. The featured publication was an informational brochure created as a tool to communicate with external audiences, such a legislators and reporters. The piece provides general information about the main characteristics of credit unions and contributes to MnCUN’s strategic goal to increase support for and use of Minnesota credit unions.
"Both of these awards reinforce the Network’s ongoing efforts to enhance the image of the Minnesota Credit Union Network,” said MnCUN Vice President – Communications Kristina Wright. "These projects enabled us to better reflect the prestige and professionalism of an industry-leading trade association.”
Fall Conference to offer education & networking
Attend the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s annual Fall Conference to receive insight into industry top issues and connect with credit union colleagues from around the state. Set for Sept. 10-12 at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, this conference will provide attendees opportunities for education, networking and fun.
Fall Conference's educational sessions will feature experts presenting on timely credit union topics. Learn how to evaluate the credit union’s current financial condition, explore ways to explain regulatory issues to members, and discover strategies for complex economic times. In addition, volunteers can pre-register for a Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) class focused on requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act.
Additionally, a variety of networking opportunities will be available for credit union professionals, volunteers and vendors. Attendees will also have time to enjoy Madden’s scenic views, first-rate dinning, and unrivaled recreation opportunities – including its golf courses.
For more detailed information and to register online, visit the MnCUN Fall Conference section of the Network web site. To take advantage of the early bird discount, registration and payment must be received by Tuesday, Aug. 3. The deadline for regular-priced registration is Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Submit your Dora, Louise & Desjardins entries
Credit unions have two weeks left to submit entries for the 2010 social responsibility awards. Now is the time for Minnesota credit unions to tout the difference they’ve made through their unique programs, services and activities.
- The Dora Maxwell Award is given to a credit union or chapter for a external social responsibility project.
- The Louise Herring Award recognizes a credit union that practices the "people helping people” philosophy in its day-to-day operations.
- The Desjardins Award distinguishes a credit union or chapter that is a leader in youth financial education.
Award entries must be submitted to the Network office by Friday, July 16. For in-depth awards information and printable applications, visit the National Credit Union Awards Program section of the Network web site.
Report financial education presentations by July 6
Does your credit union present financial education seminars to young members or students? If so, be sure to report your presentations to the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB). All presentations made from July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010, are eligible.
NYIB collects financial education data from credit unions nationwide on presentations made to individuals 26 years of age or younger. The Network, CUNA and NYIB use the information when speaking to elected officials about the education efforts of credit unions.
The reporting deadline for presentations made during the 2009-2010 school year is Tuesday, July 6. For information on how to report through NYIB, visit the Family Involvement Council web site.
Minnesota expands Shared Branching to 33 locations
Minnesota increased its number of credit union service centers to 33 on Wednesday after Star Choice Credit Union added its Bloomington office to the Shared Branching network. Minnesota’s Shared Branching network currently serves members of participating credit unions at locations both in the Twin Cities and outside the metro area.
Through Shared Branching credit unions across the country share facilities, providing members thousands of convenient locations to perform basic financial transactions. Shared Branching offers members the opportunity to visit other credit unions and perform transactions similar to those that they conduct at their home credit union, including making deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and more.
In a statewide public opinion poll conducted in Minnesota this past March, consumers noted having financial institutions’ branches office locations near their home or work was a major factor in determining where they maintained a banking relationship. Currently, more than 4,000 service centers exist nationwide, enabling credit unions to strongly compete with the largest banks in the United States.
"The expansion of Shared Branching is critical to the growth and continued success of the credit union movement,” said Peter Skaalen, Executive Vice President of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. "Consumers have told us time and time again that convenience is key – and as more credit unions join Shared Branching, the better the convenience becomes.”
A listing of service centers in Minnesota and around the country can be found on the CU Service Centers web site. For additional information, contact Skaalen by e-mail or by phone at (651) 288-5505.
Lakes & Pines and Hiawatha Chapters to hold golf outings
During the month of August, credit union professionals and volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in golf outings for the Lakes & Pines Chapter and Hiawatha Chapter. For more information and printable registration forms, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
- The Lakes & Pines Chapter will hold its 33rd Annual Golf Tournament & Steak Fry on Friday, Aug. 6, at Wolfridge Golf Course in Angora. The tournament will begin at 1 p.m. followed by a social hour and dinner in the evening.
- The Hiawatha Chapter will hold its Southern Minnesota Open on Monday, Aug. 9, at Somerby Golf Club in Byron. The event will begin with a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. and will conclude with dinner at 5:30 p.m. Registration is limited and will be accepted on a "first come” basis.
Nominate a colleague for CFO of the Year
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is currently accepting nominations for its 2010 CFO of the Year Award. This recognition will be given to chief financial officers in Minnesota who demonstrate outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards.
The awards will be presented in eight categories focusing on businesses and organizations of all types. Nominators are required to provide narrative answers to five questions that provide insight into the nominee’s personal work experience and how they have contributed to the organization.
CFO of the Year nominations must be submitted by Tuesday, Aug. 13. For more information and to submit an online nomination, visit the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal web site.
Credit union notes…
- Don Crofut, President of South Metro Federal Credit Union, was recently elected to a three-year term on the Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. Crofut joins Kyle Markland, President/CEO of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, who currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and Steve Ahlness, President/CEO of Greater Minnesota Credit Union, who is on the Supervisory Committee.
- Highgrove Community Federal Credit Union announced last week that it will merge with Wings Financial Credit Union. Upon completion in October, the merged credit unions will have $2.7 billion in assets and will serve more than 130,000 members.
Explore the income opportunities of the Sprint CU Member Discount Program
Credit unions are invited to take advantage of free Sprint webcasts to learn more about how to participate and benefit from the Credit Union Member Discount Program. During the session, participants will receive an overview of the program, learn how to market it to members, and discover the non-interest income this program provides to credit unions.
These free webcasts will be held once a month August through December. Each session will be held at 3 p.m. and will last approximately 15 minutes. Pre-registration is not required. Participate in one of the webcasts listed below and learn how to take full advantage of the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Program.
Tuesday, Aug. 10
Tuesday, Sept. 14
Tuesday, Oct. 12
Tuesday, Dec. 14
To participate in a webcast, select a date from the schedule and then follow the directions below.
- To join the webcast, click the following link:
- When prompted, select Light Version Installation
- Dial (888) 742-8686
- When prompted enter the conference code: 6072607
If you have problems accessing either the phone or web portion of the conference, please contact InterCall Tech Support at (877) 549-2051. Be sure to let the Technical Support Representative know that you are attempting to connect to an InterCall Web Meeting.
For more information about the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Program, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Offer members shopping discounts of up to 15% through Invest in America
Credit unions participating in the Invest in America program can now offer members discounts at the Shop America, which provides access to more than 1,200 online merchants. Credit union members can receive up to 15 percent off when they shop at this online mall.
Shop America features merchants such as Apple, Target, Best Buy, Gap, Barnes & Noble, Macy’s and Office Depot. The discounts range from 1 percent to 15 percent, and members receive a check by mail when they've accumulated $10 or more in discounts.
Credit union members also will have access to comparison shopping features to help them find the best deals. Access to the mall is available through the Invest in America web site. For more information about Invest in America, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
CUDL offers webcasts on auto lending
Is your credit union looking for ways to effectively penetrate the auto lending marketplace? If so, be sure to take advantage of CUDL’s free webcasts designed to help advance credit unions’ auto lending programs and provide them with the tools for marketplace success.
CUDL’s webcasts provide insight into the latest industry issues, trends and analysis for the auto lending marketplace. Learn valuable strategies and best practices that can help take your credit union's lending programs to the next level. Current archived webcasts available for viewing include: Insight into the SMART Approval Program and Auto Lending Trends, Credit Union Analysis & Auto Industry Update.
To listen to these free archived webcasts, visit the CUDL web site. For more information about CUDL’s auto lending programs, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude 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. Register online for MnCUN's annual Fall Conference, which offers credit unions professionals and volunteers a weekend of education, networking and fun. Visit the online Event Calendar today.
- July 7 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Loan Applications & Reg Z
- July 8 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - The Hispanic Opportunity
- July 11: CUNA Management School
- July 11 (9 a.m.): CUNA and WOCCU's The 1 Credit Union Conference
- July 12 (12 p.m.): Twin Cities Chapters' Golf Outing
- July 13 (11 a.m.): Business Development & Marketing Seminar: Innovative Solutions
- July 13 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Processing Federal ACH Payments
- July 14 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Collections Upgrade
- July 14 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Frontline Compliance 101
- July 15 (1 p.m.): MnCUN Political Involvement Committee Meeting
- July 21 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Safe Deposit Security
- July 21 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Signs of Problem Loans
- July 22 (10:30 a.m.): Compliance/Fraud Roundtable
- July 22 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Successful Credit Union Business Models
- July 23 (8:30 a.m.): MnCUN Board Meeting
- July 23 (9:30 a.m.): Commercial Lending Roundtable