October 22, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 21 Archived Issues
Wendland named General Counsel
The Minnesota Credit Union Network announced on Oct. 8 the promotion of John Wendland to General Counsel. In this capacity, he oversees the management of compliance-related issues that affect the credit union movement and the Network. He also manages internal legal matters, human resources, contract review, and board governance issues for MnCUN and its various entities.
Wendland has been with the Network since 2007 and most recently served as MnCUN’s Associate General Counsel. He replaces Simone Suri, who served in this position for four years.
Brekken elected to chair Minnesota Credit Union Foundation
The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MNCUF) Board of Directors named new table officers at its Oct. 14 meeting. Pat Brekken was elected Chair, Dave Larson was elected Vice Chair, and Kristi Mukomela was elected Secretary/Treasurer.
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 were appointed to new MNCUF Board seats in October 2009 and were elected to three-year terms in August 2010.
Mukomela, President of Novation Credit Union, served as MNCUF Chair since 2004.
"As the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation continues to grow in prominence throughout the state, I am excited about the opportunities we have to make a real difference in peoples’ lives,” Brekken said.
The table officers serve alongside four other directors with staggered board terms:
- Chuck Albrecht, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Baxter;
- Mary Hansen, Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union, Rochester;
- Lynn Kothe, North Memorial Federal Credit Union, Robbinsdale; and
- Judy Root, Bluestone Federal Credit Union, Eagan.
Take advantage of MnCUN’s early bird Marketing Conference discount
Credit union professionals have until Wednesday, Nov. 10, to register for MnCUN’s Marketing Conference at a discount price. Individuals who submit their registration and payment by this date will receive a $30 discount.
This year’s Marketing Conference will focus on how credit unions can revive their marketing plans in the midst of this economic downturn. Specifically it will investigate new ways to look at challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Attendees will develop a social media policy for their credit unions, learn how to be more innovative, and discover new ways to market loans.
The conference will also mark the release of MnCUN’s research and communications recommendation report, which provides marketing insight based on the results of the Network’s 2010 Consumer Awareness Survey. Attendees will be the first to receive the report and examine its tangible results, ideas and messages. Specifically, the report investigates how to capitalize on the anti-bank sentiment, the importance of educating consumers about credit unions, ways to use multiple communication channels to reach consumers, and much more.
Be sure to attend the Marketing Conference to receive this research information and other useful marketing tools. More detailed information, a printable brochure, and online registration are available on the Marketing Conference page of the Network web site.
Credit union awards...
- Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was named as one of the winners of 2010 CUNA Technology Council Best Practices Awards for its automated System Access for Employees (SAFE) process, which reduced the SAFE process completion time from days to hours.
- Richfield Bloomington Credit Union President Pat Brekken received the Richfield Chamber of Commerce’s Larry Farrington Award on Oct. 8. Brekken was nominated for the award based on his leadership in the community. He has been an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and in 2009 served as Board Chair. Additionally, in 2010 Richfield Bloomington Credit Union donated more than $75,000 to the communities it serves.
Sign up today for Chain of Hearts!
The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee is coordinating its ninth annual Chain of Hearts fundraiser for 2011. Chain of Hearts is a statewide fundraiser that will run from Jan. 5-Feb. 25, 2011. During the event, credit union members will purchase paper links and hearts that are displayed in lobbies to help illustrate the "people helping people” philosophy of credit unions.
The committee has set the 2011 goal for Chain of Hearts at $35,000, and your credit union is invited to join them in working toward this goal. This is an extremely simple fundraising event that is available to your credit union at no cost. Participating credit unions will receive hearts, links and posters, along with sample press releases, marketing tips, and sample public service announcements.
Credit unions can submit their 2011 Chain of Hearts registration until Monday, Nov. 29. received Chain of Hearts information and sign-up details last week. Funds raised through MnCU4Kids programs support Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospital Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. With questions, please contact MnCU4Kids committee member Sarah Speer by e-mail or at (218) 829-0371 ext. 772.
FinCEN offers e-filing webcast on Nov. 4
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will hold a free webcast on Nov. 4 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m., which will provide financial institutions an overview of its Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing system. Participants will receive an outline of the benefits of the BSA E-Filing system, along with instruction on how to use the system and complete both single and multiple report filings.
BSA E-Filing, which was developed in 2002, is a free, web-based system that is user-ID and password protected. Financial institutions subject to BSA reporting requirements use the system to electronically file a variety of BSA forms, either individually or in batches, through a FinCEN secure network. For more information about the webcast and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Chapters offer networking and education opportunities
Are you seeking opportunities to deepen your involvement in the Minnesota credit union movement? If so, you are invited to participate in your local credit union chapter’s activities. Chapters exemplify the principles of the cooperative movement by providing venues for networking, leadership, growth and education.
The state’s nine credit union chapters offer professionals and volunteers opportunities to network and connect with credit union individuals in their geographic area. With gatherings held at various times throughout the year, the chapters meet to discuss current credit union issues and trends, participate in service projects, network and socialize. In addition, chapter events facilitate the sharing of ideas and brainstorming of solutions among professionals and volunteers throughout the state.
For more information about the credit union chapters and their activities, visit the Chapters & Committees section of the Network web site.
CUs eligible for Go Direct recognition from Treasury
The U.S. Treasury Department's Go Direct campaign is offering credit unions the opportunity to participate in its Community Ambassadors Program. This project recognizes the efforts of small- and medium-sized financial institutions that "go the extra mile in promoting direct deposit to senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans and others who receive federal benefits." Financial institutions with fewer than 100 branches are eligible to register.
To be recognized as a Community Ambassador, a financial institution must complete at least two of the activities listed below between October 2010 and March 2011. Activities include:
- Posting a web banner on the financial institution's web site;
- Including a statement message or insert in mailings to members;
- Displaying lobby materials;
- Communicating with tellers or distributing a Go Direct campaign communication kit to staff; and
- Creating and implementing a teller or branch incentive program or competition.
Credit unions and banks that successfully participate in the Community Ambassadors Program will receive a letter of recognition and a certificate from the Treasury Department. In addition, they will receive a web banner and suggested newsletter copy they can use to announce their recognition as a 2010/2011 Go Direct Community Ambassador. For more information about the Community Ambassador program, visit the Go Direct web site.
Credit union notes…
- Mower County Catholic Parishes Credit Union recently welcomed Alicia Scheevel as its new President/Treasurer. She has worked in the financial services industry for 15 years, serving as an office manager, lender, and executive vice president for both community and corporate banks. She replaces former President/Treasurer Kim Boysen.
First Alliance CU signs on to Sprint Nextel Credit Union Member Discount Plan
The Network Service Corporation announced on Oct. 11 that First Alliance Credit Union has agreed to participate in the Sprint Nextel Credit Union Member Discount Plan. The plan helps credit unions earn more non-interest income by simultaneously offering marketing incentives to credit unions and savings to members.
By sending a mailing to members, displaying a lobby poster, posting a Sprint link on their web site, and signing a participation agreement, credit unions receive incentive income regardless of member participation. In addition, credit unions receive free marketing materials and Sprint Nextel handles all cell phone service needs.
For information on the Sprint Nextel Credit Union Member Discount Plan, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by e-mail or at (651) 288-5515.
Attract and retain cardholders with FIS
The 2009 U.S. Loyalty Marketing Census report reveals that, from 2006 to 2008, loyalty program memberships increased from 1.3 billion to 1.8 billion – which translates into 14.1 loyalty program memberships per U.S. household. Through the FIS ScoreCard Rewards, your credit union can more effectively attract and retain cardholders while increasing your bottom line.
A proven credit and debit card rewards program, ScoreCard increases revenue while improving your credit union’s ability to acquire, activate and retain cardholders. Since its inception in 1992, ScoreCard has proven to be a very effective cardholder loyalty-marketing program. This program will differentiate your credit union’s credit and debit cards in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
To assist your credit union in taking full advantage of the ScoreCard program, FIS offers free training. Use these programs to train new staff on ScoreCard or to renew interest in the program. Below is a list of the training sessions being held through the month of November.
- Nov. 2, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Bonus Points Program Overview
- Nov. 3, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Bonus Points Operations Overview
- Nov. 4, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – Householding for Bonus Points Programs
- Nov. 9, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. – Promoting Bonus Points Programs
- Nov. 10, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. – Travel the World with Scorecard
- Nov. 11, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. – Navigating ScoreCardRewards.com
- Nov. 16, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Cash Back Overview
- Nov. 17, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Bonus Points Program Overview
- Nov. 18, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Bonus Points Operations Overview
Discover what the FIS ScoreCard can do for your credit union. For more information about FIS and its products and services, 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 fall. Professionals are also invited to attend MnCUN's Marketing Conference, which will focus on strategies for marketing in a down economy. To register for these and other events, visit the online Event Calendar.
- Oct. 26 (12:30 p.m.): FEMA Flood Insurance Compliance Training
- Oct. 27 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Trends & Risks of Serving Members Remotely
- Oct. 27 (11 a.m.): MnCU4Kids Bowl-O-Rama
- Oct. 27 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Member Credit Report Disputes
- Oct. 28 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Real Estate Lending Compliance Violations
- Nov. 3 (10 a.m.): CUNA Mutual Online Discovery Conference
- Nov. 3 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Internal Fraud Hotspots
- Nov. 4 (10:30 a.m.): Collectors Roundtable
- Nov. 4 (1 p.m.): FinCEN Webinar: BSA E-Filing System
- Nov. 4 (9:30 p.m.): Commercial Lending Roundtable
- Nov. 8 (11:30 a.m.): Trainers Roundtable
- Nov. 9 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Red Flags of Internal Fraud
- Nov. 10 (10:30 a.m.): Technology Seminar – Disaster Recovery
- Nov. 10 (12 p.m.): Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids Committee Meeting
- Nov. 10 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Regulation B for Credit Unions