April 9, 2010 ● Volume 33, Issue 7 Archived Issues
CUs to continue MBL push
As Congress returns from its April recess, credit unions and leagues across the country are joining CUNA in its persistent efforts to urge elected officials to increase the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25 percent of assets to 25 percent. Both the U.S. House and Senate are considering legislation on this issue, and MnCUN is employing a variety of grassroots tactics to reach Minnesota’s elected officials.
The Network is encouraging credit unions to send letters to the editors of local newspapers. Letters should outline how lifting the member business lending cap will enable credit unions to support local small businesses and to assist in the state’s jobs creation efforts. A sample letter to the editor is available in the Issues & Talking Points section of the Network web site.
In addition, this week members of GREAT, the GrassRoots Education & Action Team, received another action alert focused on member business lending. Recently, Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation has heard a number of arguments against this bill. For this reason, it is imperative that credit unions contact Minnesota's Congressional members once again to explain the importance of this issue. To send an e-mail to elected officials, visit the Take Action section of the GREAT web site.
Check out the Member Business Lending resources available on the Network web site for a more in-depth summary of the issue, sample letters, point/counterpoints on bankers’ erroneous claims, and other resources. With questions, contact Mara Humphrey, MnCUN Vice President-Governmental Affairs.
MnCUN to reveal consumer research findings at Annual Meeting
During its Annual Meeting – set for April 23-24 at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park – the Minnesota Credit Union Network will unveil the results of its statewide consumer awareness survey. Conducted in March 2010, this survey explored Minnesotans’ knowledge of, perceptions about, and attitudes toward credit unions.
To be presented during a general session at the Annual Meeting, the survey results will provide credit unions insight into member loyalty and how Minnesota credit unions can gain new members. Credit unions will also receive regional information to help direct their marketing and business development efforts.
As usual, the MnCUN Annual Meeting will also feature a business meeting, tradeshow, educational sessions, interactive fundraisers and more. The registration deadline is Wednesday, April 14. For more information about the conference, visit the Annual Meeting section of the Network web site.
Annual Meeting to feature "Minnesota Hold‘Em" poker tournament
Are you willing to ante up? Join MnCUN for a "Minnesota Hold‘Em" poker tournament during the Network Annual Meeting, on Friday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Coordinated in conjunction with the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee, this entertaining event will benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
Credit union professionals and volunteers will compete for the title of "Minnesota Hold‘Em" Champion. Refreshments will be available for players and non-players. Come try your hand at cards or cheer others on as they go "all in” for a good cause.
Space in the tournament is limited and pre-registration is required for this event.* Visit the Annual Meeting section of the Network web site for details and a printable entry form. Money raised at the event will benefit the children and families served by Gillette. For more information about MnCU4Kids, visit the committee web site.
* No entry fee or sponsorship is required to participate in the tournament.
MnCUN VP named to 40 under Forty list
Kristina Wright, Vice President – Communications for the Minnesota Credit Union Network, was named as an award winner in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 under Forty competition for 2010. The program recognizes up-and-coming business and community leaders.
This year’s winners were selected from nearly 300 nominees from a variety of different industries. Winners were evaluated on their professional and community accomplishments.
At an awards ceremony held March 25 at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, 40 professionals in the fields of business, government and non-profits were honored for their achievements.
"Kristina is a recognized and effective leader, and an excellent example of today’s modern executive,” said MnCUN Board Chairman Harry Carter, President of TopLine Federal Credit Union.
In her career with MnCUN that spans the past decade, Wright has been involved with numerous initiatives in the Minnesota credit union movement. She led the effort to overhaul MnCUN’s web site, established a networking group for young credit union professionals, and created a vendor advertising program for companies working with Minnesota credit unions. Wright is also the staff liaison to MnCUN’s international partnership with a credit union association in Paraguay, coordinating informational exchanges, visits and internships with individuals from both countries.
Wright is also heavily involved in financial education, representing credit unions and MnCUN as she serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. She formed and maintains a relationship with the University of Minnesota Extension to collaboratively host financial education training for teachers and credit union professionals throughout the state. Wright is also involved in the Minnesota Financial Fitness Network, National Youth Involvement Board, and the Minnesota Family Involvement Council.
"Through her years of service to the credit union industry, Kristina has proven herself to be an extraordinary employee and passionate credit union representative,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "She has a dedication to credit unions that inspires and challenges the Minnesota Credit Union Network to constantly strive toward bigger goals and greater successes. This is an honor well deserved!”
NCUA to host Small CU Conference on May 13
The National Credit Union Administration will be hosting a Small Credit Union Workshop & Roundtable on May 13 at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington. This free workshop is tailored to credit unions with $50 million in assets or less and will focus on issues facing small credit unions.
The conference will provide information on strategies credit unions can implement to maximize their bottom line. Other topics that will be addressed include regulatory hot topics, allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL), and alternatives to predatory lending. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with a panel of community organizations in a discussion on resources and partnerships for credit unions.
While this conference is free, pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Minnesotans named to CUNA Committees, Council
Seven individuals in the Minnesota credit union movement were recently appointed to national positions on CUNA committees and boards. Appointed individuals include:
- Jim Bryan of Postal Credit Union was reappointed to serve on the Awards Committee which oversees the judging of the national social responsibility programs, such as the Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring awards.
- Mark Cummins of the Minnesota Credit Union Network was named to three committees. His selection to serve on the Audit Committee and Ethics Committee are a result of his February appointment to the CUNA Strategic Services Board of Directors. Additionally, he was reappointed to the Federal Credit Union Subcommittee, which focuses on regulatory and legislative concerns of particular interest to federal credit unions and helps to develop recommendations to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee.
- Pam Finch of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union was reappointed to the Accounting Subcommittee, which advises CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee on accounting proposals and initiatives to pursue on behalf of credit unions. Since May 2009, Finch has also served as the Chair of CUNA's CFO Council
- Nancy Hutchinson of Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union was one of two new members elected to the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council (CMBDC) Board of Directors. The Council works to provide educational and networking opportunities for credit union professionals. The election results were announced at the CMBDC’s annual conference in late March.
- Kyle Markland of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was appointed to the Examination & Supervision Subcommittee. This group addresses the concern for safe, fair and efficient examinations for federal and state credit unions; monitors the budget and the resource allocation of state and federal credit union regulators; and recommends appropriate regulatory and legislative changes to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee.
- Russ Plunkett of Postal Credit Union will take a seat on the Cooperative Alliance Committee on May 10, following the National Cooperative Business Association’s annual conference. This committee serves as the credit union system’s liaison with the larger cooperative community to facilitate the exchange of ideas that foster partnerships, alliances and opportunities among credit unions and cooperatives.
- Bill Raker of US Federal Credit Union was reappointed to the Governmental Affairs Committee, which advises and provides policy recommendations to the CUNA Board of Directors regarding legislative, regulatory, and political action issues affecting the credit union movement. In addition, Raker was newly appointed to the National Credit Union Roundtable Advisory Council, which works with CUNA to cultivate communication between credit unions, leagues and national organizations.
Credit Union Notes...
- Buckbee Mears Employees Credit Union changed its name to Employees First Credit Union on April 1. Due to the closure of the Buckbee Mears company, this new new name better reflects the credit union's membership base.
- Jerome "Reggie” Riedl, former manager of SouthPoint Federal Credit Union, passed away on March 22. Riedl served as the manager of SouthPoint, then called St. Mary’s Parish Credit Union, for 45 years and was actively involved in the credit union movement.
Investigate Employment Law with CUNA Mutual Group
CUNA Mutual Group Bond policyholders are invited to participate in a webcast titled Employment Practices: Laws & Litigation on Wednesday, April 21. Learn more about employment law and explore how your credit union can improve its risk management and lessen potential losses.
Today’s economic realities have forced credit union leaders to change how they manage their operations – whether it’s through staff reduction, benefits changes or new employees. However, these measures are fueling litigation. During this webcast, credit unions will learn how to minimize the occurrence of potentially costly third-party liability lawsuits.
For more information about the webcast and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network web site.
Provide members great car deals with CUDL’s AutoSMART
Minnesota credit unions have the opportunity to provide members great car deals while boosting their own auto lending program. Through its AutoSMART program, CUDL provides credit unions with the industry's most versatile and recognized member-centric automobile research and shopping web site.
Unlike other auto buying web sites, AutoSMART connects members with dealers that can help them receive a vehicle that fits within their budget. On the web site, members can research a variety of vehicles and receive price quotes before they visit the dealer. Additionally, AutoSMART provides individuals a tool to determine the value of their trade-in.
Unlike other auto searching web sites, AutoSMART is specifically designed for credit unions and their members. This customizable web site can seamlessly integrate into your credit union’s web site to create a superior, one-of-a-kind member experience. This marketing tool allows credit unions to build their online presence and member awareness, and it helps generate auto loan activity.
For more information about CUDL’s AutoSMART program, visit the CUDL page of the Network web site. With questions about the program, contact Vickie Granrude, 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 MnCUN's Annual Meeting event, along with the roundtables, telecourses and webcasts available to you. Visit the online Event Calendar today.
- Tuesday, April 13 (4 p.m.): Preparing our Children for their Financial Responsibilities
- Wednesday, April 14 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Plastic Card Fraud
- Wednesday, April 14 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Small Business Lending
- Thursday, April 15 (1 p.m.): MnCUN Political Involvement Committee Meeting
- Thursday, April 15 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Stress Testing Your Loan Portfolio
- Tuesday, April 20 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Loan Workouts & Collections Policies
- Wednesday, April 21 (TBD): CUNA Mutual Group WebCast - Employment Practices: Laws & Litigation
- Wednesday, April 21 (10 a.m.): TeleCourse - Telephone Etiquette
- Wednesday, April 21 (10 a.m.): Interactive Forum - Call Center
- Wednesday, April 21 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Head Teller Management
- Thursday, April 22 (11:30 a.m.): MnCUN Board Meeting
- Thursday, April 22 (2 p.m.): WebCast - If Being on a Board Were Easy, They’d Let Anybody Do It!
- Friday, April 23: MnCUN Annual Meeting & Convention
- Wednesday, April 28 (2 p.m.): WebCast - Member Bankruptcy