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August 26, 2011 ● Volume 34, Issue 17 Archived Issues
The Network recently announced the statewide winners of the 2011 Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins competitions. All 13 statewide winners will advance to the national competition where they will compete with other credit unions from across the country in their respective award and asset categories in September. All four awards are sponsored by MnCUN and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
The 2011 winners include:
The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award was created in 1987 to promote social responsibility among credit unions by formally recognizing their social achievements. With eight asset category divisions, this award is given to a credit union for its social responsibility projects within the community.
The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award is given to a credit union for its practical application of the credit union philosophy within the actual operation of the credit union. Created in 1990, it is awarded for internal programs and services. This award has four asset category divisions.
The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards formally recognize the leadership of individual credit unions and chapters on behalf of youth and adult financial education.
"This year credit unions around the state were dedicated to helping Minnesotans persevere through the economic recovery. The 2011 award winners demonstrated extraordinary dedication to helping their members and communities move forward toward a brighter future,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "I applaud each of the winning credit unions, and I wish them luck in the national competition.”
The strength of the credit union movement lies in the support of the industry’s professionals, volunteers and members. For this reason, October has been designated as GREAT Month, a time to encourage credit union employees and members to join the GrassRoots Education & Action Team.
This membership drive is intended to coincide with any celebrations your credit union has planned for International Credit Union Day, which is also slated for October. As members come through your doors for cook-outs, contests, cake or other celebration activities, take that opportunity to enroll them in GREAT. It is imperative that credit union employees lead this effort by having 100 percent participation in GREAT. Therefore, the Network is asking credit unions to strive toward having all of their employees signed up for GREAT by the end of October.
GREAT provides employees and members the opportunity to do their part to preserve, protect and promote the Minnesota credit union movement. By participating in this program, credit union employees and members will join other supporters from across the state in sharing the credit union story with elected officials.
To assist credit unions in promoting GREAT to employees and members, the Network has created a variety of free promotional materials. A sample newsletter article and web graphics are available for download. Credit unions can also order lobby posters and GREAT sign-up forms. For more information about this initiative and to order and download promotional materials, visit the GREAT Membership Drive page of the Network website.
Kristina Wright, Vice President – Association Services for the Minnesota Credit Union Network, was recently named as a Finance & Commerce 2011 Top Women in Finance honoree. This program recognizes the efforts of women who are making notable contributions to their professions and communities.
This year’s winners are made up of four CEOs, six partners and shareholders, several presidents and senior vice presidents and a few business owners from a variety of industries. Winners were evaluated on their professional and community accomplishments.
In her career with MnCUN than spans decades, Wright has led numerous initiatives in the Minnesota credit union movement. She was hired as a Communications Specialist and rapidly advanced to Vice President – Communications. Today, Wright serves as the Vice President – Association Services and oversees MnCUN’s entire dues-supported operations. Through her leadership, she has transitioned MnCUN’s communications efforts from an internal focus to a public relations focus and led an effort to overhaul the organization’s website.
Outside of MnCUN, Wright has also shown remarkable leadership on a variety of committees and boards, both inside and outside of the credit union industry. For a majority of her career, Wright was the lead staff liaison to five committees comprised of senior-level credit union staff and volunteers. Also, through a five-year stint on the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, including two years as Vice President, she established herself as a strong advocate and key player in the financial education arena.
"Through her years of service to the credit union movement, Kristina has distinguished herself as an extraordinary employee and passionate credit union representative,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "She is an astute, business-savvy individual whose insight, expertise and experience have helped to shape the Minnesota Credit Union Network into the organization it is today. This in an honor well-deserved, and I offer Kristina my congratulations.”
Wright, along with the other 2011 Top Women in Finance honorees, will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, Nov. 10.
Working to keep legislators informed about credit union issues, this month MnCUN’s governmental affairs staff coordinated meetings with several state and federal elected officials around the state. These meetings focused on current and future legislative efforts and strengthened relationships with elected officials.
On Aug. 16, credit union representatives in the metro area met with Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-3rd District) at Richfield/Bloomington Credit Union’s Bloomington office. During the meeting, the group discussed the importance of credit union business lending, providing Rep. Paulsen perspectives from credit unions, a small business owner and the mayor of Bloomington. Pointing to small businesses as the future to a better economy, the mayor stated that credit union loans are necessary to keep a city’s main street alive.
On Aug. 9, credit union representatives from southern Minnesota met with Marcus Schmit who is the District Director for Rep. Tim Walz (D-1st District). The discussion focused primarily on member business lending (MBL) activities and the need to pass the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, which would raise the MBL cap from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent. Attendees also discussed future legislation on supplemental capital, which would provide credit unions an avenue for raising capital outside of annual earnings.
Additionally, this month the Network met with several state legislative officials to discuss state issues affecting credit unions. During these meetings, Network staff emphasized the regulatory burdens facing credit unions and urged legislators to take caution when reforming tax expenditures, especially those affecting credit unions’ tax exempt status.
Throughout the interim legislative session and during Congress’ August recess, credit union professionals and volunteers are encouraged to meet with their elected officials. For assistance in setting up meetings with your elected officials, contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Monica Weber by email or at (651) 288-5533.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are teaming up to host a free Anti-Money Laundering Seminar in St. Paul. The afternoon seminar will cover the registration, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements of Title 31, Bank Secrecy Act and Minnesota regulations affecting money services businesses.
During the seminar, presenters will instruct attendees on how to comply with state and federal laws and how to avoid the penalties of unknowingly violating important industry regulations. A special agent from the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Unit will also discuss how Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) are reviewed, and the process in which SARs are used in criminal cases.A variety of industries have been invited to participate in this afternoon seminar, and seating is available on a first-come basis. The registration deadline is set for Friday, Sept. 2. For additional information and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website.
Credit union professionals have until Thursday, Sept. 1, to take advantage of the early bird pricing for MnCUN’s Financial Management School: Parts III & IV on Sept. 26-28. Those that register by this date will receive $50 off the standard registration price.
Geared toward those that focus on the fiscal aspects of the credit union, this three-day school investigates a variety of financial principles. Attendees will explore how to improve product pricing, strengthen capital ratios, strengthen marketing concepts, develop human resources initiatives and more. Individuals will also have time to strengthen or develop their credit union’s strategic direction, philosophy and long-term objectives.
Register today for MnCUN’s Financial Management School: Parts III & IV. For more information and online registration, visit the Financial Management School page of the Network website.
You are invited to join the newly-formed "Minnesota Credit Union Careers” group on LinkedIn. Administered by the Network, this group provides individuals an online forum to discuss credit union issues, ask questions and post job openings.
If you are a fan of credit unions and everything they stand for, then this group is for you. As a group member, you will be able to stay up-to-date on credit union issues and explore how you can enhance your credit union career. Discussions and content are geared toward professionals or those who want to begin a career in the movement.
To join this forum, click the "groups” tab within LinkedIn and search for "Minnesota Credit Union Careers” in the directory. Once you’ve found it, click "join group” and you’re set. If you don’t a profile on LinkedIn, you can create one for free at http://www.linkedin.com/.
Become a member of Minnesota Credit Union Careers and participate in this online exchange of ideas, tips and information. With questions about the group, contact MnCUN Director of Communications Rachel Anderson by email or at (651) 288-5527.
MnIPC has partnered with Cachet Financial Solutions to offer credit unions Select Mobile, Cachet's mobile remote deposit capture application.
The application allows account holders to initiate mobile-deposit sessions on their smartphone or tablet cameras. To make a deposit, credit union members snap photos of the front and back of checks and send it to the financial institution.
Before transmitting the images, Select Mobile formats the images and corrects any distortions or skewing and confirms that the images meet industry Check 21 and mobile image-quality standards. All transactions are transmitted with multiple layers of security and, if necessary, can be traced back to registered smartphones to combat fraud.
"We are pleased to be working with a company that has a professional team dedicated to developing, promoting and supporting the mobile application needs of our clients,” said Michelle Carlson, Vice President of MnIPC. "Through this product, we are able to provide a solution to our clients seeking efficient and diverse ways to deposit checks. MnIPC prides itself in offering the latest in check processing technology and with Cachet we are taking another step forward.”
Check out MnIPC today and discover how they can help make your check processing faster and more efficient. For more information about MnIPC’s products and services, contact Vice President Michelle Carlson by email or at (651) 288-5551.
Through FIS, credit unions can increase members’ credit card usage by promoting Visa’s NFL promotion. This program automatically enters members into a drawing that gives them a chance to attend Super Bowl XLVI with 10 friends.
By promoting this program, credit unions have the potential to significantly increase how often members use their credit card. Plus, FIS is providing credit unions free materials to promote the sweepstakes. Card Services for Credit Unions, the association of credit unions that process card transactions with FIS, is offering in-branch marketing kits, statement inserts and e-marketing materials.
To place your order for the free marketing materials, visit the Card Services for Credit Unions website. To learn more about FIS, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
Calendar of Events
The Minnesota Credit Union Network offers a variety of educational opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers. Check out the roundtables, telecourses and webinars available throughout the summer. In addition, professionals and volunteers are invited to attend the Network’s fall educational events which include Financial Management School and Supervisory Committee Workshops.