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|The Pulse (04-24-13)|
The Pulse (04-24-13)
April 24, 2013 ● Volume 02, Issue 16
Credit Union News
Reasons to register for this year's Annual Meeting
The MnCUN Annual Meeting & Convention is as a yearly celebration of the good work that credit unions do every day. It also provides credit union staff and volunteers with unique networking opportunities and entertainment, as well as education sessions to help your credit unions continue to grow and thrive. If you haven't registered yet for the 2013 Annual Meeting, here are a few reasons why you should do it now.
For more information on Annual Meeting and to find online registration, go to the 2013 Annual Meeting page of the Network website.
Credit union professionals and volunteers who are unable to attend the 2013 MnCUN Annual Meeting in person can still be part of the action as virtual participants through a live video stream of the Business Meeting on Friday, May 17. Taking place from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m., this meeting will reflect on the achievements of 2012 and discuss initiatives for 2013. It will also include MnCUN Board of Directors elections and votes on proposed amendments to Network Bylaws.
Take full advantage of this free video stream and coordinate a staff meeting to watch it live – at your credit union. During the Business Meeting, participants will discover ways they can be involved in the Network's activities and will hear updates from committees such as Credit Unions for Kids and the Family Involvement Council. The meeting will feature speakers Pat Pierce, MnCUN Board Chairman, and Mark Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO, as well as special guest speaker Mary Dunn, CUNA's Senior Vice President & Deputy Counsel.
Attend the MnCUN Business Meeting via live video stream and be part of this important annual credit union event! For more information, visit the Annual Meeting page of the Network website.
Minnesota Credit Union Foundation releases Annual Report
Highlighting its activities from the past year and its focus on financial education, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation released its 2012 Annual Report on Monday. The publication highlights last year's major activities of the Foundation, which provided funding for high school students' cooperative education, supported credit union professional development, and promoted a variety of financial literacy efforts.
The Foundation Annual Report also recognizes its donors and pays tribute to the five people who were honored in 2012 with the Foundation's prestigious Credit Union Builder Award.
To download the Annual Report, or for more information about contribution or grant programs, visit the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website.
FIC awards $10,000 in scholarships
After reviewing more than 950 applications on March 15, the Family Involvement Council (FIC) has selected the recipients for its 2013 scholarship program. A total of $10,000 in scholarships was awarded to 20 students for the 2013-2014 school year to help further their college education. Two $1,000 scholarships and eighteen $500 scholarships were awarded to applicants in traditional (high school seniors) and non-traditional categories.
Applicants submitted information on community and extra-curricular activities, as well as an essay that answered the following question: "What is the best financial advice you've been given or the hardest financial lesson you've learned? How has this impacted your life?”
While reviewing the scholarship essays, the FIC committee compiles useful, interesting and insightful comments and tips from the submissions and provides this information as a give-back to credit unions. The committee will also be presenting information gleaned from last year's essays on social media during an educational session at the 2013 Minnesota Credit Union Network Annual Meeting & Convention.
Winners of the two $1,000 scholarships are Molly Kuhs of United Educators Credit Union in the traditional category and Rebecca Mattson of US Federal Credit Union in the non-traditional category. The $500 scholarship winners include:
Funds for the FIC's scholarship program are raised at the committee's silent auction, which will take place May 17-18 during the MnCUN Annual Meeting. Information about the 2014 scholarship program will be available in late August/early September.
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has an international leadership opportunity available for credit union professionals. This summer, WOCCU – in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows program – is offering an intensive, two-week credit union internship June 9-22 in Costa Rica.
Through its International Credit Union Leadership Program, 12 candidates from across the country will be selected to participate in this program, which covers all expenses except airfare. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 30.
"The International Credit Union Leadership Program offers excellent opportunities for emerging credit union leaders to better understand how another country's credit unions reach underserved populations and support their communities through member education and other special projects," said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO. "At the same time, interns gain deeper cultural appreciation and foreign language practice while living with host families."
The International Credit Union Leadership Program is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skills, expose participants to cultural diversity and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to the credit union industry. Participating U.S. credit union leaders learn firsthand about methods to better serve an increasingly diverse membership, including youth, businesses and low-income and Hispanic members. In exchange, credit union professionals from Costa Rica have the opportunity to intern in the United States. Twelve Costa Rican credit union professionals will begin their U.S. internships on April 7.
The International Credit Union Leadership Program is part of the U.S. Department of State's Professional Fellows Program and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges. For more information about the program or how to apply, visit the International Leadership Program page of WOCCU's website, or contact Michael Suing by email, or call (608) 395-2075.
Credit union directors play a crucial role in the operation of cooperative financial institutions around the state and around the country. The board of directors strives to provide effective governance and strategic direction for the credit union on behalf of the entire membership.
But as the regulatory environment that credit unions operate in continues to change, it becomes increasingly important that directors have the appropriate level of understanding to monitor the credit union's performance.
NCUA's guidelines from 2011 require that federal credit union directors have a base level of financial knowledge that is consistent with the size and complexity of the credit union in which they serve. NCUA also says that directors should have the ability to examine their credit union's balance sheet and understand the institution's activities and associated risks (specifically credit risk, liquidity-related risks, and interest rate, compliance, strategic, transaction, and reputation risks).
"Following the recent economic downturn, regulators are placing a heavier emphasis on safety and soundness and consumer protection,” said MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude. "By increasing the awareness of the duties and responsibilities, providing additional knowledge and tools, and sharing best practices, we can help credit union boards be more productive.”
The Minnesota Credit Union Network's Board Education & Training Services help credit unions increase volunteers' level and quality of engagement. Customized education and consulting is available on board governance, duties, financial literacy, and supervisory committee training. For additional information, contact Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.
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