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|The Pulse (06-05-13)|
The Pulse (06-05-13)
June 5, 2013 ● Volume 02, Issue 22
Credit Union News
As the state trade association for credit unions, the Minnesota Credit Union Network focuses on initiatives that create the environment for credit unions to grow. On Thursday, June 13, from 2 p.m.-3 p.m., MnCUN will be hosting an encore presentation of the Annual Meeting’s closing general session, "Gaining Market Share through Mind Share,” featuring Blois Olson of Fluence Media.
This webinar will present data compiled from MnCUN’s 2013 consumer research, and it will also cover key messages and recommendations from the recently-released publication, Consumer Research & Recommendations Report: Using Key Messages & Research Data to Grow Credit Union Market Share. The webinar will also provide new information on MnCUN’s consumer awareness campaign, Bankziety, and detail tools and resources available to credit unions.
Both the research and consumer awareness initiatives are funded by credit unions' voluntary contributions to MNAP, the Minnesota Network Advertising Program.
Help consumers find you by adding your CU to aSmarterChoice
Consumers across the country are discovering credit unions – the smarter choice in the financial industry!
aSmarterChoice.orguses news stories and member testimonials to educate consumers about credit unions. The national credit union locator on the site enables users to quickly and successfully find a credit union in their area. In addition, this website offers marketing materials that credit unions can use to promote this valuable tool. The free marketing resources available to credit unions include:
In the month of April alone, nearly 400 Minnesota consumers visited aSmarterChoice.org, with 64 percent of visitors conducting successful searches to find a credit union they were eligible to join. On the whole in 2013, more than 2,300 Minnesotans have been to aSmarterChoice.org, with 60 percent of visitors using the search tool.
But we need your help! Credit unions need to update their own information within the locator to ensure that it’s accurate and comprehensive. Take the time to review information posted on the website. To edit your credit union's profile, visit aSmarterChoice.org's update your records page or contact Scott Shoberg at the Network office for login credentials.
CEO Conference registration now open!
On July 17-19, the Minnesota Credit Union Network will host its fourth annual CEO Conference. Exclusively for credit union presidents and executives, this event features discussion of the issues, obstacles and opportunities facing your credit union and your staff. Highlights of the 2013 CEO Conference include:
The 2013 CEO Conference is open to presidents or chief executives only. Join your peers at The Inn on Lake Superior in Duluth to discuss issues, learn from each other, and work together toward potential solutions to the many challenges facing credit unions today. Go to the 2013 CEO Conference page to register by Tuesday, July 9!
The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) recently honored two prolific credit union advocates with the state’s most prestigious awards – Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Credit Union Professional of the Year. This recognition is given to those who have demonstrated excellence, leadership and who embody the credit union mission. These awards were presented during a banquet held in conjunction with the MnCUN 2013 Annual Meeting & Convention.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given each year to a credit union volunteer who personifies the spirit and ambition of the credit union mission. Recipients are chosen based on their involvement with credit unions at local and state levels, along with participation in other activities that better their communities and help advance the credit union movement.
This year’s honoree is Verne Palmberg of West Financial Credit Union. Palmberg has served credit unions as a board member for a total of 22 years, with nine of those as Board Treasurer for the West Financial Board of Directors. Palmberg is an influential force for the credit union, leading the push for a successful merger and helping attract community members to a local grocery store credit union branch. He is a tireless volunteer who is actively engaged in promoting the benefits of becoming a credit union member.
"The contributions, when you look at his history, are just obvious. He has so much experience,” said fellow West Financial Board member Pat Middleton. "Verne is a giver. If there was a line to get, he’d be at the end of it. If there were a line to give, he’d be the first one there.”
The 2013 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award was given to a remarkable person who is the epitome of professionalism and who truly stands behind the "people helping people” philosophy. This award is given each year to a person who works to selflessly and wholeheartedly promote the credit union ideal, and this year’s honoree is Jeff Schwalen, Hiway Federal Credit Union.
Schwalen has served Hiway Federal Credit Union as President & CEO for a decade. During his time at the helm, the credit union has seen a steady rise in membership, assets that have grown by $350 million, and has developed a tradition of offering innovative products and services to its members. Schwalen has been instrumental in making sure the credit union continues to thrive.
He takes the prosperity and well-being of the credit union, his staff and the members very seriously. Schwalen is an active team player among the staff and Board of Directors, and he makes it a priority to listen to his employees – from senior management to front office staff.
"The whole credit union movement deserves somebody like him,” said Hiway Board member Merritt Linze. "I think he’s very inspiring, because the people around him are looking at him and he sets a tone that everybody follows.”
Schwalen is also heralded by his peers in the industry, nominated for this award by fellow credit union president and MnCUN Board Member Nick Meyer of Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union.
"Nothing is too small for Jeff to get involved in.” Meyer said. "If it helps the credit union movement, if it helps his members, his community, if it helps his employees, he’s willing to go whatever distance he needs to.”
The Professional and Volunteer of the Year Awards are coordinated by MnCUN’s Award Committee and judged by an unbiased, external committee.
"The Minnesota Credit Union Network is pleased to honor Verne and Jeff for the tremendous contributions they have made over the years to their credit unions and to the movement,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN President & CEO. "Their dedication in promoting credit unions and inspiring others is commendable. The Network is grateful to have people like Verne and Jeff working for the credit union movement, and I congratulate them on receiving these distinguished awards.”
Credit unions and vendors are invited to join the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee (MnCU4Kids) for its 18th annual Golf Tournament on Wednesday, June 26, at the Refuge Golf Course in Oak Grove. The tournament begins with lunch at noon, followed by a shotgun start at 1 p.m. After the tournament, there will be a social hour, silent auction and awards dinner.
Credit unions and vendors also have the opportunity to serve as tournament sponsors. With sponsorships ranging from $150-$5,000, there are a variety of opportunities to support the event. Tournament proceeds will benefit Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
For more information about the golf tournament and to register, visit the Event Calendar section of the Network website.
Also this month, the Hiawatha Chapter will hold its 28th annual Southern Minnesota Credit Union Open at Somerby Golf Club in Byron. Set for Thursday, June 13, this tournament is open to all credit unions and is hosted by First Alliance Credit Union, Accentra Credit Union and HomeTown Federal Credit Union. To R.S.V.P. your golf team, contact Lisett Comai-Legrand at First Alliance Credit Union.
Lee Benedict, President & CEO of Soo Line Credit Union, has been designated as a Credit Union Builder by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. The credit union board of directors, who nominated him for this honor, formally presented him with his new designation at its May 20 board meeting.
Benedict has had a long career in the credit union movement, retiring this month after 45 years of service – 33 of those years as President & CEO. During his tenure, Benedict navigated three credit union mergers, obtained two community charters, and maintained a dual presence in the Twin Cities metro area and in greater Minnesota. In addition to his leadership at SLCU, Lee also spent 13 years of service on the Board of Directors at CU Companies, including a term as Board Chair.
"Lee is a fixture at Soo Line and has directed his credit union through many changes in his career,” said Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Board Chairman Pat Brekken. "His dedication, commitment and contributions are noteworthy, and I am privileged to bestow this honor upon him.”
Benedict joins 19 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with the MnCUF's Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's lobby as a tribute to their accomplishments. The honorees receive acknowledgment from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the Foundation's annual report.
To learn more about MnCUF’s Credit Union Builder Award and to view a list of those who have been honored with this recognition, visit the Foundation website.
NCUA’s OSCUI fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, new credit unions and credit unions with a low-income designation. Additional information and online registration can be found on the Event Calendar page of the Network website.
Agencies issue final garnishment order