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CU News (03-02-12)

The Pulse (03-02-12)

March 2, 2012   ●   Volume 01, Issue 09

View 03-02-12 Issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News


IT specialist sought for international partnership visit

The Minnesota Credit Union Network is seeking a Minnesota credit union technology specialist to take part in an international partnership exchange with Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional Ltda. (CENCOPAN) in May 2012. CENCOPAN is a credit union trade association in Paraguay that partnered with MnCUN in 2004 through the World Council of Credit Union's (WOCCU's) International Partnership Program. WOCCU's program allows for the exchange of knowledge, information and experiences between developed and emerging credit union movements around the world.

The credit union IT specialist selected to participate in this visit will accompany a delegation of Minnesota representatives and WOCCU's international partnerships manager to Paraguay on May 20-27 (dates may vary slightly). The IT specialist will also speak at CENCOPAN's International Seminar (translation assistance included). Possible topics of discussion include networks, core systems, IT security, e-signatures and mobile banking.

The credit union IT specialist should have broad knowledge of technology topics affecting U.S. credit unions. Participants with Spanish-speaking skills are highly desired but not essential, as interpretation support will be available to facilitate communication and the transfer of knowledge.

The airfare, lodging and meal expenses for this individual will be covered by WOCCU and CENCOPAN. Those interested participating in this international credit union opportunity should email MnCUN Vice President – Association Services Kristina Wright by email or at (651) 288-5507. Applicants should send a résumé and cover letter that includes a summary of qualifications by Monday, March 20.

For additional information on the history of the partnership, please visit the CENCOPAN Partnership page of the Network website.


Cooperative spirit showcased by Minnesota credit unions

Throughout 2012, MnCUN and Minnesota credit unions are joining the worldwide celebration of the International Year of Cooperatives. In particular, SPIRE Federal Credit Union and Postal Credit Union have been activity involved in strengthening and improving the cooperative movement.

Postal CU is a proud member of the Cooperative Network, which serves more than 600 member cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Postal CU President & CEO Russ Plunkett also serves as a board member of CUNA's Cooperative Alliance Committee. The credit union recognizes the powerful resource that this network of cooperatives provides, from both a business and political standpoint. Postal CU also sponsors students' attendance at the annual Co-op Youth Leadership Conference, encouraging the younger generation to learn more about the cooperative model.

SPIRE FCU President & CEO Dan Stoltz also says his credit union is an "involved supporter” of the cooperative sector, serving as a member of the Cooperative Network Board and the Cooperative Foundation Board – of which he was a former chairman. SPIRE FCU also offers a VISA card program through a partnership with four area grocery co-ops. The credit card program offers special benefits to members and shares a portion of the proceeds with the participating co-ops, as well as co-branding on the card featuring the grocer's logo.

Minnesota is one of the leading cooperative states and has approximately 1,000 cooperatives. As the celebration of the International Year of Cooperatives continues, credit unions are exploring ways to create partnerships and share resources. To further that mission, MnCUN is hosting a panel discussion during its Annual Meeting & Convention on April 13-14 that will feature representatives from co-ops around the state who will address ways to get involved in the cooperative movement.


Missed a webinar? Check out MnCUN's Webinars On Demand

Understanding the busy nature of credit unions, the Network has developed a library of Webinars On Demand for professionals and volunteers. These recorded sessions allow individuals to learn at a time that is convenient for them and to share the training resource with others in their office.

Individuals who purchase on demand webinars receive a web link to an archive of a live webinar held in 2012 or 2011 that focuses on a pertinent topic. With sessions categorized by department, individuals can quickly find webinars that are of interest to them. In addition, credit unions can show these "off the shelf” training programs at staff and board meetings and use them for future training.

Webinars On Demand are only $209 and can be purchased up to six months after the original session date. To peruse the available session recordings, visit the Webinars On Demand section of the Network website. With questions, contact MnCUN Director of Education Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.


Youth Saving Challenge expands to include entire family

In February, CUNA announced that credit unions participating in the free 2012 National Youth Saving Challenge will also receive a package of free loan promotional materials. These resources will assist credit unions in making National Credit Union Youth Week a family affair.

CUNA's loan promotion ties in with the National Youth Saving Challenge – which runs during the month of April – and gives credit unions an opportunity to build member loyalty by providing adults a tangible reward for helping youth learn money management skills. Participation in the free loan promotion and savings challenge is an opportunity for credit unions to build strong relationships with young members and their families.

For more information about these campaigns, visit the National Youth Savings Challenge website.