The Pulse (05-08-13)


The Pulse (05-08-13)

May 8, 2013    ●    Volume 02, Issue 18


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

MnCUN Annual Meeting registration closes tomorrow!

Credit union professionals and volunteers have one day remaining to register for MnCUN's Annual Meeting & Convention on May 17-18 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington. This event offers a weekend of education, networking opportunities and entertainment, along with the state's largest credit union tradeshow.

With nationally-known speakers like CUNA Chair Pat Wesenberg and former Minnesota Rep. John Kriesel, as well as a social media session with the Family Involvement Council and BSA training with MnCUN's Marcia Lewis, this year's conference is guaranteed to provide valuable insight and education. The weekend's sessions will also feature many other credit union experts speaking on retail banking, strategic management, regulatory advocacy and much more! Blois Olson with Fluence Media will also present the findings of research conducted by the Minnesota Credit Union Network on consumer attitudes about credit unions.

Young professionals at Annual Meeting will also have the opportunity to be part of The Crew activities such as "Coffee with the CEOs,” a pizza and beer networking event and more. Crew members also receive a discount on registration.

Register today to guarantee your spot at this year's conference. For more information and to register, visit the Annual Meeting page of the Network website.


Minnesota credit unions celebrate Financial Literacy Month  

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation and credit unions across the state recently participated in a variety of activities to provide financial education to credit union members and communities.

"We in the financial industry are acutely aware of the need for improved personal finance skills among consumers of all ages," said Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Board Chairman Pat Brekken. "But while April is important to raise awareness of the need for financial education, this is not a flash in the pan for credit unions. It's an example of credit unions' persistent commitment to improving the lives of their members and their communities."

Below are a few examples of how Minnesota credit unions celebrated Financial Literacy Month in April.

  • Cook Area Credit Union – Cook, Minn
    Cook Area Credit Union ramped up its presence in North Woods School. The credit union leveraged National Credit Union Youth Week with a "savings sleuth” theme, providing ways to engage with different age groups in the K-12 school. For kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, Cook Area Credit Union coordinated a coloring contest with prizes and assembled a "savings sleuth photo booth” to attract attention in the school's cafeteria and commons area. Students in grades 6-12 had the opportunity to participate in a pop quiz, in which participants had to answer questions such as: What is a credit union; and why is a savings account important? Cook Area Credit Union also provides classroom education at various times throughout the year and sponsors an annual Family Fun Night in the fall that uses activities to introduce financial concepts.
  • Hiway Federal Credit Union – St. Paul, Minn. 
    Hiway Federal Credit Union worked to deepen its relationship with various partner organizations, including the Department of Military Affairs and the Department of Public Safety. Hiway's investment team hosted a seminar on budgeting for all Military Affairs employees throughout the state, in conjunction with the Office of the Adjutant General. Additionally, Hiway provided financial education on overcoming debt, reached out to the small business community and federal government agencies through the Small & Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council, and attended the City of Saint Paul's Public Housing College Fair.
  • Postal Credit Union – Woodbury, Minn
    Postal Credit Union welcomed Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman to tour its student credit union branch at Tartan High School. Commissioner Rothman spoke with students about the importance of youth savings and financial education, and he observed students providing peer-to-peer financial education in the classroom. The credit union also coordinated a series of challenges during April and participated in the National Youth Savings Challenge, encouraging students to "‘stache their cash.” PCU offers a suite of student financial products to help youth build their financial future, including free student checking, a student savers CD, and a credit builder loan to help establish a credit rating.
  • St. Paul Federal Credit Union – St. Paul, Minn.
    St. Paul Federal Credit Union's education efforts centered on savings during National Credit Union Youth Savings Week, April 22-26. St. Paul Federal used its student-run credit union branch at Como Park High School in St. Paul to challenge students to open savings accounts and commit to a savings plan. Students received incentives to participate in the challenge, while the credit union engaged them in financial trivia and provided additional education. The savings challenge created a buzz around the school and will be extended through the end of the school year. The credit union also provides classroom education, recently focusing on the basics of debit cards, how to build credit, and career-readiness.     
  • Two Harbors Federal Credit Union – Two Harbors, Minn.
    Two Harbors Federal Credit Union jumped into Financial Literacy Month by participating in the National Youth Saving Challenge. The credit union also made a strategic shift last month to restructure its youth programs last month. Their new savings club is targeted at kids under 10, providing education and incentives to young members and their parents, including online games and resources. The 10-14-year-old club, known as Early Earners, builds on the foundation of the initial savings club and ties "work” (i.e. household chores) with earnings. Parents can utilize THFCU’s eAllowance system or recurring transfers for the credit union’s home banking system to demonstrate earning power with consistency and ease.   


Former Mayo EFCU leader honored as Credit Union Builder 

Rochester credit union leader and longtime CEO Robert Marks was recently designated a Credit Union Builder by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. Marks was posthumously honored by Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union.

Marks became the Manager of the Mayo Clinic Employees Credit Union in 1970, a time when the credit union was $1 million in assets and operated out of a small space that had previously been two exam rooms. Marks was hired from the State Capitol Credit Union to provide credit counseling to Mayo employees in addition to managing the office. During his tenure, Marks expanded the credit union's services and grew the institution to $34 million before retiring in 1991.

"Bob was a warm, approachable person who was loved by our members and staff, and he is a key figure in our credit union's history,” said Mary Hansen, Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union CEO/Administrator. "We are pleased to be able to honor him with this lasting tribute for his years of dedication to this institution and to our members.”

Marks was a fixture at Hiawatha Valley Chapter Meetings, with near-perfect attendance during his tenure. He passed away Nov. 2, 2012, and is remembered as a dedicated, passionate credit union professional.

Marks joins 16 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.


Lunch and learn how to leverage mobile deposit 

Lunchtime can also be learning time with MnCUN's Product Series Webinars! This webinar series provides credit unions insight into services and expertise offered by the Network's strategic alliance business partners. Join other credit union professionals and volunteers on Tuesday, May 14 at the Minnesota Credit Union Network office for a free lunch and learn session with the Minnesota Item Processing Corporation.

This webinar features MnIPC Vice President Michelle Carlson and Hunter Wolfe, Cachet Financial Solutions Client Service Manager, who will discuss key strategies to increase adoption of mobile deposit. Participants will learn how  to convert single-feature members into savvy members who see your credit union's mobile product as something they can't live without!

Don't delay in signing up for this unique and informative session. The deadline to register is tomorrow, May 9. For more information and to register, go to the Event Calendar section of the Network website.

Minnesota credit unions claim national marketing awards

Last month, the CUNA Marketing & Business Development (MBD) Conference announced the award recipients for its Diamond Award competition. Several Minnesota credit unions received accolades at the Council’s 20th annual conference, held earlier this year. 

This year’s awards competition received over 1,100 entries. 

"This year’s Diamond Awards featured the best of the best in marketing and business development in the credit union industry,” said Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union’s Nancy Hutchinson, Chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Diamond Awards. "This year we endorsed a new matrix scoring system along with a redesign on the actual Diamond Awards, the members of the council were awestruck. In the credit union industry, these awards are held in high regard, and all who won were very deserving of this recognition.”

The following credit unions received awards in 2013: 

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

  • "Ditch Your Bank” Campaign – Outdoor/Transit
  • "Karaoke" Radio Ad
  • "Profit Sharing" Radio Ad
  • "Hole Sweet Hole” Television Ad

City & County Credit Union

  • "Turn Someday Into Today” Home Equity Direct Mail Campaign
  • Mobile Deposit Promotion

First Alliance Credit Union

  • Credit Union History & Events Calendar

General Mills Federal Credit Union

  • "Our Strategic Advantage” E-Marketing Message
  • "Throwback Auto Loan” E-Marketing Campaign
  • Finance Forward – On-Site Financial Education

Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union

  • 2013 MPECU Calendar
  • MPECU Cub Club Newsletters

SPIRE Federal Credit Union

  • Testimonial Television Ad

CUNA's Diamond Awards, representing the pinnacle of credit union marketing and business development, features 33 categories, ranging from direct mail and Web site marketing to public relations and social media. Judges evaluated entries based on strategy, design and production, creative concept, copy and communication, and results.


CUNA lobbying tax policy, other CU issues in Congress
Help members understand, support credit unions' tax exemption

Remittance transfer rule to go into effect on Oct. 28
CFPB eases rule on credit accounts for stay-at-home spouses, partners
FHFA issues report on common securitization infrastructure

Out for Comment

CFPB issues Civil Penalty Rule 

Credit union Shared Branching gets rebranded


Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034