CU News (04-06-12)

The Pulse (04-06-12)

April 6, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 14

View 04-06-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News

Last chance to sign up for Annual Meeting live broadcast

Credit unions have until Tuesday, April 10, to register for the MnCUN's Annual Meeting live broadcast. This technology allows credit unions to be virtual participants of the Business Meeting on Friday, April 13, from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. The Business Meeting will feature CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney, MnCUN Board Chairman Kyle Markland, MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins, and representatives from various partners and committees. Coordinate a full staff meeting around this event and hear news, updates and information from the Minnesota credit union movement.

While the video streaming is free for credit unions, registration is required. For more information and to register, visit the Annual Meeting page of the Network website. 

Support member business lending legislation

This week MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins urged Minnesota credit unions to join the Network in its effort to pass member business lending legislation in the Senate. The passage of the Credit Union Small Business Jobs bill (S. 2231) would increase credit unions' lending capacity and distinguish the movement as a grassroots powerhouse. By acting today, credit unions form the foundation for future legislative initiatives and bill. Complete information on how your credit union can get involved in this important advocacy effort is available in the MBL advocacy effort in high gear article in this issue of The Pulse.

Register to attend MnCUN's 2012 Collections & Bankruptcy Workshop

Consumers nationwide are suffering from a credit crunch, and credit unions are poised to be the hero. During the Network's 2012 Collections & Bankruptcy Workshop, credit union professionals will learn the secret weapons to collections and how to guide members through the bankruptcy process.

This two-day training focuses on advanced collections topics such as identifying economically troubled members, creative loan modifications and repossession essentials. It will also address ways credit unions can navigate bankruptcies and will arm attendees with the tools to avoid bankruptcy land mines. Nationally-recognized presenter David Reed, an attorney and founder of credit union consulting practice CU Doctor, will teach participants best practices for an effective collections process and help them explore loss reduction concepts and recovery methods.

Don't miss out on this informative seminar! For more information and to register, visit the Collections & Bankruptcy Workshop page of the Network website. Attendees may register for one day or both days of this training. Registrations received by Thursday, April 19, will receive a $50 discount.

Minnesota CU Foundation observes Financial Literacy Month

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month – proclaimed in the state of Minnesota by Gov. Mark Dayton – the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation continues to emphasize the need and importance of financial education. In capitalizing on its recent efforts focusing on financial literacy, the Foundation is dedicated to providing credit unions and communities with the resources to prosper and thrive.

In addition to Gov. Dayton's efforts to raise awareness of the need for financial literacy, President Barack Obama has also designated April as National Financial Capability Month. The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation enthusiastically supports efforts to increase consumers' understanding of financial principles and practices, as is evidenced by its recent grant-making activities.

In 2011, the Foundation worked in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension (UME). The Foundation funded the development, delivery and documentation of a four-part series of webinars for individuals and organizations that teach financial literacy. MnCUF has also been a consistent supporter of Biz Kid$, a public TV series where kids teach kids how to make and manage their money.

"As financial industry professionals who have seen first-hand the type of destruction caused by poor financial management, the Foundation Board of Directors is eager to do our part to make a positive impact on the personal finance skills and knowledge of Minnesota consumers,” said Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Board Chairman Pat Brekken. "We are proud to stand together with organizations throughout the nation to observe Financial Literacy Month and continue the momentum that is created when so many work together toward a common goal.”

Credit unions interested in furthering the cause of financial literacy can do so in a variety of ways:

  • Establishing a long-term financial literacy strategy for your credit union;
  • Coordinating financial education seminars for members and consumers within your community;
  • Partnering with local schools to teach students the basics of personal finance;
  • Holding a savings challenge for members;
  • Promoting the availability of financial counseling at your credit union; and/or
  • Participating in events around the state coordinated for Financial Literacy Month (a calendar can be found on the Department of Commerce website.)

Another way to support financial literacy is by making a contribution to the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. For tax purposes, your contribution may be tax-deductible.

New webinar packages provide essential learning tools

As a way to enhance its educational offerings and provide easy, efficient learning tools for credit unions, the Minnesota Credit Union Network is now offering specialized on demand webinar packages. Each On Demand Webinar Series is geared toward specific credit union departments and includes six sessions that can be used at any time to train and educate credit union staff.

While the webinars are available individually, credit unions receive a 10 percent discount – equal to $120 in savings – when purchasing these sessions as a bundled package. These unique webinar packages include:

  • Compliance Series – Provides credit union personnel essential compliance training;
  • Director Series – Covers the basics of financial literacy for new directors and more advanced training for seasoned board members;
  • Frontline Series – Assists staff in broadening their range of skills and performing their jobs with accuracy; and
  • Lending Series – Provides essential tools to make better lending decisions.

Credit unions have until June 30 to take advantage of these bundle pricing offers. For more information and to order one of the webinar packages, visit the On Demand Webinar Series page of the Network website.

Affinity Plus board member recognized as "Credit Union Builder” through the Foundation

Michael Hoey, former board member at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, was honored in March as a "Credit Union Builder” in the state of Minnesota. Individuals honored through this prestigious program have been instrumental to the success of their credit unions and to the credit union movement as a whole.

Hoey recently retired from the Affinity Plus FCU Board of Directors after serving for 18 years – including two terms as Chairman. He is heralded for his vision and his drive to enhance member service and member experience with the credit union. During Hoey's tenure with Affinity Plus, the credit union's assets grew from $150 million to more than $2.5 billion and membership quadrupled.

The Credit Union Builder is a recognition program through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation that allows credit unions to make contributions in honor of (or in memory of) a significant individual. The name of the recipient and the donating credit union are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's lobby. The honorees (or their families, in the case of a memoriam contribution) receive acknowledgment from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the Foundation's annual report.

A minimum $1,000 contribution is required for the Credit Union Builder Award. The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. For tax purposes, your contribution may be tax-deductible. Visit the Foundation website for additional information or to make a contribution today! With questions, please contact MnCUF staff liaison Kristina Wright.

FIC awards $12,000 in scholarships

After wading through more than 700 applications on March 16, the Family Involvement Council (FIC) selected the recipients for its 2012 scholarship program. A total of $12,000 in scholarships was awarded to 22 individuals for the 2012-2013 school year. Two $1,000 scholarships and twenty $500 scholarships were awarded to applicants in traditional (high school seniors) and non-traditional categories.

Applicants submitted information and an essay that answered the following question: "What impact has social media had on your financial decisions and how could credit unions utilize these tools to help you with your financial goals?”

While reading through the scholarships, the FIC committee took note of the insightful comments and tips that members provided in their essays. The committee plans to make this information available to credit unions.

The scholarship winners in the traditional category include:


Bobbi Seibert of Members Cooperative CU


Stephanie Besst of Electrus FCU
Annamarie Brennhofer of SPIRE FCU
Megan Hallstrom of Minnco CU
Bethany Leraas of Central Minnesota FCU
Elizabeth Peterson of US FCU

Morgan Savage of Mayo EFCU
Renee Schminkey of Greater Minnesota CU
Kristen Springman of Affinity Plus FCU
Skyler Vold of SouthPoint FCU 
Brandon Vuong of Richfield/Bloomington CU

The scholarship winners in the non-traditional category include:


Ann Anderson of Affinity Plus FCU


Rachel Brixius of Central Minnesota CU
Angela Bury of General Mills FCU
Katherine Ginkel of General Mills FCU
Eric Marshall of Great River FCU
Lindsay Ortlip of Hiway FCU

Austin Ruud of TopLine FCU
Alexander Reid of Collegeville Community CU
Elise Riveness of Hiway FCU
William Schultze of Minnesota Valley FCU
Stephanie Skalicky of Greater Minnesota CU 

Funds for the FIC's scholarship program are raised at the committee's silent auction held during the MnCUN Annual Meeting. Information about the 2013 scholarship program will be available in late August/early September.

Credit union recognition...

Several Minnesota credit unions received accolades at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Conference held last month. The state's winning credit unions were recognized in the Diamond Award competition at the conference.

The credit unions' marketing pieces were chosen from hundreds of entries submitted for the contest. The following awards were received by Minnesota credit unions:

City & County CU:

Diamond Award for its "Good Ride" Mature Direct Mail Piece
Diamond Award for its "Advantage Checking" Onboard Postcard
Category Best Award for its CCCU Members' Connection Newsletter

Mid-Minnesota FCU:

Diamond Award for its "Feeling Tuned Out" Direct Mail Piece
Diamond Award for its MMFCU Member Newsletter
Category Best Award for its Annual Report

Minnesota Power CU:

Diamond Award for its 2012 MPECU Calendar

CUNA's Diamond Awards represent the pinnacle of excellence in credit union marketing and business development. The credit unions' award-winning pieces were evaluated on strategy, design, publication, creativity, copy and communication and results.


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

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