The Pulse (03-18-15)



The Pulse (03-18-2015)

March 18, 2015 ● Volume 04, Issue 11


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News


Minn. credit unions receive the most national awards for community involvement, financial education efforts

 Cook Area CU CEO Rich Crettol,
Community Education Coordinator
Jody Feist and CUNA Awards Committee
Chairman & President/CEO
of Kentucky Employees CU John Graham
 Hiway FCU President/CEO
Dave Boden (left) and Graham
 TopLine FCU President & CEO
Tom Smith (left) and Graham

Five Minnesota credit unions received national awards in recognition of excellence in community service and financial literacy initiatives at a ceremony held on March 11 at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.


Minnesota credit unions took home the most awards of all the states competing, and awards were received by Lake State Credit Union in Moose Lake, Cook Area Credit Union in Cook, United Educators Credit Union in Apple Valley, TopLine Federal Credit Union in Maple Grove and Hiway Federal Credit Union in St. Paul.


The credit unions were recognized for the following initiatives:


Lake State Credit Union: First place ($100-$200 million asset category) Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for a pledge campaign in area high schools to promote "Drive Now, Text Later.'' The campaign’s goal was for students to pledge not to read or send text messages while driving.


Cook Area Credit Union

First place (Less than $50 million asset category) Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award for an initiative that began by asking: How can we bring financial education back into the schools? The answer: Start a focus group of students and have them create an in-school credit union branch at the K-12 North Woods School while also providing financial education to students.


United Educators Credit Union

Second place ($50-$150 million asset category) Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award for creating a Math Market for first graders at an elementary school in the Anoka Hennepin school district, the largest in Minnesota. In the Math Market the students learned how to “Save, Share, Spend” by finding out how to identify needs vs. wants, budget their money, count money and make change.


Topline Federal Credit Union

Honorable Mention ($150-$500 million asset category) Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award for Get Smart With Your Money™ - an ongoing, age-specific financial education initiative that encourages kids and their parents to talk about spending, saving and sharing money wisely.


Hiway Federal Credit Union

Honorable mention (Greater than $500 million asset category) Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award for its Learn@Work initiative that provides financial education for adults in a series of 24 workplace seminars. The goal of each 60-minute Learn@Work presentation is to provide information that leads to individuals taking action toward greater financial health.


“These Minnesota winners are prime examples of credit unions’ commitment to social responsibility and financial education,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark Cummins. “Minnesota credit unions are dedicated to helping their members and communities succeed.”


Deadline approaching March 31: $16,500 in financial education grants available from MnCUF

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation – with the mission of providing resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive – has a strong commitment to financial education. On Monday, the Foundation announced that it has $16,500 in grants available to assist Minnesota credit unions in implementing financial education projects.

Applications are currently being accepted, through Tuesday, March 31.

Applications will be evaluated on a variety of factors, including credit union value, community impact, collaboration and creativity. Projects/initiatives must have measurable outcomes and submit a written follow-up report within 30 days of the project completion.

Examples of financial education projects/initiatives include:

  • establishing an in-school branch
  • partnering with a community organization to teach personal finance skills
  • teaching financial literacy classes in local schools
  • creating a CU Youth Advisory Board that incorporates various learning components
  • hosting seminars on credit, debt, budgeting, etc., for members or for the community
  • coordinating retirement or estate planning workshops
  • offering youth checking or credit card products and apply required learning benchmarks
  • providing credit union services to high-risk members, coupled with education classes
  • supplying local schools with financial education curriculum

For additional information and application forms, visit the financial education grants page of the Foundation website. With questions, email MnCUF Staff Liaison Lyndsay Miller or call (651)288-5517.


Local celebrities Joan Steffend & Paul Allen join industry headliners at MnCUN Annual Meeting

Designed to provide timely and relevant education and training, the Minnesota Credit Union Network Annual Meeting & Convention boasts a schedule with a host of quality speakers. Join us at the new Radisson Blu Mall of America April 10-11. 

A few of these speakers are featured below: 

  • Narayana Kocherlakota: Dr. Kocherlakota took office in 2009, as the twelfth president and chief executive officer of the Ninth District Federal Reserve Bank, at Minneapolis.
  • Joan Steffend: Steffend has spent almost thirty years in the media, first as a national Emmy-winning news reporter/anchor at the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis-St Paul, and then as a top-rated host on HGTV.
  • Larry Fazio: Fazio has served as the Director of the Office of Examination and Insurance for the National Credit Union Administration since June 2011.
  • Paul Allen: Allen is a KFAN radio personality, 13-year play-by-play voice of the Minnesota Vikings and voice of Canterbury Park.
  • Robert D. Branstine: Branstine serves as a Field Manager in the Midwest Region for the Consumer Financial Protection bureau (CFPB).

Don't miss out on a weekend packed with learning, networking and entertainment opportunities. Registration is now open for MnCUN's 2015 Annual Meeting & Convention! For a conference schedule and online registration, go to the 2015 Annual Meeting page of the Network website.

For a full list of distinguished speakers scheduled for the 2014 MnCUN Annual Meeting & Convention visit the 
Annual Meeting Speakers page of the Network website. 


Credit Unions in the News

Follow the links on the stories below to read more about the outstanding programs, new initiatives and well-deserved recognition received by your peers recently. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn.  

Two Harbors FCU named Small Business of the Year


Central Minnesota CU receives approval for new building in St. Joseph


Co-op collaboration quantified in cooperative alliances report



Minn. credit unions share top priorities with Members of Congress

MnCUN sponsored prize-linked savings bill passes Minn. Senate Judiciary Committee

View all Governmental Affairs news stories


NCUA’s March Board meeting tomorrow, reissued proposal on fixed-assets 

March 2015 NACHA rules changes

CFPB releases 2015 Supervisory Highlights


View all Regulatory Compliance news stories



AmeriCU Mortgage appoints Business Development leader for Minnesota, Western Wisconsin

AmeriCU Mortgage has appointed Ted Wender as its Business Development Manager for Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. A skilled relationship builder with over 24 years of mortgage industry knowledge, Ted will bring a fresh perspective to resolving growing concerns in the mortgage lending regulatory environment, giving credit union the ability to improve productivity while delivering a high level of member service.

Ted’s dedication to the market was evident when he said, “ Working with credit unions in the area of mortgage banking can be a unique and challenging experience, I am looking forward to earning their business every day.”

“We are pleased to add Ted Wender’s skills and experience to AmeriCU’s quality staff,” said Mark Bigelow, National Sales Manager for AmeriCU.

Since 1993, AmeriCU Mortgage has been recognized as a leading provider of mortgage services to Credit Union members nationwide.  The company offers competitive mortgage products to meet the specific needs of credit union members in a rapidly changing marketplace. AmeriCU strives to provide superior member service, as well as innovative marketing and compliance support to credit union partners through a variety of relationship options.

AmeriCU is a privately held mortgage banking company, providing residential and commercial real estate financing through the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) and other private investors.  With the addition of Ted Wender, AmeriCU Mortgage will be able to grow its strategic alliance with the Minnesota Credit Union Network and the Wisconsin Credit Union League. 

To learn more about AmeriCU Mortgage and to sign up for its services, contact MnCUN Vice President – Network Service Corporation John Ferstl by email or at (651) 288-5505.

If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 
If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 

 Joanna Drennen
 Nathan Dormody

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

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