The Pulse | 05-03-2018

Volume 7, Issue 18.5



Minnesota’s Credit Unions, Jump$tart Coalition Hold Financial Capability Event

Last week, 90 individuals from business, finance, academia, education, and government committed to providing financial education took part in a Life Simulation designed to help sensitize participants to the financial needs of low-wage working families.


Held at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), the event was a partnership between the Minnesota Credit Union Network and the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition.


“As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions are dedicated to providing financial education to members of all ages and income levels,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “The life simulation experience is meant to deepen educators’ commitment to their most vulnerable community members and encourage understanding of the intense pressure financial difficulties put on individuals.”


During the three-hour activity, participants were grouped into “families” struggling to make ends meet in a simulated month of four fifteen-minute weeks. Each participant played a unique role within the family. These simulated families visited a variety of booths, including a school, employer, pawn shop and payday lender. Through the exercise, they encountered events & financial crises faced by many low-income Americans, including eviction, loss of utilities, lack of reliable transportation, crime, and the moment-to-moment stress of making ends meet. At the conclusion of the exercise participants shared their experiences and emotions in a powerful debriefing session.


“The Jump$tart board sought to provide an engaging experience to demonstrate the importance of personal finance in the everyday context of diverse households,” Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition Board President Karyn Thompson said. “The Life Simulation was a natural choice and we are thankful for the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s partnership.”


In addition to the Life Simulation, attendees heard remarks from Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. Looman praised attendees for their work in financial capability and underscored the department’s role as a resource for consumers’ financial wellbeing.



Minnesota Credit Union Women’s Leadership Network Event Scheduled for June 13

The Minnesota Credit Union Network will be holding a Minnesota Credit Union Women’s Leadership Network meeting on Wednesday, June 13. The event will be held just prior to the MnCUN CEO Conference in Duluth, and will feature several speakers, time for networking with credit union leaders, and a reception sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group.


Date: Wednesday, June 13

Time: 1 – 5 p.m.

Location: The Inn on Lake Superior, 350 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, Minnesota 55802

Cost: $30 ($15 for CEO Conference Attendees)

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, June 6


Register Online


Program topics will include:

Michilene Bayiha, Credit Committee Chair, Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union

Global Perspective: The Cooperative Movement in Cameroon

Michilene will share her experience helping to start a credit union in Cameroon, Africa, and the positive impact the credit union has on women and communities. 


Kathlynn McConnell, Director of Learning and Development, Members Cooperative CU

“It’s Just Been So Busy Lately”

This engaging presentation will focus on user-friendly energy practices that can help tame our inner “busy beast”.  


Joint session with CEO’s and Women’s Leadership Network

Dr. Steve Manderscheid, Chair, MA Human Resource Management, Concordia College 

Facilitating Change: A Leader’s Imperative 

Participants will learn about organizational change and further be able to recognize how change management can add value to a leader’s role. This workshop will provide several models for facilitating change and examples to help participants recognize practical application to their work as leader.


Optional Donation:

In partnership with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, the Women’s Leadership Network is collecting funds to support the distribution of water filters in Cameroon, Africa. Each filter costs $25, and provides clean water to a family for 25 years. Donations will be accepted with your registration or collected at the event.  


Optional Women’s Golf Event: 

We are also seeking interest in attending a Women’s Leadership Golf event the morning of June 13th. The event would include a lesson with a local pro in a no pressure encouraging environment. All levels and abilities are welcome – particularly those who have never played or have been discouraged by the game. If we have enough interest, we will contact you with additional details. 


For more information about the Minnesota Credit Union Women’s Leadership Network visit the group page online


With questions, please contact MnCUN Vice President of Communications and Engagement Andrea Molnau by email or by phone at 651-288-5527. 




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 Laura Whittet.




Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Below is a summary of the Minnesota Credit Union Network's May educational sessions. Browse the listings below and click the links for more detailed information and online registration.


P2P & In Person Events




Chapter Meetings

Look for a complete schedule on the Event Calendar section of the Network website.



Minn. Credit Union Foundation Scholarship Council Names 2018 Scholarship Winners

After reading through over 800 applications, the Foundation Scholarship Council (FSC) has named its scholarship recipients for 2018. For the first time in FSC history, a total of $20,000 in scholarships were awarded to 14 credit union members for the 2018-2019 school year. The FSC considered each applicant’s school and community involvement, as well as an essay answering the question, “What is your best-ever consumer experience?  Where was it? What made it so great?”


“We had a great response to our scholarship program this year, and I’m always happily surprised at the tremendous response we have to our program,” said Amanda Kissner, FSC Committee Member.  “The quality of applicants we have each year makes it clear that our members care about their education and highly value being a credit union member-owner.”


Congratulations to the following scholarship recipients:


$3,000 Recipients

E. Ornelas Firefly Credit Union

Kyle Kline Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union


$2,000 Recipients

Debra Eschweiler TopLine Federal Credit Union

William Keute Wings Financial Credit Union


$1,000 Recipients

Nicholas Clyne - Ideal Credit Union

Rose Dittman - Ideal Credit Union

Maddie Eckl - Wakota Federal Credit Union

Alex Sellner - SouthPoint Financial Credit Union

Lindsey Shykes - Centricity Credit Union

Madelyn Sime - Wings Financial Credit Union

Heather Vance - Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Abigail Teschendorf - Heartland Credit Union

Brynne Weinbender - Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union

Matthew Zastoupil - TopLine Federal Credit Union


More information about the FSC can be found on the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation website.

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

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