The Pulse (05-07-14)


The Pulse (05-07-2014)

May 7, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 18


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

MnCUN’s weekly media digest increases credit union awareness, coverage

In April, the Minnesota Credit Union Network began distributing a weekly media digest, the newest step in the Network's "cycle of news". This news digest includes 5-10 credit union news stories and is distributed to media outlets around the state.

When stories are submitted to MnCUN – either via press release or through a brief synopsis provided in an online form – they become part of the Network’s "cycle of news.”

  1. Stories are posted to the new MN Credit Union News page of the Network website.
  2. On a weekly basis, stories are aggregated and highlighted in thePulse newsletter.
  3. MnCUN posts stories to the CU Social Good and Unite for Good social media sites, which aggregate positive credit union stories on a national level.
  4. MnCUN publishes the "good news” stories in its regular Connected to Community newsletter, which is delivered to legislators, public opinion leaders, members of the media, and more.
  5. Stories are also regularly pitched to Fluence Media, which publishes Morning Take and Business Takenewsletters for business executives, opinion leaders, legislators, public affairs contacts, and influential people around the state.
  6. Stories are also regularly pitched to the credit union trade press and beyond, generating additional coverage.
  7. Stories are repackaged and shared with the media in weekly digest.

Send us your press releases or use the share your story button on the Network website. Contact Network Communications Director Connie Kuhn with any questions.


Hike the Hill room block registrations ends May 12 

Credit union professionals and volunteers are invited to join the Minnesota Credit Union Network for its annual Hike the Hill event on June 9-11 in Washington, D.C. This trip to the nation's capital will enable participants to meet with Minnesota's Congressional Delegation in a more intimate setting and discuss the current issues that are important to the state's credit union movement.


To assist attendees with hotel accommodations, the Network has established a Hike the Hill room block at the Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown.

As a reminder, the cut off date for your reservations is May 12. The rooms are available until 4:00 p.m. (CST) on this date. After 4:00 p.m., any unreserved rooms will be released back into general inventory.   


Please visit the reservation page online or call Residence Inn Reservations at (888) 236-2427 and ask for the Minnesota Credit Union Network Room Block on or before Monday, May 12 to make your sleeping room reservations. Be sure to mention Minnesota Credit Union Network June 2014 Group and the Vermont Avenue address when making your reservation to take advantage of the group room rate.


Don't miss this unique opportunity to be a credit union political advocate on Capitol Hill. For more information, including lodging details and flight information, visit the Hike the Hill page of the Network website. With questions, contact MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Ryan Smith by email or at (651) 288-5533. If you have questions about hotel room arrangements, contact MnCUN Director of Education  Sue Groskreutz by email or at 651-288-5521



Minn. Department of Commerce Commissioner Rothman receives national financial education award

In recognition of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman’s  leadership of financial education initiatives in Minnesota, he received the national Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymaker from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) during an awards ceremony at the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) Annual Meeting on April 25.


“The Commerce Department and credit unions share many goals, and it makes sense for us to partner on financial education initiatives,” said Commissioner Rothman. “This award is really for all of us in recognition of the partnership between my office and credit unions throughout Minnesota.”


Commissioner Rothman’s financial education efforts brought together the Minnesota Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group, the first of its kind in the state and a diverse group of ten state agencies that had existing programs, outreach or policy interests in financial literacy. The Work Group stemmed from the recommendations developed out of the inaugural Financial Literacy Roundtable organized by Commissioner Rothman and held at the Department of Commerce in April 2011. Stakeholders from over 60 organizations representing the non-profit, business, education, government, and banking sectors gathered to advise Commissioner Rothman on what the Department of Commerce could do to support ongoing efforts to advance the cause of financial literacy in Minnesota.


During Financial Literacy Month in April, the Minnesota Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group sponsors and organizes outreach and education events. Collaboratively, the Work Group also convenes an annual Financial Literacy Roundtable, including more than 200 stakeholders from non-profits, schools, local governments, private enterprises, and financial institutions. The focus of the Roundtable is to engage in constructive dialogue, and pursue new opportunities for financial literacy program development and improvement.


"Commissioner Rothman has been a tireless advocate for financial literacy in Minnesota since he was appointed Commerce Commissioner in 2011," said Cummins. “We are pleased to partner with him and the Department of Commerce to help educate all generations of Minnesotans about financial management skills, and we are proud to present him with the Desjardins award.”

GMCU CEO Steve Ahlness dubbed a “CU Builder”through the Minnesota CU Foundation

On April 14, the Greater Minnesota Credit Union Board of Directors honored President/CEO Steven M. Ahlness as a distinguished “Credit Union Builder” at the credit union’s annual meeting. Ahlness, who will retire in the summer of 2014, has dedicated 36 years to the members, staff and communities served by GMCU.

The Credit Union Builder award, established by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, recognizes those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement. Nominations for this award are made by credit unions and other organizations in honor of or in memory of a significant individual who has been instrumental in their success.

“Throughout Steve’s career, he has been an outstanding leader, responsible for building Greater Minnesota Credit Union into the community-focused organization that it is today,” said GMCU Board Chair Darla Stentrom. “Steve has always worked to improve the lives of his employees and members, truly embracing the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’”


Ahlness began as General Manager of Mora Cooperators Credit Union on Dec. 1, 1977. During his career, GMCU has grown to nearly $150 million in assets and 20,000 members, with offices in Mora, Elk River, Milaca, Pine City, Isle and Ogilvie.


“Steve has been a pillar of the credit union community in his career, as evidenced by the strong legacy that he leaves behind,” said MnCUF Chair Pat Brekken. “I am privileged to have been able to work alongside him in this industry, and the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is proud to recognize Steve as a Credit Union Builder upon his retirement.”

In addition to his work on a local level, Ahlness has also been a strong advocate for credit unions in St. Paul and in Washington, D.C. He has given his time to support several local organizations, and served on boards and committees for the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. Ahlness was honored as MnCUN’s Outstanding Professional of the Year in 2005.

Ahlness joins 28 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with the Foundation’s Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in MnCUN’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.

To learn more about MnCUF’s Credit Union Builder Award and to view a list of those who have been honored with this recognition, visit the Foundation website.


MnCUN to host marketing & business development roundtable

June 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Minnesota Credit Union Network will be hosting a marketing and business development roundtable. Meet with your colleagues and exchange ideas about your credit union’s social media platform at this cooperative roundtable meeting. You’ll also learn from the experiences of a national finalist in the Business Journal’s 2013 Social Madness contest, along with an area social media management firm. Space has been provided on the registration form for questions or topics that you would like to discuss.

Visit the event page of the MnCUN website for more information and to register. For additional information or with specific questions, please contact Sue Groskreutz by email or at (651) 288-5521.


Minnesota CU committee members awarded for service, dedication


Dave Engler (top, center)
Missy Anderson Mound (bottom, center) 
Mark D. Cummins (right)
Pat Pierce (left)


The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) and Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC) committees of the Minnesota Credit m Union Foundation recently honored two members for their outstanding service. Dave Engler of Hiway Federal Credit Union and Missy Anderson Mound of General Mills Federal Credit Union were recognized during an awards banquet at the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MnCUN’s) 2014 Annual Meeting & Convention in April.


Engler, Manager of Investment Services at Hiway Federal Credit Union, was honored with the MnCU4Kids Volunteer of the Year Award. He joined the committee in 2012 and is currently serving as committee co-chair. Engler has contributed to the success of the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee and its fundraisers in many ways. He is often the first to volunteer to lead an event subcommittee, and over the years he has been instrumental in the success of the committee golf tournament, annual meeting fundraiser, and the Bowl-O-Rama event.

“It takes a lot of hard work from the whole team, and it’s an honor to be part of such a dynamic group,” said Engler. “I thank everyone on the team and look forward to continuing to work together on our common focus – helping kids.”

Last year, MnCU4Kids raised more than $200,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, which has outreach clinics across the state. Nationally, fundraising for CU4Kids takes place in all 50 states.


Mound, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at General Mills Federal Credit Union, received the Family Involvement Council’s Outstanding Volunteer Award. She joined the FIC in 2012 and spearheads the committee’s electronic scholarship application process, working to collect and analyze scholarship data. Mound is also instrumental in scholarship judging and ensuring smooth operations of the FIC’s annual silent auction fundraiser. 

“Receiving this award was completely unexpected,” said Mound. “The FIC volunteers are a good team, and there are many people who could have received the distinction instead of me. It’s very humbling to be selected by a group I respect and with whom I serve.”

The FIC is a volunteer-based organization run by credit union professionals. Its mission is to enhance the future of the credit union movement by providing financial awareness to families. The FIC focuses on providing scholarships to Minnesota credit union members to help further their education and to nurture their relationship with credit unions. The recipient of this annual award is voted on by members of the council.

“Dave and Missy represent the credit union difference in action,” said Lindsey Evans, MnCUN Administrative Specialist and MnCU4Kids and FIC liaison. “They know that the credit union movement means not only providing communities with a trusted financial institution, but also supporting communities as a whole.”


Early Bird Registration Deadline Nears for 2014 World CU Conference – Prices to jump $200 after May 15

World Council of Credit Unions is offering a discounted early bird registration rate through May 15 to attend the 2014 World Credit Union Conference. Credit union professionals interested in joining industry leaders from around the globe to discuss and resolve the most pressing issues facing credit unions today can save $200 by registering by this date.

"Credit unions today face many of the same challenges regardless of size or location," said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO. "By bringing together a truly global representation of the credit union industry, our members and attendees can troubleshoot their own issues while elevating and responding to the cross platform issues affecting everyone."

For more than 20 years, the World Credit Union Conference has been the largest global networking and educational event of its kind, bringing together the world's top thought leaders in the industry. World Council and Australia's Customer Owned Banking Association will host the annual event July 27-30 in Gold Coast, Australia.

Attendees from over 50 countries will gather to learn, network and share effective strategies to address the top challenges facing credit unions worldwide, including regulatory compliance issues, rapidly evolving payment technologies, membership growth and the sustainability of small credit unions. In over 25 educational sessions, international speakers will focus on specific topics within the following separate education tracks that offer a variety of solutions to global industry challenges:

  1. Leadership and strategy: participants will learn about small credit union sustainability, good governance practices, strategies for growth, advancing women in leadership, and how to maximize financial performance.
  2. Advocacy and government affairs: the focus will be on global regulatory trends, challenges and responses, what Basel III means for credit unions, and revisions to the Financial Action Task Force's risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
  3. Technology and innovation: lessons will be shared on technology and digital payments trends, innovation and collaboration, new entrants, risk management and fraud prevention.
  4. Young adult and membership growth: solutions will be explored on attracting young adult members, reinventing retail banking and connecting with different members of the community.

Bonus networking and other opportunities include:

  • Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions' charity golf tournament
  • Global Women's Leadership Forum
  • World Council Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) program

The conference schedule provides details on the current educational lineup including session descriptions, speakers and learner outcomes. More information about the event, including details on location, registration and unique sponsorship opportunities, can be found online.

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.  


Greater Minnesota CU CEO Steve Ahlness dubbed a “CU Builder” through the Minnesota CU Foundation

CUNA Mutual’s Bob Kigin recognized as a “CU Builder” through the Minnesota CU Foundation

Minnesota CU Foundation donates financial education program box sets to Gillette Children’s hospital

Postal CU embodies Ideal in June

Governor Mark Dayton signs Curative Act into law

MnCUN encourages submitting NCUA risk-based capital comment letters to Senators

SPOTLIGHT:Fair Lending Compliance


FinCEN releases administrative rulingsregarding exemptions from money transmitter status

OSCUI Upcoming Webinars

NCUA Issues Letters to Credit Unions

CFPB issues proposed rule to amend certain provisions of 2013 Mortgage Rules

Upcomingeffective dates

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