The Pulse (08-16-16)

Volume 5, Issue 33

The Pulse Archive


10 Minn. credit unions win awards, advance to national competitions

The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) is pleased to announce the state-level winners of the 2016 Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins award competitions. These awards are sponsored each year by MnCUN and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

The 2016 Minnesota award-winners in the asset categories noted are:

Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

  • Less than $50 million: Star Choice Credit Union for the Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP) Partnership
  • $50-$250 million: Northwoods Credit Union for the Rooted in Community fundraising program
  • $250-$1 billion: SPIRE Credit Union for the SPIRE Give Back Team
  • $1+ billion: Firefly Credit Union for the Secure Your ID Day Shred Event

Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award

  • Less than $50 million: Star Choice Credit Union for their “Building Strong Financial Futures” philosophy
  • $50-$250 million: Northwoods Credit Union for their 2nd Chance Lending Program
  • $250 million-$1 billion: Topline Federal Credit Union for their LSS Financial Counseling Partnership
  • $1+ billion: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union for Helping Members Save Millions through Data Analysis and Outreach

Desjardins Youth Fnancial Education Award

  • Less than $50 million: North Star Credit Union for the Academic Journey Partnership
  • $50-$250 million: United Educators Credit Union for teaching personal finance at Red Lake High School
  • $250-$1 billion: Ideal Credit Union for the Money Talks Peer-to-Peer program
  • $1+ billion: Wings Financial Credit Union for the Wings Reality Fair

Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award

  • $50-$250 million: United Educators Credit Union for financial literacy efforts with senior citizens and young adults with disabilities
  • $250-$1 billion: SPIRE Credit Union for the Building Financial Freedom Adult Financial Education Outreach program
  • $1+ billion: Firefly Credit Union for their Learn at Work program

MnCUN received 37 award entries this year, and they were judged by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas to ensure unbiased results. The winners in each award category now advance to CUNA’s national contest where they will compete with credit unions across the country, with judging to take place this fall.

"This year’s award-winners demonstrated creativity and commitment to the values credit unions hold dear – financial education, service to community, and extraordinary member service,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “Each of these credit unions deserves recognition, and we are proud they represent Minnesota in the national competition.”

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award was created in 1987 and recognizes credit unions for the activities they coordinate that benefit the community or a specific charity. This award promotes social responsibility among credit unions by formally recognizing their achievements outside the credit union.

The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award is given to a credit union for its practical application of the "people helping people” philosophy in internal operations. Created in 1990, this award promotes the credit union philosophy by formally recognizing credit unions that demonstrate in an extraordinary way the application of the movement's principles in serving their members.

The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards formally recognize the leadership of individual credit unions and chapters in their efforts to better educate youth and adults in financial literacy.



Minnesota Credit Union Network engages in international credit union community

One of the many characteristics that makes credit unions unique is their ability to unite and work cooperatively to help credit unions and the communities they serve succeed. It is this cooperative spirit that has driven MnCUN engage in the international credit union community in a number of ways.

  • Global Women’s Leadership Network – This summer, MnCUN formed the Minnesota Credit Union Women’s Leadership Network. The group is a local chapter of the Global Women’s Leadership Network established to further Global Women’s Leadership Network’s global mission by making a local impact. The purpose is to convene Minnesota’s women credit union professionals, discuss credit union issues, exchange ideas, network with neighboring credit union leaders, and share lessons learned with Global Women’s Leadership Network members worldwide.

    On September 9, Women at every level of Minnesota’s credit union industry are invited to attend the inaugural Minnesota Credit Unions Women’s Leadership Network meeting in Brainerd.
  • Climate Smart Communities – Earlier this year, MnCUN partnered with the University of Minnesota to explore how credit unions can add value to the University’s Climate Smart initiative, asking Affinity Plus to represent Minnesota credit unions on its behalf. The initiative is a three-year partnership between five cities in Minnesota and five cities in Germany, partially funded by the German government.

    Last month, a delegation of representatives from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, the U of M, political leaders, government officials, and several State agencies traveled to the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany to discuss the future of the program. During the meeting, the group discussed “green” products credit unions offer including loans for financing solar panels, wind turbines, and bio mass facilities.
  • 2016 World Credit Union Conference – Recently, MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins attended the 2016 World Credit Union Conference. The conference brought together 1,862 credit union leaders from 55 countries to take part in igniting the credit union spirit across the globe.

For more information on the Global Women’s Leadership Network or the Climate Smart Communities initiative, contact MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey by email or by phone at (651) 288-5523.





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OnApproach Releases Video Case Study Revealing its Successful Partnership with Ideal Credit Union

OnApproach, a leading provider of Big Data and Analytics solutions for credit unions, is pleased to announce the release of its latest video case study. The case study, "Ideal Credit Union Transforms Member Rewards with OnApproach" details the successes Ideal Credit Union obtained while utilizing OnApproach's innovative data platform, OnApproach M360 Enterprise (M360).


The case study details Ideal Credit Union's (asset size: $638 Million) need of a program that would allow them to expand their product offerings in a profitable manner. Retaining a vast database of customer information, Ideal Credit Union faced the challenge of extracting and organizing this data to create beneficial programs. The ability to integrate disparate data sources in order to capture value from data analytics is crucial. OnApproach's ability to gather and integrate all of Ideal's transaction data made it possible for Ideal Credit Union to achieve success through a VIP Program which pays back members based on their value to the credit union. Since its inception, the program has gained momentum, and members consistently look forward to their payout.

"OnApproach was able to help us by looking at our transaction data, which was very beneficial in determining what profitability looks like." Remarked Alisha JR Johnson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service at Ideal Credit Union, adding also that "It's a program that's very unique to us. It's something that differentiates us, and is something we're very proud of because our members have made us successful, and this program helps us return the success to our members."

"Ideal Credit Union was one of our very first clients and continues to be one of our most successful.  The team at Ideal has found numerous ways to use the data in M360 to deliver value to both the credit union and its members.  As you will see in the video, the VIP Member Rewards program is a great example of how Ideal generates a ROI from their data while also better serving their members.  We are very excited to have them as a partner of ours." Stated Austin Wentzlaff, Director of Business Development at OnApproach.

The Minnesota Item Processing Corporation (MnIPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Minnesota Credit Union Network offers OnApproach solutions to clients in both hosted and service-bureau environments. For more information, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Kris Jacobsen by email or by phone at (651) 288-5515 or toll free at (800) 477-1034.

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

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