February 3, 2014
Monday Edition
FCUA backs Alex Sink for Congressional District 13

The Florida Credit Union Association (FCUA), an affiliate of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates (LSCU), board of directors announced its endorsement of Democrat Alex Sink for Florida’s Congressional District 13 in the March 11 Special Election. This is the seat formerly held by Rep. Bill Young (R) who passed away in October of 2013.

Since her days as Florida’s chief financial officer, Sink has fostered a solid working relationship with credit unions. She has made numerous visits to meet with credit union CEOs during her career. She has also spoken at LSCU events and met with the League’s governmental affairs staff to gain a greater understanding of credit union issues. Sink’s longtime support of the credit union industry, along with her expertise in the financial services industry, makes her an ideal candidate for credit unions.

The special election for Congressional District 13 will be March 11 and the winner will serve the rest of Rep. Young’s term. 

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President's point

This week the League is hosting the Alabama Credit Union Association (ACUA) State Governmental Affairs Conference in Montgomery. A main component of the LSCU’s Governmental Affairs function is PAC fundraising. It’s really the life blood of our advocacy efforts. This is an major election year in both states and as an industry, need to make PAC fundraising a priority if we want to continue to have access to lawmakers and prefect change for our industry.

Each year we set goals for our three PACs: the ACULAC (Alabama), CUPAC (Florida), and the FedPAC. In 2013, the League had an excellent year for all three. Collectively we raised more than $473,000 last year. In Alabama, we reached 102 percent of our ACULAC goal and 103 percent of our FedPAC goal. We have almost doubled the ACULAC contributions in two years. In Florida, we reached 95 percent of our CULAC goal and made 85 percent of our FedPAC goal; a good year in Florida, as well.

PAC fundraising has been a major point of emphasis for the League since consolidation. We created a grassroots and political action coordinator position in Alabama and have brought in two great coordinators. Blake Westbrook in Alabama and Andy Gonzalez in Florida have done an outstanding job of meeting with credit unions and finding ways to get more of you involved in grassroots advocacy and PAC fundraising.  

The bigger picture on PAC fundraising is simple, money talks. It’s a fact of how politics is done. There is nothing illegal about it, but candidates are now fundraising all year round. By supporting a candidate with a financial contribution, it puts credit unions in the conversation on important legislative issues. Our support on the state level is essential for movement of our state legislative agenda, but also because some of these candidates move up the political food chain to higher office. Alex Sink is a good example. She was Florida CFO and ran for governor four years ago. She is now running for the U.S. House. Our PAC support was our first step in building a relationship with her, both then and now.

Our website has many resources available to help your credit union get started in PAC fundraising. There are easy ideas like deduct a buck, candy bar sales in Florida, theme park consignment ticket sales in Alabama, and payroll deduction. Many of our chapters are also putting on events to benefit the PAC. Our quail hunt in Alabama is a good example of we have expanded our ideas on how to raise money. In an election year it’s critical that we meet and surpass our goals. It’s a huge key to not only getting our foot in the door with lawmakers but opening the door and building a relationship. 

Where’s Patrick:. I’ll be in Montgomery this week attending the ACUA State GAC, as well as attend the CUSC of Alabama board meeting, the Alabama PAC trustees meeting, and the Alabama ACULAC meeting. To see my tentative schedule for the next two weeks, click here.

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Mitigate cybersecurity risk with stronger due diligence

The NCUA recently released its list of supervisory focus for 2014 through a letter to credit unions. This letter assists credit unions to prepare for their examination and to be more forward looking when it comes to risk so they will not be caught off guard. One of the major threats comes from cybersecurity. Clients of Ventelligence-CUVM share peace of mind because they benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable staff and a solid vendor management program.

A credit unions’ number one priority is to provide excellent service to its members. With this main focus and more business being conducted electronically, (cards, internet, apps, etc.) it is essential and required  that all credit union third party providers go through a thorough review process. Clients of Ventelligence-CUVM have access to one of the largest credit union vendor databases in the country with experienced staff helping you to review vendors’ internal control information.

As you know, credit unions are required to review vendor data control processes on an annual basis. Before an examination, Ventelligence-CUVM clients have their vendor’s data control reports reviewed by staff with more than 70 years of experience. They look for issues in the vendors’ data control processes. If there are anomalies in those processes, the Ventelligence-CUVM team will provide notice to the credit union in the form of a limited review. This provides expertise that many credit unions do not have in house or, if they do, it allows them to concentrate on the more complex issues.

With the Target data breach, and now possibly Neiman-Marcus and Michael’s, your members’ cybersecurity is a main priority. You are being asked on a regular basis if their information is protected. Take the guess work out of your answer and become a Ventelligence-CUVM client for vendor due diligence and vendor management. You cannot afford to manage this all by yourself anymore.

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Download the ACUA State GAC Mobile App and stay connected

The 2014 ACUA State GAC Mobile App is an easy way for both attendees and non attendees to stay connected during the State GAC.

The app provides quick access to the agenda and the speakers. It is connected to GA's Twitter and Facebook so you can follow the action via social media AND tweet and post from your own account. Additionally the app includes map of downtown Montgomery, tips for your visit to the capitol, and a way to contact the League in case you have a question. 

If you are reading this email on your smartphone, click here to download the app. If you are reading this on your computer, open the email up on your smartphone. It takes just a few minutes. You will be asked to sign in and then you are ready to go.

Not attending the GAC? Download the app and follow along with what is happening during the ACUA State GAC. Hopefully, next year, you can join the League in person.

If you have any trouble downloading the app, contact LSCU VP of Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.

For questions on the State GAC, contact LSCU Director of Governmental Affairs Jason Cochran at ext. 2159 or Grassroots and Political Action Coordinator Blake Westbrook at ext. 2164.

*Apple users: Make sure your operating system is up-to-date. Check by going into the settings and clicking on software.
**Android users: Make sure your device is set to allow installation of non-market apps. Go to your phone's system settings, then security, then unknown sources and choose to "allow installation of non-market apps." Also, make sure your operating system is 2.0 or higher.

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In This Issue
Monday Edition
FCUA backs Alex Sink for Congressional District 13
President's point
Mitigate cybersecurity risk with stronger due diligence
Download the ACUA State GAC Mobile App and stay connected
LSCU & Affiliates Media

President's Quarterly Report
LSCU & Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine looks at the League's activities for the fourth quarter which includes an office move in Tallahassee, a new LEVERAGE hire and an update on tax reform.

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