April 21, 2014
Monday Edition
President's point

Regular readers of my column know how important I view the credit union cooperative spirit. It not only differentiates us from other financial institutions, but it’s also the lifeblood of our industry. A great example of this cooperative spirit is our chapter system. Between Alabama and Florida, the LSCU has a network of 19 chapters with many of them doing phenomenal work in their communities.

This past week, chapter leaders gathers in St. Augustine for the League’s Annual Chapter Leaders Retreat. Seventeen of the 19 chapters were represented at the event. For two days, chapter leaders huddled to discuss challenges they face and best practices. The retreat also gave chapter leaders an opportunity to align more with League priorities in advocacy, communications, and education.

Two presentations that were especially impactful came from the chapters themselves. The Northeast Florida Chapter presented its highly successful education program. The chapter has been partnering with Florida State College at Jacksonville for more than 25 years. The program helps students understand how a credit union works, financial counseling, and mortgage lending. In all there are 12 courses that are taught by various credit unions in Jacksonville.

The Broward Chapter shared with credit unions how it is able to put on one of the most successful golf outings; year in and year out raising in excess of $30,000. The chapter is able to attract many vendors to sponsor various pieces of the golf outing. The Broward Chapter also works with the Southernmost Chapter to attract the vendors, credit union sponsors, and golfers. It’s a great collaboration.

These are only two examples of what many chapters are doing. It’s important that we keep up our cooperative spirit, continue to work together, and share ideas. Serving on the chapter board is rewarding, but also tough work. You do it because you have a passion for credit unions and a passion for serving your community. The League appreciates this passion and has many tools to make your job successful.

More credit unions should also consider sending their younger staff to the chapter meetings. Also have them get involved in our Young Professionals Group that is targeting credit union professionals under the age of 40. The Young Professionals are working closer with their respective chapters. We need to kindle their passion and keep it focused on credit unions. By taking part in chapter events, you are keeping that cooperative spirit alive while also being a shining example of what makes credit unions unique.

If you and/or your credit union are not active in the chapters in which your credit union is headquartered or have branches, please consider reengaging.  Only by working together – credit unions, chapters, and the League – can we achieve success as a movement.

Where’s Patrick: I’m spending most of the week in the panhandle of Florida. I’m attending the Corporate America CU annual meeting in Destin and also meeting with individual credit unions. To see my tentative schedule for the next two weeks, click here.

Visit the LSCU YouTube page for the President's Quarterly Video.

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State unemployment rates rise in AL and FL

Alabama has reported an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for March, up from February's rate of 6.4 percent. The March rate represents 144,628 unemployed persons, up from 137,232 in February. 

Alabama department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtess does not view the increase as  negative. “The unemployment rate increased this month because we saw the labor force grow by more than 14,000, and we saw the number of working Alabamians increase by nearly 7,000,” said Surtees. “These employment numbers are the highest they’ve been in at least nine months which indicates increased confidence in the job market and that people are getting back to work."

Florida's unemployment rate inched up as well, increasing to 6.3 percent in March from February's rate of 6.2 percent ending a 42-month streak in which the rate has either dropped or stayed unchanged.

Many believe that Florida's increased unemployment rate may actually be a good sign, indicating more discouraged workers who had stopped looking for jobs are finally jumping back into the labor pool - driving up competition and the unemployment rate, but also pointing to an improving economy.

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NCUA hosts April 23 Financial Literacy Twitter Chat

Credit unions and consumers interested in sharing financial literacy best practices should make plans to join NCUA’s Financial Literacy Twitter Chat Wednesday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to noon ET.

Kenneth Worthey, financial literacy and outreach analyst with NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection, will host the event, as part of the agency’s activities during National Financial Literacy Month.

Credit unions and consumers can follow the conversation on @TheNCUA and join using the #NCUAChat hashtag. Participants can also submit questions before the chat by email.

Additionally, throughout the month of April, NCUA’s consumer Twitter feed, @MyCUgov, is providing links to important financial literacy and personal finance resources and tips such as ways to save, how to avoid fraud and scams, and how consumers can improve their credit scores.

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Shop For Miracles on Oct. 16

Credit Unions for Kids, in partnership with CUNA, WOCCU, and CO-OP, have introduced Shop for Miracles, a one-day fundraising program to support local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event will help celebrate International Credit Union Day on Oct. 16.

Each time members use their credit union-issued credit or debit card on Oct. 16, credit unions participating in the Shop for Miracles program will donate $0.25 or another pre-determined amount to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Last year, 21 credit unions in California and Nevada signed on for a pilot program and raised an impressive $185,000 which included $30,000 in matching funds from CO-OP Financial Services’ Miracle Match program.

Beginning in June, credit unions can access more information about International Credit Union Day and the Shop for Miracles campaign by visiting the CU for Kids website.

In the meantime, please contact Joe Dearborn, senior director, Credit Unions for Kids for more details.

Click here for CO-OP matching funds for Shop for Miracles applications.

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In This Issue
Monday Edition
President's point
State unemployment rates rise in AL and FL
NCUA hosts April 23 Financial Literacy Twitter Chat
Shop For Miracles on Oct. 16
LSCU & Affiliates Media

Alabama Credit Union Act Update
LSCU & Affiliates Director of Regulatory Advocacy Scott Morris goes over some of the important parts of the update to the Alabama Credit Union Act.

President's 1Q Video
LSCU president/CEO gives his first quarter video for 2014. He looks at the CUNA GAC, tax reform, and the new Southeast Credit Union Conference. He also talks about the 2014 Dues Rebate.

Upcoming Event Deadlines
Extended to April 22 Last Day for Early Bird Rate for OFAC & Bank Secrecy Act School – Birmingham, AL

Extended to April 22 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – Disaster Recovery Conference – Mobile, AL

Extended to April 24 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – Disaster Recovery Conference – Jacksonville, FL

May 2 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – SAS Credit Union Conference - Tallahassee, FL
Upcoming League Events
TODAY - Risk Based Capital Meeting in Gainesville
April 22 Negotiable Instrument Precautions
April 22 - Risk Based Capital Meeting in Tampa
April 23 Ability to Repay-Comply with SFPB Rules
April 23 - Risk Based Capital Meeting in Orlando
April 24 - Risk Based Capital Meeting in Huntsville
April 24 BSA Officer Duties & Update
April 24 - Risk Based Capital Meeting in West Palm Beach
April 25 - Risk Based Capital Meeting in Tallahassee
May 13 SAS Credit Union Conference
April 30 - Risk Based Capital Meeting in Mobile
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