LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly April 26, 2010
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
Southeastern credit unions growing, lending, and helping members to save
CUNA's Mica, WOCCU delegation visit Haiti
Alabama CU Service Centers annual shareholder's meeting held
NCUA backs tougher enforcement promise
AL, FL Image campaign task forces meet
CO-OP Financial Services introduces $10,000 CO-OP THINK PRIZE
Deadline for nominations for LSCU- and CUNA-sponsored awards is next week!
LSCU represented at Administrative Professionals Luncheon
Governmental Affairs News
Alabama Legislature wraps up for 2010
Florida Legislature reaches agreement on budget issues
LSCU meets with Alabama Congressional candidate
The first Govermental Affairs Committee meets
Washington D.C. Update: Reg Reform test vote today at 5 p.m.
Compliance Corner
League Infosight features BSA efiling and small business tax credits
Compliance calendar and training schedule
Cooperative Initiatives News
National Credit Union Foundation offers new grants for CU innovations
Past foundation scholarship recipient continues academic excellence at college
LSCU Education News
LSCU Leadership Councils meet in Birmingham
Credit Union Information
Reach new markets by utilizing the Spanish Immersion Program!
LEVERAGE News
Ventelligence group purchasing events coming soon
News from You
Community First CU awards scholarships to high school seniors
Tropicana FCU to become Manatee Community FCU June 1
North Alabama Educators Credit Union recognize youth members
Credit Union Job Postings
Credit union employment opportunities posted online
Calendar
Schedule of events
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LSCU Headlines

Southeastern credit unions growing, lending, and helping members to save

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions announced this week that credit unions in Alabama and Florida added 74,000 members in 2009. This follows the national trend of more consumers looking for a local financial institution that has their best interest in mind. Southeastern credit unions also helped those members save more money.

Alabama credit unions’ member savings was up 12 percent from 2008, and it is also two times the national credit union average. Florida credit unions’ member savings rose five percent, which was a 100-percent improvement from the previous year. For each state, this was a five-year high.

Lending remains strong in Alabama with credit unions seeing a five-percent growth in 2009, which is five times the national credit union average. The economy has hit both states hard, but credit unions in Alabama and Florida remain well capitalized. Collectively, Florida credit unions are at 9.5 percent net worth ratio, while Alabama credit unions are collectively at 11.2 percent.

“If you look inside the Alabama numbers, the credit unions are making high-quality loans with low delinquencies and charge offs,” said the LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “In Florida, the local economy continues to struggle, but credit unions remain on solid ground. They are working with their members to help them save, as well as continuing to meet their lending needs.”

Click here to read the full release. Click here to read the CUNA News Now story.

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CUNA's Mica, WOCCU delegation visit Haiti

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica is part of a delegation of credit unions and organizations, led by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) President/CEO Pete Crear, that arrived in Haiti April 21, to meet with credit unions and members suffering from the effects of Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake.

More than 400,000 people in Haiti are served by 220 member-owned credit unions. Several credit unions were destroyed in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake. "Our challenge will be to help the strongest credit unions get back on their feet to help Haitians help themselves and their communities rebuild their lives through small loans and a safe place to save," Mica said.

Mica and the rest of the delegation visited damaged credit unions in Port-au-Prince and the earthquake epicenter at Leogane, to hear first-hand how the quake affected staff and members of the credit unions. The delegation also visited several caisses populaires (credit unions), all of which have operated from tents donated by WOCCU since the destruction of their buildings.

More than 1,000 donors have contributed to the WOCCU Haitian Relief Fund, including U.S. credit unions contributing through CUAid.coop. The League of Southeastern Credit Union Trustees approved a $10,000 donation to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

For more information on the WOCCU Supporters program or the Haiti Relief Fund, contact Valerie Breunig, executive director of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, at vbreunig@woccu.org or at 608.395.2055. [ Return to Top ]

Alabama CU Service Centers annual shareholder's meeting held

At the 18th annual shareholders meeting of Alabama's CU Service Centers, Inc., attendees were presented an update of the shared branching network in the state, which included a report on the divestiture of the corporation's six stand-alone locations along with a presentation of "Profitability of Shared Branching in 2009."

The annual meeting also including the election of board members to serve three-year terms :

  • Steve Nix, First Educators CU, (B'ham)
  • Shane Nobbley, Family Security CU (Decatur) 
  • Joe McGee, Legacy Community FCU (B'ham)  .

Following the annual meeting, the CUSC board met for its regularly-scheduled board meeting. The election of officers were part of that meeting. The officers are as follows:

  • Steve Nix, First Educators CU (B'ham) - Secretary 
  • Larry Morgan, APCO CU (B'ham) - Treasurer 
  • Linda Cencula, AL Telco CU (B'ham) - Vice Chairman
  • Patrick La Pine, LSCU CEO - Chairman 

 

Linda Cencula, CEO of Alabama Telco CU,  Teresa Gray, Executive Assistant to the President of the LSCU and Steve Nix, CEO of First Educators CU talk after the CUSC board meeting.


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NCUA backs tougher enforcement promise

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is increasing public disclosure of its interactions with troubled credit unions.

The NCUA recently disclosed a pair of letters of understanding that the agency entered into with management at a pair of credit unions. These letters were meant to "correct noted adverse conditions" such as "untimely and inaccurate recordkeeping," inadequate recordkeeping processes, and loan issues that were "of concern" to the NCUA.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said late last year that while the NCUA did not intend to discourage lending, its examiners would take public administrative actions to ensure compliance by credit unions and could potentially follow up with public letters of understanding and agreement or cease and desist orders if a credit union has not followed NCUA recommendation.  [ Return to Top ]

AL, FL Image campaign task forces meet

Screen shot of Alabama's TV ad.

The Alabama Image Task Force met April 19 in Birmingham and via phone. The task force is looking at the most cost effective way to implement an image campaign for the state's credit unions in 2010. The group is looking at reworking the 2009 creative TV ads to include a 15 second and 30 second television ad that can be used for broadcast and online outlets. The talent contract for the 2009 ads runs out in July, so the hope is to extend the contracts for another six months. The task force is also looking at the most cost effective ways to run the ads while also building an online and social media presence. The next step for the group is to look at the costs of re-editing the commercials.

The Florida Image Task Force met April 23 in Tallahassee and via the phone. This task force was made up of many members of the Florida Image Task Force from 2008 and '09. The first meeting caught the group up on the foundation laid by the original task force in 2008 and '09. The group did extensive research in 2008 to look at key messages, demographics, media buys, and fundraising plans. The next step for Florida is to update the research and begin working on the key messages for the campaign. 

For more information on either task force or to join the next meeting, contact LSCU Vice President, Communications Mike Bridges at 850.558.1022 or LSCU Director, Information Services Amy Jowers at 850.558.1020.
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CO-OP Financial Services introduces $10,000 CO-OP THINK PRIZE

Are you a creative thinker, an innovator with a passion for the credit union philosophy?

CO-OP Financial Services wants to encourage innovators in the industry to share their one wish to change the credit union movement. At the recent THINK ‘10 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company announced the $10,000 CO-OP THINK PRIZE, an award given for the most innovative and shareable idea that will have the greatest impact to credit unions. 

The award is intended to go beyond competitive issues and produce progressive thinking that all credit unions could apply to their own institution. Entrants will be judged by Filene Research Institute using the following criteria:

  • Impact – The thinking must be big enough to make an impact and propel the movement forward.
  • Creativity – The idea will be tested for its inventive, innovative, progressive and inspired thinking.
  • Aggregation – An idea that is cooperative and collaborative in its ability to succeed and it must be shareable.
  • Persuasion – The top three entrants will present their ideas at next year’s THINK 2011 Conference and the winner will be selected by the audience.

Credit unions or individuals can participate by applying online at www.co-opthink.org. Exact criteria and entry forms for proposals will be available on the website soon. Filene Research Institute will select three finalists for THINK ’11 and these finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to THINK 2011 in order to make their presentations.

In addition to the $10,000 in seed money, the winning entrant will also receive additional pledges of financial support and business services from THINK 2011 sponsors and Filene Research Institute.

For more information on the CO-OP THINK PRIZE, visit www.co-opthink.org. [ Return to Top ]

Deadline for nominations for LSCU- and CUNA-sponsored awards is next week!

May 7 is the deadline for submissions for the LSCU awards including Professional, Volunteer, and Outstanding Credit Union of the Year Awards!  These awards recognize outstanding leadership by a credit union professional or a credit union.

This is also the deadline for entries for the CUNA-sponsored Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award and the Louise Herring Awards for Philosophy in Action. These programs identify credit unions that demonstrate the credit union philosophy of "People-Helping-People."

Your credit union will compete with others in the same asset category when you enter the competition for an award. An individual chapter may enter the Dora Maxwell Award program while there is no chapter category for the Louise Herring Award program.

Submit entries to the League office by May 7. Click here for information about the award programs. State winners in the CUNA award program s will advance to national competition for judging. Winners will be recognized at the LSCU Annual Convention & Exposition in June. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU represented at Administrative Professionals Luncheon

A luncheon, sponsored by Turn About, a rehab organization, was held April 26 honoring administrative professionals in Tallahassee.

The president of the Tallahassee Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is LSCU Operations Assistant Cathy Cameron. She and LSCU Staff Accountant Angie Meisenheimer, were both at the meeting representing IAAP and the LSCU.

The guest speaker was Loranne Ausley, currently a candidate for the Chief Financial Officer of Florida in 2010 and Board Chair of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation. Cameron said, "Ausley spoke on 'The Power of Commitment' and was informative and inspiring."


Representing the LSCU and the Tallahassee Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), Cathy Cameron (left) with Laura Baxley (middle) and Leralene Dumas, both also of the Tallahassee Chapter of IAAP at the luncheon.

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Governmental Affairs News
Alabama Legislature wraps up for 2010

The 2010 Alabama Legislative session adjourned for the year Thursday April 22. Having passed both required budgets, there will be no special session prior to the election. The 2011 session is set to begin in March.

A number of bills that the LSCU worked on during the year did not receive final passage prior to adjournment, including some the LSCU did not support. Most notably, the Alabama Uniform Residential Mortgage Satisfaction Act, which was approved by the Senate, did not receive a final vote on the House floor, and thus died at the end of the session. Although the LSCU had concerns with the original bill, significant improvements were made to the bill during the session, including a reduction in penalties for lenders who fail to file notices of satisfaction, limitation on who has standing to file affidavits of satisfaction, and improvements in the process that better protected lenders from incorrect statements or the effect of erroneous payoff statements sent to borrowers. The LSCU does expect this bill to be back during the 2011 session and will continue to seek protection for lenders. In addition, other bills the LSCU opposed, including an increase in the time period and process for foreclosure, as well as a bill placing further limits on changing credit card interest or limits, did not gain traction this year and did not move forward.

Senator Bobby Denton’s (D-1) bill to give the banking department greater authority in removing officers and over the acquisition of out-of-state banks was enacted. As the LSCU does with all bank regulatory bills, it was reviewed carefully prior to consideration and met with attorneys from the banking department to ensure that the authority in the bill and the effect of the new law would be limited to banks, not credit unions. 

As the last year of the quadrennium, then end of this session will usher in certain changes to the Legislature.  Speaker of the House Seth Hammett (D-92) is retiring which means a new speaker next year, and the LSCU expects turnover in leadership of some committees. In addition, there will be several other retirements, including long-time friend of credit unions Sen. Denton of Muscle Shoals who has served eight terms, and was the long-time chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.  While he, and others, will be missed in the Legislature, the LSCU will continue developing relationships with key figures during this election season.

If you have any questions about the Alabama Legislative Session, please contact LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs/Staff Counsel Will McCarty.  [ Return to Top ]

Florida Legislature reaches agreement on budget issues

Working over the weekend, the Senate and House budget chiefs reached agreement Sunday on most of the budget issues remaining open. They agreed to make the Department of Management Services a cabinet agency, removing it from the Governor’s sole control. The House and Senate want the cabinet to hire the Secretary because they want more oversight of the troubled agency.

In other State Legislature news, House Appropriations Chair, Rep. David Rivera (R-112), got his wish by banning state university representatives from having the ability to travel to terrorist states (i.e. Cuba). Rivera and his Senate counterpart, Ways and Means Chairman, Sen. J.D. Alexander (R-17), agreed to allow university boards to raise student fees 15 percent, or the statewide average.

Still undecided are cuts to state employee pay and benefits. No decision has been made on the reorganization of the Department of Health. The “CannonCare,” which is the Medicaid overhaul planned by Speaker-designate Rep. Dean Cannon, is dead for this session. 

There is just about one week left in the 2010 Florida Legislative session. If you have any questions regarding session, contact LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs Mark Landreth.   [ Return to Top ]

LSCU meets with Alabama Congressional candidate


LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine (l) and 7th Congressional District candidate Earl Hilliard, Jr.

Tuesday April 20, State Representative and 7th Congressional District candidate Earl Hilliard Jr. stopped by the LSCU’s Birmingham office to discuss his run for the U.S. House of Representatives and credit union legislative issues. During the visit, LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine explained the different federal legislative issues credit unions face in Congress. Critical topics such as the credit union tax exemption, regulatory reform, and member business lending were discussed along with how and why these issues matter to credit unions and their members. Rep. Hilliard, a member of two credit unions, was very receptive to the issues discussed and to the legislative concerns of credit unions.

“We had a good meeting and conversation," said La Pine. "We're looking forward to more discussions with Earl and having him meet credit union officials throughout the 7th District. Whether it is a meeting in the office between candidates and League staff, or chapters and credit unions hosting candidates and elected officials, there is simply no substitute for maintaining a constant presence and fostering good relationships with decision makers.”

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The first Govermental Affairs Committee meets

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions Governmental Affairs Committee held its first meeting April 21 in Tallahassee and Birmingham, joining the two meetings through phone and the web. The executive committee, which is also the trustees of the three League Political Action Committees, met to approve bylaws and policies for the support of candidates for office. In addition, the trustees of the PACs reviewed the budgets for the year and the plan for fundraising and contributions for the 2010 elections. The Trustees also voted to expand Alabama’s Federal PAC (ACULAC) into Florida so that it can raise money and make contributions in both states, and to seek approval from the Federal Election Commission to change the name to LSCU Federal PAC.

The committees elected officers for all three PACs. Serving as 2010 officers will be:

LSCU Federal PAC officers

  • Linda Cencula, CEO Alabama Telco – Chair
  • Mary Wood, CEO Florida West Coast  – Vice Chair
  • Brad Green, Pres. Listerhill CU - Treasurer                            

State (AL) ACULAC officers

  • Linda Cencula, CEO Alabama Telco – Chair
  • Ronnie Reed, CEO Family Savings CU – Vice Chair
  • Brad Greene, Pres. Listerhill – Treasurer
  • Heath Harrell - CEO, Comala CU - Secretary

Florida CUPAC officers

  • Mary Wood, CEO Florida West Coast – Chair
  • Doug Samuels, CEO Space Coast – Vice Chair                                  
  • Larry Tobin, CEO Fairwinds CU - Treasurer

The Governmental Affairs Committee met for its organizational meeting. Bylaws to govern the operations of the committee were approved while League staff gave reports regarding developments in Washington, Tallahassee, and Montgomery as well as a review of the most pressing issues from the regulator. The committee also discussed PAC fundraising initiatives and the work of the committee during the upcoming elections.

2010 will be a very busy year for the Governmental Affairs Committee and the PACs as they work on the numerous important issues facing credit unions. 

Click here to see a full list of the GAC Committee members.

       A look at the Birmingham office during the first GAC meeting.


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Washington D.C. Update: Reg Reform test vote today at 5 p.m.

The Senate is expected to vote on a motion to proceed to consider S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act Monday evening. This vote is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be held open until at least 5:45 to accommodate Senators traveling back to Washington. At this time, the motion to proceed is not expected to garner the 60 votes necessary to be approved. If the motion to proceed is not approved, negotiations between Democratic and Republicans principals are expected to continue, and the Senate may debate a Food Safety bill instead of regulatory restructuring this week.

CUNA continues to work to make improvements to the Regulatory Restructuring bill. This past Wednesday, CUNA wrote Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) regarding the concentration limits for systemically significant entities and the potential impact these would have on the Federal Home Loan Banks. Thursday, they wrote Sen. Dodd and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) regarding concerns with the remittances provisions in the legislation. Copies of both letters are available the CUNA Legislative Affairs website.  

Several hearings on both sides of the Capitol are expected: 

Tuesday the House Financial Services Committee will resume a mark-up of pending legislation. The bills would make changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. CUNA and the LSCU have not taken a position on any of the legislation before the Committee. 

Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on H.R. 2695, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009. The Electronic Payments Coalition, the group to which CUNA belongs, will be testifying at this hearing; however, the EPC rotates the responsibility to testify among its coalition members. CUNA testified at the last interchange hearing; so, it is another trade association's turn at this week's hearing. 

In a rare move, the House Financial Services Committee will hold three hearings Wednesday. The Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee will hold a hearing on legislative proposals to preserve public housing.  The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, "Reviewing FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) Oversight Reports." The subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade will hold a hearing on "Promoting Small and Micro Enterprises in Haiti." CUNA and WOCCU will likely submit a joint statement to this hearing.

Thursday the Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will hold a hearing entitled, "Holding Banks Accountable:  Are Treasury and Banks Doing Enough to Help Families Save Their Homes?" It is worth noting that Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) chairs this subcommittee.

If  you have any questions regarding any of these legislative issues, contact LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs/Staff Counsel Will McCarty or LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs Mark Landreth

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Compliance Corner
League Infosight features BSA efiling and small business tax credits

The latest edition of the League Infosight newsletter has a number of stories about areas where credit unions interact with members. There is a story on IRS levies and when a credit union may use a levy on member's property to satisfy a tax debt. The story points to the Tax Issues channel of League Infosight as a resource.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been extended through May 30. The legislation also continues federal subsidies to COBRA health insurance recipients through April 30 and extends federal unemployment insurance until May 5. NFIP is important to credit unions because the mortgages they write for properties in a floodplain are required to have flood insurance. Since flood insurance is unavailable in many parts of the country, the NFIP is an important resource to credit unions and other lenders.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) continues to encourage financial institutions to electronically file Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports, and has issued a brochure that highlights the benefits of using the Bank Secrecy Act Electronic Filing System. E-Filing BSA information increases the timeliness of data availability, reduces the cost of paper processing, and improves data quality.

Included in the health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, approved by Congress and signed by President Obama on March 23, the credit is designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have. In general, the credit is available to small employers that pay at least half the cost of single coverage for their employees.

View the League InfoSight enewsletter by clicking here. It is a password protected area. Member credit unions that do not have a password, may click here to sign up for one. An active email account and a password are required. To login to InfoSight, enter your email and password in the InfoSight login block (see graphic below) located in the upper right of any of the LSCU web pages.

InfoSight login block

For questions or more information on League InfoSight, contact LSCU Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Bill Berg.
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Compliance calendar and training schedule
Calendar

April 30
IRS Form 941 - Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return - Deposit Due to IRS

May 17
IRS Forms 990 & 990-T (state-chartered credit unions) Due to IRS

May 31
Memorial Day - Federal Holiday

June 1
Identity Theft Red Flags – Effective Date (for state-chartered credit unions)

Regulation GG - Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition - Effective Date

Training

May 5 & 12
Consumer Lending Regulations - Webinar
2:00–4:00 p.m. CT

May 5–July 14
CUNA Regulatory Compliance eSchool: Introduction

May 19 & 26
Mortgage Lending Regulations - Webinar
2:00–4:00 p.m. CT

June 2 & 16
NCUA Requirements & Guidance - Webinar
2:00–4:00 p.m. CT

June 23 & 30
Deposit Account Regulations - Webinar
2:00–4:00 p.m. CT

June 24
Pressing Credit Union Compliance Issues - Audio Conference
1:00–2:30 p.m.CT 


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Cooperative Initiatives News
National Credit Union Foundation offers new grants for CU innovations

Applications for Innovation Grants from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) may be made now through June 30. Innovation Grants are aligned with NCUF’s signature program, REAL Solutions®. However, participation in REAL Solutions is not required to apply for a grant.

Eligible applicants include credit unions, CUSOs, state credit union associations, state credit union foundations, and any other organizations owned or controlled by credit unions. Applications will not be accepted from organizations outside the credit union movement.

“We have added a grant application criteria asking, ‘Can your project be replicated by other leagues or credit unions?’” related NCUF Interim Director Tom Candell. "We’re looking to maximize our funding to help credit unions reach new members and deliver innovative services.”

NCUF is seeking grant applications in any of REAL Solutions’ five service areas:

Education

Innovation Grants assist credit union organizations participating in national financial education programs including Biz Kid$ and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). Innovation Grants also support other initiatives consistent with the education components of REAL Solutions: financial counseling, product awareness, and staff training.

Transaction Services

Innovation Grants support transaction services that help credit unions attract underserved consumers. Examples include check cashing, money orders, pre-paid stored value cards, remittances, second chance/fresh start checking, and tax preparation.

Savings

Innovation Grants support programs that help credit union members with low wealth establish and maintain savings. Examples include prize-based savings, safe accounts, savings challenges, and step-up CDs.

Credit

Innovation Grants support initiatives that help non-prime borrowers build and improve credit through credit unions. Examples include alternative credit reports, citizenship loans, first and last rent loans, flexible loan policies, non-prime used car loans, score builder loans, and thin-file loans.

Homeownership

Innovation Grants support responsible programs that help credit union members with lower credit scores qualify as first-time homebuyers. Examples include foreclosure assistance loans, green loans, Home Loan Payment Relief (HLPR) mortgages, Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN) loans, and timely repayment rewards.

Those interested in applying for grants and/or investing in the Communitiy Investment Fund (CIF) can contact NCUF. The amount of grant dollars available depends on how much credit union organizations invest in the CIF.

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Past foundation scholarship recipient continues academic excellence at college

Allison Ellis, a 2008 recipient of the League's foundation scholarships, continues to exceed in her academic career. Ellis, now a sophomore at Chipola College, is one of the most awarded students in college's history.

She was named to the 2010 All-Florida Academic First Team, the All-USA Academic First Team and the 2010 New Century Scholar, the top student from the state of Florida. Additionally, Ellis was named a 2010 Guistwhite Scholar.

At left: Paula Ellis and daughter Allison Ellis pose with Allison’s portrait for the Chipola College Academic Hall of Fame.

As New Century Scholar, Ellis delivered the keynote address at the All-Florida Academic Team meeting in Tallahassee and the American Association of Community College Presidents in Seattle. While in Seattle, Ellis and a small group of students were invited to meet with Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Ellis’ selection for these and other awards were based on her 4.0 academic standing and her work as a leadership officer in the Chipola chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Ellis had her choice of colleges, but chose to attend Chipola for her first two years. “Attending Chipola has allowed me to be involved in many extracurricular activities which wouldn’t have been possible at a larger college. I feel like my decision to attend a community college has and will continue to benefit me in the future,” Ellis said.

Ellis, who plans to attend medical school, also served as president and treasurer of the Chipola Pre-Med Society.

The Florida Credit Union Foundation works through its credit union chapters with 50 high schools throughout Florida providing high school seniors with the opportunity to receive scholarships for college. So far for 2010, more than 30 scholarships have been designated. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU Education News
LSCU Leadership Councils meet in Birmingham

The LSCU Leadership Councils held an introductory meeting in Birmingham, AL last week. Senior management from the following credit unions were in attendance: Alabama Credit Union, Alabama Teachers Credit Union, Jefferson County Employees Credit Union, Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union, Legacy Community Credit Union, Rocket City Federal Credit Union, Alabama Telco Credit Union, and Riverdale Credit Union. LSCU staff liaisons for each council were also in attendance. Following a networking luncheon, Dave Timmons got the group up on their feet with his exhilarating and motivational presentation on the Six Strings of Leadership. During the afternoon, the councils split into three roundtables for topic specific discussions.

The next Leadership Council meetings will be held on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, in conjunction with the LSCU Annual Convention & Exposition. If you have not registered for the AC&E, there is still time. Make sure you do to take advantage of the great education sessions and also see Political pundits Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala give an entertaining keynote address. 


Leadership Council attendees left to right: Dale Goode, LSCU Service Corp; Michele Willis, Legacy Community FCU; Gina Turner, Alabama Teachers CU; and Cheryl Holmes, Coosa Pines FCU.

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Credit Union Information
Reach new markets by utilizing the Spanish Immersion Program!

Did you know that an estimated 40-50 percent of Hispanics are unbanked? And that the FDIC projects Hispanics will account for more than half of the U.S. retail banking growth in the coming decade?

Reaching new markets is crucial to driving credit union growth, and few markets are growing as fast as the U.S. Hispanic population. Total immersion provides the best understanding of how to serve this important market.

Whether you're just beginning to explore the growth potential this market holds or are already serving Hispanic members, World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) Spanish Immersion Program provides the necessary skills and insight you need to attract and better serve Hispanic members. 

Program highlights 

The Spanish Immersion Program is designed to give you a total immersion experience. Participants will:

1.  Stay with a pre-screened host family in the rich cultural environment of Costa Rica
2.  Learn or build on Spanish language skills with four hours of daily Spanish class
3.  Gain valuable experience through an internship at a local credit union — the country's credit unions are known for being progressive, accessible, and focused on member service

Where*: 
San José, Costa Rica

When: 
One-week program is October 2-9, 2010
Two-week program is October 2-16, 2010

Pricing**: 
Early Bird Rate
(registration received no later than June 30, 2010)
One week: $1,700 / Two weeks: $2,500

Standard Rate (registration received after June 30, 2010)
One week: $1,800 / Two weeks: $2,600

Registration Deadline:
  August 31, 2010

Notes: *U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica are required to carry a passport.
**Price does not include air travel between the United States and Costa Rica or meals consumed outside of the host family residence.

Download the full brochure or the registration form to register today. Questions? Contact us! [ Return to Top ]

LEVERAGE News
Ventelligence group purchasing events coming soon

If your credit union is planning to purchase computer equipment, building security services, security equipment, or armored car services, take advantage of an opportunity to save money by leveraging your buying power. Ventelligence is conducting several group purchasing events on the following:

  • Computer Equipment: computers, laptops, software, support services, printers, and more
  • Building Security Services: alarms, monitoring, etc
  • Security Equipment: purchase or lease
  • Armored Car Services

LEVERAGE is extending an open invitation to those credit unions that will be purchasing any of the items to participate. There is no long-term contract commitment required to participate in this ePurchasing event. Purchasing details do not need to be identical to those of other participants, only specific to your needs, and you remain in charge of making decisions throughout every step of the process.

Closing dates for participation are coming soon! To participate or for more information about the collaborative buying process, call LEVERAGE Director of ePurchasing Lori Vary at 941.747.9646 by April 30, 2010.

Ventelligence is an automated system that provides solutions and tools for organizing, assessing risk, tracking, and monitoring third party agreements. It goes a step further by providing tools to help credit unions streamline the buying process along with a platform for group buying and e-purchasing. [ Return to Top ]

News from You
Community First CU awards scholarships to high school seniors

Community First Credit Union of Florida has selected five area high school seniors for its Raymond A. Vinson Scholarship. Each graduating senior will receive a $1,000 scholarship annually for four years to attend a Florida college or university.

The scholarships were awarded to: Erin Saunter, Orange Park High School; Renad Abu-Sawwa, Stanton College Prep; Colette DuChanois, Paxon School for Advanced Studies; Joseph Gross, Bolles School; and Bryana Peterson, Yulee High School.

The Raymond A. Vinson Scholarship is awarded annually in honor of the founder of Community First Credit Union to students who excel scholastically and demonstrate financial need. The Vinson Scholarship is open to all First Coast students who are a member or dependent of a member of Community First Credit Union. [ Return to Top ]

Tropicana FCU to become Manatee Community FCU June 1

Billy Woods, CEO of Tropicana Federal Credit Union announced today that effective June 1, 2010, the credit union will change its name from Tropicana Federal Credit Union to Manatee Community Federal Credit Union. 

The credit union was chartered in 1958 and currently is celebrating it’s fifteenth year of expanding and providing service to local businesses throughout the community.

Woods said, “In the past fifteen years we’ve made a successful transition to a full service community credit union. Our goal is to provide a better service alternative to businesses and members that live, work, worship, or attend school in this community, and the name Manatee Community Federal Credit Union better defines who we are.” [ Return to Top ]

North Alabama Educators Credit Union recognize youth members

Baby's new account opened as part of NAECU's new account promotion - accompanied by "Homer.

To help its members take advantage of the National CU Youth Week, North Alabama Educators Credit Union (NAECU) offered activities especially to recognize youth members, such as the Get in the Savings Game Youth Week. Last Friday afternoon "Homer," the mascot of the local Huntsville Stars minor league baseball team, visited the main office to entertain the kids. The children really enjoyed seeing Homer and the employees got a kick out of it as well.

NAECU deposited $10 towards new children accounts during the week. The credit union also had a special CD and new checking account offer for youth accounts.

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Calendar
Schedule of events

May and June events:

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