In Other News
AWARDS Columbia Credit Union, Vancouver, Wash., has once again earned a SUPERIOR five-star rating from the credit union rating firm, BauerFinancial. The SUPERIOR rating recognizes Columbia as one of the top performing credit unions in the nation. The CU has been recognized with this rating for 16 consecutive quarters. BauerFinancial analyzes and reports on the financial condition of the nation's banks and credit unions. Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union, Woodbridge, Va., recently received the President's Volunteer Service Award, granted by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The award recognizes the CU's dedication to volunteer service and signifies that the CU has served its community and country with distinction. Hopewell Federal Credit Union, Heath, Ohio, was recently named a 2006 Licking County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year runner up for the category of businesses with 21-100 employees. The announcement came at the Chamber's 3rd Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration at Denison University in Granville. This is the first time Hopewell Federal has received a Small Business of the Year award from the Chamber. Point West Credit Union, Portland, Ore., recently announced that Vice President of Corporate Development Alison Carr earned one of the five all expense paid trips to next year's WOCCU World Conference based on her extraordinary commitment and contributions to the credit union movement. She was the only recipient from the United States. The grant was given by the WOCCU Young Credit Union Professionals Scholarship Program, which was created to recognize young credit union leaders and to encourage their international involvement in the credit union movement. Kent White, vice president of marketing for Northwest Community Credit Union, Springfield, Ore., was recently named the 2006 Executive of the Year by the Willamette Chapter of the Credit Union Association of Oregon. Additionally, NWCU board member Barb Blackmore was named Volunteer of the Year. Executive of the Year recipients are selected based on a series of criteria: achievements for their credit union and the credit union movement; service to the community and civic organizations; professional development and continuing education; and contributions to CUAO and its chapters. White was honored for his work in transforming Wood Products Credit Union into NWCU, which now operates as one of the largest CUs in the state. BRANCHING OUT Smart Financial Credit Union, Houston, recently opened the doors to its first location in Fort Bend County. The Sugar Land office was built as a means to better serve the CU's existing members already in the area, while opening the doors to the surrounding community. The grand opening was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony in conjunction with the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. The new 6,200 square foot facility features four lobby tellers, five financial service representatives, six drive-up lanes, a drive-up ATM, safe deposit boxes, children's play area and a greeter station. Penn East Federal Credit Union, Scranton, Pa., celebrated the grand opening of its Clarks Summit branch recently. The day-long event featured a live radio remote broadcast by Froggy 101, complimentary refreshments all day by Hickory Hill Catering, complimentary ice cream cones by Mister Softee, a prize drawing and special offers. Penn East FCU also made a donation to the Abington Marketing Alliance in support of the annual Clarks Summit Festival of Arts. Bayer Federal Credit Union, Elkhart, Ind., celebrated the grand opening of its newest branch recently. The ribbon cutting ceremony brought city and state officials to the site of the newest cooperative branch between Bayer FCU and Chiphone Federal Credit Union. This branch marks the second partnership branch between the two CUs. A ribbon made of twenty-dollar bills was ceremoniously cut to signify the opening of the new branch and each credit union chose a local nonprofit organization to be the recipients of a donation. Bayer FCU presented $500 to The Safe Kids Coalition of Elkhart County and Chiphone FCU presented the same amount to the Elkhart County Council on Aging. Columbia Credit Union, Ridgefield, Wash., recently opened a second home loan center at its Ridgefield branch. The opening enhances Columbia's presence in north Clark County while increasing convenience to members. Panhandle Educators Federal Credit Union, Panama City, Fla., recently broke ground for its newest branch facility which will be located in Southport. Consultants & Builders, Inc. was selected to design and build the new facility. DONATIONS Employees of Peninsula Credit Union, Escanaba, Mich., recently ventured to the local Dairy Queen to support Children's Hospital while enjoying a Blizzard at the same time. All proceeds of Blizzards sold that day at multiple Dairy Queen locations went directly to Children's Hospital in Seattle. San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union, San Diego, recently hosted its 7th Annual Blood Drive benefiting the San Diego Blood Bank. Forty pints of blood were donated at the drive, potentially saving 120 lives. SDMCU's drive was part of a month-long collaborative blood collection effort on behalf of credit unions throughout San Diego County. Participants, consisting of SDMCU members, employees and members of the local community, received several prizes and a raffle entry, and sponsors for the refreshments included Kashi Company. LBS Financial Credit Union, Long Beach, Calif., along with eight local credit unions and credit union organizations donated more then 600 new items to the Long Beach Veterans Association and the U.S. Vets, a private corporation. Organized by management and staff from LBS Financial and the Long Beach Chapter of the California Credit Union League, items were collected by chapter members and staff at their credit unions in support of local veterans. More than 50 individual participants from the eight credit unions supported the cause. Donated items included new clothing, blankets, personal care products and more. Champion Credit Union, Canton, N.C., recently awarded its A. Roland Leatherwood Memorial Scholarship to high school seniors in its field of membership. Out of the group that applied to be considered for the scholarship, only four were chosen based on their scholastic achievement and merit/community involvement. A total of $16,000 is awarded each year to the four successful candidates of the memorial scholarship, with each applicant receiving $1,000 for four years to assist them financially. In the midst of a serious blood shortage, Kent Credit Union, Kent, Ohio, partnered with the American Red Cross and hosted a blood drive at the CU's Streetsboro location. This annual event drew members, employees and local residents who donated enough blood to assist in the recovery of 51 people. Scott Credit Union, Collinsville, Ill., raised more than $1,100 for the Children's Miracle Network of Greater St. Louis by selling discounted Six Flags tickets at the CU's nine Metro-east offices. A portion of the proceeds from this summer's sales of $31 single day tickets and $73 season passes was given to the Children's Miracle Network of Greater St. Louis providing support to Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center and St. Louis Children's Hospital. The Southern Tier Chapter of the New York State Credit Union League, Binghamton, N.Y., recently awarded Kevin Eggleston with a $500 scholarship on behalf of the organization. Stephen Gardner, president/CEO of GHS Federal Credit Union, presented the scholarship to Eggleston. The Chapter is comprised of Horizons FCU, Visions FCU, GHS FCU, UHS EFCU, SEFCU, Empire FCU and Sidney FCU. ART: Jeans.JPG CUT: Afena Federal CU's President Sheila Burkhart (second from left) encourages her staff to go casual on Fridays, which help raise money for Riley Children's Hospital. Employes of Afena Federal Credit Union, Marion, Ind., are "getting comfy and casual for a cause" with the return of Denim Fridays, the newest installment of the "People Helping People" program in support of Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. Every Friday for a month, staff members are given the option to wear jeans in exchange for making a $5 donation in support of Riley Children's Foundation. Staff members are also encouraged to wear their "Celebrate Miracles" t-shirt, regardless if they opt for the denim look or not, to show support of the foundation and Afena Federal CU's focus on Riley Month. ART: HCU School Supply Drive.jpg CUT: HCU Branch Manager Connie Wiese and Sherman Middle School Principal Ann Yehle display the school supplies collected during the drive. Heritage Credit Union, Madison, Wis., recently held a school supply drive to benefit children in need on Madison's northside. HCU members and staff were encouraged to bring school supplies into the Shopko Drive Branch to be distributed by Sherman Middle School to children in need. The donations included backpacks, notebooks, scissors, folders, markers, pencils and many other items. ART: Doylefielddonation2081609.jpg CUT: Ralph Caisse and Dick O'Brien, of Doyle Field Foundation, stand in front of the Doyle Box under construction, along with Paul Sefakis, assistant vice president and Leominster branch manager of Workers' CU. Workers' Credit Union, Fitchburg, Mass., recently contributed $5,000 toward the restoration of Doyle Field in Leominster. Paul Sefakis, assistant vice president and Leominster branch manager at the CU, met with Ralph Caisse and Dick O'Brien of the Doyle Field Foundation to see the field under construction. The CU also made a $10,000 donation to the Leominster Public Library for its 35,000 square foot addition which is under construction. ART: Peter with school supplies.jpg CUT: Peter Matthews, president/CEO of Merrimack Valley FCU, shows the schools supplies that were donated to five schools in the CU's service area. Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, North Andover, Mass., recently picked a school in every city where it has a branch and gave them $500 worth of school supplies in celebration of opening its newest branch in Plaistow, N.H. The total donation from the CU was $2,500 worth of school supplies. ART: CUT0806WeberGrill.eps CUT: Tammy Olson poses with her new Weber Grill courteous of Community Trust CU. Community Trust Credit Union, Gurnee, Ill., recently awarded Tammy Olson a new Weber Grill during its Member Appreciation Day. CTCU's 2006 Member Appreciation Day was the biggest one yet and had entertainment for all with magicians, balloon sculptors and delicious food from Maravellas. The Gurnee Police and Fire departments stopped by to provide free child safety seat checks. ART: DSC00425.JPG CUT: Dollar Dog, Premier's Kid's Club Mascot, tends to the hot dogs on the grill. Premier Federal Credit Union, Greensboro, N.C., recently held two fundraisers providing more than $2,300 for the American Cancer Society. Premier's annual Hot Dog Sale, which is held at the credit union's Greensboro headquarters each year, raised nearly $1,900 for the American Cancer Society. The hot dog meal included chips, drink and dessert, with the price for one hot dog and extras $4 and two hot dogs and extras $5. Another fundraiser benefiting the ACS is a Breast Cancer Awareness tote bag. The black totes feature a pink breast cancer ribbon on both sides. Each is $5. The totes have raised $445 for the ACS so far. Combined the two fundraisers have yielded $2,321 fro the Society's local chapter. ART: 100_1031a.jpg CUT: Team members from La-Tec CU look forward to the overnight experience of camping out and walking the high school track throughout the night to support the ACS. La-Tec Credit Union, New Holstein, Wis., recently raised over $5,100 for the American Cancer Society by participating in Calumet County's Relay for Life event. La-Tec Credit Union was awarded the "Team Incentive Award" for having members on the organizational and implementation committee, silent auction donations and by meeting other award criteria. This was the fifth year the CU sponsored a team in the local fundraising event. MILESTONES ART: Community Choice group w/ plaque.jpg CUT: Indiana Credit Union League President John McKenzie (second from left) presented commemorative plaques from the League and CUNA at the 25th anniversary reception for Community Choice FCU. Community Choice Federal Credit Union, Indianapolis, Indiana's only credit union that was chartered specifically as a Community Development Credit Union celebrated 25 years of service to members recently. The two-day celebration marking the 25th anniversary of Community Choice began at the Historic Firehouse #2 during a reception attended by members, state legislators, Cliff Rosenthal, executive director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and Indiana League President John McKenzie. The credit union partnered with community and city representatives to celebrate the revitalization of the area by hosting an ice cream social following the dedication of Moon Block Park on the second day of the celebration. Mutual Savings Credit Union, Birmingham, Ala., recently offered two special seven percent certificate of deposit specials to celebrate 70 years of service. Orginally created to serve employees of U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works, Mutual Savings Credit Union has been serving communities since 1936. MSCU offered two special CDs: seven percent for seven months and seven percent for 12 months. ART: CEO and cake.tif CUT: United Health CU Board Chairman Tony Violanti and President/CEO Linda White proudly display a cake that was 50 years in the making. United Health Credit Union, Burlingame, Calif., recently celebrated 50 years serving members. The CU gave away 50 vacation packages and shared a birthday cake with the credit union's 50th anniversary logo with members. There was also an after-hours open house for local officials, colleagues and longtime members at the main branch. About 50 guests enjoyed a light catered meal and drinks and each received a souvenir key chain with the CU's 50th anniversary logo. Altura Credit Union, Riverside, Calif., recently reached a significant milestone--achieving $800 million in assets as of July 31, 2006. This is a $100 million increase in asset size in less than a year. Altura reached $700 million in assets as of Aug. 31, 2005. In less than 10 ears, Altura has grown from $240 million in assets.