WASHINGTON -- New Jersey's credit unions will be more visible in the halls of power.
The New Jersey Credit Union League is hiring a lobbyist, on contract, to supplement the efforts of two staff members already working with government officials. Complementing this effort, the league recently announced plans to open a satellite office in Trenton, the state capital.
The league's goal is to gather support for modernizing the state's credit union charter. The charter hasn't been revised in a while and league President/CEO Paul Gentile said making some modifications would encourage more of the state's credit unions to apply for a state charter.
"There are only 17 state charters among the 223 credit unions. This is a good opportunity to add more, since the state is looking for more revenue, and more state charters means more money," he said in an interview.
Gentile said opening the satellite office, which will be housed in a three-story building constructed in 1897, has been one of his top priorities since becoming president in January.
The league is also keeping its eye on federal policymakers.
On June 23, it honored U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), as its CU legislator of the year.
Payne, who has been in office since 1989, is a co-sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act and has voted for other measures important to credit unions. He represents the 10th District, including the city of Newark.
"I am excited that we were able to recognize one of our most ardent supporters in Congress. Congressman Payne has been a friend to New Jersey credit unions. What I admire most about him is that he truly understands our issues. He understands that while banks are looking to grow and expand, they expect credit unions to operate under the 1934 model," Gentile said in a statement.
Redwood CU Earns SBA Lender Status
SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- The Small Business Administration has given the green light to Redwood Credit Union to become one of the agency's lenders.
The new designation adds to the $1.8 billion credit union's suite of small business services. To help accommodate members, Redwood has hired Jason Ehn as its SBA loan officer. Ehn previously served as vice president of small business lending at Tamalpais Bank and has prior lending experience at Summit State Bank and Sonoma National Bank, according to the credit union.
"The SBA programs allow us to serve small businesses who might not otherwise qualify for traditional loans, so that they can build their businesses and prosper," said Michael Downey, vice president of business services at Redwood.
The credit union serves more than 143,000 members.