Former Robins FCU Executive Vice President John R. Rhea has been named president/CEO. He succeeds John Ruffin, who retired Dec. 31 after a 37-year career in the credit union industry.
Rhea, who has been with the $1 billion credit union since 1996, has over 30 years experience in the financial industry. A native of Pittsburgh, he graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor's degree in finance.
UW CU Keeps College Within Reach
MADISON, Wis. -- UW Credit Union is helping keep college within reach for some deserving students.
The credit union has raised more than $1.5 million in scholarship funds to help future University of Wisconsin and Madison area Technical College students.
As a provider of educational loans, the credit union decided to start the fund to help keep attendance within reach of more students.
UW Credit Union started the fund with a pledge to each of the campuses, and then agreed to match member contributions dollar for dollar. Donations were accepted online and at the credit union's branches from October through December 2008. In addition to the UW Credit Union match, some of the university's foundations stepped in to offer their own matching gift.
The funds raised will be placed in a permanent endowment, with the earnings given as aid to students who have been accepted into the schools but are unable to afford the cost of attendance. The schools will select scholarship recipients each year based on financial need.
"Wisconsin residents have reason to be proud of our excellent universities, but there is an urgent need to make sure talented young people are not excluded, simply because they can't afford to attend," said UW Credit Union President/CEO Paul Kundert.
"Some families simply don't have the capacity to borrow what is needed to meet the gap in the cost of attendance. We are very pleased with the great reaction of our members to the scholarship fund and their willingness to donate. We hope they have a positive feeling knowing they have helped provide students with the opportunity to receive higher education from a college or university in Wisconsin."
CEEL Blames Illiteracy for Crisis
WASHINGTON -- The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy recently released a new survey determining a need for increased education on personal finance and economic issues.
The national survey revealed that an overwhelming number of Americans are unable to answer some of the most basic questions about borrowing, interest rates, terminology and even basic math. In addition, many respondents admitted to making poor decisions with their own personal finances.
The survey finds that 54% of respondents could not identify what a subprime mortgage is, 56% could not identify a FICO score as the most important factor in getting a loan and 35% admitted to not having a family or personal budget that would allow them to eliminate their credit card debt by the end of 2009.
"Economic illiteracy is at the heart of our current economic crisis," said James Bowers, managing director for CEEL. "As many Americans find themselves knee-deep in mortgages that are far too expensive and that they don't understand, it's troubling to see just how deep our economic illiteracy runs. In fact, our survey shows that a majority of Americans don't understand even the most basic facts about the economic crisis and many don't have the tools to manage their personal finances. It is clear that we need to increase personal finance education at all ages so we have better informed employees, borrowers, and voters."