Vermont CUs to Merge
Members of both CUs approved the merger at meetings early last month; the transaction already received clearance of regulators.
MACCU with 8,200 members has two branches in White River Junction and Barre, while Caswell with 2,700 members has one office.
"Because both credit unions share fields of membership based in the education industry and operate on the same core data processing system, the transition period is expected to be relatively seamless," according to a MACCU statement.
Caswell Manager Kathleen Cote said the merger would permit the CU to offer a broader range of products. "Because of our small size, we've been unable to offer home equity, money market accounts, and longer term share certificates," she said.
Members Curb Spending
Eating out, entertainment and vacation costs are being slashed by members of $1.1 billion Truliant Credit Union.
The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based CU recently surveyed more than 3,000 of its members on how the downturn has affected their spending habits. Seventy-three percent said they have scaled back on dining out, 70% on entertainment and 64% on travel and vacations. Members have also cut back spending on clothing (59%), home electronics (55%), car purchases/leases and repairs (45%), home appliances (35%) cell phones and/or calling plans (22%) and in other areas, such as groceries and medications (5%).
Nearly half said the state of the economy has led to them cutting back on a few nonessential items. Twenty-eight percent said they have cut back on everything and only buy the necessities. The remaining members indicated they are spending about the same as before or "have difficult choices to make right now, even when it come to necessities."
Power Financial Selects
Small Business Winner
A company dedicated to preventing the extinction of rare plants, animals and ecosystems won Power Financial Credit Union's small business makeover contest.
The Institute for Regional Conservation in Miami provides protection, restoration and long-term management of biodiversity in South Florida, the Caribbean and beyond.
The IRC will receive a $1,000 Staples gift card, a one-hour meeting with Power Financial's marketing department, a private consultation with Power Investment Services, registered through broker-dealer CUSO Financial Services LP and a one-hour public relations session with Weston, Fla.-based brainstorm2go. Power Financial scheduled the prize presentation to coincide with Earth Day on April 22.
Jesse Freedman, an IRC field technician, said he was motivated to enter the contest because of the urgent need to upgrade technology and focus on solid financial planning.
"Being a nonprofit, we face limited resources and difficulty reaching out to the public," Freedman said. "Our team has the capability to do incredible things in research and analysis, but we sometimes fall short sharing this work with our community."
Allan Prindle, president/CEO of the $480 million Power Financial in Pembroke Pines, Fla., said the prize package will provide IRC with the tools it needs to upgrade some technologies, increase their awareness among their target audience and "apply good financial planning and budgeting strategies to help achieve success."
CUNA Mutual VP Retires
Long-time CUNA Mutual Group employee Bill Jolicoeur retired from his position as vice president of payment protection products.
Jolicoeur retired on May 1 after 34 years in the industry. He started his career at CUNA Mutual in 1975 as a sales representative in Massachusetts with more than 300 credit unions in his territory.
"People have asked me why I stayed with one company for 34 years," said Jolicoeur. "My answer is always the same. When your company helps its customers be better at their core business through product development and related support, that's a win-win. CUNA Mutual is a customer-focused company with commitment and pride. I can't think of another organization I'd have wanted to work for."
Over his 34-year career, Jolicoeur established and led CUNA Mutual's life, health, individual property and casualty brokerage operations and the internal corporate risk management and safety/loss program. He also led CUNA Mutual's Bingham Farms, Mich., operation and oversaw the sale of CUMIS General and the CUMIS auto program to Liberty Mutual and led CUNA Mutual's MEMBERS Auto and Home program to now include more than 3,200 credit unions and 40 million eligible members.
"Bill developed a strong working relationship with our partner Liberty Mutual and helped build and grow a book of business that benefited all parties," said Randy Kohout, CUNA Mutual's vice president of organization capability. "His excellent record with MEMBERS Auto and Home products made him the natural choice for the larger lending products role, where he again demonstrated his passion and business savvy."
Southwest Corporate FCU
Launches X9 Express
Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union announced that it has implemented Endpoint Exchange's service for check image exchange.
Southwest Corporate is now using X9 Express Direct, a secure Web portal that facilitates check image exchange and file transfer. The service allows Southwest Corporate to send and receive electronic packages of individual check images directly.
"Endpoint Exchange helps Southwest Corporate best address the needs of small and mid-sized institutions, as we are currently providing check imaging services through the network to 720 member credit unions," said Bill Brennan, director of site operations at Southwest Corporate. "Processing with X9 Express Direct has resulted in significant productivity improvement of our image exchange item and file management, balancing and reconcilement processes. The service reduced our full time equivalency costs for this exchange by half-which translates to lower costs for our member credit unions."
Southwest Corporate has been connected to the Endpoint Exchange network since 2004. Endpoint Exchange is a national check image exchange provider and a Metavante company, which provides banking and payments technology. The company provides solutions that can be deliver in-house or outsourced and include distributed capture, check and remittance processing, document and report management and fraud detection.
Leagues Elect Leaders
In separate elections during annual meetings, the Missouri Credit Union Association and the Credit Union Association of Colorado/Wyoming have elected new leadership for 2009-2010.
Stanley Moeckli, president/CEO of Electro Savings CU of St. Louis, was named chairman of the Missouri group. He succeeds Betty Clark, CEO of United CU of Mexico.
Moeckli has served as president/CEO for three CUs during his 31-year industry career.
Elected first vice chair was Dennis Pierce of CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Kansas City, and elected second vice chair was Brian Eyestone of Southpointe CU, St. Louis.
At the annual meeting of CUAC in Colorado Springs; Douglas Ferraro, president/CEO of Bellco CU, Greenwood Village, was re-elected chairman; Michael Williams, president/CEO, Colorado CU, Littleton, vice chairman; Keith Cowling, president/CEO of CU of Denver, Lakewood Village, treasurer; and Eva Gaudio, president/CEO, St. Vrain Valley CU, Longmont as secretary.
Members Advantage CU
Opens New Branch
Members Advantage Credit Union announced that it will be opening a new 3,300-square-foot facility as part of its new growth plan.
Consulting and facilities development firm LEVEL5 is managing the new branch strategy for the credit union. Members Advantage has more than $72 million in assets and more than 9,500 members. The credit union currently has two branch locations and a free standing drive-up facility.
"LEVEL5 was exactly what we needed given their ability to manage the entire process from strategy, location and design, to handing over the keys," said Frank Beachnau, president of Members Advantage. "The results gave us a clear indication of where we needed to be and how we needed to get there."
The new branch location will allow Members Advantage to serve Porter County, Ind.
"This strategy allows us to deepen our relationship with existing members, while serving new members with the new branch in the new location," Beachnau said.