"Our special edition will profile individuals we are calling the industry's agents of change- leaders from various sectors of the industry sharing their voices on key issues and trends," said Alix Patterson, Callahan's chief operating officer, who is overseeing the special edition.
Founded in 1985 by three former NCUA officials-Edgar Callahan, Wendell Sebastian and Chip Filson-Callahan & Associates was created with one purpose-to help improve credit union performance.
"Helping credit unions and related organizations succeed has been our focus for 25 years," said Patterson. "During that time, we've seen a lot of changes and growth within the industry. Our 25th anniversary provides time to both reflect on the past, look to the future and ready ourselves for great opportunities ahead."
Enhancements to the 2010 directory and www.creditunions.com will range from 14 targeted special section channels, including demographics, Internet strategies and marketing and mobile edition directory, to online access and contact listings.
Survey Finds Consumer Shift
A recently released Allegiance Inc. survey found that as of midyear consumer expectations of banks and credit unions have shifted away from the more traditional roles of industry leader, guardian and protector of consumer finances.
While credit unions continue to have much higher member engagement levels than banks, the gap is narrowing. Credit unions saw a drop in member engagement from 57% to 49% between January and June 2009.
According to Allegiance, this marks the sharpest drop in credit union engagement since the survey began in October 2007.
The survey also found that both banks and credit unions seem to be focusing their engagement resources on the most profitable demographics, those consumers with incomes ranging between $50,000 to $150,000.
North Jersey FCU CEO Honored
North Jersey Federal Credit Union President/CEO Lourdes Cortez has been named Paterson's business woman of the year in recognition of her dedication to the Paterson, N.J. community.
Over the past 26 years, Cortez has been employed in nearly every department of NJFCU, working her way from an entry-level bank teller to CEO. Under her leadearship the credit union experienced 15% growth this year, despite the downturn in the economy.
She has also been a strong advocate of bilingual financial literacy programs in schools. In addition, Cortez has introduced new products to NJFCU geared toward community members, including the "Hero Loan," which helps local heroes like teachers, firemen, police, and EMT workers obtain loans at fair rates. In honor of Cortez's award, NJFCU participated in the 2009 Puerto Rican Day Parade in Paterson. Waving to parade spectators from her perch on the back of a convertible, Cortez proudly sported her Patterson business woman of the year sash.
Going Greener in N.C.
State Employees' Credit Union has made it easier for locals to make their homes a little greener.
The Raleigh, N.C.-based credit union has recently launched a "green second mortgage" that is designed specifically for energy efficient improvements, such as replacement windows, heating and air conditioning systems, insulation, solar water systems and Energy Star appliances. As much as $50,000 may be financed for up to 10 years with at least 75% of the proceeds used for energy efficient improvements.
The move is the latest in the credit union's green loan offerings and initiatives. In 2007, the SECU Foundation began a four-year commitment to support cleaner, renewable energy alternatives for North Carolina through the funding of one kilowatt hour of renewable energy production in the state for each member-a commitment to renewable energy in North Carolina of over 5.2 million kilowatt hours.
Web Site for the Laid Off
With unemployment at an all time high, PrimeWay Federal Credit Union is doing its part to help locals cope.
The Houston-based credit union has launched LaidoffinHouston.com to provide financial advice, r?sum? and networking tips, and blog posts about up to date job search ideas and low-cost family activities. Visitors can also find articles on topics ranging from social networking for job hunters to the pros and cons of 401(k) loans and hardship withdrawals.
The move is designed to serve as a much needed resource for Houston residents.
Gas for Less at Palisades FCU
It's been a long time since New City, N.Y., residents were able to fill their gas tanks for less.
For four hours, Palisades Federal Credit Union helped lower gas prices to $1.99 per gallon.
The move was designed as a creative way to thank the local community for its support of Palisades
FCU's latest branch in New City.
The Pear River, N.Y.-based credit union paid the difference between the low $1.99 promotional price and the current gas price for anyone who filled up at the designated Shell gas station. Palisades FCU has over $156 million in assets.
Eaton Family CU Fights the Flu
Eaton Family Credit Union is getting hands on this flu season.
The credit union has placed king-sized hand sanitizer dispensers in its branches and posted signs that state "In addition to your FINANCIAL well-being, we are also concerned about your PERSONAL well-being and health. Feel free to cleanse your hands at your convenience."
"We're trying to prepare everyone for the upcoming flu season," said Eaton Family CU President Mike Losneck. "Experts say you should wash your hands frequently so hopefully the hand sanitizers in our lobby with help our members and my co-workers stay healthy."
Savings Matter Message
Young North Carolinians are getting the message that savings matter.
State Employees' Credit Union's youth programs have recently surpassed the 200,000 mark in accounts opened with deposits totaling more than $80 million.
The Raleigh, N.C.-based credit union's two youth programs: Fat Cat, for children up to age 12 and Zard, aimed at teens 13 to 19 years old. The programs emphasize youth financial education, with dedicated Websites, newsletters and in-school presentations by SECU staffers.
ABNB FCU in Insurance Deal
ABNB Federal Credit Union has tossed its hat into the property and casualty arena.
The credit union has teamed up with the Wesseck Group LLC to launch Member's Assurance Property & Casualty.
The new in-house agency will allow the Chesapeake, Va., credit union to offer its members a wide array of insurance products at discounted premiums.
"This partnership makes a great deal of sense," said ABNB FCU President/CEO Carl Ratcliff. "It provides a great benefit to our members and an additional income stream for the credit union, which only enhances our ability to compete in the marketplace."