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NEW ORLEANS – Last year, NASCUS wound up rescheduling its annual conference from September 13-18 until the end of December because of 9/11. This year, the association’s 2002 Annual Conference is slated to end the day before the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack, but the date is still having an effect on this year’s conference. NASCUS President Doug Duerr said the timing of this year’s conference with the one-year anniversary of 9/11 is “just coincidence. We pick the dates for our annual conferences four to five years out to get a selected date in a prime city.” Almost 250 registrants are expected to attend NASCUS’ 37th Annual Conference which will be held Sept. 7-10 at the New Orleans Marriott. Planned around the theme of “Unlock the Mystique of Innovation,” the four-day conference will feature all three current NCUA Board members; former NCUA Board chairman and retiring Patelco CU CEO Ed Callahan; former NCUA Board member Geoff Bacino; Washington, D.C. attorney Ray Gustini; past NASCUS chairman Gary Mielock; and Filene President Bob Hoel. In addition to meetings of the NASCUS Board and the NASCUS Council Board and an interagency dialogue between state regulators and NCUA Board member JoAnn Johnson and Executive Director J. Len Skiles, conferees will have the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion on emerging risks; hear from credit union experts on innovations state regulators and state-chartered CUs are making that benefit the state CU system; and listen to a panel discussion on member business lending rules. This year’s conference will also feature workshops on timely issues such as debt cancellation, subprime auto lending, and mortgage loans. There will also be various mini-symposiums on topics such as international branching and incidental powers The last day of NASCUS’ annual conference will showcase credit union leaders the association says exemplify innovation in the CU industry and present a “parade of innovators in state laws/regulations.” NASCUS purposely scheduled the symposium to wrap up by noon on Sept. 10 to allow attendees the opportunity to participate in optional events such as a “Jean Lafitte Swamp Adventure” and a “Creole Queen Cruise.” NASCUS President Doug Duerr said the association deliberately organizes its conferences with time for optional events at the end “so attendees have the opportunity to unwind from the conference and give them the chance to enjoy the conference venue.” Consequently, said Duerr, NASCUS blocked 200 rooms with the Marriott Hotel for the night of Sept. 10, figuring attendees would stay over and fly home Sept. 11. Many conference registrants, though, have opted to fly home on Sept. 10, said Duerr, and only about 50 rooms consequently will be used the evening of Sept. 10. Duerr attributes that to attendees’ reaction to 9/11 events and their concerns about flying on that day. -

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