BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama Credit Union League is celebrating a record attendance at its two-day 72nd Annual Member Meeting and Education Symposium April 14-15. More than 450 employees and volunteers from credit unions around the state attended the event that had as its theme, “Credit Unions: Uniquely Structured = Uniquely Different.” Speaking to attendees, ACUL President/CEO Gary Wolter said, “If we are to beat back the persistent bank attacks on credit unions and our tax-exempt status, we have to find ways to show who we are and how we are distinctively different. Be informative.promote your uniqueness and how that unique structure benefits your members.” The symposium was kicked off at the opening general session with speaker Mark Lynch who talked about the impact of taxation on Australian credit unions and the lessons learned from it. In his presentation, Lynch stressed that many credit unions in Australia began marketing like banks, using slogans such as “A friendlier place to bank.” He emphasized the importance of credit unions in the U.S. not making this marketing mistake, but instead they should promote their uniqueness. There were also various break-out sessions held during the day on topics such as identity theft, subprime lending, and marketing for community charters. Also on tap that day at the symposium’s closing general session was Steve Ford, son of former President and Mrs. Gerald Ford. He spoke on his experiences as a teenager in the White House, while focusing on character building and topics such as leadership, overcoming adversity, and managing priorities. At the Alabama League’s 72nd Annual Meeting on April 15, attendees heard from Board Chairman Dale Dalbey, CEO, Mutual Savings CU who recapped the board’s initiatives in 2004 to preserve the future for the state’s credit unions and the adoption of a Statement of Core Principles for the Alabama Credit Union League and its subsidiaries, to affirm the current and future direction of the League. At the close of the symposium, the League’s Board met to elect the Executive Committee for 2005. Each member of the Executive Committee in 2004 was re-elected for 2005. They include: Dalbey; Tom Tatum, first vice chairman, Jefferson County Teachers CU; James Dill, second vice chairman, Montgomery Teachers FCU; Hillard Sparks, treasurer, Valley CU; and Greg Olmsted, secretary, North Alabama Educators CU.

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