NEW ORLEANS – “Best convention ever” are the buzzwords League officials used to describe Louisiana Credit Union League’s 71st Annual Meeting and Convention June 22-25. Admittedly, the phrase has been used before, but it was management’s way of expressing how smoothly the event went for the approximately 450 credit union professionals and volunteers attending the event from more than 90 credit unions. Convention highlights included educational and networking opportunities, a chance to visit with more than 50 exhibitors, and fun activities including the annual golf tournament and the CUNA Mutual dinner cruise on the Creole Queen Riverboat. In addition, the League honored credit union leaders with Distinguished Service Awards and Excellence in Marketing Awards, and recognized new Certified Credit Union Executives, Credit Union Legislative Action Committee contributors and credit unions celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries during 2005. At the business meeting Saturday, June 25, board officers were elected and the membership unanimously approved several bylaw amendments and an amendment to the League’s articles of incorporation, mostly “housekeeping” in nature. Prompted by an influx into the state by credit unions with out-of-state headquarters, the most notable amendment now further delineates the difference between a League “primary member” and “associate member” as it pertains to the right to vote and to hold office within the League. Following passage at the annual meeting, only primary members, credit unions with headquarters located in the State of Louisiana, are afforded the right to vote and hold office in the Louisiana League. “Our experience is that we’re beginning to see a lot of credit unions crossing state borders. We have two Associate Members now – one from Florida and one from Mississippi, and a couple more are planning to join,” Blanda said. “They have branches in Louisiana and were very interested in joining the League; they both came to us.” Another amendment will prohibit delegates or alternate delegates of credit unions that have had annual dues waived because of financial concerns to vote or hold office until their dues have been paid. In the past, the LCUL billed membership dues for credit unions belonging to multiple Leagues according to the percentage of assets represented by the members located in Louisiana. At the annual business meeting, delegates passed an amendment enabling the League to now bill these credit unions based on total assets. Although previously scheduled keynote speaker NCUA Chair JoAnn Johnson had to cancel her appearance in order to conduct business in the nation’s capital, B. Jeffery Brooks, LCUL’s lobbyist and legal counsel in Washington, D.C., updated credit union professionals on CURIA legislation and bank attacks and praised credit unions for working well with the Louisiana Congressional delegation. “Louisiana credit union leaders really get it. They understand why we raise money and why we meet with elected officials,” said League spokesperson Alicia Blanda. “They have been very supportive in all of our grassroots efforts.” The Louisiana League’s legislative efforts were given a boost at the Convention with an $18,000 donation by Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union and an estimated donation of $4,000 by CUNA Mutual Group to the LCUL Legislative Fund. -

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