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  1. // Podcasts

    CU Tomorrow Conversation #2: Goals, Assessments, & Focus Groups

    If you missed last month’s session with Filene’s Ben Rogers, don’t fret. Jeff Purvis sits down with Filene’s once-Young Adult Driver, now-Director of Research (congrats on the promotion, Ben) to discuss Filene’s latest findings on how to build accountability, measure success, and create a culture of listening, growth, and improvement around your Gen Y initiatives.

    Click “Read more” below to dig into the details.

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  2. // Growth Strategy

    Growth By Meeting New Needs

    Opportunity creates opportunity. I have seen this so clearly as my career has developed. A manager took a chance on me when I said I was interested in politics. Before I knew it, I was lobbying in the Montana State Legislature and got my next chance in Washington D.C. Through my role there, I met so many people throughout the credit union movement and when it was time for me to move back west and get my first job with an actual credit union, I knew people willing to give me that opportunity.

    Every day I see opportunity building opportunity at credit unions across the country. Credit unions give adoption loans so families can bring children into lives where they become thriving community members. Credit unions offer members that first loan that turns an entrepreneurial college graduate into the prominent local business owner. When chances are taken and opportunities are given, there is room for opportunity to be realized.

    Unfortunately, in a time when so many more of us- credit unions and consumers- are watching every financial move with greater care than ever before, it is difficult to justify taking on additional risk and extending resources for new programs and services for non-established potential members. Instead, we happily offer credit to our well-established members and pay dividends that reward those who already have substantial balances while struggling to justify (to our regulators, our members, and ourselves) serving those most in need of traditional financial services…

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  3. // League Highlights

    Pennsylvania Credit Union Association – Fast-Tracking REAL Solutions: The Pennsylvania Story

    This article is the second installment in a monthly series of interviews designed to provide REAL Solutions®League Liaisons and other league staff up-to-date strategies used by their peers to grow their REAL Solutions® efforts. This interview highlights the efforts of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) to fast-track program implementation with an aggressive goal of 100 participating credit unions in their first year of offering the program. As of May 7, 2009 (prior to the introductory meetings) the Association has already received commitments from 50 credit unions. Please learn more from this interview with PCUA’s REAL Solutions® team of Mike Wishnow, Joe Wambach, John Kebles and Vicki Joyal.

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  4. // REAL CU Voices

    Executive Monograph – Invest in the Future

    The CEO of Martin Federal Credit Union discusses his strategy for growth in a down economy: invest in the future.

    Martin Federal Credit Union has responded to the current economic situation in several ways. We have cut expenses in operations and staff, increased our marketing in loans, cut dividends to slow deposit growth, added electronic services and moved forward to complete a new service center…

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  5. // Foreclosures

    Foreclosures hit close to home

    Earlier this week, I was struck by this article from the New York Times:

    Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners to Turn to Shelters

    The first night after she surrendered her house to foreclosure, Sheri West endured the darkness in her Hyundai sedan. She parked in her old driveway, with her flower-print dresses and hats piled in boxes on the back seat, and three cherished houseplants on the floor. She used her backyard as a restroom.
    Growing numbers of Americans who have lost houses to foreclosure are landing in homeless shelters, according to social service groups and a recent report by a coalition of housing advocates.

    Foreclosure is something that I see every day – it is right in front of me…

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  6. // Biz Kid$

    Biz Kid$ Goes to the Library

    I began International Credit Union Week by giving a one-hour Biz Kid$ presentation at our local library. Since this was the introductory session, we selected episode 101 “What is a Biz Kid?” The library wisely scheduled the event on a day off from school (Columbus Day) and did a great job promoting the event in their publications and in the local newspaper. There were 33 kids registered…

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  7. // REAL Solutions News

    Steve Bosack Joins Chairman Matz as Chief of Staff

    The following is a news release issued yesterday by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announcing Steve Bosack’s return to the agency as Chairman Debbie Matz’ chief of staff.

    Steve served as my deputy here at NCUF for four years and was one of the most dedicated, responsible, and professionally astute people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. While this is clearly a loss for NCUF, it is a great opportunity for Steve and a gain for the broader credit union movement.

    All our best to Steve and a thanks for a job well done, and a big job yet to do!

    NCUA Media Release: Steve Bosack Joins NCUA as Chief of Staff

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  8. // Podcasts

    Executive Monograph – Invest in Youth & Young Adult Members

    California has been hard hit by the current economic downturn. Credit unions and their members have been impacted. USA Federal Credit Union’s President and CEO Mary Cunningham used the recession as a learning experience for herself and team by learning through adversity. USAFCU has taken a proactive approach to protect institutional reserves but also expand and grow. With an average member age of 53, the credit union leadership recognized that, like many credit unions, they were not attracting younger members. Join us to hear from Mary how her credit union has aggressively pursued member growth by attracting and serving younger members.

    Click the play button to listen to this informative podcast. It may take a minute or two to load before playing.

    We welcome your comments, too.

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  9. // Youth & Young Adults

    Wondering what CU Tomorrow is all about?

    If you happened to miss the first webinar for CU Tomorrow, all is not lost. The National Credit Union Foundation caught up with Ben Rogers, Filene Research Institute’s, former driver of the 30 Under 30 Group to share what CU Tomorrow is all about; why should credit unions reach out to young adults and provide insight into solutions for attracting youth and young adults, as well as younger professionals and volunteers.

    Click the play button to listen to this intriguing podcast. It may take a minute or two to load before playing.

    Click for the details and a link to the handouts.

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  10. // Biz Kid$

    Lights, Camera, Inspiration

    As a credit union person who uses Biz Kid$ in the classroom, and one who watches it with the young people in my life on PBS, it was a thrill to be invited to tour the studio while visiting Seattle, WA.

    When I walked through the nondescript doors and into the nerve center of one of my favorite programs, I felt like a kid in a candy store! The energy in the studio was electric…

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  11. // League Highlights

    Montana Credit Union Network – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Programs: The Montana Story

    This article is the fourth installment in a monthly series of interviews designed to provide REAL Solutions® League Liaisons and other league staff up-to-date strategies used by their peers to grow their REAL Solutions® efforts. This interview describes the efforts of the Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD)and REAL Solutions credit unions to develop a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for Montana consumers. Please learn more from this interview with Jeanne Saarinen, MCUCD Executive Director, and Robert Coble, MCUCD VITA Program Manager.

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  12. // Biz Kid$

    Introducing: Biz Kid$ Braincandy

    334 PBS stations in all 50 states are broadcasting new episodes of the Emmy Award winning Biz Kid$ underwritten by America’s credit unions. Each episode of Biz Kid$ includes four stories from successful young entrepreneurs reinforcing the importance of saving, budgeting and giving back to their communities. Each episode comes with teaching materials, lesson plans and activities that meet national financial literacy standards. Credit union professionals and volunteers, as well as school teachers and after school programs are teaching the lessons from Biz Kids in Classrooms and community centers.

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  13. // Youth & Young Adults

    The Latest on our Upcoming Young Adult Webinars

    What do credit unions and young adults have in common?

    Far too little, unfortunately, for comfort.

    What: Starting this Thursday at 3:00 PM Eastern, REAL Solutions will present the latest research on young adults’ financial habits and needs. This Thursday’s meeting will introduce the CU Tomorrow project from the Filene Research Institute and offer an introduction to how credit unions can capitalize on the changing financial marketplace to reach out to young adults with products and services, not just financial education.

    Click for the details, a link to the presentation materials, and call-in instructions.

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  14. // Credit Unions

    “Why Americans Hate Their Banks But Don’t Know Enough to Love Their Credit Unions”

    The following is a guest post from American Airlines CU’s Kumar Muthukumar:

    Dave Lieber, the Watchdog Columnist for the Fort Worth Star Telegram was the guest speaker at our recent Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions monthly meeting. The title of his key note address was: “Why Americans Hate Their Banks But Don’t Know Enough to Love Their Credit Unions”

    Dave had a lot to say in praise of credit unions. He said he receives hundreds of customer service complaints mostly from utility companies and banks. So far, no one has approached him seeking his help to redress an issue or complaint related to a credit union! He jokingly said that that was bad for his business!

    Dave also said he now understood why it was called BANKruptcy and not CREDITUNIONruptcy! That had the crowd roaring!

    But on a serious note, Dave warned us to be on the lookout for scammers. He walked us through his five commandments for avoiding scams or if you ever become a victim of one, how to extricate yourself from it. His book, Watchdog Nation, teaches you tips, tools and strategies to bite back when businesses and scammers do you wrong.

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  15. // REAL CU Voices

    Executive Monograph – Marketing is Critical

    Is now the time to hunker down or is now the time to aggressively pursue market share? CEO Jim Schrimpf of Brewery Credit Union in Milwaukee shares his opinion. We welcome your comments, too.

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