The Point: March 6, 2013

Statewide fundraiser raises $12,000+ for CMN Hospitals

Staff from credit unions across the state dressed down and donated more than $5,200 last month as part of the Credit Union Association of New York's first-ever statewide fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Employees of the Association and its Affiliates also rallied behind the cause, raising a total of $750.

Thanks to matched funds from CO-OP Financial Services' Miracle Match program, the fundraiser raised just over $12,000 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals that serve New York.

"We are so proud to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the important work they do for New York families," said Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. "Special thanks go out to the credit union staff who participated in our fundraiser, and to CO-OP Financial Services for their generous matching."

All donations are being recorded at the national level by Credit Unions for Kids and then sent to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital that serves each participating credit union's area.

CU leaders gather for Idea Exchange

Last Saturday, credit union leaders from the Buffalo and Niagara Chapters gathered for the first-ever Credit Union Idea Exchange. The event was open to credit unions with less than $10 million in assets and was hosted by the Credit Union Association of New York.

The group met at the Anna Reinstein Memorial Library in Cheektowaga, where they shared strategies and insights on increasing lending, offering life and credit disability insurance and offering credit builder loans. They also discussed member newsletter content, investment options and online applications.

"The meeting was great because the dialogue among credit unions is so important," said Ann Palmer, manager of St John's AME FCU. "I was inspired by some of the things that are going on in other small credit unions."

The next Credit Union Idea Exchange is scheduled for May 11 at the same location. For more information, contact Margaret Kazz, Association management consultant, at (800) 342-9835, ext. 7304 or  

Convention grants, opportunities available for young pros

With valuable networking and educational opportunities, the Credit Union Association of New York's 2013 Annual Meeting & Convention is a must-attend event for young professionals. To make registration more affordable, the Association is offering a Young Professional Convention grant to attendees age 35 and younger.

Young professionals may also apply for New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) Professional Development grants to assist with registration costs.

"Convention provides a background of the statewide credit union landscape for young professionals," said past attendee Cara Carlevatti, Great Erie FCU. "It's a great chance to network with vendors, Association staff and other credit union professionals. Not only does Convention offer educational opportunities; the experience leaves you motivated and re-energized to carry out the credit union mission."

As in previous years, the Association's Young Professionals Commission (YPC) will have a strong presence at the event. YPC members will once again host a Cheers and Beers networking event, and they will also be managing the NYCUF booth in the EXPO.

"Convention is a central meeting place for New York's credit union leaders to gather and learn-together and from each other," said YPC chairman Lisa Totaro, Sunmark FCU. "Young professionals who attend Convention alongside statewide leaders benefit from knowledge-sharing while also providing a fresh perspective on the issues confronting our industry today."

The 2013 Annual Meeting & Convention will be held June 13-16 at The Sagamore Resort on Lake George. For more information, visit the Convention website.

CU staff, volunteer leaders invited to join Empire Club

New York credit unionists are invited to support political action through membership in the Credit Union Association of New York's prestigious Empire Club. Nearly 40 individuals have already distinguished themselves as Empire Club members for 2013.

Membership may be attained two ways: by contributing at least $250 to New York credit unions' political action committees by April 1, or by committing to donate at least $250 in 2013 through payroll deduction. Donations may be submitted using the Association's secure online platform, or checks may be mailed to the Credit Union Association of New York, ATTN: Governmental Affairs, P.O. Box 15118, Albany, NY 12212-5118.

Empire Club members will be invited to attend a special recognition dinner during the Association's 2013 State Governmental Affairs Conference April 16-17 in Albany.

For more information, contact Dirck Van Deusen, director of political and foundation development, at or (800) 342-9835, ext. 8252.

Contributions to CUPAC (state) and CULAC (federal) are voluntary and not tax-deductible. You have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. CUPAC accepts contributions from individuals, SCUs, businesses and CUSOs incorporated as C or S Corporations. FCUs, according to Federal Election Law, may not contribute credit union funds to any PAC. CULAC may only accept contributions from individuals who are members of a credit union with a current CULAC signed permission agreement on file at the Association.

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