The Point: June 17, 2013

Convention Round-Up

More than 500 New York credit unionists gathered at The Sagamore Resort last week for the 2013 Annual Meeting & Convention. From June 13-16, they took advantage of numerous opportunities to network, learn and support important causes and initiatives. They also heard from dynamic speakers and celebrated the achievements of their peers.

  • A sold-out EXPO and several social events fostered collaboration and dialogue among the group. Attendees connected with their peers and explored the latest offerings from leading industry providers. With 68 vendor booths and as many giveaways, several credit unionists went home with prizes and new ideas for product/service solutions.

"As a young professional, it was really great to come to Convention and meet so many people from all over the state in different positions and different levels of their careers," said Alexa Bennett, marketing supervisor at Northern FCU.

  • Outgoing Association Chairman Lou Jimenez and President/CEO William J. Mellin kicked off Friday's general session with welcome remarks, focusing on the event theme of "Together Towards Tomorrow." Both praised attendees for their cooperative spirit and emphasized the need for continued advancement and evolution.
  • CUNA EVP Susan Newton highlighted the national Unite for Good initiative, calling on credit unions to help realize a shared vision in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner.
  • CUNA VP of Economics & Statistics Mike Schenk provided an engaging economic overview and forecast, outlining credit union performance in key areas. He also noted that New York credit unions deliver $300 million in benefits to their members each year.
  • Leadership guru Dr. Lance Secretan focused on the need for inspirational leadership, saying, "People do things because they're inspired; not because they're led." He offered three steps for inspiring others, including: become inspired yourself; build inspiring relationships; and create a dream. He also highlighted the "CASTLE" characteristics of inspirational leaders: courage, authenticity, service, truthfulness, love and effectiveness.

"The speakers were very inspirational and motivating, and I can't wait to go back to my credit union and motivate and inspire my staff!" said Heather Wood, financial center manager at AmeriCU Credit Union.

  • Attendees packed the rooms during education sessions held June 14 and 15. Social media and technology were among the most popular session topics. "There were a lot of options this year, and each topic was pertinent-whether it was how to manage your investments and deal with asset liability management or use social media," said Alfred Frosolone, CEO of Niagara's Choice FCU. "Our credit union just got involved with Facebook, and the social media session gave us a number of areas to consider."

Steven Sobotta, director of marketing at Actors FCU, added, "The internet security session was very interesting. I'm not an operations person, and it gave me a few considerations I hadn't thought about. It's always good to have new questions to take back to the office and address."

  • Individual Recognition Award winners offered acceptance remarks this year, and several shared very personal, inspiring thoughts on their experiences in the credit union movement. Numerous credit unions were also honored. For a complete list, visit the Association website.
  • From the moment he entered the room blowing a whistle, Saturday's featured speaker Coach Ken Carter captivated the group with humor, coaching insights, audience interaction and even a push-up competition. His message stressed the importance of preparation, hard work and goal-setting. Praising attendees for the positive impact credit unions make on families and communities, he said, "Greatness is defined by the service we give to others."

"Coach Carter was a very uplifting and energetic speaker," said Randy Martin, CEO of Dannemora FCU. "He got everybody involved."

  • During the Annual Meeting Sunday, the group heard updates from CUNA, Alloya Corporate FCU, CUNA Mutual Group and Association leadership. During his report, outgoing Association Chairman Lou Jimenez highlighted the national "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign and encouraged attendees to get involved in the advocacy effort.

The group also honored Jimenez's service and welcomed a new slate of board officers. (See the following article for additional details.)

Throughout the event, Convention attendees participated in fundraisers for key credit union causes. Highlights included:

  • New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF): CUNA Mutual Group presented a check for $31,000 to NYCUF, thanks to sponsor and credit union support for the annual golf tournament held during Convention. Nearly 150 golfers participated, and the winning foursome included: Mike Jeffers (SEFCU), Mike Spulnick (SEFCU), Cameron Turner (The Summit FCU) and Chip Turner (The Summit FCU). An additional $6,000 was raised for NYCUF through a special reception to honor outgoing Association Chairman Lou Jimenez.
  • Credit Union Political Action Committee (CUPAC): By supporting the annual silent auction and the first-ever Bingo event held at Convention, credit unionists raised more than $15,000 for CUPAC, New York credit unions' state-level political action committee.
  • Children's Miracle Network Hospitals: Through sponsorships, donations and a match from CO-OP Financial Services' Miracle Match program, the Wine Pull to benefit the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals that serve New York raised more than $22,000. A total of 202 "mystery bottles" of wine were pulled during the event.


Association board officers, directors elected

As announced during the Credit Union Association of New York's Annual Meeting yesterday, a new slate of officers has been elected to represent New York credit unions on the Association board.

The following board officers have been elected:

  • board chair Laurie Baker, SVP/COO of The Summit FCU;
  • board vice chair Mark Pfisterer, president/CEO of AmeriCU Credit Union
  • board treasurer Marie Betti, CEO of Western New York FCU; and
  • board secretary Ann Hynes, president/CEO, St. Pius X Church FCU.

Baker has served as vice chair for the past two years and will succeed outgoing chairman Lou Jimenez, CEO/treasurer of Montauk CU. Jimenez will continue to serve as a board member.

Through this year's statewide membership nomination/election process, the following individuals were also re-elected to serve new three-year terms on the Association board: Michael Tobler, Albany Firemen's FCU, representing the asset category of up to $25 million; Alfred Frosolone, Niagara's Choice FCU, representing the asset category of $25 million-$100 million; Hynes, also representing the asset category of $25 million-$100 million; and Baker, representing the asset category of more than $100 million.

Rounding out the 11-member board are the following directors: Barbara Dillon, SUNY Geneseo FCU; John C. Gibardi, Entertainment Industries FCU; Shirley Jenkins, Municipal CU; Jimenez; and Robyn Young, Great Erie FCU.


Mellin, CA/NV Leagues CEO advocate for supplemental capital in Roll Call

Credit Union Association of New York President/CEO William J. Mellin and California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President/CEO Diana Dykstra recently co-authored a compelling article on the value of credit unions and the need for supplemental capital reform. The article, titled, "Let Credit Unions Continue to Serve Americans," was published June 14 in CQ Roll Call.

After highlighting credit unions' membership growth, lending and cooperative structure, Mellin and Dykstra noted, "Credit unions play a key role in supporting the economic recovery and facilitating job growth in their communities, but they could be doing even more...Access to supplemental capital would allow credit unions to meet their members' needs, to increase services, provide more attractive rates and increase private credit in the market at a time when it's needed most."

The article calls for support of H.R.719, the Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act, which would provide credit unions with the ability to raise capital from alternative sources. The bill was introduced by Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Cal.) and has now been co-sponsored by nine other New York representatives-nearly one-third of the bill's supporters.

To learn more and build support for the bill, log in to the Federal Issues section of the Association's Action Center.


MBL proposal lone item on NCUA's meeting agenda

A proposed Illinois member business loan (MBL) rule is the sole item on NCUA's open board meeting agenda for Thursday.

The MBL rule was proposed by the state's credit union regulator and is similar to the NCUA's current MBL rule. NCUA regulations allow the agency to exempt federally insured, state-chartered credit unions from compliance with MBL rules if the NCUA board determines the state has developed an MBL rule that minimizes risk and accomplishes the overall objectives of NCUA's rule. Washington, Texas, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Oregon and Maryland have their own MBL regulations on state books.

For more information, view the NCUA agenda.


Helpful Links

CUNA News Now

Don't Tax My Credit Union Website

CUNA Tax Exemption Advocacy Toolkit (CUNA member log-in/ registration required.)

CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report (CUNA member log-in/registration required.)

CUNA Legislative Update (CUNA member log-in/registration required.)

Events & Education Calendar

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