CU Forward votes for new logo, prepares for Annual Meeting
Columbia, SC (12/14/12)—Early in December, the South Carolina Credit Union League sent out a survey to young credit union professionals ages 35 and under, seeking input on the official logo for the newly-designated group, CU Forward—The Leadership Initiative. Participants were given the choice of three logos and ranked them from favorite to least favorite. With 74% of voter participation, the official logo selected was Option 1: A CU Forward logo inspired by the “fast forward” icon used in music.
The survey link was sent to individuals who had registered for the first Young Professional Roundtable held November 5.
Come January, CU Forward will begin to prepare for its first objective in the 2013 year: to organize an educational session for the 2013 SCCUL Annual Meeting (April 11-13). The session is an opportunity for the group to showcase their involvement and interest in the statewide credit union movement.
The group will meet by conference call on Wednesday, January 9 at 10 a.m. All young credit union professionals are welcome to participate. Then members will convene in conjunction with the February 6 SCCUL Legislative Night and/or February 7-8 SCCUMA Meeting to advance its educational session planning and gain exposure.
CU Forward also expects to take leadership in different functions at the Leadership Conference, in chapters and chapter meetings, and in statewide outreach like MADTAG and Every Day is Bank Transfer DayTM.
To join CU Forward and get instructions for the January 9 call, contact SCCUL at email@example.com.
December 12, 2012
SC League reveals 2013 Annual Meeting Theme
COLUMBIA, SC (12/12/12)--Inspired by staff exploration of key challenges for the in-state industry, the South Carolina Credit Union League has announced “Going Above and Beyond” as the theme for its 2013 Annual Meeting April 11-13 at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC. The theme reflects the following characteristics of the South Carolina credit union movement, identified in a League strategic brainstorming process earlier this year:
A strong dedication to providing the best products and services for members, at times going above the call of duty;
The ability to overcome obstacles such as ever-changing regulations and compliance; and
Negotiating the everyday “balancing act” while reaching for new heights in innovation, membership growth, and better member service.
"This will be a celebration not only of our industry and the talent within each credit union, but of our strength and ability to work together for the next great service, capability, or training to help credit union members improve their lives," said SCCUL Conferences & Training Director Barbara Lehew-Bickley.
The theme genre is “vintage circus,” introduced in the league’s video teaser on YouTube entitled, "The Carpool." It suggests League employees are arriving together for work, then find it anything but "another day at the office."
Registration and reservations for the 2013 SCCUL Annual Meeting are scheduled to open in January, and the League will “go green” by foregoing printed brochures in favor of an official SCCUL Annual Meeting website with agenda, session descriptions, speaker biographies, and more. An overview of conference cost and accommodations includes:
Conference Registration: $400 per attendee/$100 guest
Optional Golf Outing: $125
Lodging: (Visit www.kingstonplantation.com for details)
Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation – $197 for oceanview suite with balcony
Kingston Plantation Condos/Villas – Range from $156 for 1-BR lodge or villa to $271 for 2-BR oceanfront condo (Brighton)
North and South Carolina League Boards Create Consolidation Task Force
COLUMBIA, SC/RALEIGH, NC – The NC Credit Union League (NCCUL) and SC Credit Union League (SCCUL) Boards of Directors announced today their unanimous votes to move forward with a process to formally consider consolidation of the two leagues. Their votes authorize creation of a six-member Consolidation Task Force consisting of three board members from each state.
The Consolidation Task Force will assess whether consolidation best positions both organizations to continue meeting the needs of credit unions in North and South Carolina. Further movement toward consolidation would be subject to approval by each board and the membership of each organization.
"For the past year the South Carolina Credit Union League Board of Directors has been engaged in a process to determine the strategic future of the organization," said SCCUL Chairwoman Faye Crocker, acknowledging the retirement of current President and CEO Steve Fowler at the end of 2013. "We are excited about the creation of the Consolidation Task Force and look forward to sitting down with our friends from North Carolina to talk more about the future of our organizations."
The two associations share a long history of collaboration including joint ownership in multiple entities, and they share a foundation and corporate credit union. Perhaps most importantly, credit union leaders in both states know each other and have developed strong working relationships through the years.
"We have established great trust and mutual respect with the South Carolina Credit Union League and its credit unions over the years," shared NCCUL Chairman Maurice Smith. "Both boards continue to look to the future to ensure we have the strongest possible league to serve credit unions in the Carolinas for years to come. We look forward to examining that issue through the Consolidation Task Force."
Individuals slated to serve on the Consolidation Task Force include: Faye Crocker of Greater Abbeville FCU, Linda Weatherford of SPC CU, and Nick Wodogaza of Palmetto Citizens FCU on behalf of SCCUL; and Maurice Smith of LGFCU, Patty Idol of Mountain CU, and Jeff Jones of Freedom FCU on behalf of NCCUL.
Fundraising going strong for CCUF Children's Hospital Project
Kernersville, N.C. (11/15/12)—Now that the Levine Children’s Hospital’s rooftop garden renovation project is complete—in large part to the fundraising efforts of North and South Carolina credit unions—the focus turns to the Carolina Credit Union Foundation’s (CCUF) sister project at Greenville Hospital Systems (GHS), located in the upstate of South Carolina.
Not wasting any time, local credit unions have hit the ground running to meet the $300,000 fundraising goal. Greenville Federal Credit Union (GFCU) has organized their first annual golf tournament with proceeds going to the project. Secured Advantage Federal Credit Union (SAFCU) held a successful in-branch fundraiser on International Credit Union Day, while SC Telco Federal Credit Union's (SCTFCU) Board of Directors made a generous corporate donation. Also, on a regional scale, the Piedmont Credit Union Chapter of S.C. hosted a silent auction night at its meeting in October with proceeds benefitting the project.
Funds raised for the GHS Children’s Hospital will go towards the renovation of the hospital’s main lobby. Currently, a working group of credit union professionals, CCUF, and GHS staff are in the process of developing the strategy to take this project from conception to reality. Credit unions involved in the group are Greenville FCU, Secured Advantage FCU, G.H.S. FCU, SC Telco FCU, Greenville Heritage FCU, MTC FCU, and Founders FCU.
"I am asking anyone in the upstate that wants to be involved in seeing this project come to life from the ground up [to] please contact me and get on board," says CCUF President/CEO John P. McGrail.
The working group meets on the second Wednesday morning of each month either by phone or in person. Anyone interested in joining should contact John McGrail at 704-305-7587 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 13, 2012
Latest partnership puts FCCCU on target for best brokerage year ever
Greensboro, N.C. (11/13/12) – In early 2012, First Carolina Corporate Credit Union (FCCCU) began partnering with Protective Securities for brokerage services, resulting in a much wider array of securities, including municipals and SBAs. Further, having access to most investments on the market has allowed the Corporate to be more price competitive. Now, FCCCU expects a record-breaking year – the best, in fact, since it began offering brokerage services in 2004. The Corporate has traded almost $200 million in securities just through October.
Fred Eisel, SVP/Chief Investment Officer of FCCCU and a registered Protective Securities representative, says the brokerage relationship has enabled the Corporate to grow its accounts and add staff to handle increased business.
“Protective Securities has an online Advisor Portal, which makes areas such as trading, compliance training, settlements and commission statements very efficient,” he said. “Members like the wide variety of bonds, and due diligence is easier for them. It’s a large, extremely well capitalized firm backed by a large parent company, Protective Life.”
According to Scott Wood, Investment Analyst at First Carolina, and another registered representative with Protective Securities, the move has provided direct access to a much greater inventory.
“Because of our direct access to live inventories, we’re able to find our members the best-priced bonds and can be more aggressive about showing them to credit unions,” Wood said. “First Carolina is very competitive with other brokers and that, in turn, has allowed us to attract more credit unions and increase our trading volumes.”
Todd Kenthack, CFO of the $173 million Carolina Trust Credit Union based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., agrees. He says working with Protective Securities just makes good sense, allowing the credit union to work with FCCCU while often providing a positive impact on investment yield.
“Fred and Scott always take time to fully understand our needs and, unlike many other brokers, they never push product,” he said. “Like most credit unions, we maintain brokerage relationships with several reputable firms. I’m very pleased First Carolina chose to partner with Protective Securities. Since signing on late last year, they have quickly become our ‘preferred’ broker. I’ve found their pricing, access to new and secondary issues, and overall service second to none.”
Eisel says credit unions wishing to participate in First Carolina’s brokerage services through Protective Securities do not have to maintain Permanent Contributed Capital (PCC) with the Corporate.
“We have a number of users outside our core field of membership,” he said. “Many credit unions that no longer have a corporate relationship are looking for a high-quality brokerage with a focus on and understanding of our industry. Partnering with Protective Services has blended well with our growing ALM Services division as well, since our ALM users are able to model a variety of investment strategies and then execute those strategies right here, at First Carolina.”
Columbia (10/26/12) -- The personal information of 3.6 million South Carolinians is at risk after an August 2012breach of SC Department of Revenue systems, according to The State. All affected consumers and credit union members can use this checklist to take action.
Credit unions honor Every Day is Bank Transfer Day™
N. CHARLESTON (10/15/12) -- Credit unions are celebrating Every Day is Bank Transfer Day™ throughout the week of October 15-19, 2012 on IWearYourShirt.com.
During the week of October 15, the IWearYourShirt team will be sharing the Every Day is Bank Transfer Day™ message and why people should make the switch from a bank to a credit union. They will also be helping spread the message of the BTDNow rallying cry.
The IWearYourShirt team promotes a different organization every week using social media. They wear the organization’s t-shirts, make fun videos and take photos, all in an effort to get the organization’s name out there.
For more information about Every Day is Bank Transfer Day™ visit btdnow.org.
SC CUs awarded more than $50,000 in NCUA Technical Assistance Grants
Columbia (8/17/12)--More than 100 credit unions were awarded $1.4 million in technical assistance grants by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which ranks as the largest total funding request in program history, the agency announced on Wednesday, August 15.
In Region III, the following South Carolina credit unions received grants: Greater Abbeville Federal Credit Union ($20,400), Self Memorial Hospital Federal Credit Union ($25,000), and Upstate Federal Credit Union ($5,994). A full list of grantees is available on the NCUA's website.
According to the NCUA release, the administration received 331 grant applications with more than $5 million in funding requests. For 2012, NCUA received nearly $1.25 million in appropriated grant funds from Congress. Combined with remaining 2011 funds, approximately $1.4 million was available for these grants.
"We made a concerted effort this year to make it easier to apply for these grants, and we saw a 77-percent increase in applications," said William Myers, Director of NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI). "That shows the depth of commitment these credit unions have to their members and communities."
Most of the grant money – more than $1 million – will be applied toward new product and/or service development, the release stated. Another $120,000 will go toward volunteer income tax assistance; $100,000 will be used to create internships; $71,000 will be put toward training, and the remaining $44,000 will be used for financial education in school branches. (Credit Union Times, Aug. 15)
"We will be offering up to one-hundred residents of Abbeville County the opportunity to attend Financial Peace University (FPU) free of charge beginning in January," said Greater Abbeville FCU CEO Faye Crocker.
FPU is a biblically based, common-sense course taught via workbook and video by national financial expert Dave Ramsey.
On September 12, join hundreds of credit unions nationwide and raise money for your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital by celebrating Miracle Jeans Day. The concept is simple: encourage employees to donate $5 in order to trade in their traditional work attire and wear jeans for the day instead.
Thanks to the feedback from past participants, CMN Hospitals has updated the registration process making it even easier to get started. You no longer need to make your donation when registering to participate! In addition, there are a variety of new materials to help you engage employees, further fundraising efforts and motivate members! Visit www.cu4kids.org/miraclejeansday to register your credit union today.
Also new for 2012, stickers and paper icons are downloadable once you register, so they are both free and available immediately. If you would prefer the preprinted icons used in the past, those are still available as well. Simply contact your local hospital representative.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals treat millions of children across North America regardless of their condition or ability to pay. Here is just one story representing the millions of kids treated at member hospitals.
Meet Haven: Within hours of her birth, Haven was diagnosed with pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect. In simple terms, the artery connecting Haven's heart to her lungs was almost completely closed, and Haven underwent two heart procedures in her first 11 days of life.
Today Haven is making progress overcoming speech and motor skill delays with the help of ongoing therapy. Most importantly, she is a happy little girl with a heart that works just as it should. Haven was treated at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
SE CUNA Management School readies 35 for leadership
COLUMBIA, SC (06/25/12)—The 2012 Southeast Regional Credit Union Schools’ (SRCUS) CUNA Management School in Athens, Georgia culminated Friday, June 15 with graduation of thirty-five credit union leaders (see list below). Students hailed from a handful of Southeast states as well as the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and West Africa. The Southeast CUNA Management School (www.srcus.org) is held each summer at the University of Georgia’s Georgia Center with faculty from the Terry College of Business and credit union industry experts. Students who complete the program are equipped with skills and knowledge to meet leadership challenges that arise in the credit union industry.
The class represents a significant increase over the 2011 graduating class of twenty-one professionals, who began the three-year school in 2009 at the beginning of the economic downturn. That growth is indicative of the integrity and value of the Southeast CUNA Management School, which hosts students in residence each summer for eight days of course work. Between annual sessions, students apply new knowledge to projects that require strategic analysis of their credit unions and research of relevant issues.
This year the group was joined by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney and CUNA Chairman of the Board Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA). Cheney reviewed with them various challenges credit unions face today and the role CUNA plays in addressing those and supporting the movement.
“This school stands the test of time in helping credit union professionals to become leaders,” SRCUS Chairman Barbara Lehew-Bickley notes of SRCUS in contributing to movement development. Proof can be found in credit union management teams throughout the region and nation, in which former alumni are successful industry professionals. The new class looks forward not only to applying its new expertise but also to seeing others follow suit.
“Southeast CUNA Management School has been an amazing experience for me personally,” added SRCUS Class of 2012 President Stephen Smith, president and CEO at Fulton Teachers’ CU (GA). “The assignments and course material have broadened my knowledge, and classroom time has allowed our group to build a bond of friendship that will continue.”
Southeast CUNA Management School Class of 2012:
Nicole Shelton, Jefferson CU (AL)
Brandee Bickle, Georgia CU Affiliates (GA)
Stacie Clark, Delta Community CU (GA)
Tanika Green, Delta Community CU (GA)
Callista Kegley, United 1st FCU (GA)
Lori Moore, Altamaha FCU (GA)
Julia Novotny, Delta Community CU (GA)
Stephen Smith, Fulton Teachers’ CU (GA)
Amy Keith, Purdue FCU (IN)
John Stanford, Heritage FCU (IN)
Josh Wyatt, Ashland CU (KY)
Jasmine Dupuis, Section 705 FCU (LA)
Contance Kennie, Post Office Employees CU (LA)
Lindsay Risinger, Barton Plant EFCU (LA)
Tammy Sides, Geismar Complex FCU (LA)
Herman Stevenson, Jr., Dow Louisiana FCU (LA)
Chad Suggs, Dow Louisiana FCU (LA)
Crystal White, Monroe Telco FCU (LA)
Cindy Miller, Statewide FCU (MS)
Pamela Burnette, Marine FCU (NC)
Ira Williams, Allegacy FCU (NC)
Gloria Barnes, Family Trust FCU (SC)
Andrew Martenstyn, Family Trust FCU (SC)
Romie Mitchell, SRP FCU (SC)
Mary Moorer, Edisto FCU (SC)
John Paul, MPCU (SC)
Joshua Rhoden, SRP FCU (SC)
Rebecca Curry, ORNL FCU (TN)
Emily Gibson, ORNL FCU (TN)
Leslie Sims, Cleveland Bradley Teachers FCU (TN)
Darlene Swaney, Alcoa Tennessee FCU (TN)
Harriet Walker, ORNL FCU (TN)
Wendy Brown, BayPort CU (VA)
Wendy Gillies, Amicus FCU (WA)
Kusi Boachie Yiadom, GESRO CO-OP CU (Ghana, W. Africa)
Kids help CUs of SC contribute to CMN on 2012 Community Tour
Columbia, SC (05/29/12)— Ninety-five youth helped the Credit Unions of South Carolina play “MAD TAG Plinko” on Saturday, May 26 at the Piccolo Spoleto Children’s Festival in Charleston, SC, generating a total contribution of $2,730 to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals via the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation (CCUF). The Credit Unions of South Carolina attended as part of the ongoing 2012 Community Tour led by Cabot Creamery of Vermont.
Children visiting the MAD TAG tent were invited to “Make a Difference…” by dropping a disc through a Plinko board to determine the contribution made in their name to CMN Hospitals. In return, the youth were offered Credit Unions for Kids stickers, “South Carolina Credit Unions are…aSmarterChoice.org” pencils, and MAD TAG cards encouraging children and their families to pass along the goodwill and share their stories at www.madtag.org.
With game slots ranging from fifty cents to five dollars and the total contribution for the day reaching $273, the Credit Unions of South Carolina have since added a zero to each amount the festival visitors achieved in the game, effectively making a tenfold total contribution to CMN Hospitals.
Children’s Miracle Network is a primary focus of the “MAD TAG: Make a Difference…Pass It On” campaign, which includes sponsorship of CMN radiothons statewide. Upcoming radiothons will be in the Upstate in September 2012, the Lowcountry in January/February 2013, and the Pee Dee in February 2013. For more on MAD TAG, visit www.madtag.org.
Felkel named first-ever South Carolina Palmetto Protégé
COLUMBIA, S.C. (04/27/12)—Ernest “Dizzy” Felkel of Hartsville, SC was named “South Carolina Palmetto Protégé” on Friday, April 20 by the South Carolina Credit Union League and as such will serve as statewide spokesperson for young adults and the opportunities creditunions provide them. Felkel, who is marketing and member education coordinator at SPC Credit Union (Hartsville), will act through social media and occasional appearances at credit union events including chapter meetings and the fall SCCUL Leadership Conference. Felkel also will establish and lead a Young Professional Initiative group to foster peer development and the ongoing Palmetto Protégé Competition.
His immediate benefit is first choice of developmental scholarships, and Felkel has chosen first-year tuition for the Southeast CUNA Management School in Athens, GA on June 8-15. That and the other options—registration and lodging for the 2012 National Youth Involvement Board Annual Conference July 30-August 2 or an expenses-paid South Carolina Hike the Hill trip to Washington, DC September 12-13—will be extended to the other finalists, who were: CPM FCU (N. Charleston) Marketing Manager Patty Bivens; Secured Advantage FCU (Simpsonville) Member Service Representative Katie Matthews; and SAFE FCU (Sumter) Branch Manager Jay Montgomery.
“I congratulate Patty, Katie, and Jay for great presentations, and I'm thankful we have a league willing to invest in young professionals,” Felkel said of the experience thus far. “Intentional efforts like the Palmetto Protégé go a long way to ensure Gen Y will stay in the credit union world.
“I'm humbled by the kind words I've received from staff and volunteers throughout the state, and I need to thank Linda Weatherford and SPC Credit Union for taking a chance and hiring me one year ago and for being so supportive throughout the competition.”
Felkel achieved the honor by combination of scores on a standard exam and on his presentation to the general session of the SCCUL Annual Meeting. All candidates’ presentations of no more than five minutes were judged by the panel of credit union consultant Todd Harms, CUinsight.com Managing Editor Randy Smith, and Bethpage FCU Assistant Vice President Tansley Stearns.
“Seeing these young people present so thoughtfully on the credit union movement assures me for the future,” SCCUL President and CEO Steve Fowler told the general session before Felkel was officially named Palmetto Protégé. “All of them are quality individuals committed to our mission of improving members’ financial lives and giving back to our communities.”
Credit unions, DNCC work to revitalize Levine Children's Hospital
Charlotte, N.C. (03/15/12)―Credit unions are joining forces with the Democratic National Convention and National Journal to restore, refresh and revitalize a rooftop playground at Levine Children’s Hospital used by young patients and their families who are in need of a break and a deep breath.
In the months leading up to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September, credit unions will work with the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) to convert existing outdoor rooftop space on Levine Children’s Hospital 12th floor into a dynamic play space. New features will include a touch-activated light and color “bubble wall,” a deck and pavilion; outdoor play equipment, and much-needed environmental improvements.
“I am grateful to all involved for making this possible,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “An opportunity like this is a perfect example of why we worked to bring the convention to the city of Charlotte. After all the crowds are gone, projects like this and the impacts they have on Charlotte’s families, will define the legacies that the convention will leave.”
“From day one, the DNCC has made it a priority to be a part of the Charlotte community and to give back to the city through service,” said Steve Kerrigan, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee. “Upgrading the rooftop space at Levine Children’s Hospital is a great way to aid in a child’s recovery. We’re honored to participate in this project, which will impact so many families not only in Charlotte, but across the region.”
John Radebaugh, President and CEO of the North Carolina Credit Union League, said, “We’re excited to put the credit union philosophy of people helping people into action by helping with this worthy project, and in the process join with the Democratic National Convention to shine a light on the amazing work that Levine Children’s does for the communities it serves.”
Since 2000, credit unions have honored cities hosting national party conventions with “leave-behind” projects that serve the local communities long after the conventions leave town. The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, representing credit unions in North and South Carolina, will spearhead the $300,000 fundraising effort in the Carolinas to cover the costs of the upgrade project. Lead sponsors of this effort include: the Credit Union National Association, the South Carolina Credit Union League, North Carolina Credit Union League, CUNA Mutual Group, and National Journal, a Washington, DC-based publication covering politics and policy.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (02/17/12)—Last week, credit unions from around South Carolina joined in launching a pilot cooperative campaign called “MADTAG,” hosting free and discounted gas giveaways in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville that brought media results far exceeding expenses. The Marketing Task Force that created the concept presented background and results Thursday morning at the SC Credit Union Management Association (SCCUMA) Meeting in Columbia.
The launch events last week were within a committee-approved budget of $10,000, yet according to the Marketing Task Force led to an estimated $205,000 or more in media coverage from radio and televisions stations throughout the state.
The campaign—MADTAG refers to “Make a Difference. Tag, You’re It!”—highlights acts of service and encourages South Carolinians to pass the goodwill along to others. The task force chose the gas launch as a way of creating a noticeable impact and spurring visits to www.madtag.org. There, credit unions can post their own community involvement while citizens touched by difference making can make comments and share their own stories.
“MADTAG is all about finding ways to ‘Make a Difference’ in the lives of others and our community,” said Media Committee Chair Anne Shivers, who is CEO of Carolina Collegiate FCU. “But we don’t want it to stop there. Just like a game of tag, we want people to pass on the good deed to someone else.”
The task force also shared with SCCUMA participants the background on its thought process in creating MADTAG, including consideration of the assets carried from the “Discover Our Culture/itpays2CU.org” campaign and of grassroots support for “Every day is Bank Transfer Day™” branding. The group saw limited value in itpays2CU.org based on its results and terminology, while noting that MADTAG and “Every day is Bank Transfer Day™” serve different purposes and can be used simultaneously.
Given Media Committee approval, the MADTAG campaign will feature three more service events per region and add a spring statewide radio campaign highlighting credit unions as difference-makers and sponsors of Children’s Miracle Network radio-thons in the state.