Archive for category Updates

CUNA to Select Twelve Students for Googolplex Youth Editorial Board

Posted by on Thursday, 5 January, 2012

MADISON, Wis. (January 5, 2012)—Representatives from CUNA will select students from across America to serve one-year terms as youth editorial board members for the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) toolkit called Googolplex: The Credit Union Guide for Student Moneymakers.

Requests for applications are currently being accepted through February 6, 2012, for all 12 positions. The new student board members’ terms will begin on June 1, 2012.

“Year after year, the insight we receive from these bright students is instrumental in designing financial literacy tools that resonate strongly with children and young adults,” says Rena Crispin, Googolplex managing editor. “At CUNA, we believe that it’s vital to start financial education at a young age.”

Googolplex is a youth-focused element of CUNA’s onlineEDGE program, which guides credit union members through financial decisions at every stage of life. Googolplex features interactive games, videos, blogs and other content dealing with money matters and real life issues to promote financial literacy for youth aged 6-18.

Youth editorial board members complete two brief online critiques each month of stories and games in age-specific sections of Googolplex’s award-winning three-in-one website. At the end of their terms, each of the 12 board members writes an original story forGoogolplex.

  • Four elementary school-aged students will serve on the Clubhouse Crew for 5-Spot.
  • Four middle school-aged students make up the Super Youth Team for AJ’s.
  • Four high-school-aged students will be on the Teenage Panel advising C-Note.

“Our youth board members provide us with feedback that ensures that their peers feel welcome and validated whenever they use Googolplex on their credit union’s website,” says Susan Tiffany, CCUFC, director of consumer periodicals.

Board members must be in grades 3-12 in the fall of 2012 or, if home-schooled, of the same grade-level ages, and will work from home. Applications are available by request from Corey Pratt, Googolplex youth editorial board liaison. Please state the child’s grade level or age equivalent if home-schooled. Requests are due by February 6, 2012.

To learn more about how Googolplex and other onlineEDGE tools benefit both credit unions and their members, visit and

CUNA Volunteer Certification School Graduates Announced

Posted by on Wednesday, 4 January, 2012

MADISON, Wis. (January 3, 2012) –CUNA is proud to announce the latest graduates of the 2011 CUNA Volunteer Certification School. Held this past September in Tempe, Arizona, 46 credit union volunteers completed five days of lectures, overviews and testing to earn both their Certified Credit Union Volunteer (CCUV) designation and CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate.

The CUNA Volunteer Certification School was created to provide credit union volunteers with convenient, practical education in all areas of credit union operations through live lectures, discussions and testing. The program creates a simplified approach to complex subjects and gets credit union volunteers up-to-speed on the information they need to know to serve their credit unions most effectively.

“I would like to congratulate the 2011 Volunteer Certification School graduates for the dedication they have shown in advancing their education,” said Kevin Smith, Director of Volunteer Education at CUNA. “Volunteers who actively engage in the credit union movement improve the operations at each of their individual credit unions, and help set the bar for board education standards.”

The Certified Credit Union Volunteer (CCUV) designation symbolizes a thorough understanding of all areas and operations of the credit union. The CCUV designation can be earned by graduating from the CUNA Volunteer Certification School or completing theCUNA Volunteer Certification Program, a self-study education tool that features online learning modules. In 2012, volunteers interested in obtaining their Certified Credit Union Volunteer (CCUV) designation, can choose between the traditional classroom setting at the CUNA Volunteer Certification School, or engage in a variety of self-study training options.

The 2012 CUNA Volunteer Certification School will be held from September 23 – 28 in Long Beach, California. Additional speakers and session topics will be announced when information becomes available. Visit for future updates.

More information about the designation can be found at

CUNA Technology Council White Paper Provides Tips to Maximize Mobile Banking’s Potential

Posted by on Thursday, 29 December, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (December 29, 2011) — Interest in mobile banking is on the rise as smart phone usage increases, yet with this new technology comes uncertainty about the best way to implement it.

A new white paper from the CUNA Technology Council, titled “Maximizing Mobile Banking’s Potential,” provides guidance on how credit unions can get the most from the implementation of mobile banking.

“Mobile banking usage is predicted to balloon from 11% of US households in 2012 to 30% by 2015, with the number of individual users exceeding 50 million,” according to the white paper by Dale Davaz, Spokane Teachers Credit Union’s Director of eBusiness.

The paper, based on data gathered as part of a recent survey of Spokane Teachers Credit Union members about their mobile phone usage and mobile banking interests, discusses the different implementation options available, specific features of most interest to users, and potential security concerns that should be considered by credit unions looking to offer mobile banking to members.

CUNA Council members are entitled to complimentary copies of these and more than 300 white papers; non-members may purchase the white papers for a price of $50 per copy. 

The paper is available online in the white paper section of – select the “Tech” tab.

Press can contact Jenny Jackson at  for a copy of the whitepaper.

CUNA Lending Council Announces Collections in a Post-recession Environment White Paper

Posted by on Thursday, 29 December, 2011

Madison, Wis. (December 29, 2011)– The economic fallout from the Great Recession continues to impact the households of credit union members and add urgency to the work of credit unions’ collections departments, according to a new CUNA Lending Council White Paper.

Collections in a Post-Recession Environment is based on information gathered from lending and collections leaders at six credit unions as well as two experts from companies that  provide outsourced collections services for financial institutions.

The white paper explores how credit unions can update procedures, use technology, engage members early in the collections process, design loan modifications and take other steps to refine collections.

Credit unions report that a segment of members who have delinquent loans in the post-recession environment are from formerly affluent households and may still have relatively high credit scores. These households were able to use their assets to cope with financial demands as they adjusted to being unemployed or underemployed. But as assets are exhausted and members are unable to find jobs, the household falls behind on payments, loans enter collection and they may even file for bankruptcy.

This challenging post-recession environment offers an opportunity for collections to prove its worth to the credit union.

“Collections has always been on the back burner,” noted Jessica Anderson, Collections Manager at $400 million asset 121 Financial Credit Union, Jacksonville, Fla. “We know they’re making a difference, but we’ve never seen the true impact of collections’ successes or losses until we’ve reached these economic times.”

CUNA Council members are eligible to receive complimentary copies of this, and nearly 300 other white papers; non-Council members may purchase white papers for $50 per copy.

The papers are available online in the white paper section of – select the “Lending” tab for both.

Press can contact Jenny Jackson at  for a copy of the whitepaper.

CUNA Operations Council Releases Building Member Lifetime Value White Paper

Posted by on Wednesday, 21 December, 2011

MADISON, Wisc. (December 21, 2011) – Credit unions looking to grow their profitability must look beyond their revenues, expenses and profits. Instead, they must begin to understand the profitability of their general membership, as well as each member’s individual contribution to profit or their Member Lifetime Value (MLV), according to a new CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council white paper.

Entitled “Building Member Lifetime Value,” the white paper discusses five strategies used by credit unions to leverage MLV to drive revenue and profitability. Author Jeff Rendel provides real-world examples of credit union successes and shares the tools each used to build their MLV.

The paper is available online in the white paper section of – select the “OpSS” tab.

Press can contact Jenny Jackson at  for a copy of the whitepaper.

Staff Turnover Report Reveals Greater Stability in CU Workforce in 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 15 December, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (December 13, 2011) – Credit union employees in all job classifications are more likely to stay in their positions than they were before the recession, says a new CUNA report.

The overall credit union turnover rate is 12 percent, according to the 2011-2012 Turnover and Staffing Survey. This figure is higher than the 2009 turnover rate (nine percent) and matches the 2008 figure. Prerecession turnover was about 15 percent.

“With heightened competition for skilled employees, it’s important for credit unions to monitor turnover rates,” said Beth Soltis, senior research analyst for CUNA. “This is particularly important when it comes to key employees, but turnover in any department or at any level costs the organization time and money for employee training.”

Hiring levels remain modest at credit unions. The creation of new positions at credit unions dipped at the onset of the recession and hasn’t changed since. The percentage of employees hired to fill newly created credit union positions was roughly five percent from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, three percent of credit union employees filled newly created positions.

“During the recession, most employers reduced staffing levels as low as they could possibly go,” adds Soltis. “This makes it more important than ever for credit unions to retain high-quality employees, especially those in positions critical to their credit union’s success.”

The survey provides turnover and staffing trends, as well as key human resources and operating expenditures. Data is segmented by asset size, region, number of branch offices and other criteria. The included worksheets allow credit unions to make side-by-side comparisons of important metrics, such as turnover rates, with their peers.

For more information about CUNA’s 2011-2012 Turnover and Staffing Survey, click here.

347 Credit Union Financial Counselors Earn CUNA Credit Union Financial Counselor Certification in 2011

Posted by on Tuesday, 13 December, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (December 13, 2011) – CUNA is proud to announce that 347 credit union financial counselors, from 38 states and 175 credit unions, have earned their CUNA Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) Certification in 2011. This certificate was created by CUNA in an effort to help credit union financial counselors stay up-to-date with the latest counseling techniques and ensure credit union members are receiving informed and relevant financial advice. 

The CUNA Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) Certificate will continue to be offered in 2012 and can be earned after successfully completing exams associated with one of the following tracks:

  1. Attend the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools June 11-14, 2012 in Austin, Texas and achieve certification onsite by successfully completing both Part 1 and Part 2 of the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools and pass each qualifying exam.
  2. Receive certification through the Credit Union Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP), a self-study financial counseling certification program. Modeled after the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools, FiCEP includes two parts of four learning modules each. CCUF certification is received upon successful completion of the proctored exams for both parts (eight total modules).

For more information about how to earn CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Certification, visit  for FiCEP or for Certified Financial Counselor Schools.

CUNA Announces the 2012 CUNA Volunteer Institute in Punt Cana, Dominican Republic

Posted by on Tuesday, 6 December, 2011

MADISON, WI (November 29, 2011) –Registration and school information is now available for the upcoming 2012 CUNA Volunteer Institute, May 6 – 9 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. For more information and to register visit

Spanning four productive days in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the CUNA Volunteer Institute helps volunteers gain the skills they need to become expert credit union volunteers. From legislation and liabilities to discussing strategies to incorporate fun into the boardroom, volunteers will explore a variety of topics that will help make them impactful credit union directors. This institute is designed for volunteers looking to increase their knowledge while connecting with peers.

Attendees will hear from a variety of credit union experts on the following topics:

  • CEO Oversight – What’s the Right Formula?
  • Secrets of an Effective Board Chair
  • Motivating Board Volunteers and Bringing FUN to the Boardroom
  • Today’s Economy and the Risks for Your Credit Union
  • Directors Who Make a Difference
  • And more

“We are proud to see so many of our credit union board professionals at this program every year,” said Kevin Smith, Director of Volunteer Education at CUNA.  “The wealth of information provided at this institute goes a long way in improving board member performance and strengthening the credit union movement as a whole. The efforts of these volunteers set high standards for their credit union staff and helps demonstrate to their members their dedication to their credit unions.”

For more information about the CUNA Volunteer Institute and to register, visit

CUNA Announces Winners of the 2011 Desjardins Awards for Financial Education

Posted by on Wednesday, 30 November, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (November 21, 2011) – CUNA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Desjardins Awards for Youth and Adult Financial Education.  Entries from more than 30 states yielded 10 winners, along with several honorable mentions, in two categories.  All of these organizations will be recognized during a reception at CUNA’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), March 18-22, 2012, in Washington, D.C. 

The Desjardins Awards are named for Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement, and honors credit unions for their commitment to youth and adult financial literacy.

“We congratulate this year’s winners and honorable mentions for their admirable work educating youth and adults about financial education skills,” says Vikki Kinsler, CUNA’s program coordinator for the Desjardins Awards.  “Credit unions, chapters and leagues from more than 30 states applied for the award, which shows the movement’s increasing commitment to this type of service for members.”

CUNA added the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award in 2011 to its well-established Youth Award to recognize credit unions’ efforts to teach personal finance concepts and skills to members and non-members age 18 and older.  This change brings all personal finance education activities under the Desjardins name, including the award for leagues.  CUNA received 30 entries in the Adult category in addition to the 55 entries received for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award.

“Part of the mission of credit unions is to promote thrift among our members,” says Bill Cheney, President and CEO of CUNA.  “Financial education is a key component of accomplishing this mission–it’s good for the members and differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions.”

Recipients were recently chosen from among the state-winning entries by CUNA’s national awards committee.

Winners for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award include (asterisks indicate repeat winners):

  • A+ Federal Credit Union – Austin, TX*
  • Community Credit Union – Lewiston, ME
  • CORE Federal Credit Union – East Syracuse, NY
  • Credit Union Association of New York*
  • Service 1stFederal Credit Union – Danville, PA

Honorable mentions include:

  • Altra Federal Credit Union – Onalaska, WI*
  • Arapahoe Credit Union – Centennial, CO*
  • Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union – Virginia Beach, VA*
  • Greater Minnesota Credit Union – Mora, MN*
  • Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union – Knoxville, TN
  • Maine Credit Union League*
  • Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union – Columbia, SC*
  • Public Service Credit Union – Romulus, MI
  • Virginia Educators Credit Union – Newport News, VA*

Winners for the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award include:

  • CommunityAmerica Credit Union – Kansas City, MO
  • Community Credit Union – Lewiston, ME
  • Financial Fitness Greater Austin Credit Union Facilitators – Austin, TX
  • Greater Minnesota Credit Union – Mora, MN*
  • Latino Community Credit Union – Durham, NC

Honorable mentions include:

  • Credit Union 1 – Anchorage, AK*
  • Denver Community Credit Union – Denver, CO*
  • Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union – Columbia, SC*
  • Patelco Credit Union – Pleasanton, CA
  • Tinker Federal Credit Union – Oklahoma City, OK*

In December, PDFs of the winning entries will be available for viewing on CUNA’s website. The actual winning entries will be on display at CUNA’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), March 18-22, 2012, in Washington, D.C. All winners and honorable mentions will be recognized during a March 21 reception at the conference.

CUNA Announces Upgrade of CPDOnline

Posted by on Tuesday, 29 November, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (November 21, 2011) - CUNA announced today that CUNA CPDOnline has launched its upgraded learning management system and website. Working closely with current users, CUNA CPDOnline has enhanced the user experience to provide an even more user-centric, impactful online learning environment. 

“With invaluable input from our users, we have enhanced the CPDOnline training system to better serve credit unions’ needs today and in the future. We are grateful to our pilot credit unions and confident our current and new users will benefit from the new platform,” said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of Center for Professional Development.

“We are excited for the upgrade to roll out at Summit,” remarked Kimberly Frederickson, AVP of Learning & Development at Summit Credit Union, a recent winner of the American Society of Training & Development’s BEST Award.  Summit was recognized for its training and development program, which utilizes CUNA’s CPDOnline as a key component.

Serving nearly 30,000 credit union professionals, CUNA CPDOnline is the premiere web-based training service that provides more than 350 credit union-specific courses on topics including lending, member services, compliance and more. Its interactive online environment combines the freedom of independent education with the support and collaboration of a classroom setting.

The key enhancements to CUNA CPDOnline include:

  • Enhanced navigation: With streamlined navigation and a clean look, users will find it easier to access exactly what they need and get relevant news.
  • Improved communications: Now users can easily send notifications to groups via email with CUNA CPDOnline’s new message center. Plus, with the new collaboration center, users can also engage in conversation, blend learning and post documents for better collaborative learning.
  • Extended reporting capabilities: CUNA CPDOnline’s new self-reported training function allows learners and managers to post to transcripts and include goals and additional training. Managers can also monitor the progress of their direct reports, keeping track of activities and assignments and follow on-the-job training. All of this can be done via new scheduled or on demand reporting.
  • More administrative options: Administrators can easily assign activities and assignments, including deadlines and reminder notifications. Users also have the capability to assign CUNA and credit union courses and control new notifications.

For more information about the upgrade to CUNA CPDOnline, visit For questions, please call 800-356-9655, ext. 4072 or e-mail