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The 2016 graduating class from Western CUNA Management School

WCMS HONORS ITS 2016 CLASS
updated 07/25/16 10:54 AM
101-Student Xi Class Graduated
Joining more than four thousand alumni of the school, Western CUNA Management School’s (WCMS) 55th graduating class accepted their diplomas at a ceremony held July 21 at Pomona College. The 101 students of the Xi class of 2016 received their degrees at the end of WCMS’s 57th session, held July 10-22 at Pomona College in Claremont, CA.

During this year’s session, Credit Union National Association President and CEO Jim Nussle served as the speaker of the Richard Myles Johnson Colloquium in Credit Union Philosophy, held July 13. In addition, a special class on the theory and practice of regulation was presented by National Credit Union Administration Director of the Office of Examination and Insurance Larry Fazio; with all three classes attending.

At the graduation ceremony, Benjamin Greiving, a staff attorney from Public Service CU in Colorado, became the eighth person in the history of WCMS to graduate with highest honors. He also earned the Rick Craig Prize for Excellence in Project II recognizing excellence in the second-year project, an endeavor that usually takes each student of the school over 200 hours to complete.

Over a three-year period, students have five opportunities to earn academic honors. “Honors” and “High Honors” are awarded to the highest achievers on the examinations taken by all students at the end of each school year. Students may also earn “Honors” and “High Honors” for their analysis in each of their two projects completed between sessions. Seven students who earned distinction on all five exercises graduated with “High Honors,” while an additional 12 students earned distinction on four exercises and graduated with “Honors”. Grieving earned “High Honors” on each of the five exercises.

Students graduating with “High Honors” were: Scott Allen Baldridge, WA; Michael Carlos, CA; Nicholas Lowell Fugal, ID; John Martin Kaley III, HI; Kristen Mahlmann, CA; Kathleen Scholes, OR; and Jeff Takemoto, HI. “Honors” graduates this year were: Travis Allen, ID; Chrissy Bell, AK; Briana J. Chamberlain, WA; William H. Froehlich, WY; Magdalena D. Funk, AZ; Sabrina Page, WA; Richard G. Pearce, CA; Camille Sidoti, CA; Angela Sutherland, CA; Gytis A. Tuminas, CO; Robin M. Turner, CA; and Daniel Scot Williams, ID.

In addition, every year the senior student who best represents high moral character, leadership, credit union dedication, and academic achievement is nominated by his or her class to receive the Charles M. Clark Memorial Award. This year’s recipient was D. Jake Denning from Beehive FCU in Idaho. Denning served as class president for two years, and was called by his fellow classmates a great and inspirational leader as well as the “head and heart of the XI class.” He also was called an “individual with class and character.”

WCMS 1982 graduate Patsy Van Ouwerkerk received this year’s James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award for significant service in the credit union field since graduating from the school. Before retiring as President and CEO of Travis CU in 2013, Van Ouwerkerk worked in the credit union industry for 39 years. She served on the WCMS board for 25 years and also served as a project reader at the school.

Van Ouwerkerk said WCMS “changed her life” and Dr. Likens, in particular, changed her career. Quoting the famous phrase, “to whom much has been given, much is expected,” she congratulated the 2016 graduates and challenged them to give back. “Make a difference in your credit unions, your members, and the credit union movement,” she said.

The long-standing tradition of giving back to WCMS funds earned in the service-learning activities continued with this year’s graduating class presenting a check totaling $100,500, representing the total raised over the past three years in Xi class-led efforts. It was the largest donation from service-learning activities by any WCMS class. Additionally, the class had a goal of 100 percent class participation and 1,000 hours of community service. It exceeded its goal by the entire class tallying more than 5,000 hours of service.

Commencement speaker, the recently retired CO-OP Financial Services President and CEO Stan Hollen, spoke about his lengthy credit union career and the future of the credit union industry. He had a number of advice points for this year’s graduates. One was to network. He also encouraged them to get involved outside their credit union and not be in a silo. In terms of mentoring, he said there are two options—seek one or be one.

“Communicate and stand out,” he said. “Become visible in your credit union. Don’t be shy. And finally, give back; put something back to the (credit union) movement.”

To view the 2016 WCMS Graduation gallery, click here.

 
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WCMS 2016 COLLOQUIUM updated 07/18/16 02:25 PM
It’s Up To You!
In the midst of the warm balmy, breezes typical of a Southern California evening at Bridges Auditorium in Claremont, CA, Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), took the stage in front of students from across the country at the Richard Myles Johnson Colloquium in Credit Union Philosophy on July 14.

'REACH 2016': IT'S TIME TO EXPLORE updated 07/07/16 03:53 PM
Education, Collaboration, Excitement
REACH 2016—the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' much-awaited annual convention—is taking place in four months at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from Nov. 2-4. Are you ready?

WHAT CUs ACCOMPLISHED IN SACRAMENTO updated 07/05/16 09:52 AM
Mid-Year Legislative Update
The California State Legislature adjourned for summer recess on June 30 so state lawmakers can spend the month of July in their districts. But before doing so, major deadlines were met, including passing the state budget, completing all policy committee hearings, and passing any legislative measures intended to make it on the Nov. 8 election ballot.

LOCAL MEDIA: WHAT CUs SHOULD KNOW updated 06/27/16 03:45 PM
Regional Footprint Creates Opportunity
Over the past five days, a string of events pushed the “credit union” name into the spotlight on the websites of 10 suburban daily newspapers across Southern California—a phenomenon revealing how media conglomerates operate today, and how credit unions fit into this crowded and emerging picture.

NEVADA CREDIT UNION LEADER PASSES updated 06/23/16 12:49 PM
More Information to Follow
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues received word that Doug Schwartz, President and CEO of Elko Federal Credit Union (EFCU), was struck by a car yesterday in Elko, Nevada and passed away early Thursday. Details are still being investigated.

TMG, CO-OP: BLOCKCHAIN STUDIES updated 06/22/16 02:45 PM
Help FIs Evaluate Opportunities
Three influential payments industry players–TMG, CO-OP Financial Services and Mercator Advisory Group–are making progress on their collective plan to create much-needed clarity around the potential for blockchain technology in the community financial institution industry.

CUs CONVERGE ON ECONOMY AND STRATEGY updated 06/20/16 03:00 PM
Forecast, Discussion, and Ideas
How can credit unions prepare for 2017 given so many "what if" scenarios on the economy, interest rates, labor force, household demographics, political environment, and consumers?

DIVERSITY: GOOD INVESTMENT FOR CUs updated 06/16/16 02:33 PM
Latest Issue of “The NCUA Report”
In the latest issue of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) monthly newsletter, an article by the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion outlines how diversity leads to better service, greater innovation and increased membership. These outcomes make credit unions stronger and more sustainable, and ultimately lead to greater strength for the entire credit union system.

CA CUs SURPASS $100B LENDING MARK updated 06/14/16 08:06 AM
Auto Market Under the Microscope
California credit unions just hit a record: they surpassed the $100 billion lending milestone for the first time ever, with used auto loans making a superstar appearance during this historical moment.

FEDERATION AND EQUIFAX PARTNER updated 06/13/16 02:48 PM
Launch Financial Capability Center
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and Equifax Inc. announced a partnership to build the Westside Financial Capability Center. The Center will provide the Atlanta Westside community with affordable banking, alternatives to payday loans, affordable home mortgages, and a suite of financial services designed to empower residents to achieve their financial goals. The search for a physical site has narrowed to several options that will allow the Center to function in coordination with Atlanta area credit unions, community stakeholders and service providers. Equifax has committed $450,000 through 2018 in support of the Center which is scheduled to open in early 2017.

TWO LARGE CALIFORNIA CUs TO MERGE updated 06/09/16 02:33 PM
N. Island Financial CU & Calif. CU
Two California credit unions—the $1.24-billion North Island Financial CU and the $1.6-billion California CU—announced plans to merge.

'JUNTOS AVANZAMOS' ADVANCES FORWARD updated 06/02/16 08:09 AM
Kinecta FCU Becomes 6th in CA
Kinecta FCU and its affiliate, NIX Neighborhood Lending, were recently recognized by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the California Credit Union League with the “Juntos Avanzamos” (Together We Advance) certification—a branding initiative helping credit unions become the preferred financial resource for local organizations serving underserved Hispanic immigrants.

MEETING WITH NCUA REGION V DIRECTOR updated 06/01/16 02:11 PM
Freed Committed to Fair Process
Today in Sacramento, local credit union leaders met with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director, Cherie Freed, who succeeds Liz Whitehead.

DEFENSE CREDIT UNION COUNCIL LIAISON updated 05/27/16 10:21 AM
McWatters Named to Represent NCUA
At the request of NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger, Board Member J. Mark McWatters will serve as the National Credit Union Administration’s liaison to the Defense Credit Union Council.The agency is committed to supporting service members and hiring veterans.

RMJ LAUNCHES 'BITE OF REALITY' APP updated 05/26/16 02:40 PM
Modernizes, Streamlines Program
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation recently rolled out an app for its successful Bite of Reality program. The app— believed to be the first of its kind for a credit union-sponsored reality fair program—modernizes Bite of Reality, making it more relatable to young people.

DECISION ENGINE TECHNOLOGY updated 05/24/16 09:57 AM
Get The Most Out of Your Technology
May is an awkward month. It’s as if it is not sure exactly what it wants to be. Somedays in May are more like April; some are more like June. Perhaps that is where we got the word “May”-be? But, one thing that is certain about May is that it is the month of graduation ceremonies, and much like the month itself, graduates are at that awkward point in life, where the future is not quite certain.

MOUNTAIN WEST JOINS 'PLEXCITY' updated 05/23/16 03:22 PM
CU Association is 6th Shared Owner
Mountain West Credit Union Association is purchasing a shared-ownership stake in Plexcity for information technology, accounting/finance, and human resource solutions, adding to the Ontario, CA-based company’s unique story of growing collaboration between credit union trade associations since January 2015.

CONNECTING WITH MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS updated 05/19/16 10:29 AM
Matrícula Consular Online Seminar June 9
Lack of identification is one of the biggest barriers for Hispanic immigrants to access affordable financial services. RSVP for a Juntos Avanzamos online seminar on using the Matrícula Consular to reach unbanked Mexican immigrants. Learn how to use the Matricula Consular as a safe, effective way to open savings and checking accounts.

SUMMER IMPACT OPPORTUNITY FOR CUs updated 05/19/16 03:30 PM
$21M Toward Jobs For Young People
Federal government leaders are working hand in hand with local stakeholders to craft solutions that harness resources across multiple agencies in response to local needs and priorities. Since 2009, more than fifteen Federal agencies have launched dozens of initiatives and partnerships with over 1,800 rural, tribal and urban communities. Federal leaders are working across agency lines and offering hands-on support to build local capacity, provide expertise, and unlock resources to help community leaders achieve their goals.

'IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO' updated 05/17/16 10:16 AM
CFO Professional of the Year
Most new ideas aren’t necessarily new, according to Susan Gruber. They are old concepts with a new twist, and they can have great potential.

WHY ONE SMALL CU RANKS BIG IN TECH updated 05/09/16 08:48 PM
Behind United Catholics FCU
No one was perhaps more surprised to learn her credit union ranked No. 1 on MagnifyMoney’s most recently published list of “most digitally savvy” U.S. credit unions than Lucy Sloan.

FINANCIAL CAPABILITY COLLOQUIUM updated 05/03/16 11:38 AM
Measuring Credit Unions' Impact
Nearly 30 leaders and professionals came together last week at the first Financial Capability Colloquium to discuss how to collectively and effectively measure the individual financial literacy efforts that their credit unions and organizations routinely implement within their communities, and how to use these measurements to tell a powerful story that will resonate with the public.

METSGER APPOINTED NCUA BOARD CHAIR updated 05/02/16 05:17 PM
Plus, CFPB on Arbitration and TRID
President Barack Obama has appointed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Vice Chairman Rick Metsger to be the ninth chairman of the NCUA Board of Directors, succeeding outgoing Board Chairman Debbie Matz, whose service ended April 30.

TV INVESTIGATION SPOTLIGHTS 'PACE' updated 05/02/16 02:39 PM
Protecting Consumers Becomes Crucial
A TV news station in Los Angeles has captured a clear example of consumer protection issues stemming from the “PACE” lending program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) in just one instance of how it is proving financially harmful to homeowners and credit union members across California.