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L-R: Hank Barrett, CEO of Valley First CU; Robin Lentz, CEO of Cabrillo CU; and Jeff Napper, CEO of LBS Financial CU

'REACH': THREE CA CEOs SPEAK OUT
updated 10/03/13 09:07 AM
Rekindled Optimism Shines Forward
With the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention right around the corner, three CEOs have stepped up to share how their credit unions are modeling the concept of “reach up, reach out, reach deep” to create meaningful and lasting relationships with members.

Their individual stories uncover an age-old principle within the credit union movement—when you put members first, everyone succeeds.

Click here to learn more about REACH, the Leagues' 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention, and to register!

Valley First CU
CEO: Hank Barrett
Assets: $500 million
Members: 64,000
Headquarters: Modesto, CA

In His Own Words...
We’re reaching out by looking at our relationship with members and whether we’re both benefiting from that relationship. We’re examining how our ties with them can be more beneficial without being a financial burden on us.
We’re also trying to educate them about the self-sufficiency of using internet and mobile banking. We want to move them to a place that’s more advantageous for both of us since we’ll be establishing more electronic delivery points in the future.
Overall, we want to do what’s fair. We attempt to educate them so they won’t get hammered with big fees. We want to work with them. If we see that they’re having a tough time, we assist in getting them to a better place.
We reach deep by being very intertwined in our communities. We’re active in fundraisers, nonprofit organizations, and some major groups on a regular basis. We’re part of the community, so we give back to the community.
We’re reaching up by watching what other credit unions are doing and talking to them. We don’t think we know everything. We are not reinventing the wheel, but instead we’re learning from where others have gone before us.
Our credit union also reaches up by being engaged in the political arena. We can’t just talk to credit union-friendly candidates only during the campaign season—we have to be there the entire way and build relationships. We must represent our members’ interests by standing together politically.

Cabrillo CU
CEO: Robin Lentz
Assets: $195 million
Members: 24,000
Headquarters: San Diego, CA

In Her Own Words...
Our credit union is trying to reach up, out, and deep through the decisions we make every day at work. Although our field of membership has expanded over the years, we have never forgotten our roots. We’ve had a strong relationship with the U.S. Border Patrol since we were chartered in 1955 to serve them.
As a result of this, their employees call on us when they need a variety of services, including Fallen Agent Memorial Accounts—an account set up for donations to help those affected when a border patrol agent is killed in the line of duty. We are also involved in the patrol’s “musters” and other events, and are at their disposal for any special needs they may have.
Understanding our members’ specific needs has helped us develop products and programs. More recently, we introduced the Sequestration Advance Loan in response to the impact from the federal government’s budget sequestration. This loan is interest-free for 60 days, advances up to $2,500, and can be repaid over 24 months. More than 800 members took advantage of it within the first two weeks.
We also offer “early Friday paydays,” payroll advance loans, advances for DMV fees, and a program on auto loans where we pay members $50 if we can’t meet or beat an interest rate offered by a competitor.
One time a border patrol agent was wrongly accused of beating up an illegal immigrant. He was fired and faced criminal charges. He came to us for help with his loans, and we were able to work with him while he was on trial.
In the end, he was exonerated and reinstated with the Border Patrol. He was so grateful we worked with him during that terrible time that he brought his entire family in to personally thank our collection employees. We were the only creditor that helped him.

LBS Financial CU
CEO: Jeff Napper
Assets: $1 billion
Members: 113,000
Headquarters: Long Beach, CA

In His Own Words...
We’re focusing on making a difference in the lives of our members by building trust and showing compassion for their individual financial situations. We believe that trust, compassion, and our employees are the key ingredients to building lasting and unique relationships.
Handling money requires us to build confidence with our members. If change occurs frequently at the employee level, members develop a sense of distrust.
Fortunately, our employee turnover rate remains very low. We want to offer a unique “stick and stay” workplace culture for employees so that they can develop a long-lasting bond with members. If there’s frequent employee turnover, it becomes impossible for these relationships to form. We put a lot of attention toward caring for employees so they will exhibit that same compassion to our members.
We track our success by reaching out to members randomly each week to find out how they feel about their credit union, and we review reasons for account closures. We also recently implemented a member feedback tool that disseminates information from our call center and branches immediately to key staff for follow-up purposes.
We’re reaching up by looking at the bigger picture and deepening relationships, reaching out by listening to our members’ opinions, and reaching deep through compassion.

 
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LEAGUES TO MEET WITH WHITEHEAD updated 03/31/15 10:29 AM
Exam Survey in Focus
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director Liz Whitehead and her senior staff will meet with representatives from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and other state leagues in Arizona this coming Friday to discuss credit union issues, including the examination process.

ANTICIPATING THE CFPB’S FIRST VISIT updated 03/30/15 10:38 AM
SchoolsFirst FCU Discusses Preparation
The fact that examiners from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are expected to walk through the doors of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s headquarters in Santa Ana sometime this year is not only “a first” for California’s largest cooperative financial institution, it’s a landmark event for the state’s entire credit union industry.

CA MEDIA JUMP ON LEAGUE DATA updated 03/27/15 01:58 PM
Impressive Story Coverage
The California credit union system has gained substantial momentum in local media outlets in recent months. Among the top topics covered by publications is the California Credit Union League's strong fourth quarter lending data.

HARRY REID TO RETIRE IN 2016 updated 03/27/15 01:11 PM
Served Senate Since 2005
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will not seek re-election in 2016, he said in an interview with the New York Times. He has led the Senate democrats since 2005 and has had a three-decade congressional career.

FIRST CU REG. RELIEF BILL PASSED updated 03/26/15 09:21 AM
H.R. 299 Approved by Committee
The House Committee on Financial Services passed H.R. 299—the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act—granting privately-insured credit unions access to the Federal Home Loan Bank. The bill now moves to House floor for consideration hopefully before June.

FIs TRUSTED OVER RETAILERS updated 03/25/15 03:00 PM
Better Data Protection
According to a recent Gallup poll, 91 percent of consumers trust credit unions and banks to better safeguard their personal information and keep data secure, compared to less than 70 percent of consumers who trust merchants. More than 11,000 U.S. adults age 18 and older were surveyed for the poll.

OVERDRAFT PROPOSAL OPPOSED updated 03/24/15 08:56 AM
Treatment of Prepaid Cards
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have submitted a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that strongly opposes the bureau’s proposed treatment of overdrafts on prepaid cards as credit and subject to Regulation Z requirements.

GRR IS LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY updated 03/23/15 10:54 AM
Crucial Event for CA State Advocacy
The 2015 Government Relations Rally (GRR) is the most important state legislative event for credit unions in California— and it’s less than three weeks away. Will you be there to advocate for your credit union?

CEOs TALK RISK, OPPORTUNITY, FUTURE updated 03/19/15 05:04 PM
Cheney, Gunderson, and Hernandez
Threats to cybersecurity, defending against card fraud, and remaining relevant to consumers are top concerns for three credit union CEOs who recently participated on a special panel during a California Credit Union League Orange County Chapter meeting.

CA CEO TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS updated 03/18/15 10:18 AM
Also, Rep. Royce Reintroduces Bill
Patrick Miller, CEO of CBC FCU testified before today’s House Committee on Financial Services hearing titled “Preserving Consumer Choice and Financial Independence.” Miller was the witness on behalf of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The bulk of his testimony centered on duplicative compliance burdens, as well as the modifications needed to strengthen the credit union charter.

NCUA WARNS ABOUT PHISHING SCAM updated 03/18/15 03:00 PM
‘National Credit Union’ Con
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has issued a warning to consumers that the agency has received reports of an online phishing scam which uses a website with a logo and a design similar to the agency’s own site in an attempt to convince customers/members to provide information or send money. Click here to read the warning.

SMALL, LARGE CUs MEET AT 'GAC' updated 03/16/15 11:31 AM
Also, Pete Aguilar Fundraiser
Nearly 50 CEOs and professionals from small credit unions and their large-sponsor counterparts attended the Partners in Advocacy reception last week at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ suite during the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

MCWATTERS MEETS WITH CA, NV LEADERS updated 03/16/15 10:27 AM
CFPB Officials Address Rules
The room was packed last week when National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters made time to address attendees from California and Nevada during the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.

CU HILL VISITS: 'TREMENDOUS SUCCESS' updated 03/16/15 01:25 PM
Keeps Advocacy Top of Mind
More than 225 colleagues from California and Nevada credit unions joined thousands of their peers at the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) last week, making visits to lawmakers’ offices and meeting with regulatory officials.

ADVOCATES GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C. updated 03/10/15 10:51 AM
2015 Governmental Affairs Conference
California and Nevada credit union leaders attending the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C. focused on pressing legislative and regulatory issues as they were briefed in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ suite on Monday afternoon and met intermittently on Tuesday.

COMMITMENT TO SUPP. CAPITAL AND RBC updated 03/10/15 09:57 AM
Plus, Modernizing FOM Limits
Credit union leaders from California and Nevada were surprised and pleased with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz’s comments from this week regarding the use of supplemental capital for risk-based capital purposes.

PURCELL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED AT 'GAC' updated 03/10/15 07:50 AM
Honor ‘Means a Great Deal to Me’
This year’s Kelly J. Purcell Credit Union Memorial Fund Scholarship was awarded to Rebecca Herrigel, a student at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management who will graduate this year with a master’s degree in political management.

REG. RELIEF HEARING ANNOUNCED updated 03/09/15 10:06 AM
Signals Many Discussions Ahead
With the opening of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on March 8, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues had its first of many announcements.

CEOs JOIN CU HOUSE HALL OF LEADERS updated 03/09/15 09:30 AM
Eric Bruen and Joe Schroeder
Desert Valleys FCU CEO Eric Bruen and Ventura County CU President Joe Schroeder were inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders during the Credit Union House meeting, prior to the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), which began on March 8. Both received this honor for their significant impact on the credit union movement, and are the third and fourth inductees from California since the program’s inception in 2008.

NCUA, CFPB TO MEET CA AND NV LEADERS updated 03/03/15 09:12 AM
RBC, Overdraft, and Other Topics
On board for California and Nevada attendees of the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) is a special visit from officials with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' hospitality suite.

THREE TOPICS SHAPING ‘GAC’ THIS YEAR updated 03/02/15 05:08 PM
Data Security Will Top GRR
Next week the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) will kick off in Washington D.C.—a conference that, unlike others, is focused on bringing the credit union message to Congress and the administration.

EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN CU CEO RETIRIN updated 03/02/15 04:20 PM
Holbrook Served For 36 Years
Evangelical Christian CU's Mark Holbrook will retire in May after 36 years as CEO. He is widely acknowledged for growing the 50-year-old institution to an alliance of more than 11,000 members and ministries in 130 countries.

ROYCE REINTRODUCES MBL CAP BILL updated 03/02/15 03:31 PM
Raises Limit to 27.5 Percent of Assets
Today, Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) reintroduced legislation raising the member business lending (MBL) from 12.25 percent to 27.5 percent of assets.

CUs LEND UNIQUE VOICE TO NEWS MEDIA updated 03/02/15 02:55 PM
Stories Garner Spotlight in CA, NV
Only two months into 2015, local news media across California and Nevada are highlighting credit unions’ positive impact on their communities as the economy continues strengthening and the industry seeks how it can uniquely serve members.