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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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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.

VETERANS MBL BILL INTRODUCED updated 02/27/15 01:27 PM
Service Member Loans Exempt From Cap
This morning, Reps. Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Jeff Miller (R-FL) introduced H.R. 1133, legislation that will help the nation’s veterans establish themselves as small business entrepreneurs. With many service members already credit union members, this new bill would exempt small business loans issued to veterans from the member business lending (MBL) cap.

CUs TESTIFY ON FIN. LITERACY updated 02/25/15 10:50 AM
Nat'l. CU Foundation Speaks at FLEC
Gigi Hyland, executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation toured the movement's dedication to youth financial literacy today in a presentation to the U.S. Treasury's Financial Literacy Education Commission (FLEC).

WINE AUCTION RAISES RECORD AMOUNT updated 02/24/15 10:27 AM
More Than $1 Million for Children’s Hospitals
More than $1 million was raised for 11 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada during the annual Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction last Friday night—a record amount in the event’s 10-year history.

REACH INNOVATION GROUP KICKS OFF updated 02/23/15 03:15 PM
Two-Day Discovery Experience
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH Innovation Group officially launched last week with a two-day experiential learning session, immersing the 17 participants in the Filene Method of Innovation.

CONGRESSMEN VISIT CA, NV CU LEADERS updated 02/23/15 01:53 PM
Plus, Nevada HOA Super Lien Update
Two members of Congress visited credit unions in California and Nevada last week during the President’s Day district work period.

NCUA APPROVES 'SMALL CU' PROPOSAL updated 02/20/15 03:17 PM
Plus: Reg Burden Examples Needed
A proposal to amend the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) definition of “small entity” was approved during last week’s National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board meeting, which would increase the asset threshold definition of “small” federally-insured credit unions from $50 million to $100 million.

CUNA PLEDGES $1M TO MUSEUM updated 02/18/15 04:23 PM
Sponsors ‘Legacy Campaign’
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has pledged $1 million toward America’s Credit Union Museum Legacy Capital Campaign to help ensure the rich history of the credit union system is preserved.

LONGTIME CU LEADER PASSES updated 02/17/15 10:41 AM
Larry Sharp—Advocate and Volunteer
Longtime credit union advocate and former Arrowhead Credit Union CEO Larry Sharp passed away on Monday morning, leaving a 45-year legacy of volunteerism and leadership within the California credit union movement and the local Inland Empire community. He was 72.

CO-OP TO BUY COVERA SOLUTIONS, INC. updated 02/13/15 02:11 PM
Enters Agreement with NY CU Assoc.
California-based CO-OP Financial Services has signed a letter of intent with the New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) to purchase the association's subsidiary, Covera Solutions, Inc. The purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter. Covera provides 248 credit unions with credit, debit, ATM, and prepaid cards solutions.

NEVADA CHAIRMAN ADDRESSES COMMITTEE updated 02/12/15 10:44 AM
Urges Reducing Reg., Leg. Burden
During a hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee last week, Nevada Credit Union League Chairman and Greater Nevada CU CEO Wally Murray addressed 191 regulatory changes handed down to financial institutions from three dozen federal agencies since January 2008.

CO-OP RE-LAUNCHES MOBILE BANKING APP updated 02/11/15 09:09 AM
P2P Payments, Remote Check Deposit
CO-OP Financial Services is re-launching CO-OP Mobile, its mobile banking application, which now features optional real-time, person-to-person payments, and remote check deposit.

CUs POST IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN 2014 updated 02/09/15 10:20 AM
Membership, Loan Portfolios Up
In 2014, the credit union industry experienced impressive membership and operational success, suggesting Americans are starting to recognize the value proposition of credit unions and are utilizing their products and services.

CEO TO TESTIFY ON BANKING COMMITTEE updated 02/09/15 02:06 PM
Regulatory Relief, MBL, Supplemental Capital
Wally Murray—chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League and CEO of Greater Nevada CU—will be testifying at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on regulatory relief for credit unions this coming Thursday morning.

NV LEADERS MEET WITH STATE LAWMAKERS updated 02/09/15 01:33 PM
HOA Lien Foreclosures Discussed
Delegates from credit unions throughout Nevada descended upon the state capitol in Carson City on Feb. 4 for the Nevada Credit Union League’s 2015 Government Relations Rally.

CATALYST: PARTICIPATIONS CLEAR 100M updated 02/06/15 11:55 AM
California CUs Included in Deals
Since launching earlier in 2014, the Catalyst Corporate FCU loan participation program has helped 41 credit unions buy and sell more than $100 million in loans, closing five deals in less than one year.

LEAGUE OVERDRAFT SURVEY POSTED updated 02/05/15 11:38 AM
View Results and Final Report
During CEO roundtable discussions last summer, it was decided the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues must take a proactive approach regarding likely rulemaking by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on overdraft programs.

OIL'S DECLINE PUTS CUs ON THE ALERT updated 02/04/15 02:09 PM
California Members Face Varying Impact
Credit unions headquartered in the heart of California’s largest oil-producing counties are bracing for members in need of financial assistance as the recent spill in oil prices puts a dent in local commerce and employment.

RMJ CREATES NEW ADVISORY COMMITTEE updated 02/03/15 09:19 AM
Plus, Designation of Excellence for CUs
The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation has a new advisory committee that will provide advice, guidance, and active support of the Foundation’s initiatives, including Bite of Reality—a hands-on simulation program that teaches budgeting skills to young people.

WORLD COUNCIL YOUNG CU PEOPLE updated 02/02/15 03:25 PM
Nominate a Professional Today
The World Council of Credit Unions is now accepting nominations for the World Council Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) scholarship program, an international networking and educational opportunity for promising credit union leaders.

CLARK COUNTY CU CEO TO RETIRE updated 01/29/15 10:54 AM
Wayne Tew Served 29 Years at CU
Clark County CU President/CEO and former Chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League Wayne Tew plans to retire this summer after 29 years with the credit union.