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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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INDUSTRY LEADER AND MENTOR PASSES updated 04/25/16 12:43 PM
O'Rourke 'Will be Missed'
Gene O’Rourke—who left a 40-year legacy of helping shape and place leaders in the credit union industry throughout California and the nation—died this past Friday. He was 70.

LEAGUES COMMENT ON OTR, FEE METHODS updated 04/25/16 04:12 PM
Plus, NCUA's 2 New Proposals
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have told the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that federally insured state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs) and federally chartered credit unions (FCUs) should be treated equitably in their comment letter on the Overhead Transfer Rate (OTR) and Operating Fee Schedule Methodologies.

REG COMMITTEE RESPONDS TO CORDRAY updated 04/19/16 09:31 AM
CU Leaders Express Opinions
In Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director (CFPB) Richard Cordrary’s recent response to a congressional letter that calls on him to fully utilize the bureau’s exemption authority for community financial institutions, Cordray cites examples of how the bureau has already used this authority.

NCUA SELECTS NEW REGION V DIRECTOR updated 04/19/16 07:31 AM
Plus: Proposed Rules; Comments Needed
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has selected Cherie Freed as regional director of the agency’s Region V office in Tempe, AZ. She will replace current Regional Director Elizabeth Whitehead, who will retire in May after 28 years of service.

AUTOS MAY PEAK AT 18 MILLION IN 2017 updated 04/19/16 05:40 PM
Decisive Moment for Credit Unions
Credit unions’ speedy, record breaking growth in auto lending might peel even more rubber in 2017. But how will they handle a plateau and subsequent drop in sales when the current business cycle runs its course?

RESPECTED ECONOMIST DIES AT 63 updated 04/14/16 04:38 PM
Esmael Adibi on SchoolsFirst Board
A beloved and well-respected forecaster on the California economy over the past 38 years—as well as credit union board member of SchoolsFirst FCU—died of complications from a stroke on April 8.

ADVOCACY IN FULL SWING AFTER 'GRR' updated 04/12/16 08:51 AM
Upcoming Committee Meeting on PACE
Credit union advocates may have left Sacramento last week after the 2016 California Government Relations Rally (GRR) came to a close, but state legislative efforts on a number of issues remain in full swing as the industry continues fighting for its members.

NV CUs SPECIFIED IN SENATE HEARING updated 04/11/16 01:50 PM
More Action is Forthcoming
In the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ continual push for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to fully use its exemption authority for credit unions, Nevada credit unions were specifically discussed by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) during the first of two hearings last week regarding the CFPB’s impact.

MODERNIZATION BILL MOVES TO ASSEMBLY updated 04/05/16 09:24 AM
CA Gov. Relations Rally Kicks Off
Sacramento is front and center for credit union advocacy this week as two powerful events unfold that are integral to the cause of the industry and its members across California: the state-charter modernization bill and the 2016 California Government Relations Rally (GRR).

SACTOWN RAISES NEARLY $200K FOR CMN updated 04/05/16 09:03 AM
Benefits CA/NV Children's Hospitals
The sixth annual Credit Union SacTown Run—which took place Sunday, April 3 in downtown Sacramento, CA—raised nearly $200,000 for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in California and Nevada. The event was sponsored by CU Miracle Day, Inc. along with 69 credit unions and credit union businesses including the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

CFO: INSIGHT ON FASB's 'TRG' MEETING updated 04/05/16 08:54 AM
Current Expected Credit Loss
On April 1, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) met with its Transition Resource Group (TRG) on the proposed accounting standards update (ASU) for credit losses, which would implement a forward-looking Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) model.

EVENT WILL LAUNCH DYNAMIC DISCUSSION updated 04/04/16 04:24 PM
'Your Economy, Your Credit Union'
Credit unions can join their peers from across California and Nevada to engage with three renowned experts on June 16 during "Your Economy—Your Credit Union: 2017 and Beyond," a first event of its kind!

CUs PREPARE TO UNITE IN SACRAMENTO updated 03/29/16 09:31 AM
Register for 'GRR' Today
All credit union advocates are needed in Sacramento as momentum builds toward the 2016 California Government Relations Rally (GRR) from April 4-5, where executives, managers, and board volunteers will discuss important topics with state lawmakers to help protect credit unions and allow their members to thrive.

GROUP TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON 'CECL' updated 03/29/16 08:11 AM
Two CUs Part of Discussion
Two credit union CFOs will be a part of a key meeting this week leading up to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) expected mid-2016 decision on its proposed accounting standards update (ASU) on credit-losses standard.

FOUNDATION RECEIVES DIAMOND AWARDS updated 03/25/16 10:49 AM
Efforts Leveraging Video & Financial
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) was honored with two Diamond Awards—awards that recognize outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.

CONSUMER PROTECTION ADDED TO BILL updated 03/21/16 10:46 AM
'PACE' Momentum Heats Up
A significant amendment was made last week to Assembly Bill 2693 to address the huge consumer protection issues surrounding Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs that credit unions in California and their members have begun to encounter.

WINE AUCTION RAISES 1M FOR CMN KIDS updated 03/21/16 09:07 AM
$4.8 Million Since 2006
For the second year in a row, the annual Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction raised more than $1 million for the 11 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.

CUNA: BYLAW MODERNIZATION APPOVED updated 03/21/16 01:59 PM
Membership Votes for Open Model
More than 90 percent of participating Credit Union National Association (CUNA) members (representing more than 43 percent of total membership) has voted to modernize the association’s bylaws, which will create a new, open membership model for CUNA and empowers the board of directors to maintain a fair dues formula and board structure.

NCUA'S WHITEHEAD MEETS WITH LEADERS updated 03/18/16 04:03 PM
Region V Responds to Concerns
Last week representatives from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues met with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director Liz Whitehead and Associate Regional Directors Mike Dyer and Cherie Freed.

329 CONGRESSMEN TO CFPB: EXEMPT CUs updated 03/14/16 01:22 PM
Letter Co-Authored by Rep. Schiff
A letter co-written by California Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Los Angeles, and Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, asking for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to fully exercise its rule-making exemption authority for community based financial institution recently was submitted to CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

PLEASE SEND LETTER TO FASB ON 'CECL' updated 03/11/16 10:40 AM
CUs Urged to Act
Credit union leaders are urged to assist in the grassroots efforts initiated by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ to oppose the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) proposed accounting standards update (ASU) on credit losses.

MATZ TO STEP DOWN APRIL 30 updated 03/09/16 10:57 AM
Departing After 11 Years With NCUA
Debbie Matz, Chairman of the NCUA board since August 2009, announced plans to step down from her post on April 30, according to a Wednesday press release.

CO-OP ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE ROLES updated 03/09/16 02:46 PM
Sarah Canepa Bang and Craig Beach
CO-OP Financial Services is announcing new assignments for Sarah Canepa Bang and Craig Beach, two members of its Executive Management Team (EMT), designed to enhance the company’s corporate partnerships and shared branching network.

CMG NAMED A 'MOST ETHICAL COMPANY' updated 03/07/16 12:58 PM
Third Time in Four Years Recognition
California and Nevada Credit Union League business partner CUNA Mutual Group has been recognized as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Compay by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.