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Caroline Casey, CEO of Kanchi and Founder of the O2 Ability Awards, addresses attendees during the opening general session of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention.

updated 10/29/13 10:13 AM
Opening Day at Annual Convention
The audience got an explosive surprise during Monday's opening general session at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention, with O2 Ability Awards founder and Kanchi CEO Caroline Casey launching on stage to tell her tragedy-to-triumph story of overcoming personal insecurities and obstacles from being born legally blind.

"Be dangerous in dreaming," she told credit union CEOs, board members, executives, and others. "We can't control recessions, cancer, and other horrible events in life. But we can control our response. Please don't try to be someone you aren't."

Casey, an Irish immigrant, has dedicated the past decade of her life to changing how global society views people with disabilities. At Kanchi, she developed a set of best practices (based on ISO 9000 quality standards) for businesses to help them see "disabled" workers as an asset as opposed to a liability. Hundreds of companies have adopted those standards, changing their policies and attitudes.

"Nearly one billion people around the world have a disability, with more than $9 trillion in disposable income," Casey said. "As credit unions, you say you want to change people's lives. We're people too. You helped me start my financial life again, and I will never forget that."

Click here to view more photos of Annual Meeting and Convention!

Attendees were also greeted on stage by Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney, both of whom reiterated the "Unite For Good" message that is empowering state leagues, CUNA, and credit unions to collaboratively work together to reach out to consumers and legislators in Congress and state capitols.

All day Monday, as well as Tuesday morning, credit union executives had the opportunity to get a "close up" with the convention's high-impact keynote speakers, as well as special guests from the credit union system, during the Executive Series, which is one of a few touch points brand new to this year's event. They included McGonigal; Teddy Goff, social media guru; Dr. Neil Goldman, a credit union visionary; Elizabeth Whitehead, director of NCUA's Region 5; Jan Owen, commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO), and Mary Martha Fortney, President and CEO of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS).

Leo H. Shapiro Award and Other League Awards
During Monday's opening general session, Travis CU CEO Patsy Van Ouwerkerk received the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award, the California Credit Union League's highest honor.

Named after Leo H. Shapiro, the father of California's credit union movement, the award recognizes Van Ouwerkerk's lifetime of contributions to the California credit union movement.

Past winners of the award gathered on stage with Van Ouwerkerk as she accepted the award and commented to the audience on how honored she feels to be involved in the California credit union movement.

On Tuesday morning, the Leagues' other award winners were recognized both privately at a special reception, as well as on stage in the general session. They included:

  • Xceed Financial FCU CEO Teresa Freeborn—the Distinguished Service Award
  • Ventura County CU Board Chairman Roxanne Ostrem—the J. Alvin George Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • L.A. Healthcare FCU CEO Annice Kim—the Tomorrow's Star Award
  • Thompson Consulting Inc. CEO Randy Thompson—the Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Award (for an individual)
  • Catalyst Corporate FCU—the Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Award (for an organization)

An Exciting, Eventful Kick-Off
Attendees made their rounds to a number of exciting venues, presentations, educational sessions, networking events, and yearly meetings all day Monday and throughout Tuesday morning of this year's convention, including:

  • The Western CUNA Management School Breakfast
  • The California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network Planning Session
  • Bite of Reality Financial Literacy Workshop
  • Shapiro Group Networking Reception
  • Credit Union Volunteer Networking Reception
  • Executive Series

Credit union CEOs, executives, board members, and other attendees from California, Nevada, Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska searched within themselves to "reach up, reach out, reach deep" as they explored innovative concepts, philosophies, and strategies to take back and transform their credit unions.

RMJ Foundation Donor Appreciation Gala
On Sunday evening, the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation held a Donor Appreciation Gala to recognize those who have supported the foundation this year (in lieu of its annual Beacon Awards Gala).

Those who attended from credit unions and other organizations were recognized for their contributions in helping make the Bite of Reality financial workshop successful—an ongoing initiative that creates a one-day real-life financial budgeting scenario for California and Nevada school kids, helping them venture into "the real world."

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NEVADA'S MOMENT IN THE SUN updated 11/24/15 08:17 AM
Local CU vs. Bank Footprint
Nevada credit unions could be on track to surpassing every other state as the No. 1 loan originator in the industry during the past quarter compared to a year ago—a trend that speaks of the deep, years-long financial rebuilding process taking place for residents living in one of the hardest hit regions during and after the Great Recession.

CUs Encouraged to Comment
At the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) board meeting this morning, the board issued a field of membership (FOM) proposal for comment. The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will carefully review the proposal and provide members with more information it the near future. Member credit unions are encouraged to consider and comment on the proposal, including support of positive changes and thoughts on how it can be further improved. Comments will be accepted for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

SCE FCU Becomes First in CA
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have announced a partnership with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to help interested credit unions in both states become designated as “Juntos Avanzamos” (Together We Advance) organizations.

NCUA OPEN FORUM: 'LICU' DESIGNATIONS updated 11/16/15 02:25 PM
Upcoming FOM Considerations
At the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) open forum on Oct. 30, a representative from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues asked for clarification on how and when the NCUA reviews low-income credit union designations.

AGENDA: BILLS TO KEEP CFPB IN CHECK updated 11/16/15 02:20 PM
House Lawmakers Return
On the House agenda for consideration in the coming days are two bills the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) support as a means toward keeping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in check.

Ten Different Credit Unions Represented
As reported earlier in the Leagues' Advocacy Blog, credit union leaders met today with Rep. Linda Sanchez.

Summary of Rule's Framework
Credit union managers, staff, and boards can learn more about the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) risk- based capital rule and what to expect during its three-year implementation period in a new video recently released by the agency.

Nevada CU CEO Testifies at Hearing updated 11/09/15 12:23 PM
Regulations Facing CUs Discussed
The House Committee on Small Businesses held a subcommittee field hearing this afternoon in North Las Vegas. Representative Cresent Hardy (R-N.Las Vegas) as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigation and Regulation invited Robin Simmers, CEO of Pahranagat Valley Federal Credit Union of Nevada to testify on the topic of overburdening regulations facing credit unions as both a financial institution and small business. In her testimony, Simmers raised several continual concerns addressing small and rural credit unions such as BSA compliance, one-size fits all rules in CFPB regulation, and examinations of smaller credit unions. A link to her written testimony (available in the days ahead) and details on the hearing can be found here.

LEAGUE PAC ACTIVITIES AT 'REACH' updated 11/09/15 12:09 PM
Golf Tourney; CU Leaders Honored
In addition to the array of speakers, REACH 2015 also featured a sold-out PAC Golf Tournament and credit union leaders and vendors being honored for their contributions to political advocacy.

NCUA's MCWATTERS, METSGER AT 'REACH' updated 11/09/15 11:16 AM
Board Members Discuss Topics
REACH 2015 attendees were treated to visits by both National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters and Vice Chairman Rick Metsger during the conference. Below are some highlights.

Impart Insightful Perspectives
Last week’s REACH 2015 featured an array of inspirational speakers who gave attendees ready-to-implement tactics and ideas to recharge their credit unions and rethink what’s possible.

APRIL RINNE: THE 'SHARING ECONOMY' updated 11/06/15 11:45 AM
Potential for Credit Unions
April Rinne—advisor on the “sharing economy” and young global leader for the World Economic Forum—brought the “REACH” conference to a close Friday by defining the sharing economy and exposing credit unions to how this growing sector of the world is making a fundamental paradigm shift in consumers and workers relating to each other.

Managing Energy, not Time, is Key
Stacey Sullivan, performance coach with Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute, left “REACH” conference attendees with some insightful parting words in the second-half of Friday morning’s general session.

DAVE LOGAN: KNOW WHAT NOT TO CHANGE updated 11/06/15 11:13 AM
5 Stages Professionals Work In
Dave Logan, president of CultureSync, challenged attendees on the last day of the “REACH” convention to never change “things that always must stay the same—because they ground us and tell us who we are.”

Plus, REACH Innovation Group
Two significant innovation-centered segments during Thursday afternoon’s general session at “REACH” had audience members searching for how they could implement new concepts at their credit union.

CU LEADERS AWARDED: 'PAC' ADVOCACY updated 11/05/15 12:34 PM
California and Nevada Advocates
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues honored recipients of its annual PAC Awards (Political Action Committee) on stage during “REACH” on Thursday afternoon, paying tribute to the hard-working efforts of political advocacy.

NCUA'S MCWATTERS VISITS 'REACH' updated 11/05/15 12:32 PM
Advocates Better NCUA Communication
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters stopped by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual conference, “REACH,” to address credit union executives and board members regarding his agenda and the agency’s plans toward the end of the year.

Pierce, Rutkowski, and Suber
Three outstanding innovators and thinkers took to the stage during Thursday morning’s general session at “REACH,” opening credit union leaders’ eyes to the possibilities of what role that crypto-currency, digital disruption, the “access economy,” and peer-to-peer lending might play in the industry.

For Their Service and More
Six credit union leaders from California and Nevada were honored at a private reception and on stage during Thursday’s general session of “REACH” with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual “League Awards.”

'Invent' to Impact Community
Pablos Holman challenged Wednesday afternoon’s “REACH” audience during opening general session to “think about providing consumers what others can’t” and “what our relationship will be with change and disruption now and in the future.”

NCUA'S RICK METSGER AT 'REACH' updated 11/04/15 11:58 AM
Discusses MBL and FOM
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Rick Metsger visited a credit union volunteer reception and executive reception during this year’s “REACH” conference to foster the relationship credit unions have with their federal regulator.

SHAPIRO RECEPTION: HUB FOR SMALL CUs updated 11/04/15 11:56 AM
Leaders Look Back, and Forward
CEOs and other leaders from small credit unions—often cited the backbone and soul of the credit union industry—gathered at a special annual reception during “REACH” on Wednesday afternoon to honor how far they’ve come within their collaborative efforts, as well as take a peak into the future.

'REACH' Attendees Participate
More than two dozen “REACH” attendees headed over to the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) diaper project, where they put together diaper pins that were “premature” baby size—a remembrance of just how small a life can struggle with illness or disease.

KIDS LEARN BASICS: 'BITE OF REALITY' updated 11/04/15 11:01 AM
Side Event at 'REACH'
Nearly 100 kids and parents from the Palm Desert community came on-site to the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual conference, “REACH,” during the "Bite of Reality" workshop—a financial simulation fair for high school students.