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L-R (clockwise): Rudy Hanley, CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU; Sue Longson, VP of Business Development and Community Relations for SCE FCU; Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis CU; and Jim Updike, CEO of Honda FCU

CALIFORNIA CEOs ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT
updated 01/17/14 01:56 PM
CU Leaders Served Several Years
Four longtime California credit union leaders renowned for their community involvement and commitment to the movement recently announced their respective retirements this coming year—Rudy Hanley, CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU; Sue Longson, Vice President of Business Development and Community Relations for SCE FCU; Jim Updike, CEO of Honda FCU; and Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis CU.

Rudy Hanley (SchoolsFirst FCU)
With 584,000 members and $10 billion in assets, Hanley is retiring from the fifth largest credit union in the nation, as well as the largest in California. SchoolsFirst is headquartered in Santa Ana, CA. The SchoolsFirst board of directors is currently working on selecting the credit union’s next CEO.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement effective at the end of March,” Hanley said in a message to members. “This decision was not an easy one for me. The last 31 years have been the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career, thanks to our wonderful members and team members whom I consider my second family.”

Hanley—a Hungarian immigrant and originally a tax and small business consultant—became head of the California Credit Union League’s Research and Information Department before taking the helm of SchoolsFirst. Throughout his career, he has served on the boards of the California League, Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Strategic Services, CUNA Mutual Group, and the Consumer Federation of America. He is also a founding member of Filene Research Institute. He received the League’s Unsung Hero Award in 2010, which honors deserving individuals within the credit union movement with at least 20 years of service and who have made significant contributions in the community. He was also awarded the 2011 Herb Wegner Memorial Award by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) for his individual achievement within the credit union movement.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve,” Hanley said. “I will be forever grateful to our members, board, and team for the successes they made possible.”

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk (Travis CU)
Travis CU announced Van Ouwerkerk will retire “late this summer” after leading the $2.1 billion Vacaville, CA-based credit union for 12 years. The credit union has grown from $1.1 billion to its current size since Van Ouwerkerk became CEO in 2002. It now serves more than 160,000 members at 22 locations in Northern California communities, as well as military and civilian personnel at Travis Air Force Base.

“Patsy is a visionary leader, dedicated to promoting the importance and value of credit unions to the members and communities served, on both a local and global level,” said Board Chairman Pat Moreno in a news release. “She has been instrumental in expanding Travis Credit Union’s role as a model community steward and partner.”

Van Ouwerkerk has spent 38 years within the credit union movement. She was the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. She also received the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, the California Credit Union League's highest honor which recognizes her lifetime of contributions to the California credit union movement. She also served as chairman of the California Credit Union League in 2002.

Executive Vice President Barry Nelson was unanimously selected by Travis CU’s board of directors as incoming CEO. He has been a part of Travis CU’s management team since 2001 and is “deeply involved in setting long-range strategies for the credit union,” according to the news release. He was previously CFO and COO.

Jim Updike (Honda FCU)
After nearly 45 years in credit unions, Updike is transitioning at Honda FCU to a senior advisor position on April 1, where he will stay until retiring in May 2015. Succeeding Updike will be COO Steve Brandon. Before serving at Honda FCU—located in Torrance, CA—Updike was CEO of California Coast CU and NCR West FCU. Before those leadership roles, Updike started the very first ever share-draft program at San Diego Gas and Electric CU.

“It’s been unbelievably exciting and fun,” he said of his time in the credit union movement. “The changes I’ve seen over the years have been absolutely incredible. What was so neat is, we implemented changes because nobody told us we couldn’t. For instance, we would have no interest-bearing checking accounts anywhere in the economy if it weren’t for credit unions.”

During his career, Updike was honored with the California Credit Union Leagues’ Unsung Hero Award, recognizing individuals within the credit union movement with at least 20 years of service, and who have made significant contributions in the community. He has also been a board member of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation since 2005, serving as chairman several years, and served five years on the Leagues’ Government Relations Committee, as well as several other volunteer seats within the industry.

“The biggest thing I’ll remember are the people in this industry who are real icons—Dick Johnson, Rudy Hanley, Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, Hal Stevens, and many more," he said. “There are so many people out there who made such a tremendous difference in other people’s lives because of the credit union industry. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Sue Longson (SCE FCU)
Longson, who is retiring in March from SCE FCU, is the former longtime CEO of SONEPCO FCU and has been working in credit unions for 40 years. Before SONEPCO, she was CEO of Pacific CU and Cal Center CU—and at one time, she was the youngest credit union manager in the nation. Additionally, she is the third generation in her family to work in credit unions. “Growing up in a family dedicated to the credit union movement instilled in me the desire to serve, to help people by making a difference in their lives,” Longson said.

She has been recognized with the Leagues’ PAC Advocate of the Year more than once for playing a key role on the credit union advocacy front. She has been very active in political affairs, serving on political action and government relations committees in both Nevada and California. She has also served as chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League, as well as countless other organizations and volunteer efforts in the community and credit union arena.

“Helping members by providing excellent and caring service has been the focus of my life in credit unions,” she added. “Furthering the credit union movement by serving in various capacities and becoming active politically has been my passion. While I am excited about the future and the next chapter in my life, I am truly going to miss being an active part of our movement.”

 
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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.

'PACE' PASSES FIRST STATE COMMITTEE updated 04/26/16 08:48 AM
Congressman Sherman Gives Support
In a rare instance of federal and state legislative involvement, Assembly Bill 2693, authored by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), received two significant boosts yesterday.

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.