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L-R: Brett Martinez, CEO of Redwood CU; Melinda Marchiano, Children’s Miracle Network cancer survivor and speaker for the 2014 Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction; and Tony Boutelle, CEO of CU Direct Corp.

WINE AUCTION RAISES 700K FOR KIDS
updated 03/18/14 09:18 AM
Another Record-Breaking Event
More than $700,000—a record amount—was raised during the 2014 Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction last Friday evening, where 418 attendees from California and Nevada placed their bids for a range of high-end wines, vacation packages, memorabilia, venue tickets, and entertainment packages at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point, CA, all for the sake of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN).

“It was an overwhelming experience to watch the tremendous outpouring of support and caring for such a great cause,” said Jeff York, CEO of CoastHills FCU and chairman of this year’s wine auction event. “This event sums up what credit unions are all about—people helping people. We should all be proud of our industry, our credit unions in California and Nevada, and our business partners who came together and made a huge difference. It was an amazing experience.”

The much-anticipated annual event brought together credit union CEOs, board members, industry executives, and other supporters for a glamorous evening of fine food, dancing, bustling chatter, and silent and live auctions, all under a “Great Gatsby” theme, with attendees in 1920s attire.

Over the past nine years, the yearly wine auction has raised nearly $2.7 million for Credit Unions for Kids, one of several ongoing fundraising initiatives supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The live and silent auctions are also complemented by an online auction during the week leading up to the event.

“We want to thank credit union leaders and others within the industry for making this year’s event a remarkable, record-breaking evening,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “Every dollar contributed will make an impact in the life of a child being supported by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada. Credit unions have once again stepped up to help create miracles in the lives of these children.”

Besides the auction and festivities, the audience heard from Melinda Marchiano, who was once diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She struggled with post-treatment effects. Horrible digestive problems morphed into a life-threatening eating disorder that nearly destroyed her physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Today, Melinda regularly brings her message of hope to others as an inspirational speaker.

Sponsors of this year's event included CU Direct Corp., CO-OP Financial Services, CUNA Mutual Group, and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

 
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'BIG DATA' SPOTLIGHT: RISK OR REWARD updated 10/22/14 12:06 PM
Three Panelists Share Opinions
With Alessandro Acquisti as moderator, Wednesday’s audience was treated to a lively discussion—and a bit of back-and-forth debate—on the use of “big data” at credit unions and its ramifications.

SPEAKER DELVES INTO DATA PRIVACY updated 10/22/14 11:57 AM
The Credit Union Connection
As the Big Data Panel during REACH 2014 kicked off on Wednesday, it was apparent “big data” is everywhere and infiltrates all facets of our lives. But how much do consumers value their privacy, and what does it mean for credit unions?

SOCIAL CHARM: INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESS updated 10/22/14 07:59 AM
Chen Lizra at REACH
“Engagement” is one of the top buzz words circulating around REACH 2014—and TED speaker, business consultant, and author Chen Lizra shared some unique insights during the general session on Tuesday. Her buzz word: “social charm.”

INNOVATION PANEL SPURS TAKE-AWAYS updated 10/22/14 05:21 PM
Three CU Industry Perspectives
Attendees at REACH 2014 received a plethora of ideas from Tuesday’s innovation panel to take back to their credit unions—not the least of which included more interaction between employees and leaders, and free-flow of ideas from the bottom up.