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Sunshine State CU Votes To Convert To Bank Again

TALLAHASEE, Fla.-Sunshine State Credit Union said its members voted to approve its plan to convert to a mutual bank. Michele Clarke VP of Marketing reported that during the special meeting held Jan. 9, a total of 4,078 votes were cast with 58.1% for and 41.8% against. Of the total eligible members, 24% voted during the voting period.

This vote marked the second time the $170-million CU has attempted to convert. Two years ago members approved the switch, but the CU withdrew its application after firing CEO Mark LeCain and its chief lending officer left, which caused regulators concern about the CU's management.

In July 2006 the NCUA rejected the application due to several shortcomings in its packet of member disclosures and ballots.

The July vote had 20% of eligible members voting, with 62% of those approving the conversion.

"The resultant approval margin of 662 votes demonstrated for the second time the membership's desire to convert its credit union charter to that of a mutual thrift," said Clarke.

The votes were tallied at the special meeting, where Clarke said "no questions were asked during the Q&A that had not been fully addressed in the disclosure materials supplied to the members."

Of the over 150 members in attendance, only seven members spoke. Only 10% of the total membership opposed the conversion, with the remainder of the membership either voting in favor of the conversion or being indifferent as to the type of charter under which we operate," she said.

CU Teaches Kids: Hold On To Money

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-Six-year-old Cara Miller learned a profitable lesson last week when she grabbed $67 in wind-blown cash during ESM-NS FCU's 'Bank at School' promotion.

The Fremont Elementary School first-grader caught hold of the currency in the wind-blown cash vault, an attempt to illustrate part of the school's and the CU's efforts to teach good savings habits, or 'how to hold on to your money.'

More than 75 elementary students participated in the program developed by the $55 million credit union. Students who opened new accounts or made deposits during Bank at School Days in November and December were entered into a drawing for a chance for cash in the portable vault. The vault was loaded with $300. Miller, wearing safety glasses and an apron, stepped into the vault set up in the school's gym, and clutched as much flying cash as she could while classmates looked on and cheered.

Before the event took place, Miller practiced using hair dryers, fans and play money. After Cara grabbed the $67, Bill Sweeney, CEO of the CU, bumped it up to $75-to teach the kids about interest. When the first-grader told him she planned to donate half the wind-fall to the local charity, the credit union executive doubled her catch to $150-so she could keep the $75 she had cornered on her own.

Millions More Paid Out In Dividends

BILOXI, Miss.-Keesler FCU, battered last year by Hurricane Katrina, announced a second special dividend for 2006, a $3 million bonus paid to members.

That follows a mid-year payout of $863,000 to savers at the end of June. Credit unions large and small all around the country continue to share their success with members in the way of bonus dividends. Ascend FCU (formerly AEDC FCU), in Tullahoma, Tenn., paid members a $3 million bonus dividend. TDECU, formerly Texas Dow Employees CU, in Lake Jackson, Texas, paid its members a $1.7 million bonus. Tulsa Teachers FCU, Tulsa, Okla., paid out a $1.5 million bonus dividend. Hanscom FCU, in Lexington, Mass., paid members a $620,000 loyalty dividend. Western New York FCU, in Buffalo, paid out $500,000; First Energy Family CU, Akron, Ohio, paid $470,000; Neighbors CU, in St. Louis, paid members $410,000; MIT FCU, Cambridge, Mass., $200,000; and City Employees CU, in Koxville, Tenn., gave back $75,000.

FHLB Grants CUs Housing Funds

DALLAS-The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas announced that two of its credit union members were awarded $280,000 in affordable housing grants.

The grants include a $200,000 award to MobilOil FCU, in Beaumont, Texas, which will administer a 20-unit project for Beaumont Habitat for Humanity; and $80,000 to First Delta FCU, in Marks, Miss., for a 12-unit project. The grants were part of $9.2 million awarded by the Dallas FHLB. (c) 2007 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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