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Webinar On Weathering Storm

MADISON, Wis.-CUNA Mutual will host its first 2011 Discovery Webinar on March 17 at 12:15 p.m. CST, titled, "Is it Over Yet ... Or is This the Calm Before Another Economic Storm?" It will be led by CUNA Mutual Chief Economist Dave Colby. To register: www.cunamutual.com/economywebinar/PR. Five other web seminars are also scheduled for 2011.


Auto Body Changes Shape, Now Astera

LANSING, Mich.-Auto Body Credit Union here is changing its name to Astera Credit Union. The 60-year-old CU was founded to serve UAW local 602, but now serves more than 150 other employers.


Hybrid Car Is Part of Giveaway

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.-Langley FCU is looking to build awareness of a "go green" effort aimed at getting members to switch to e-statements by giving away a hybrid Honda CR-Z in a drawing. Anyone enrolled in Smart Checking with e-statements is eligible. Not only do e-statements save paper, LFCU told members, they also significantly reduce costs. The giveaway is part of the celebration around Langley FCU's 75th birthday.


Looman New CEO At CWCU

KENTWOOD, Mich.-Community West CU said it hired Jon Looman, president of Shore to Shore CU in nearby Trenton, Mich., as president and CEO of the $110-million credit union. Looman, a Grand Rapids native, replaces Charles Rea, who is retiring.


Volunteer Network Launched by CUNA

MADISON, Wis.-CUNA has launched the CUNA Volunteer Network, which it said will be an online community and resource center for credit union volunteers. It will include a listserv, board training courses, white papers, discounts on CUNA products, and more.

For info: training.cuna.org/volnet.


Pa. Program Now at 43K Loans

HARRISBURG, Penn.-The Pennsylvania CU Association reported that more than 43,000 small-dollar loans have now been made through the Credit Union Better Choice program.

Designed as an alternative to payday loans, the product offers borrowers a 90-day loan with a $500 limit. Since the 2006 launch, loans made through Better Choice have totaled $20.5 million, the PCUA said. Since inception, 79 CUs have made a loan through CU Better Choice.

In addition, during 2010 as part of the program, borrowers were also able to place $380,000 into savings accounts during the last six months of 2010, the PCUA said. The association added that consumers have saved nearly $15 million as a result of the loans.


Free e-Book On 'Experience' Available

SEATTLE-EHS Design is offering a free e-book, "Branding the Customer and Staff Experience." Authored by Paul Siebert, the 75-page book contains a section on the branding process, a number of case studies and information about SafeCatch and going green as components of the brand experience. Financial institutions from around the world have provided input. A copy can be had by going to www.financialbrand.com.


Paper Examines Freddie, Fannie

MADISON, Wis.-The Filene Research Institute has published "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Implications for Credit Unions." Authored by legal expert David Reiss, the analysis seeks to "break down the benefits, purported and real, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bring to the mortgage market and the credit union system," according to Filene.

For info: www.filene.org.


Account Saves Members $1M

WOODBRIDGE, Va.-Since launch of its CUXcel checking product in July 2008, Belvoir FCU said members have seen more than $1 million in benefits. The account offers a higher than average dividend rate with no minimum balance and rebates ATM surcharge fees-nationwide. To qualify, members must complete four tasks within the given month: log into their online banking, elect to receive electronic statements, have one direct deposit/electronic withdrawal into their checking account, and complete a minimum of 15 debit card transactions.

In addition, Belvoir Federal supported the Military Saves campaign by offering active duty military members a 10% APY certificate. The certificate was available during Military Saves Week.


8K Votes Cast In 'Hero' Competition

NEWPORT, Ore.-More than 8,000 votes were cast online and another 600 in-branch as part of OSU FCU's "Your Community Credit Union's Community Hero Contest," which was held to mark the relocation of a branch and to recognize local non-profits. The contest culminated at a Newport Chamber Business After Hours event with three local volunteer recognitions and $5,000 in cash distributed to their three social service non-profits. The announcement was also broadcast live on local radio.

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