ICUL Service Corporation
August 2012



Delegation from Ecuador visits Chicagoland for second summer in a row

Wear Jeans. Help Kids.

2012 International Credit Union Day® theme highlights key difference

Upcoming Events

Delegation from Ecuador visits Chicagoland for second summer in a row
Four individuals from OSCUS in Ecuador last month visited three credit unions in the Chicago area, including one with which it has a formal partnership via the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) International Partnerships Program.

Leading the delegation was Joshua Fetting, WOCCU international partnerships officer.

Located in Ambato, Ecuador, a city of about 400,000 people in the country’s central mountainous region, OSCUS currently holds $171 million in assets and serves more than 160,000 members.  With 11 branches throughout the country, OSCUS offers services such as savings, debit cards, consumer loans, auto loans, small business loans and mortgages.  OSCUS is the fifth largest credit union out of the 32 regulated credit unions in Ecuador, which collectively hold $1.9 billion in assets.  About one in five of the country’s residents, or 1.8 million, are credit union members.

OSCUS holds a formal partnership with Baxter Credit Union (BCU, Vernon Hills), which was the first stop for the delegation.  Tom Moore, BCU Senior Vice President/CFO stated, “Our team led by Bob Pondilek and Maria Garcia did a terrific job presenting and discussing key areas of interest with OSCUS which included mobile technology and IT solutions, marketing and financial operations and management among other areas.” 

The OSCUS delegation also had an opportunity to spend some time with Mike Valentine, BCU CEO as well as many of the BCU management team.  Next year, BCU will go to Ecuador for meetings with OSCUS management, staff, and its board, as well as talk first hand to their members to learn about how they are served.  The visit will coincide with OSCUS’ 50th anniversary.

"World Council has the key role to put credit unions around the world in contact so they can mutually tackle operational, structural and philosophical issues. The goal is to improve member's lives by providing them with the best access to financial services," said Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU Vice President.  “We are glad to enable OSCUS exchange with BCU and even expanded further to other credit unions in the Chicagoland area.”

The other credit unions visited included Motorola Employees Credit Union (MECU, Schaumburg), which was the second stop for the delegation.  Larry Rosin, Executive Vice President/ CFO, stated the visit was a very good exchange, with many questions coming from the delegation about MECU’s investment strategies. 

One of the points he noted was that OSCUS is in a position of excess liquidity but unlike credit unions here in the United States, operates within an environment of significantly higher interest rates.  Rosin was joined by MECU CEO John Fiore, as well as staff members from the credit union’s lending, information technology and operations areas for the meeting.

The final stop for the delegation was with Sean Rathjen, CEO of Consumers Cooperative Credit Union (Waukegan) and his staff, who covered myriad topics, including marketing and usage of social media, liquidity planning and reporting, and how the credit union manages and prices for credit risk with its loans.  Rathjen also reviewed Consumers’ technology plan and the management and structure of its multi-media contact center that integrates web, chat, email, phone and fax services including the bi-lingual design.

"Anytime that you can share information, it can only benefit the credit union movement locally and on an international basis," said Dan Plauda, Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) President/Chief Executive Officer.  "Special thanks to our participating credit unions for spending their valuable time with the delegation." 

Wear Jeans. Help Kids.
On September 12, join hundreds of credit unions nationwide and raise money your their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital by celebrating Miracle Jeans Day.

The concept is simple: encourage employees to donate $5 in order to trade in their traditional work attire and wear jeans for the day instead.

Thanks to the feedback from past participants, CMN Hospitals has updated the registration process making it even easier to get started. You no longer need to make your donation when registering to participate! In addition, there are a variety of new materials to help you engage employees, further fundraising efforts and motivate members!  Visit to register your credit union today. 

Also new for 2012, stickers and paper icons are downloadable once you register, so they are both free and available immediately. If you would prefer the pre-printed icons used in the past, those are still available as well. Simply contact your local hospital representative.  Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat millions of children across North America regardless of their condition or ability to pay.

Sign up for Miracle Jeans Day, and support kids!

2012 International Credit Union Day® theme highlights key difference
The message is simple, direct and embraces the key concept behind credit unions: Members Matter Most. Those three words, which comprise this year's International Credit Union (ICU) Day® theme, speak to the heart of the credit union philosophy.

"In the face of all challenges, credit unions have always existed to serve their members," said Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) President and CEO. "The clear and simple message, 'Members Matter Most,' summarizes credit unions' reason for being."

ICU Day, celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October, takes place this year on Oct. 18, 2012. This year is also the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives, a year-long celebration that began Oct. 31, 2011, and has provided greater visibility to credit unions and other cooperatives worldwide.

This year's theme was submitted by Sinéad Butler from the Marketing Services Department of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). 'Members Matter Most' was one of more than a dozen themes submitted by representatives from Abacus Australian Mutuals, Credit Union Central of Canada, Credit Union National Association (USA) and WOCCU.

Committee members also voted on the design of this year's ICU Day poster, which incorporates photos of credit union members from Mexico, Poland, Tanzania and other countries from around the world. The seven cooperative principles in English, Spanish and French form the poster's background.

"Members are the heart of the credit union system. This year's theme speaks perfectly to the sentiment all staff carry through on every day," said Bill Cheney, CUNA President and CEO. "Further, it differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions as member-owned financial cooperatives. At credit unions, members matter most."

Official ICU Day graphics are available to download on WOCCU's Web site at Promotional materials and other ideas to help celebrate International Credit Union Day will soon be available.

Upcoming Events
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