ICUL Service Corporation
June 2012


Important News

Spring session adjourns; ICUL, CUs fare well

Two Illinois CUs recognized as businesses of the year

Get recognized for your good works via ICUL’s annual award competitions!

International Credit Union Day® – Oct. 18, 2012

Credit union for prison employees celebrates 50 unique years

Spring session adjourns; ICUL, CUs fare well
The Spring session of the Illinois General Assembly (IGA) adjourned about 2:00 a.m. June 1.  The scheduled adjournment was midnight, May 31.

Despite the negative environment towards financial institutions, ICUL fared well this session.  ICUL actively lobbied over 80 bills that could impact credit unions and their business operations.  Of those bills, only 10 were actually supported by ICUL.  The rest we opposed or had been modified to allow us to become neutral on the measures. 

The IGA is scheduled to return on November 27.  However, all indications are that there may be additional days added in June to focus on legislation related to pensions and the budget.  We will keep you updated of any developments.

In addition on the Federal side, Congress is in session for the entire month of June except for a constituent work period from June 11-15.  The congressional work periods are an excellent time to stop by your federal lawmaker district offices and/or attend "town hall" meetings to discuss your credit union and how it serves the community.

Please click here for the full update on bills and legislation of interest to credit unions. 

Two Illinois CUs recognized as businesses of the year
During a time when many financial institutions increased fees, reduced services and in some cases, merged or closed branches, DHCU Community Credit Union was busy making loans to members, preparing for future expansion and earning the distinction of being named the 2012 Quad Cities Small Business of the Year by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

"We’re excited to share the news, and say thank you for the trust and confidence our members place in us each and every day," said Terry Brahm, President and CEO of DHCU. "DHCU is pleased to be recognized by our peers, in our hometown, with this prestigious award. It would not have been achievable without our remarkable staff and members."

DHCU was one of 21 businesses recognized for contributions to the Quad Cities, including spirit and optimism of entrepreneurship and innovation. The chamber based the decision on DHCU creating a 15 percent increase in jobs internally and their financial and time commitment to the community.

DHCU Community Credit Union, based in Moline since 1935, has been experiencing unprecedented times in the midst of the most tumultuous economic climate since the Great Depression. As many financial institutions across the country have greatly restrained lending efforts and cut credit to citizens, small businesses and the communities they serve, DHCU was rated the number one lending credit union in the country.

Throughout 2011, DHCU experienced over 21 percent lending growth while the average credit union growth rate hovers at a meager 0.3 percent. Even more impressive, lending growth is balanced across auto loans, mortgages and small businesses.

Continuing to lend responsibly to their members has propelled DHCU’s financial performance and stability as many organizations struggle to keep the lights on and doors open. During 2011, DHCU Community Credit Union returned nearly $850,000 in rate-based benefits to their membership. This allows members to continue to stimulate the economy at a fair and equitable price for the entire community. Along with member-based benefits, DHCU was directly involved with time and financial resources to over 200 greater Quad City charities and events.

DHCU recently opened a new office in Clinton, Iowa and have experienced a very warm reception to their relationship approach to banking and the creation of three new positions. On May 31, 2012 the credit union will be breaking ground on a new branch in Bettendorf, Iowa and plan to open the branch in late 2012. 

In addition, Land of Lincoln Credit Union has been named the Outstanding Large Business of the Year by the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce. Recognized for their business achievements and community involvement, Land of Lincoln Credit Union has grown their business despite the challenges a slow economy presents.

"We’ve been working really hard the past few years," says Chris Phillips, Vice President of Marketing. "This award shows us that we’re on the right track and that we are making a difference in the community." 

The Outstanding Large Business of the Year Award is given to an active and operating business under same ownership for five years as a locally operated company with approximately 100 employees or more. The credit union was also recognized for showing evidence of supporting the Decatur Area through service or financial contributions to non-profit organizations or initiatives. Nominations for this award came from the Chamber membership.

Get recognized for your good works via ICUL’s annual award competitions!
Please consider this the official call for entries for the annual Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award Program, the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award and the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action award competitions. 

The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award recognizes leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of youth financial literacy. It considers all activities supporting the personal finance education of young members and nonmembers, including, but not limited to, face-to-face teaching, publicity, lobbying for curriculum requirements, teacher and volunteer training, and promotion and use of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program®.  One new addition to last year's competition was an Adult category for this award.

In addition, the Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring programs identify credit unions that demonstrate the credit union "People Helping People" philosophy.  The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award program honors the work of credit unions for external activities in the community, and the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award program recognizes the practical application of credit union philosophy in daily internal operations.

In each competition, your credit union will compete with others in the same asset category.  Please note for all competitions, submitting one extraordinary project with well-defined, measurable goals is the rule.  Questions on the respective entry forms must be answered based on one project. 

Winning credit unions at the state level will be recognized at the Keynote & Awards program held during the League’s 83rd Annual Convention (April 18 - 20, 2013 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel) and at their respective chapters.  State winners from each competition will then advance to the national competition for judging. In addition, national winners will be recognized at the 2013 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.

Be sure to check out all the details on changes to the awards and entry forms via the League’s Web site, including an Award Differentiation Chart to get up to speed on all the changes for all the awards and to ensure your entry is properly submitted, as well as the Secrets of a Winning Entry document.

All Desjardins, Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring entries must be submitted to the League office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3, 2012.

You are strongly encouraged to enter any or all of these award competitions. They are an excellent way for your credit union to be honored for its efforts and serve as an example for others to follow.

For more information, please contact William Wille, Public Relations Coordinator, at (800) 942-7124, ext. 3216.

International Credit Union Day® – Oct. 18, 2012
International Credit Union Day (ICU Day) has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. The day is recognized to reflect upon the credit union movement's history and to promote its achievements. It is a day to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the movement, recognize the hard work of those working in the credit union industry and show members our appreciation.

The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the great work that credit unions are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more involved. Credit unions and associations throughout the world celebrate the day with open houses, contests, picnics, and parades.

Check back on our Web site for this year's materials as we get closer to the day! For further information, contact William Wille.

Credit union for prison employees celebrates 50 unique years 

Editor's note: On an occasional basis, Indepth will profile individuals with a distinctive career or experiences in the Illinois credit union movement.  We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mae Powley, Manager of Pontiac-Dwight Prison Employees Credit Union, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.  Also present for this interview was Lynda Johnson, Loan Officer - and the sole other full-time employee at the credit union.

Q: Congratulations to the credit union on its 50th Anniversary of service to its members!  We understand you have worked at the credit union for 38 of those 50 years, including currently serving in the capacity of Manager.  How did you first become involved with the credit union?

A: (Mae) I originally was asked to fill in for someone on maternity leave.  In September 1974 became manager and the second paid staff person in the credit union’s history. 

Q: We also understand, Lynda, that you have been here for almost 24 years.  Has it always just been the two of you running the shop?

A: Pretty much just us.  In December 1988, I ended up replacing the other person who was leaving.  Previously I worked as a customer service manager at a furniture manufacturer, which moved to Mississippi.

Q:  It is not uncommon to find longevity in the credit union movement.  What has kept both of you at this credit union for these many years?

A: Dedication.  We really enjoy getting to know our members personally.  We consider them part of our extended family.  Members are friends, not just account numbers.

Q:  You might say that serving prison employees on the prison grounds is a unique niche for a credit union.  Are there any interesting stories you can share?

A:  There was one time where we were essentially locked in.  Both of us carried keys to the office and the double exit doors that locked each day at 4:00 p.m., which normally we would turn into the Armory upon leaving.  Well many times we were there past 4:00 and on one particular day upon leaving both of us thought the other one had the keys.  Neither of us did.  So we essentially became trapped between our office door and the double doors.  Normally that area was only checked on at 11:00 p.m. by an officer.  Inmates were in the building for a few hours to perform janitorial duties until around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.  So we just started hollering for help and luckily someone – one of the inmates, actually – heard us!  So we were saved by telling one him to go to the Armory and tell them to get us out.  This was back many years ago, before cell phones (not that we could have had a signal down there anyway).

Q:  Could you describe what the economic times were like when you both came aboard?  What were the needs of the member (services)?

A: We mostly did personal loans, many for just $25 so that the prison officers could purchase their shirts (uniforms).  At the time, members just needed to have $5 in their accounts.

Q:  What has been the credit union’s growth trend?

A:  (Mae): When I started, the credit union had just over $121,000 in assets, $83,000 in loans and 366 members.  Just to give you an idea, the credit union was chartered in August 1962 with just over $4,000 in assets and just under $1,000 in loans and 43 members.  Today with more than $5 million in assets and 1,161 members, we have experienced a nice growth pattern.  We also have a great Christmas Club, which is actually almost twice as much (at $500,000) than one of the local banks.  We still provide many personal loans and also offer auto loans now.  In 2008, the credit union moved off site and actually we see two-to-three times more traffic.  It’s much easier for retirees, spouses and workers on their days off to come here, than back on the prison grounds, through prison security.

Q: Certainly operating a small credit union with just about $5 million in assets is not an easy undertaking in today’s marketplace.  What would say have been some of some of this credit union’s challenges? 

A: Y2K was a big one, but as we know, nothing really happened.  Obviously much became computerized in the early to mid 1990’s, but preferred not to, and actually still don’t use a lot of technology in the office.  Today, we have a computer in the office, but anything having to do with the Internet or e-mail, I (Lynda) do from home. 

Q: What would be helpful for you in terms of additional resources or other assistance?

A: We’ve had great support from the League’s Office of General Counsel, since we have to follow the same compliance as the bigger credit unions.  But we feel our real key to success is the personal relationship with our members.

Q:  Do you have any hobbies or interests you like to do in your free time?

A: Mae is known as the “Scrubby Lady.”  I take large pieces of nylon net fabric with different textures and then crotchet them into puck-size scrubbers.  I have been doing that since 1990 and actually made 5,000 in the first four years.  I think I make about 1,500 a year now.  There are many, many uses for them!

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: We are proud to have always been here for our members.  In fact when we moved off site, we did that ourselves after hours and on weekends.  We were never closed.

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