2006 CUNA GAC BEGINS
League Holds Briefing And Accepts Awards
Representatives of the partnership to support Mexico's Caja Popular Mexicana: L-R: Mary Cunningham, Pasadena FCU CEO and League Diversity Committee Chairwoman Shruti Mayishiro, WOCCU Project Director Mario Galarraga, Caja Popular Mexicana CEO Ramón Imperial Zuñiga, Arizona Credit Union System President and CEO and WOCCU Board Chairman Gary Plank, Border FCU CEO Maria Martinez, and Steve Delfin
2006 CUNA GAC BEGINS
League Holds Briefing And Accepts Awards
updated 02/26/06 11:15 PM
The 2006 Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
Government Affairs Conference (GAC) got underway
Sunday with a record number of attendees from
California and Nevada.
More than 4,000 credit union leaders gathered in
Washington D.C. to attend the conference and meet
with their respective legislators on Capitol Hill.
Nearly 270 of those are employees and volunteers
from California and Nevada credit unions. The
four-day event includes educational break-out
sessions and several notable speakers, followed by
Hill Visits at the conclusion of the conference.
Sunday's League-hosted events included a briefing
of the issues on which the League is currently
focusing its efforts. League President and CEO
David L. Chatfield congratulated California and
Nevada credit union leaders on their record
attendance and noted their "special
responsibility" in having to meet with 60 members
of congress to spread the word about credit
Several members of the League's Governmental
Affairs Department—including Senior Vice President
of Government Affairs Bob Arnould, Director of
Federal Government Affairs Kelly Purcell, and
Director of State Government Affairs Ron
Fong—provided updates about such issues as the
effects of the Rallies for Credit Unions and the
importance of local grassroots movements; where
the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act
(CURIA) stands; and the status of a new Best
Practices brochure that addresses concerns credit
unions are having with the California Department
of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Nevada
Financial Institutions Division (FID).
League Vice President of Research, Communication,
and Public Affairs Lucy Ito then addressed the
group about the latest developments in terms of
data collection, which will offer a measurable
result of the people of "modest means" who are
aided by credit unions. The League currently has a
pilot project underway, as well as being mindful
of the National Credit Union Adminstration's
(NCUA) efforts on the subject.
League Director of the Washington, D.C. Office
Ryan Donovan ended the meeting with a briefing on
the current climate in Washington as well as a
discussion of how the political landscape will
change throughout the coming year. He noted that
data security is a new, and predictably lasting,
issue of concern for credit unions. There are six
committees currently working on legislation to
address the issue—albeit, only within their
respective jurisdictions, but nonetheless, he said
this year is an important one for bringing new
ideas to the table.
The afternoon briefing was followed by a night of
celebration at the 18th Annual Herb Wegner
Memorial Awards Dinner. The evening began with a
very moving video that showed the devastation
caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and how
donations to the National Credit Union Foundation
(NCUF) helped affected credit union employees get
back on their feet.
"You touch people's lives in ways you don't even
realize," said Mary Cunningham, NCUF Chairwoman
and USA FCU President and CEO.
The California and Nevada Credit Union League was
honored during the reception for contributing the
largest League donation—$50,000.
This year, the League was also honored to be the
recipient of the Herb Wegner Memorial Award for
Outstanding Program, along with its partners, the
Texas Credit Union League, Caja Popular Mexicana,
and the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
Through a partnership that began in 2001, the
partners in this program were able to revive
Mexico's largest credit union, which was
struggling with nearly 20 percent delinquency,
annual net losses, and members losing confidence
in the safety of their deposits. Throughout the
following four years, countless cultural
exchanges, site visits, infrastructure
improvements, new product developments, and
financial education programs took place.
The financial results are astounding. From
December 2001 to June 2005, the credit union:
- Reduced delinquency from 18.7 percent to 4.5
- Built assets from $472 million to $1 billion
- Achieved positive returns on assets
- Increased membership by 83 percent, from
477,396 to 874,293
- Grew youth savings accounts by 2005 percent,
from 2,336 to 183,795
Pasadena FCU CEO and League Diversity Chairwoman
Shruti Miyashiro accepted the award on the
League's behalf, saying, "This program is a
shining example of the global accomplishments we
as credit unions can accomplish."
The night's other awards winners were Bethex FCU
President and CEO Joy Cousminer, who received the
Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Individual
Achievement; and Numerica CU President and CEO
Dennis Cutter, who received the Herb Wegner
Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
Organization: California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues