2016 Annual Conference Sessions


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Keynote Sessions

CDFI Fund Update Annie Donovan

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund serves mission-driven financial institutions with federal funds to support economically disadvantaged communities. Research conducted by the Federation and CUNA has established that CDFI certified credit unions are better at leveraging CDFI funding than other CDFI financial institutions. CDFI credit unions thrive in some of the nation’s most economically disadvantaged communities while meeting or exceeding the performance of their mainstream peers. Though traditionally defined as high-touch rather than high tech, CDFI credit unions also outpace their peers in the use of advanced technology for member services. Most importantly, credit unions are concentrated in economically distressed census tracks that qualify as CDFI Investment Areas. Hundreds of credit unions are immediately eligible for CDFI certification. The Federation advocates on behalf of all credit unions to increase the number of awards and dollars awarded by the CDFI Fund to credit unions because CDFI grants are a unique source of capital that can fuel the growth of credit union membership, deposits and loans. In January of this year, the Treasury Department announced a partnership with the NCUA to double the number of CDFI credit unions in 2016. Meet CDFI Director Annie Donovan at this special session designed to update our industry on developments at the Fund and on progress of the expansion of certified credit unions.

Economic Update and its Effect on Your Credit Union | Bill Hampel

The economy is showing surprising signs of strength, but job growth and household income are recovering slowly. CUNA economist Bill Hampel will provide an update on economic trends for 2015 and what we can expect in the next twelve months.

Growing Your Credit Union Through Effective Community Outreach | Bill Bynum

Bill Bynum is the CEO of Hope, a community development financial institution serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. More than one-quarter of the country’s persistently impoverished counties – counties where more than 20 percent of the population has lived below the poverty level for three decades or longer – are located within Hope’s service area.  Challenged communities deal with high unemployment, low performing schools, poor health and high rates of predatory lending. For 22 years, Hope has been providing the safe and affordable financial products and services that play a key role in fostering prosperous families and communities. Hope has expanded to 27 locations, of which 9 in 10 are in economically distressed areas, grown to over 30,000 members and financed consumer, business and mortgage loans, and funded healthcare providers, a healthy food initiative and charter school facilities. In recognition of their impact in the communities they serve across the Mid South, Bill Bynum and Hope Enterprise Corporation have received numerous honors and awards, including most recently, the 2016 Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize and inclusion in the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, a new collaborative aimed at discovering permanent ladders of mobility for the poor funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This session will inspire you while providing proven community development strategies that your credit union can use to make the communities you serve stronger and more resilient.

Hearts of Courage for Credit Union Leaders | John Tippets

From Seattle, WA on New Year’s Eve, December 1942, Joseph Tippets wrote to his wife, Alta, in Anchorage, Alaska, his letter concluding “… Godspeed our quick reunion and I hope I beat this letter to you! ” That was not to be the case.

Hearts of Courage brings to life the amazing true account of the 1943 Gillam plane crash in the wilderness of southeast Alaska. Pilot Harold Gillam, with five others, including CAA engineer, Joseph Tippets, had left Seattle on January 5th en route to a scheduled refueling stop near Ketchikan when disaster struck. For four passengers, the harrowing events that followed required tremendous courage, enormous ingenuity, perseverance and many small miracles. It was a month of enduring sub zero temperatures and with little food, until an ultimate dramatic rescue. Using historical photographs and numerous other illustrations, along with his father’s first-hand descriptions, John Tippets’ presentation is a source of inspiration to all who hear it.

“In our lives personally and professionally, most Credit Union leaders deal with various occasions and levels of adversity. For all who experience challenges and difficult times, Dad’s story should be a source of motivation to persevere and to prevail.” John Tippets.

The Impact of the 2016 Election on Credit Unions  | Rich Meade 

The 2016 presidential election has stirred up a lot of interest and this will only increase as the election gets closer.  The President of the United States has the power to appoint the head of the CFPB, NCUA and Treasury and during this next presidential term, whoever is elected will have the power to appoint three new NCUA board members. Perhaps more relevant to the credit union industry regarding legislative issues is the election of congressional officials. With the Community Credit Union Conference and Federation Annual Conference taking place only one week after the election there will be plenty of interest as to the effect the results will have on credit unions.  Rich Meade will discuss the election results, the transition to a new President, and possible scenarios credit unions may face in the future. 

Innovative Solutions to Serving your Community | Mollie Bell and Andrew Downin 

Main street financial services – such are the roots of the credit union movement. Serving the entire community is in our DNA yet many Americans continue to rely on check cashiers, payday lenders and pawn shops for much of their financial services. In this session, you will learn about innovations designed to improve the financial lives of the underserved and tested in the marketplace. By re-engaging in our cooperative finance roots and re-imagining how we can serve individuals who need access to fair financial products and services, we can grow our impact and our market share.

State of the Credit Union Industry | Rod Staatz

This session will explore the state of the credit union movement emphasizing the work being done to remove barriers, creating awareness and fostering service excellence. CUNA’s board chair Rod Staatz will also discuss the strengths the credit unions currently have within the industry and how we can further impact the members and communities we serve.

Sustaining Minority Credit Unions  | Monica Hughes Davy 

Diversity in the credit union industry keeps our movement strong and relevant. In the US, over 600 credit unions self-certify as Minority Depository Institutions serving low and moderate income African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and Native American consumers. Research indicates that minority households are more likely to be unbanked and underbanked. Safe and affordable credit unions products and services are uniquely positioned to serve underserved consumers. Learn how your credit union can grow in service and relevance through community outreach and diversifying your member base.

The Wealth Gap Redefined for Credit Unions  | Dedrick Asante Muhammad

Wealth inequality is more extreme in the United States than in any other major developed nation. While average wealth has increased in the US over the past 50 years, it has not increased for all. While the top 1% has seen its wealth grow astronomically, the bottom 10% has seen its average wealth decline. The Great Recession deepened the longstanding racial and ethnic wealth divide in the US and continues to affect us today. According to Pew, the current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. This session explores the wealth and income divide in the US by race, gender and age, highlighting the significance of the credit union products and services that can help close the gap between richer and poorer Americans.

Breakout Sessions

Best Practices in Developing Partnerships within the Community | Kathy Campbell, Monte Crowl & Vicki Hoehn

The vision of many community credit unions is to improve the financial health of members of the communities they serve including those of modest means and unbanked and underserved residents. To serve the various populations adequately credit unions need to form successful partnerships within the community.  This session will highlight award winning credit unions and their strategies for developing partnerships within their communities.

Building A Mortgage Powerhouse  | Rich Miller & Judd Levy

Wealth inequality is more extreme in the United States than in any other major developed nation. While average wealth has increased in the US over the past 50 years, it has not increased for all. While the top 1% has seen its wealth grow astronomically, the bottom 10% has seen its average wealth decline. The Great Recession deepened the longstanding racial and ethnic wealth divide in the US and continues to affect us today. According to Pew, the current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. This session explores the wealth and income divide in the US by race, gender and age, highlighting the significance of the credit union products and services that can help close the gap between richer and poorer Americans.

Data Analytics: Make Your Data Work for You | Paul Ablack

All credit unions are rich in data and credit unions of all sizes can benefit from understanding the behavior – and resulting opportunities – of their membership. But not all credit unions have the resources to analyze their data or benefit from the insights a credit union’s files contain. This session will reveal the next steps any credit union can take to move from reporting to analysis and toward prediction, helping you to identify prospects while engaging, cross-selling and retaining existing members.

Engaging Your Credit Union in Advocacy Efforts | Eric Day & Patrick Flynn

Credit Unions are stronger when we all come together to let our voices be heard. When credit union employees, members, and volunteers take action by contacting congress to support legislation beneficial for credit unions we all benefit.  Credit union employees, members and volunteers are a crucial part of this process and an increasing number of them are speaking up. Additional opportunities are available every day and this session will discuss current initiatives taking place as well as additional ways all credit unions can get involved.

Field of Membership and Other Regulatory Issues Facing Community Credit Unions  | Suzanne Yashewski

There are a number of recent pending and finalized regulations affecting credit unions and members including field of membership expansion which has the opportunity to allow credit unions to better serve the underserved population. This session will discuss these pending regulations as well as provide an overall regulatory update for community credit unions.

Financial Counseling to Drive Impact | Mark Lynch, Gina Mcneal, & Ann Solomon

Over a third of all credit unions offer some form of financial counseling to their members. While the availability of counseling is wide-spread, information on the scale and impact of credit union’s financial counseling efforts is scant. Join this session to learn more about a new counseling model that shifts the emphasis from financial information to the actions a consumer takes to improve his/her financial well-being. Hear from the credit unions participating in this new pilot about how it supported their counseling and the insights they gained about serving their members.

The Growing Network of Juntos Avanzamos Credit Unions | Francisco de la Torre Galindo & Miriam De Dios

US Hispanics are growing faster in population and adding more incremental dollars to the economy than any other segment of the population. Hispanics are less likely to be fully banked, representing a huge growth opportunity for credit unions both financially and in service to the underserved. In this session you will meet Juntos Avanzamos credit unions and learn more about how to reach out to Hispanics in your community, ITIN lending, the use of matricula consular IDs and much more.

Grow Your Loan Portfolio | Randy Thompson & Samira Rajan

This workshop session will provide you with step-by-step guidance to sustainably diversifying your consumer and small business loan portfolios. Serving the credit challenged can be a good strategy for growing your membership and serving the community when loans are priced correctly and monitored appropriately. Did you know that small businesses have generated more than 65% of the new jobs created in the US since 1996? Or that small businesses return $68 of every $100 they spend to their local economies? Lending to small businesses can help your credit union grow while helping your community prosper. And while small business lending is on the decline at commercial banks, it’s growing at credit unions because credit unions are often more flexible in their underwriting and more engaged in their communities. Take your small business lending to the next level when you join this session and learn proven strategies and techniques for building your portfolio.

Helping Young Adults Become Financially Literate | James Marshall

There’s currently a financial crisis with Generation Y as this population currently possesses an overconfidence in their financial knowledge but based on research their practices aren’t yielding results. This session will discuss studies done in cooperation with Filene Research Institute on the current status of financial literacy amongst young adults as well as real world solutions. These practical applications will include solutions credit unions can implement to help young adults become more educated with money and get them past their crisis of confidence.

Insights from the Common Cents Lab | Mariel Beasley & Silvia Rincon

You may have been using behavioral economics in your marketing efforts for years, but are you systematically harnessing the latest findings on how consumers make choices into your credit union products and processes? Consumers don’t always make rational choices, especially where money is concerned. Join this session to learn about research on how behavioral economics can be used to increase the financial well-being of low- and middle-income consumers every day in ways both large and small.

Youth Lending Inclusion | Carla Decker, Margaret Libby & Louisa Quittman

Access to small dollar loans is vital to millions of US consumers. Relying on sub-prime credit cards, checking overdrafts, payday, auto-title or pawn loans is expensive and places borrowers at risk of becoming trapped in a cycle of increasing debt. Credit unions focused on serving low- and moderate-income communities make a disproportionate number of small dollar loans for members facing an emergency, bills for unexpected repairs, or to bridge paychecks from varying income sources. This session reviews small dollar and credit building loans that comply with upcoming regulation and are effective alternatives to payday lenders for millennials and working families, including the Federation’s small dollar loan Borrow and Save®, Self-Help’s and MyPath’s Credit Builder loan and youth accounts.

Serving the Underserved in Rural Areas | Helen Godfrey Smith & Paul Grinde

Rural populations tend to be isolated and remote and access to financial services can be quite limited especially for those of modest means. Despite these challenges credit unions have a great opportunity to serve this population through various strategies.  This session will take a look at the current status of the rural communities and also explore solutions credit unions can implement to help serve this population.

Targeting America’s Biggest Market: The Lending Needs of Millennials | Karim Habib

With market indicators predicting steady loan growth, you are uniquely positioned to capture significant market share of the lending market for the largest segment of today’s consumers: millennials. This in-depth session provides insights into the buying behaviors, financial priorities, and media and channels available to you to establish lasting financial relationships with this key generation. Learn how to build deeper loyalty at an early stage of your members’ financial life cycle.  And, we’ll share best practices on how your lending products and financial services can meet millennials where, how, and when they prefer.  You’ll learn how to build more engaging and mutually beneficial relationships with millennials for years to come.

Understanding GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) at the Board and Executive Level | Tony Ferris

The integration of governance, assurance and management of performance, risk and compliance processes (collectively GRC) is creating seismic advances in how we govern, manage and assure organizational results. Examiners, board members and management staff are all seeking the same thing… added organizational intelligence with which they can better make decisions.  The maturity of risk and data intelligence is forcing a requirement to establish a more integrated framework that delivers real-time, risk weighted intelligence to stakeholders. This means the end of siloed information flows and disparate processes. Today’s risk, compliance and policy programs are ineffective, inefficient, and slow to change.  Business relevancy around these governance and management programs will require process transformation including board and supervisory structure and roles and responsibilities. Financial institutions rarely have a shortage of risk management expertise, technology or data.  The issue lies in consolidating and making the data consumable in agile manner.

Participating in this session will deliver:

  • Understanding of ERM and GRC programs
  • How to structure your organization for added integration
  • Leveraging GRC for financial and strategic advantages

Successful Grantwriting | Terry Ratigan & Deirdre Silverman

Many credit union CEOs, managers and community development officers are finding that outside funding – from the CDFI Fund, local governments, private foundations and corporations – allows them to provide or expand services to help their credit union meet current and prospective members “where they are”, in the community and in their financial lives. This workshop session will give you insights into what funders are looking for from applicants, show you how to develop a business plan designed to get funded, and prepare and present a successful application.

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