CUs Learn How to Handle the 'Pressure' at NJCUL's Small CU Conference

Posted by Marissa Anema Tuesday, December 04, 2012 11:03:00 AM


HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. –  On December 1, 2012, the New Jersey Credit Union League held its 4th Annual Small Credit Union Conference at its office. With the theme “The Pressure Is On”, the conference offered a number of relevant speakers and topics. This conference was made possible by the generous sponsorship of three credit unions: Financial Resources FCU, First Jersey Credit Union, and Garden Savings FCU.

Bo McDonald from Your Marketing Co. explains how credit unions can tell their stories.

The first speaker, Bo McDonald from Your Marketing Co., introduced the impact of dreams from a personal level to a credit union’s mission. Through discussion and interaction, he drove home the point that small credit unions have the ability to do what larger institutions cannot and that is make people’s dreams come true by really getting to know each member. 

The next speaker was Lauren Bethea, Economic Development Specialist from NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Unions Initiatives (OSCUI). Bethea stated that we are losing 300 small CUs a year, which is very troubling for our industry. She discussed grant money that is available and the annual training conferences the agency holds each year. Bethea went on to discuss the areas of expertise that her office provides and how it can help. 

NCUA's Lauren Bethea introduces the group to the small credit union resources available from the agency.

Hunter Smith from Vining Sparks was next up to share investment options available that are beneficial to smaller CUs and the benefits of each. He talked about the different options for a portfolio and suggested being sure to know about cash flow, duration, and liquidity in terms of the risk level.

NJCUL Business Consultant Angel Santos discussed the resources that are available from the League. He shared his passion for the growth and survival of small asset size credit unions and encouraged attendees to speak with their boards, share information, and use the many tools that are available.

Leo O’Donnell from Symbionce Financial Solutions discusses the opportunities mortgage loans present for small credit unions.

Leo O’Donnell from Symbionce Financial Solutions provided information and the proper approach to working with members in the mortgage area. While a mortgage product is a great place to increase non-interest fee income, he cautioned attaching too many fees to your mortgages that could potentially turn off your credit union’s potential.

Next up was Jeff Miller from FJ Financial Group, LLC who explained why Participation Loans are a good investment for all asset sized credit unions. He stressed that the originating credit union must maintain a 10% ownership in the loan. Miller went on to explain the types of loans that a credit union can participate in and where the comfort level usually is within each type.

Our closing speaker was Frank Michael from Allied Credit Union in Stockton, CA. He discussed key issues affecting CUs with the top area being compliance. Michael talked about the many resources for small credit unions and compliance issues, such as InfoSight, CUNA’s Compliance Blog, as well as partnering with professionals and with other credit unions.


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