We want to hear from our members. Please share insights and experiences about your organization, credit union, and/or community. To submit a blog, simply log in and click on "Add New Blog Post". Remember to select the corresponding category to help members find entries that are most relevant to them.


I'm a working mom.

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on August 12, 2010 4:44 PM

For those that I have never met... and well, those that I have not forced to view my photos... I recently had a beautiful little boy. Having a baby has been such an amazing experience. I went through the ups and downs of pregnancy and recovery... I have also gone through the emotional ups and downs of returning to work. And recently, I made one of the biggest decisions I will ever make as a woman. I am going to leave my credit union job... and work from home to be around my family and my son.

With everything going on in the economy mixed with the ever-increasing cost of living... I was very nervous to make this step. My husband and I worked through all of our numbers and all of the contingencies, and we thought it was best for me to continue to work at the credit union. Then, a few cohorts had loss in their families... and a few of my family members were dealing with issues... and it struck me. I only have once chance. One life... one moment in time to be there for my son, my husband, my parents, and grandparents. There was no longer a choice of whether to work in an office or not. It was a matter of "how" we were going to make it happen for me to work closer to home.

You know, the greatest feeling I have all day is the moment when I leave the office and I get to go pick up my bubbalicious (nickname for my son). I mean... I love him so much. He is a scrumptious bite-size morsel of delicious. I love everything about him... from that cute smile to those chunky legs. I even love his blood-curdling squeals. He is my little bubba boy. My baby boog. My handsome little man. My James.

When I told my team and my CEO, they were all so supportive. I am so lucky! Everyone understands. They get it. So... here I am. One month away from stepping out of the office. I am nervous, excited, nostalgic, and anxious. It is undoubtedly the best decision for me and my family, but it is still unnerving. I feel like this is truly a turning-point in my life....

So, cheers to all the moms out there. Cheers to all of the women who are able to take care of their family, take care of their business, and still seem to take care of themselves. You are an inspiration!

Tags
Internal Operations

Regulatory Scrutiny

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on August 12, 2010 2:38 PM

In the midst of economic turmoil, many financial institutions in the United States are facing regulatory scrutiny from the impact of consumer behavior shifts. The recent changes to banking regulation are in direct response to the financial crisis we are facing in the United States. These regulations, however, are requiring institutions to operate on restricted income, thus limiting the funds available to cover operating expenses. Since banks and credit unions rely heavily on fee income in order to survive, reduction in fees in one area will cause institutions to seek income in another area. Check out this recent article about a lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo Bank for their fee structure for overdrawn accounts.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Judge-orders-Wells-Fargo-to-apf-3665036279.html?x=0&.v=7&.pf=banking-budgeting&mod=pf-banking-budgeting

What can we as credit unions do to compete without instituting "bank-like" fee structures? Service and the credit union difference may not be enough to keep us going with such strict regulatory scrutiny. At VCCU there is a focus on automation and efficiency. We are looking to streamline operations without impacting member service. What are you doing at your credit union to increase the bottom line?

Tags
Financial/Risk Management, Internal Operations

The New GWLN Blog

Welcome to the new GWLN blog! The system is all new and has a lot of fun features. For instance if you go to the Subscription page you can subscribe to categories that will send you email every time a new blog or forum entry is posted in that category. You can then reply to that email and it will show up on the blog as a comment. You can keep up to date with all the discussion without ever coming back to the site.

Get the Word Out

msasmitchell@aol.com posted on June 29, 2010 10:13

How do we get the word out about credit unions to help us help others?  Let's do it the old fashioned way - tell a friend.  Isn't that exactly what social networking is all about.  You tell me why you like someone or why you like what a company does and then I tell someone and then they tell someone and so on.  Or is that the "gossip game" we used to play as a child?  Maybe that is why I have resisted social media, because I couldn't control the message.  Well, all of that is about to change, BIG TIME.  Whether we like it or not, the rage is twitter, you tube and "I get that all the time."  So, let's tell a friend, let's tell our families, let's get the buzzzzz going.

Susan Mitchell
President/CEO
Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates

Tags
Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members

Helping All Women

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on June 28, 2010 15:11

I started my working career in the mid 1980's.  There was a "glass ceiling", but I never burned my bra.  It was a much different working environment than in today's world.  But with time much has changed, and by the time I retired, there had be a monumental changes.  Why do I support Global Women's Leadership Network?  I am supporting  GWLM to help further the opportunities for all women, everywhere.  I believe in women, they are smart, intuitive, and strong.  What better place than a credit union, who's motto is "People helping people."
 
Sincerely,
Glenda McGill
Ventura County Credit Union

Tags
Impact of Women in Society

Personal Story

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on June 28, 2010 15:08

A short story: there was a women, recently divorced after 17 years with the same man. She now was the only provider of two children whom were entering Elementary school in the 1960’s. She now has the sole responsibility of the house payment, insurance for house and car, food and clothes for her girls. As a women she was not earning as much as a man, she was always running behind payments on something. She was telling her girls, “no we cannot afford you to have this or  you cannot go there”.

Her girls became “latch key” girls and with the help of loving neighbors, she felt at least her girls were safe after school until she got home. This women got a job with the County in the town she lived in. The County had a credit union. When this single mom needed money to just get through a rough spot, she went to a bank who just laughed at her application for a loan, making her feel like she was worth nothing. She then was advised by a close friend to try the credit union.

She went right over, and that Credit Union not only gave her a loan, but made her feel like she was part of a big family. They explained that they were there just to help her. People helping People. As the years went on, she fell in love with the credit union. She went on to become a Board of Director, served as Chair person twice and ended up serving 32 years on this Board. She re-married, her girls grew up to become credit union members and one currently serves on a Board of Directors and will be Chair person next year. This is why I believe in the movement and I believe in women. I am one of those daughters in the story, I know personally what a credit union can do, and I’m so very proud to serve others.

Roxy Ostrem
Ventura County Credit Union

Tags
Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations

Moola Moola and Beyond

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on June 27, 2010 10:18

Why credit unions? Why Global Women's Leadership Network? The answer is easy. Because I believe in the movement and I believe in women.

I am definitely a woman that has enjoyed the fruits of the labor of generations past. Being a young leader (not as young as I would like to be, but young none-the-less)... I have experienced a path throughout my career that is built on equality of opportunity. Fortunately, I have not experienced true gender discrimination. Perhaps it is my choice of industry (credit unions)... Perhaps it is my geographic location (west coast)... or perhaps it is my assertive nature (b*tchy at times)... or maybe all of the above. :) But, I believe it is essential to understand the journey that many women took to provide my generation opportunity. It is our history.

I taught a class at the College of So Nevada on Women in Business. I had an array of ages in the course from 18 to 65. The young ladies did not know what the "glass ceiling" was. The older women could recount moments where they burned their bras... It was an eye-opening experience.

The Global Women's Leadership Network is a forum to share experiences. Although we may have made some strides in the United States... that is certainly not true across the globe. I want to be connected to women throughout the world.... to learn about their experiences... to understand their stories... and to share in their passion. Just as Ken Blanchard said "none of us, is as smart, as all of us"....

I can't wait to learn from all of you!

Brandi Stankovic, CUDE
VP, Marketing and Admin
Ventura County Credit Union

Tags
Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations

Together is Better.

vbreunig@tds.net posted on June 15, 2010 10:46

Why Global Women's Leadership Network? Because "Together It's Better."  Life and work aren't always easy, but when we share our experiences, our successes, and our challenges, the sharing makes life and work better.  Whether asking for advice, sharing a resource or just listening, I always feel better after doing this together with a mentor or friend. I'm lucky to look at the list of Global Women's Leadership Network members and count so many of them as mentors and friends already. Life is short; make work fun! 

Valerie J. Breunig, I-CUDE
Worldwide Foundation Executive Director

Tags
Impact of Women in Society

Thirst for More!

ddykstra@sffirecu.org posted on June 2, 2010 07:42

Why Women's Global Leadership Network?

Women are the fabric of our communities. We see opportunities when faced with difficulties and beyond the "seeing" we are good at the "doing" something about it.

I look forward to sharing those successes and failures with women around the world to strengthen our commitment for making positive change no matter how large or small.

Everyday I am surprised by what I can learn from women from vastly different backgrounds and experiences and I thirst for more!

Diana Dykstra
President/CEO
SF Fire Credit Union

Tags
Impact of Women in Society

Banks make me cry ...

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on May 27, 2010 10:03

Perhaps my crying is caused by my heightened emotional state (being a brand new mother).... but I just had the most disturbing experience with a bank. I won't name names.... but the initials are WF.

My husband and I are interested in buying a home... with the recent addition of our baby boy- now is the time to take the next step. We have been saving for a down payment, working to improve our credit scores, and preparing all the necessary items. We chose (our first mistake) to pursue the bank for a pre-approval on our mortgage. The approval process was easy... The representative mentioned he would send me the commitment letter. I never received it. So, I called the bank this morning to check in. Of course my rep is on vacation... and 6 transfers (yes, 6, I'm not being dramatic)... the phone line was disconnected. I called back. With every transfer I was put to the end of the que. Every person that answered the phone said it wasn't their job... every person said let me transfer you. My frustration was compounding with each new person I had to explain my situation to... Finally the tenth person I spoke to said "I can't help you"... and I reached my boiling point. I said "I am so frustrated. I have been on the phone for an hour, please find someone to help me. And I would appreciate it if you stayed on the line until the next person picks up." then I continued... "I am regretting my decision to get financing with your bank".... and guess what he did then....

He hung up.

I wanted to use this time to remind each of us... that SERVICE really is our differentiator. Why do people (including myself) continue to pursue a banking relationship? Is it the fancy marketing or the perceived convenience? I honestly have no idea.

We need to educate consumers. There truly is a credit union difference!

Brandi Stankovic, CUDE
VP, Marketing and Admin
Ventura County Credit Union

Tags
Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Internal Operations
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