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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.


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

CU Difference

msasmitchell@aol.com posted on May 20, 2010 10:02

Passion for making a difference.  I had a chance to work with a CU in Maryland this week and we talked about the books, Now Discover Your Strengths.  It focuses on your signature themes and how you can build upon your strengths to increase job satisfaction and it reminded me of one of my favorite sayings, "If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life."  

I love working with people.  I love making a difference.  I love working with credit union people who make a difference.  Passionate member service.  Believing in the mission of people helping people.  Understanding that each of us are like a rock thrown in a puddle - we trigger a ripple effect.  I want to make a difference, and enjoy working with people who share this passion. 

Susan Mitchell
President/CEO
Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates

Tags
Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members

Thoughts to ponder ...

msasmitchell@aol.com posted on May 7, 2010 09:58

Tonight I was having dinner with the senior leadership team of a credit union and I ask each leader to tell me what motivates them and/or how they like to receive recognition - through praise, thank you, awards, etc.  There were 15 women and 4 men. 
The men all mentioned that they like to see someone they mentor achieve.  The women all mentioned that they like the satisfaction of a job well done and that they didn't need recognition.  I must admit that this was surprising as I know that most women will tell me they want to be appreciated...  Why are we afraid to say that?   Why do men focus on coaching and women focus on doing the job?  Interesting thought for me to ponder...

Susan Mitchell
President/CEO
Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates
Tags
Internal Operations

Regulation E

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on May 6, 2010 11:32

What do we need to do?

Generally, the new rule prohibits an institution that holds a consumer's account from assessing any fee or charge on a consumer's account for paying an ATM or a one-time debit card transaction as part of the institution's overdraft service, unless:

  1. The consumer is provided with a notice in writing, (or if the consumer agrees, electronically) segregated from all other information, explaining the institution's overdraft service;
  2. The consumer is given a reasonable opportunity to affirmatively consent (opt in);
  3. The consumer affirmatively consents (opts in) to the service; and
  4. The institution provides the consumer with confirmation of the consumer's consent in writing (or if the consumer agrees, electronically), which includes a statement informing the consumer of the right to revoke such consent.

When should we start?

As soon as possible. A financial institution may provide the notice required by §205.17(b)(1)(i) and obtain the consumer's affirmative consent to the financial institution's overdraft service for ATM and one-time debit card transactions before July 1, 2010, provided that the financial institution complies with all of the requirements of §205.17. (Comment 205.17(c)-1)

Regulation information provided was obtained from:
http://www.philadelphiafed.org/bank-resources/publications/consumer-compliance-outlook/2010/first-quarter/rules-regarding-overdraft-services.cfm

Tags
Financial/Risk Management

I'm a Believer!

judymc@attglobal.net posted on May 6, 2010 11:22

Involvement with Global Women’s Leadership Network is a natural for me. I served on the board of Freedom From Hunger board for a few years and saw how effective working with the women of the world was for not only feeding their children but providing education in a number of areas such as health, cleanliness, malaria and HIV prevention.  Also I was a member of the Women’s Leadership Symposium, a group of women who are CEOs of the largest credit unions.  GWLN is the final step in bringing together women in credit unions from all over the world. Magical things will come out of this group as it progresses. 
 
At the first meeting in Barcelona we were all teamed up with a woman from another country. We were given a short time to share background information and learn about the other woman. My partner was Susan from Kenya. Her story is profound and she is a great credit union person.  During the year Susan and I have kept in touch from time to time. She is a single Mom with 3 children in school and runs a credit union and completed her Master’s Degree this year!  One busy lady!  I am looking forward to seeing Susan in Las Vegas and hope to be able to show her some of the USA in the few extra days she can be away from work and home.
 
Theses ties are just one of the wonderful things that came out of that Barcelona meeting. Meeting the group of powerful women from Canada, learning some of what they do at their credit unions and seeing how committed they are to the GWLN was another wonderful result. Hearing Chetna from India talk about her teaching women in India to read and write so they could get a cooperative bank charter was an inspiration.
 
This is the kind of group that you put your heart into and come away with way more than you can imagine. I really urge all the women in the US to support this by their attendance at the July Meeting. You too will become a “believer”  I guarantee it!

Judy Mc Cartney
Retired CEO

Tags
Impact of Women in Society

Renewing My Faith

msasmitchell@aol.com posted on May 6, 2010 11:17

I joined the network to really make a difference.  In February of 2008, Mike and I were window shopping in San Diego and saw the most amazing print from a book, Women Empowered.  It was a pictorial of women around the world that have dedicated their lives to making a difference.  That summer, I was invited to facilitate a Board planning session for the World Council of Credit Unions.  It was inspirational and I was truly touched to see the work that credit unions are doing around the world.   Soon after, I was invited by Dr. Branch to visit the WOCCU offices to learn about a new initiative that they were developing, the Global Women’s Leadership Network…

It clicked with me as I have always believed that women can be the hub of the home, the community and now of the credit union movement  globally.  What if we create a network of women who join together, combine their skills and create micro-finance and leadership opportunities?  

From that time on, I have dedicated countless hours, volunteering as an advisor to help launch the initiative.  I am proud of the effort, proud of the 100 members who are now sharing ideas and the numerous programs the WOCCU has now developed for women.   21 countries are now involved and we have funded numerous scholarships to help our credit union sisters attend educational forums. 

We can make a difference!  There are so many issues in the credit union industry today, that it gets tough to focus on the core purpose of “people helping people.”   This initiative renews my faith…

Susan Mitchell
President/CEO
Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates

Tags
Impact of Women in Society
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