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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.


The Global Glass Ceiling: why empowering women is good for business

vbreunig@woccu.org posted on August 27, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Recommended reading. I whittled down my thick pile of magazines as I flew to Seattle recently. (By the way, thanks to network member Shari Storm, Verity, for setting up a lunch with seven area credit union marketing directors; we had a lively discussion about the Vegas Forum.) One article flew to the top of my "to share" pile. Check out The Global Glass Ceiling: why empowering women is good for business. It's from Foreign Affairs, a bi-monthly somewhat academic but varied read my best friend from high school recommended to me a year ago. Global Women's Leadership Network members can subscribe for a special subscription rate of $27 (a 15% discount) here: www.foreignaffairs.com/woccu. The article includes interesting case studies from companies such as General Electric, Nike and Goldman Sachs. I apologize if I just added another magazine to your thick pile of reading!

Brian's Blog

nbice@woccu.org posted on August 13, 2010 at 8:57 AM

One of the blessings of working at WOCCU is that we frequently have the opportunity to travel around the world and witness the credit union movement "in action".  We can see first-hand the effects of new regulation or the impact of an innovative savings product on a small farming community.  In addition to sharing these experiences with you on this blog, you should check out Brian Branch's personal blog at http://makingadifference.posterous.com/.  Brian Branch is WOCCU's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and he keeps a blog of his travels and international experiences.  I've copied the lastest entry for you to get a sneak preview but visit Brian's Blog for the full entry...

 

Posted on August 7, 2010

"Residents in rural towns in Mexico knew that at a particular hour on one day a week a representative from the credit union would be present to take deposits or loan payments or to disburse loans.  Still the credit unions looked for ways that they could expand the hours of access for their members. 

Credit unions in Guatemala had addressed this by placing POS devices in the store or restaurants or gas stations which were owned by members of the credit unions..."

Tags
Community Outreach

Mobile Banking

cford@woccu.org posted on August 11, 2010 at 3:30 PM

How many of you work in credit unions that are implementing mobile banking? How many of you are considering this?  We at WOCCU feel that mobile banking will be a tremendous advancement to our vision of improving people's lives through credit unions. Mobile phones are pervasive throughout the world much more so than access to financial services. WOCCU is underway with development of mobile banking for credit unions in Mexico. Once we have the system tested and launched in Mexico, we are going to expand to other countries.

What information and tips are important to share with us at WOCCU for mobile banking? Please share any experiences and lessons learned from setting up mobile banking at your credit union so that we can benefit from your expertise.

Tags
Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide

Remittances to Haiti

cford@woccu.org posted on August 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM

WOCCU has been working to expand the remittance market for Haitians. Remittances have become even more important after the January earthquake with family members living abroad needing to send money home to Haiti. As you may recall, Greta Greathouse of the WOCCU HIFIVE project is working on this aspect along with a myriad of other program objectives.  Read more about our HIFIVE project on Facebook by joining the group Haiti HI FIVE.

Since visiting Haiti in April, WOCCU Madison staff have been working to support the remittance initiative of HI FIVE, working with Le Levier Credit Union Federation to launch a viable remittance product to Haiti. We are hopeful that before the end of this calendar year, we will have expanded the remittances market, at lower cost to both the sender and the receiver.  To read more about WOCCU's remittances program, go to www.woccu.org/remittances.

Tags
Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide

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
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