Mid-Michigan Chapter of Credit Unions
Chapter Executive Committee Meeting
March 4, 2009
Horizons Conference Center
Members Present: Jay Anders, Tim Benecke, Eric Brubaker, Dave Cibulka, Mary Lou Gustin,
Dennis Hanson, Carrie Iafrate, Dana Reif, Vickie Schmitzer, Jan Shaffer, Sherwood Spells,
Guests Present: Jerry Erickson, Mary Foote, Lisa Gray, Gary Klein, Stephanie Klocinski
(CUcorp), Tammy OLeary, Howard Spencer, Shelley Taylor, Konnie Werner, Robin Wybenga
Vice Chairman Tim Benecke called the meeting to order at 10:35 a.m.
Vice Chairman Benecke introduced guests from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s office, including
Sheriff William Federspiel and Undersheriff Robert Karl, and Officer Joaquin Guerrero, a K-9
handler from the City of Saginaw Police Department. Sheriff Federspiel explained that Saginaw
County would like to help boost law enforcement efforts by establishing a K-9 unit. He noted
that a K-9 unit is a valuable unit in finding missing persons, drugs, and bomb locations. They
have decided to talk to local groups about financial assistance for such a program. His goal is to
get things started so when funding is available, the county will be ready to move forward.
Sheriff Federspiel said he anticipates that such a unit could assist law enforcement agencies from
surrounding counties as well. He distributed a sheet detailing the costs of the program, some of
which are one-time expenses (e.g. the dog) and some of which are ongoing (food for dog). If the
chapter, or another organization, chose to donate the funds to purchase the K-9 officer, that
organization’s name would be mentioned each time the animal is introduced at an event. This
would work to make the project more of a community project, rather than just a Sheriff’s Office
project. Officer Guerrero spoke about his experience working with “Rookie”, one of the K-9
officers. He said that the dog was quite visible in the community, which will be more difficult
with limited resources. For that reason, community support for the program is critical.
The Sheriff said they would like to do more community presentations, so feel free to have groups
contact them for information on this project. The group thanked the guests for their information.
The Minutes of the January 14, 2009 meeting were presented. Jay Anders made a motion to
approve the Minutes as presented; Bernie Williams supported the motion. Motion carried by
Jay Anders distributed copies of the Treasurer’s Report. He reported receipts totaling $441.51,
with a breakdown of $301.50 from chapter events and $30.01 from dividends/interest, and
$110.00 from 50/50 proceeds. He reported expenses of $571.63: $136.07 for stationery, $325.56
for chapter events, and $110.00 for MCULLAF. The ending balance was $14,833.18. Dennis
Hanson made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. Bernie Williams
supported the motion. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
Vice Chairman Benecke reported that the notice for the Chapter Annual Meeting was ready and
should go out later in the week. We discussed prizes. Dave Cibulka made a motion that the
chapter should donate $500 for prizes for the Chapter Annual Meeting. Jay Anders supported
the motion. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
Tim said that he would talk to Wanda Rawson about whether she could do the prizes again.
Each credit union may bring its own door prizes to the meeting.
Tim asked about having a District meeting in the spring or the fall. Howard Spencer said the
Blue Ox Chapter will meet in March 12, so they could discuss it then. Our next regular meeting
would be May 13. He said he would contact Jacci Pothoof, and she and Dave Maine can work
District Director’s Report
District Director Howard Spencer reported that 127 people from Michigan attended the CUNA
Governmental Affairs Conference. He added that it was one of the most opportune times to be
there since credit unions were able to put pressure on Congress to understand that “cram-downs”
would be disastrous for credit unions. The legislation was pulled from the agenda. He added
that the GAC is a worthwhile expense because you have access to lawmakers and are able to
make a difference.
He reported that the Education Needs Committee met and put some finishing touches on the
AC&E coming up in July. If you have any input for this committee, please let him know, and
he’ll pass the information along.
He noted that the “Invest in America” program was well received on Capitol Hill. He said that
40% of the 250,000 units sold have been financed by credit unions.
NCUA Chairman Fryzel is confirmed speaker for the AC&E.
Howard will be unable to attend the Chapter Annual Meeting; he’ll be out of town.
He reported that the MCUL Board approved the agenda of the Legislative & Governmental
Bernie Williams indicated that he is assuming that all incumbents will run again for the
Executive Committee. Please let him know if you do not wish to run again. Robin Wybenga
said that the nomination notice will be sent to all credit unions and then finalized at the annual
meeting because nominations from the floor are permitted.
Heather Harris was unable to attend. Jay Anders noted that she has been working on an
educational survey. He asked people to complete the survey and return it to Heather.
2009 PAC Fund Raising
Dana Reif reported that as of February 16, 2009 the Chapter has raised 51.40% of the state goal
($7,810.00 out of $15,203.22) and 7.01% of the federal goal ($1,674.64 out of $23,890.79). We
have raised 52% participation in the PAC fundraising, and have 4 credit unions that have
achieved 100% of their State Goals: Communications Family CU, Bethel AME Church FCU,
Frankenmuth CU, and Mid-Michigan Family CU. Ten other credit unions are making efforts in
their PAC Funding: we have 27 credit unions in the chapter.
The Legislative Breakfast for 2009 is scheduled for May 18, 2009. Three legislators have already
confirmed their attendance: Andy Coulouris (Chairing of the Banking Committee), Jeff Mayes,
and Ken Horn.
She reported that this event was last week, with approximately 4200 credit union representatives
attending. She added that it was a great time to attend since credit unions are relevant in the
legislators’ eyes in these economic times. The main topics of the convention included the bank
bailouts, threat of mortgage cram-down legislation, and the NCUA Corporate Stabilization
She noted that during the Hill Visits, they asked the legislators not to make matters worse by
enacting bills that would be harmful to credit unions and to oppose cram-down and interchange
fee legislation. Unfortunately HR 786 which was requesting that the $250,000 share insurance
limit be permanent and to give NCUA 5 years to replenish the NCUSIF was bundled with the
mortgage cram-down bill, so they ask our legislators to vote no on this.
This year’s event will take place April 29-30 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing. It will start with a
Welcome and Awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m.
Legislative Actions and Alerts
Small Claims Bill
We are renewing efforts on this legislation which would increase the ceiling for small claims
action from $3000 to $5000. The MCUL met with the Chair of the House, and he is on board.
The original sponsor, Wayne Pipers, is still willing to submit the bill again to the Senate.
There are three bills going through the House Banking Committee; there was a hearing last
week, and another hearing will be held tomorrow. All three bills will probably pass the House
and should not have any real problems in the Senate. Both houses are feeling the pressure to get
something done on this issue. In addition, next year is an election year for the Senate, and no
one wants to be pegged as the person who stopped the foreclosure bill.
Essentially the legislation provides a 90 day freeze on mortgage foreclosures. During this 90 day
period the lender/borrower/housing counselor (if the borrower wants one) would sit down and try
to modify the terms of the loan (e.g. longer term and adjusting the interest rate). This would be
on all mortgage loans, not just on sub-prime loans. If the borrower doesn’t reply or does not want
to meet or do anything the lender can proceed with the foreclosure. If the borrower and the
lender meet but cannot agree on a modification, a Means Test will be done. The Means Test is a
procedure that looks at what the borrower can afford as in taxes, insurance and mortgage
payment. It will also look at what the lender can afford to modify. If the borrower passes the
Means Test and the lender does not modify, then the lender will have to go through the judicial
process to foreclose.
MCUL submitted a letter for clarifications and some changes, asking for the language to be less
vague. The MCUL talked to Andy Coulouris, and he mentioned there were some changes
made. We should see the new bill by the end of week.
On February 5, 2009 Sen. Tony Stamas (R-Midland) introduced Senate Bills 195 and 196. This
legislation would permit public schools and public corporations to invest in the Certificate of
Deposit Account Registry System (CDARS). The CDARS currently permits FDIC-insured
institutions to accept deposits of more than $250,000 and still fully insure the amount by
allocating the risk among several institutions. While credit unions cannot yet participate in this
program, this legislation will not prohibit credit unions from accepting these deposits in the event
they are able to become participants of the CDARS network. Credit unions want to be in a “go”
position should they be able to participate in the FDIC program or to create a similar program
with the NCUA. This legislation has passed the Senate and has been referred to the House
Banking Committee, which it is expected to pass. Jeff Mayes introduced the House version of
the same bills, so there will be a House version and Senate version. The MCUL will be working
on this issue.
MCUL Relationship Manager
Robin Wybenga distributed copies of her report. She announced that United Bay Community CU
will be opening a new office in Pinconning next week.
She reminded everyone about the Chapter Leaders Retreat coming up May 15-16 at the Amway
Grand Plaza. Each chapter is entitled to send two people at the MCUL’s expense to this event.
She noted that credit unions must “opt in” to participate in the Invest in America program, even
though all credit unions are listed on the web site as participating. She added that Chrysler has
just updated its list of eligible vehicles.
She said that resources for the Stabilization Act are available. OFIR is considering this a one-
time event, but you should talk to your CPA firm regarding whether to book this in 2008 or
2009. OFIR has no preference as to which year is selected.
She said that April is Financial Literacy month. She distributed information on the Financial
Literacy Legislative Challenge which is supported by the MCUL.
Stephanie Klocinski distributed copies of CUNA Mutual Group’s February chapter report.
She also distributed brochures on the upcoming Risk Based Lending seminar. She announced
that Advanced Fraud Solutions was launched in January. About 12 credit unions will be up and
running in 4-6 weeks.
She said that she has been calling on credit unions in eight states about Invest in America. Over
800 credit unions are involved in this program.
Melinda Spada was unable to attend.
Nikki Burgeson was unable to attend. CUVillage
Stacey McKee was unable to attend.
Cooperative Advertising Update
Carrie Iafrate distributed a handout containing the highlights of the 2009 Media Plan as well as
the copy for four radio ads and two TV ads. The 2009 campaign is a 12-week flight featuring a
mix of radio and television. The messages focus on the Invest in America program in general,
driving consumers to www.lovemycreditunion.org, the theme of people being worth more than
money. She said that each of the TV spots would be featured equally, while the radio spots
would be rotated. She asked for feedback on the campaign and the split of spots.
Eric Brubaker expressed a concern that ¾ of the radio spots would promote the Invest in
America program. He said that we have many other issues we could address, such as
foreclosures or an increase in compromised credit cards.
Dave Cibulka and Dennis Hanson both said they’d like to see more emphasis on branding, say
50%. After more comments, the group agreed with this suggestion.
Carrie also shared her concern about chairing the Creative Committee. She said the committee
has not been asked for any input on the creative for the campaign. She said some of the material
was done before the last meeting without any input from the committee. She’s sent an e-mail to
Dave Adams and is waiting for a reply. (Howard Spencer offered to follow up on this.) Carrie
commented that BERLINE is doing the creative, and timing may be an issue, but the committee
should be involved in the process.
Community Reinvestment Initiative
Robin Wybenga reported that Stacy Dugan has been hired and will be coming to a chapter
A team from MCUL will be traveling to St. Lucia next week.
Vickie Schmitzer mentioned that the Neighborhood Mortgage Solutions CUSO would be having
an information session on March 13 at the Soaring Eagle Resort. Interested credit unions are
invited to attend.
Vice Chairman Benecke said that the Flint Chapter had put up the funds to purchase the K-9 dog
in Flint if other organization would help to fund ongoing expenses. Tim said that perhaps our
chapter could do something similar. He said that the chapter’s name would be mentioned each
time the dog is introduced to a group; the cost of the dog is $6500. Bernie Williams suggested
that the chapter make a donation and ask the chapter credit unions to do some marketing to help
raise funds. Vickie Schmitzer made a motion to donate $500 to the Saginaw County Sheriff’s
Department for the K-9 program. Bernie Williams supported the motion. Jay Anders asked what
our plans were for the funds in our treasury, and discussion followed.
Bernie Williams said that he had been approached by the Saginaw Bay Area Symphony for a one
time donation of $500. He made a motion that the chapter donates $500 to the Saginaw Bay
Area Symphony. Vickie Schmitzer supported the motion.
Mary Lou Gustin commented that she can see the benefit with the dog, less so with the
symphony. Gary Klein said that we need to be careful where we put our money, especially if we
want to say we’re here to help the “little guy.”
Vickie Schmitzer added that she would like to see our chapter get more involved in building a
Habitat for Humanity house. Bernie Williams agreed that this would be a good project for credit
unions. There was a suggestion that this be discussed at a District meeting. Konnie Werner said
that Team One CU has co-sponsored a project but never done it alone. No one knew how much
money would be needed to sponsor a project. Vickie Schmitzer asked for permission to send
letters to credit unions in the chapter asking for a consensus on this idea and a representative to
attend a meeting with a Habitat for Humanity speaker. The group agreed to this by consensus.
Dennis Hanson suggested we have a plan for what we support and what direction we want to
take with our charitable giving. Eric Brubaker said that Members First CU has a charitable
giving policy he’d be willing to share with the chapter.
Discussion resumed about the motion regarding a donation for the K-9 dog. Tim Benecke said
he would support a donation of $3000 with other credit unions contributing also.
Bernie Williams made a motion that we table all discussion of charitable contributions be tabled
until the next meeting. Eric Brubaker supported the motion. Motion carried.
Chapter Leaders Retreat
Dave Cibulka suggested sending the Chapter Chairman and Vice Chairman. Tim Benecke said
he could attend but would not need MCUL support This would allow someone else to attend if
interested. Please think about this.
Bernie Williams said he has a handout on the Lawn Chair Festival if Saginaw credit unions are
MCULAF 50/50 Drawing
Dennis Hanson won $70 and donated it back to MCULAF.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at the Horizons
Conference Center. This may be a District meeting if possible. Watch for information. The
next Exec meeting after that will be June 24.
Vice Chairman Benecke adjourned the meeting at 12:25 p.m.
Janis L. Shaffer, Secretary