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.

What did you do to celebrate International Credit Union Day?


10/23/10- Veracruz, Mexico: Greetings from Mexico!  Caja Yanga celebrated International Credit Union Day and the Day of the Board Member by welcoming a delegation from SERVUS Credit Union of Canada.  During the celebration we signed a partnership agreement with SERVUS and showed the group how we utilize PDAs in our credit union.  Eventaully, a few of the Caja Yanga staff will be traveling to Canada to get a better understanding of credit union operations in Canada!

On a personal note, I am getting ready to assume my new position as Manager of Internal Controls at our credit union.

Best Wishes,
Maria de Lourdes de Jesus Montalbo
Caja Popular de Ahorros Yanga
Veracurz, Mexico

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions

Continued Growth

The cooperative credit in Brazil has gained more credibility every day, with a membership of more people and businesses of medium and small size, this growth has been greater than our technological capabilities to innovate with an even faster. As at the beginning of our history were functioning most strongly in the rural sector would like to share strategies used in other countries to work with small companies and strategies to mobilize additional resources in the medium and long term.

I salute all the women in strengthening their tireless cooperatives jkbgrando@hotmail.com

Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members

Pacific Congress - Our GWLN vision lives!

Our GWLN vision lives! Each time we take a next step in our journey towards uniting CU women worldwide, I am in awe of my new sisters. In Papua New Guinea at the Pacific Congress, WOCCU held an impromptu GWLN development session. There were women from all the islands attending and their stories were inspiring. Leaders in their communities, leaders in their homes and leaders at their credit unions. Yet, their greatest pride were their children and their greatest commitment was to a better future for their members! Women globally share our vision!

CU Boards / Volunteers

GWLN Professional Development session at the Pacific Congress

I had a blast teaching a Professional Development session on Presentation Skills for Women at the GWLN Session in PNG. We discussed self confidence, importance of perceptions, strong posture, researching custom content, using relevant media, knowing your style, and engaging the audience with interaction. We challenged each other to construct a personal brand elevator speech that we can stand, deliver and build upon our networks by making an excellent first impression. Go ladies, I believe in you...

CU Boards / Volunteers

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..."

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.

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.

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!

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.


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?

Financial/Risk Management, Internal Operations
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