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A publication of the Massachusetts Credit Union League, New Hampshire Credit Union League and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island



Stories Inside:


Student Essay Winners Honored at State House


NH Credit Unions Donate Record Amount for Wishes


Current Issues In Executive Compensation

100 % 5

ser vice ra ting for over



Our Rankings Spotlight Our Service Innovative Offerings, Collaborative Solutions

For more information, please

Synergent is a multi-owned credit union,

organization that provides shared value to our

or 1-800-341-0180, ext. 593.

contact Fred Barber, Technology Services Account Executive, at

users. Our unique business model enables collaboration and cooperation so credit unions can boost earnings, achieve economies of scale, increase efficiencies, and provide better service to

members and mitigate risk.






New England Credit Union Services, LLC 800-842-1242


Massachusetts Credit Union League, Inc. New Hampshire Credit Union League

E f f ect

Credit Union Association of Rhode Island Daniel F. Egan, Jr., President EDITORS: Robert B. Kimmett Marguerite A. Thorsen


CONTRIBUTORS: Donna M. Bevilacqua Robert Delaney Bonnie L. Doolin William F. Nagle Beverly Purtell Charlotte Whatley

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Contents Table ofFeatures PUBLISHED BY

The Warren Group

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©2013 The Warren Group Inc. All rights reserved. The Warren Group is a trademark of The Warren Group Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Advertising, editorial and production inquiries should be directed to: The Warren Group, 280 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210. Call 800-356-8805.


– – – –

Massachusetts League Annual Convention a Winner! Credit Union Association of Rhode Island Holds 79th Annual Meeting 59th New Hampshire Annual Meeting and Convention Student Essay Contest Winners Honored at the Massachusetts State House


– – –

New Hampshire Credit Unions Donate Record Amount for Wishes Children’s Book Drive Surpasses Quarter Million Books Credit Union Volunteers Bring on the Gold at Special Olympics Summer Games in Rhode Island





30 CALENDAR fall.2013 | centerpoint | 3


| by daniel f. egan, jr.

‘PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE’ STARTS WITH THE CEO How many times have you heard the phrase, “Credit unions are based on a philosophy of people helping people”? For many credit union volunteers this phrase fuels the belief that the distinguishing characteristic of credit unions is service to members. If that is in fact the case, the people who work for credit unions are their most valuable assets.


n order to preserve that asset, credit union boards of directors must be committed to hiring, training, and retaining the best people possible in order to meet member needs, regardless of the size of the credit union. The most critical aspect of developing a strong culture of service to members is the hiring of the CEO. In a recently released Filene Research Institute report, “Leading for Credit Union Success: The Roles of Personality and Practices in CEOs,” Murray Barrick studied the key elements of successful CEO selection and development. Using a study of senior managers, middle managers, and entry level employees at 84 credit unions across the United States and Canada, Barrick evaluated the CEO’s personality, critical executive competencies, leadership behavior, and performance. The survey also assessed the average of four bottom line ratios as objective measures of organizational performance: return on assets, net worth to total assets, delinquent loans to total loans, and net chargeoffs to average loans. The study confirmed a hypothesis developed in previous studies, that when it comes to employee engagement and organizational performance, CEO personality is more important than CEO ability. The study examined three key CEO abilities: strategic change competence, the ability to accomplish tasks, and the capacity to build and nurture relationships. While strategic competence is the best way to predict a CEO’s ability to be a transformative leader, relationship competence is a better indicator of organizational performance.

4 | centerpoint | fall.2013

Although the CEO is a critical component of the success of the credit union, each employee must understand and appreciate their contribution to the ultimate goal of making the member’s experience exceptional. In a Harvard Business Review article by Peter F. Drucker, published in 1999, the author concluded that being successful in a “knowledge economy” requires people to know their strengths, their values, and how they best perform. As part of his thesis, Drucker stressed working in an environment that complemented one’s own personal values. As a values-based organization, a credit union operates as a nonprofit cooperative to benefit the financial lives of its members. The values attached to that ideal are attractive to people who want to help other people. In selecting and promoting credit union personnel, qualities of personal engagement with people and compatible personal values are traits that should be prized. Training people in the history of credit unions and the value structure upon which credit unions were built is also crucial for long term success of the institution. Building strong middle management capabilities that incorporate the qualities that make effective workers in a people-helping-people culture, is also critical for success. This edition of CenterPoint explores many aspects of personnel development in credit unions that can assist boards of directors in understanding the importance of hiring, training, and retaining people who are necessary for the credit union’s success. • Daniel F. Egan, Jr., president


MASSACHUSETTS LEAGUE ANNUAL CONVENTION A WINNER! The League thanks the business partners and associate members who help to enhance the convention through their sponsorships: Synergent, Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, Balance Sheet Solutions, LLC, COOP Shared Branching, and CU Direct Corporation.

A full house hears Jared Ihrig’s legislative and regulatory update

From left: St. Mary’s Credit Union President/CEO James Garvey and longtime Director Donald “Doc” Dacier displayed their 100th Anniversary plaque with League President Daniel Egan.

The Massachusetts Credit Union League 2013 Annual Convention, held at the remarkable Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Naples, Florida, was a winning event. The convention, held June 26-29, featured an educational program that provided an excellent mix of current credit union issues and a vision to how they might do business in the future. Presentations included balance sheet management, legislative and regulatory update, Board governance issues, branding, and the new media. Speakers included Pierre Cardenas of CU Lending Alliance; Jared Ihrig, associate general counsel in the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Reg6 | centerpoint | fall.2013

ulatory Advocacy department; Tom Farin, asset and liability guru; and David Reed, consultant and founder of CU Doctor. The League’s Welcome Center served as the “credit union clubhouse” where attendees gathered to eat breakfast, snack, and network throughout the convention. This was the first time that the League took its convention to the beach. In addition to the powdery white sand and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, members also enjoyed the hotel’s two pools; the Ritz-Carlton Tiburon Golf Course, a PGA Tour golf course; opulent spa; shopping; fine dining; and the many other attractions the area had to offer.

LEAGUE ANNUAL MEETING ELECTS DIRECTORS, CELEBRATES CREDIT UNIONS’ ANNIVERSARIES The Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Credit Union League, the oldest continually operating credit union trade group in the United States, was held on Saturday, June 29, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida, in conjunction with the League’s annual convention. Following his report, League Chair David Surface took the opportunity to recognize and thank Daniel F. Egan, Jr. for his 30-plus years of service to the League, his leadership, and perseverance to preserve, promote, and perpetuate credit unions. The membership responded with a standing ovation. The results of the mail ballot election for League Directors at Large were announced at the meeting by Katherine Hutchinson, president/CEO of UMassFive College Federal Credit Union, on behalf of the Credentials Committee. Three candidates were re-elected to three year terms. They are Karen E. Duffy, president/CEO of Worcester Credit Union; Nicole James, SVP of retail sales, RTN Federal Credit Union; and John B. Winne, president/ CEO of Boston Firefighters Credit Union. Similarly, the Metro-Boston Chapter elected Daniel G. Trombley, CEO of City of Boston Credit Union, to a three-year term as the Chapter Director. And, the Tri-County North Chapter elected Stephen D. Jones, VP-community development, CRA officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, to a three-year term as Chapter Director. Continued on page 7


Association First Vice Chairman David Suvall (right) presents

Association Chairman Ellen Ford and Senior Vice President/General Counsel Mary Ann

the 75th anniversary plaque to Wave Federal Credit Union,

Clancy presents Bob Andrade a framed copy of the Congressional Record Article 18 -

Warwick, RI, Executive Vice President/COO David Dupere

Commending Bob Andrade for Service at Pawtucket Credit Union, Pawtucket, RI, given by

along with Chairman Ellen Ford.

Congressman James R. Langevin.

Rhode Island credit union representatives gathered for the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island’s 79th Annual Meeting and Get Together Dinner on May 8, at Metacomet Country Club in East Providence. Attendees heard reports from numerous Association committees as well as Chairman Ellen Ford and President Daniel F. Egan, Jr. They also heard from special guest speakers, including:Tracy MacNeil, sales executive, CUNA Mutual Group; Special Olympics Rhode Island Executive Director Dennis DeJesus; and Global Ambassador Michael Bullock. At the annual meeting, three directors were re-elected to three-year terms: Paul Archambault, president/CEO, Wave Federal Credit Union, Warwick, RI; Gary E.

Furtado, president/CEO, Navigant Credit Union, Central Falls, RI; and David B. Suvall, president/CEO, Rhode Island Credit Union, Providence, RI. Robert H. DaSilva, president/ CEO, Alliance Blackstone Valley Federal Credit Union, Woonsocket, RI, was elected for a three-year term to fill an open position. First Vice Chairman David Suvall recognized Chairman Ellen Ford for her outstanding leadership and work as chairman of the Association for the past two years and presented her with a gift for her efforts. Association Chairman Ellen Ford and Senior Vice President/General Counsel Mary Ann Clancy presented Bob Andrade, Association Director and EVP/COO of Pawtucket Credit Union, Pawtucket, RI, a framed copy of the Congressional Record Article

18 – Commending Bob Andrade for Service at Pawtucket Credit Union. Clancy read the speech given by Rhode Island Congressman James R. Langevin on February 27, 2013, in the House of Representatives, citing the long and distinguished career accomplishments in public service that have helped the people of Rhode Island. Seven credit unions celebrating anniversaries in 2013 were recognized: 85 years – Pawtucket Credit Union, Pawtucket, RI; 75 years – Wave Federal Credit Union; 65 years – Alliance Blackstone Valley Federal Credit Union, Dexter Credit Union, Central Falls, RI, Greenwood Credit Union, Warwick, RI, Westerly Community Credit Union, Westerly, RI; and 50 years – Kent Hospital Federal Credit Union, Warwick, RI. •


Union, Southbridge, MA; 85 years – CPCU Credit Union, Somerville, MA, and IC Federal Credit Union, Fitchburg, MA; and 90 years – Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union, Springfield, MA.

in1913 to meet the financial needs of the struggling French-Canadian factory workers, St. Mary’s now boasts over 46,000 members and $606 million in assets. St. Mary’s Credit Union President/CEO James Garvey and long-time Director Donald “Doc” Dacier were presented with a special commemorative plaque from League Board Chair David Surface. The Massachusetts Credit Union community extends its best wishes and pride to the members, staff, and board of this credit union pioneer. •

continued from page 6

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS Each year at the League’s Annual Meeting, credit unions that are celebrating a milestone anniversary are recognized for this achievement and their contribution to their members, their communities, and the credit union movement. Chairman David Surface presented plaques to the following credit unions: 75 years – Southbridge Credit

100TH ANNIVERSARY – ST. MARY’S CREDIT UNION This year marked an illustrious anniversary for one credit union. St. Mary’s Credit Union, Marlborough, MA, celebrated its 100th anniversary. Founded as a parish credit union

fall.2013 | centerpoint | 7



League Chairman Jerry Dumoulin (foreground right) recognizes League President Dan Egan (foreground left) at dinner during the New Hampshire Credit Union League Annual Convention along with past and present board members in the background.

History was made as 200 New Hampshire credit union CEOs, directors, and guests “Climbed to the Top” on their way to attend the New Hampshire Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting and Convention, June 7-9, at The Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Bill Nagle, senior vice president of credit union training and resource delivery for the New Hampshire Credit Union League, led the opening session, “Hug!,” based on two Wall Street Journal bestsellers by Jack Mitchell – Hug Your Customers – The proven way to personalize sales and achieve astounding results and Hug Your People – The proven way to hire, inspire, and recognize your employees and achieve remarkable results. The second general session focused on the topic of succession planning and featured D. Hilton Associates President David Hilton. He is renowned for his insight on industry trends and his company’s ability to offer innovative solutions to help credit unions stay competitive in the market’s constantly changing conditions. 8 | centerpoint | fall.2013

EGAN HONORED BY NEW HAMPSHIRE CREDIT UNION LEAGUE BOARD Before dinner on Friday evening, League Chairman Gerald Dumoulin took a few moments along with current and past board members to recognize League President Daniel F. Egan, Jr., who announced his retirement at the end of 2013. Egan received two standing ovations during the brief recognition. He was humbled by the recognition and grateful to have worked and created friendships with so many wonderful people in New Hampshire. ANNUAL MEETING, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS ELECTED When the delegates gathered on Saturday morning for the Business Meeting, they heard reports from numerous League committees as well as state and federal regulators, Credit Union National Association, and CUNA Mutual. Wish Ambassador Jessica recounted her special wish of a “Sweet 16” birthday celebration, thanking the credit unions for making children’s wishes come true. Make-A-Wish®

New Hampshire CEO Julie Baron expressed her thanks to the credit unions for bringing hope, strength, and joy to so many children throughout the state. The nominating committee announced the results of the election held for positions on the League’s Board of Directors. Michael A. L’Ecuyer, president/CEO, Bellwether Community Credit Union, Manchester, NH, and Timothy M. Naro, executive vice president/ COO, Granite State Credit Union, Manchester, NH, were re-elected to the board for three-year terms. Three credit unions celebrating anniversaries this year were recognized at the meeting but not in attendance included: Gropaco Federal Credit Union, Precision Credit Union, and Timken Aerospace Credit Union – 60 years. Following the League’s annual meeting, the board of directors met and re-elected the following table officers: Chairman – Gerald Dumoulin, CEO, Guardian Angel Credit Union, Berlin, NH; Vice Chairman – Timothy Naro, executive vice president/COO, Granite State Credit Union, Manchester, NH; and Secretary/Treasurer – Brian Hughes, president/ CEO, Holy Rosary Credit Union, Rochester, NH. Rounding out the remainder of the board are: Ronald H. Covey, Jr., president/ CEO, St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union, Manchester, NH; Michael A. L’Ecuyer, president/ CEO, Bellwether Community Credit Union; Maurice Simard, Jr., president/treasurer, Triangle Credit Union, Nashua, NH; and John Young, president/CEO, New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, Concord, NH. The League deeply appreciates the generosity of our sponsors for helping to make this year’s convention special: Tricorp Federal Credit Union; Experian; Synergent; CUNA Mutual Group; CRI Solutions; Coclin Associates, Inc.; CUAlliance; CO-OP Financial Services; CU Direct Corporation; and Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. •


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Pictured, from left: Kathleen Donohue, president, Tri-County North Chapter; Geoff Plume, vice president and treasurer, Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corporation; Kaylee Rotondo, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Marsh Grammar School, Tri-County North Chapter; Kaya Small, Everett Credit Union, Lafayette School, Tri-County North Chapter; Isabel McDonald and Aubrey Correiro, both from St, Anne’s Credit Union of Fall River, Mass., Holy Name School, Southern Massachusetts Credit Union Chapter; Vanessa Schirduan, Worcester, Credit Union, St. Peter Central Catholic Elementary School, Central Massachusetts Chapter; Sara Morin, Holyoke Credit Union, First Lutheran School, Pioneer Valley Chapter; Manon Nadeau, Holyoke Credit Union, Mater Dolorosa Catholic School, Pioneer Valley Chapter; and Daniel F. Egan, Jr., president, Massachusetts Credit Union League, Inc.

On May 29, the winners of the Massachusetts Credit Union League’s 7th and 8th Grade Student Essay Contest were honored in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House. In keeping with the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People,” the Financial Literacy Committee of the Massachusetts Credit Union League asked seventh and eighth grade students to write a 250 or less word essay on the topic, “Please think of an event that impacted your life and describe how that event demonstrates the credit union movement’s ‘People Helping People’ philosophy.” Nearly 1,300 students from across the commonwealth submitted essays to their sponsoring credit unions. Essays were judged on originality, content, neatness, spelling, and grammar. Each credit union chose 20 essays

The winners each received a check for $250 from the sponsoring credit union.The winners were:

• Aubrey Correiro, from Southern Massachusetts Chapter, sponsored by St. Anne’s Credit Union of Fall River, MA • Isabel McDonald, from Southern Massachusetts Chapter, sponsored by St. Anne’s Credit Union of Fall River, MA • Sara Morin, from Pioneer Valley Chapter, sponsored by Holyoke Credit Union, Holyoke, MA • Manon Nadeau, from Pioneer Valley Chapter, sponsored by Holyoke Credit Union, Holyoke, MA 10 | centerpoint | fall.2013

• Kaylee Rotondo, from Tri-County North Chapter, sponsored by Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Lowell, MA • Vanessa Schirduan, from Central Mass Chapter, sponsored by Worcester Credit Union, Worcester, MA • Kaya Small, from Tri-County North Chapter, sponsored by Everett Credit Union, Everett, MA

to send to the League. The League’s Financial Literacy Committee and representatives from the League and Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (MSIC), a co-sponsor of the event, determined the grand prize winner and seven runners up. The winners, their families, and representatives from both the schools and the sponsoring credit unions were invited to lunch and an awards ceremony at the Great Hall in the State House. League President Daniel Egan welcomed the students, et al, who then heard from Mitchell D. Chester, commissioner of elementary education and secondary education; David J. Cotney, commissioner of banks; and State Treasurer Steven Grossman. Ceremony attendees were also treated to a guided State House tour. Following the tour, contest winners and their families were able to meet with their local senators and representatives. Students were proud to receive congratulatory citations from Governor Deval Patrick, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Essay contest co-sponsor, Geoff Plume, vice president and treasurer of MSIC, presented the contest winners with certificates of accomplishment from the League and MSIC. The Massachusetts Credit Union League, its Financial Literacy Committee, and MSIC thank all the students, teachers, and parents and guardians who participated in this year’s 7th and 8th Grade Student Essay Contest. •


NEW HAMPSHIRE CREDIT UNIONS DONATE RECORD AMOUNT FOR WISHES The Richard D. Mahoney Charity Golf Tournament was held June 13 at Candia Woods Golf Links. At the conclusion of the tournament, League representatives presented a $160,000 check to Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire. Not only did the amount surpass the goal of $155,000 set in September 2012,

From left: New Hampshire Credit Union League (NHCUL) Director/Make-A-Wish® Executive Board Member John Young, president/CEO, New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, Concord, NH; MakeA-Wish® New Hampshire CEO Julie Baron; NHCUL Chairman Jerry Dumoulin, president/CEO, Guardian Angel Credit Union, Berlin, NH; Beverly Mahoney; and NHCUL Director Michael L’Ecuyer, president/CEO, Bellwether Community Credit Union, Manchester, NH. Wish Children Abby (left) and Faith along with her

but also it was the largest amount raised thus far. This amount brings the 17-year total to more than $1.8 million raised for wishes. Throughout the day, the 120 golfers were greeted by the smiling faces of Wish Child Faith, her brother Jeffrey, and Wish Child Abby, who graciously served lemonade and treats at the special Make-A-Wish® Lemonade Stand. Abby battles cystic fibrosis and is the granddaughter of a Triangle Credit Union, Nashua, NH, employee. All her life, Abby wanted a tree house she could sleep in and last year her wish came true. Faith’s wish was a trip to Disney World with her family, which she loved, and had the time of her life. During the awards dinner, both children thanked everyone and shared their wishes. Faith’s mom sent a special message following the tournament: “I would like to thank all of the participants of the Golf Tournament on June 13 who gave their time and money to the Make-A-Wish® children. I was overcome by how generous you all were and so thankful to have been a part of the event. Through all of life’s trials and tribulations we have incurred, I was honestly humbled by how wonderful you all were. Thank you again and thank you for supporting MakeA-Wish® New Hampshire. … Best Regards, Catharine”

The foursome of Jeff Benson, Tim Mullen, Mike L’Ecuyer, and Steve Pedro from Bellwether Community Credit Union, Manchester, NH, was the first place team with a score of 61, and took home the coveted golf trophy. Second place, with a score of 62, was the team from WB Mason, and the most honest team, with a score of 84, included a team from CUNA Mutual Group, Bellwether Community Credit Union, and Fiserv EFT. Jim Kelly from Lee & Mason won the men’s longest drive; Heather Greenwood from Northeast Credit Union, Portsmouth, NH, won the women’s longest drive; Jim Lyn Walters from Service Credit Union, Portsmouth, NH, won the men’s closest to the pin; and Deborah Schreck from Service Credit Union won the women’s closest to the pin. Julie Baron, CEO of Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire, praised the efforts of the League, the credit unions, members, vendors, and the Social Responsibility Committee for their contributions each year. “We thank you for being our partner. Your donation orchestrates the greatest return, a child’s joyful heart and for that we are most grateful,” said Baron. The League, and its member credit unions, remain the largest corporate partner of Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire with the largest donation to date. •

brother Jeffrey are holding the check.

League Chairman Jerry Dumoulin and the League’s Social Responsibility Committee extend a special thanks to all the tournament sponsors, including:

Wish Children along with their families and representatives from Make-A-Wish® and credit union volunteers greeted golfers throughout the day with cool lemonade and snacks at the infamous Lemonade Stand.

12 | centerpoint | fall.2013

• • • • • • • • • • • •

CUNA Mutual Group Tricorp Federal Credit Union Synergent Beliveau, Fradette, Doyle & Gallant, P.A. Ben Franklin Printers CU Direct Corporation Experian State National Companies AutoFair Fair Point Communications New England Employee Benefits PSCU

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC CO-OP Shared Branching Creative Office Pavilion CRIF Lending Solutions Fiserv EFT Frisbie Memorial Hospital G&A Insurance Harvey Construction Integrated Media Management Northeast Planning Associates, Inc. Raymond James/Morgan Keegan WB Mason



Carmen Bastos (left) from Premier Source Credit Seaport Credit Union, Salem, MA, staff members Heidi Sarro (left) and Carolina Martinez in the dropoff area for the Children’s Book Drive in the credit union lobby. The credit union donated 293 books to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.

IC Federal Credit Union, Fitchburg, MA, Youth Services Coordinator Jennifer Maguy (left) presents Children’s Aid and Family Services Assistant Vice President Cheryl Trant with 250 gently used books, collected during the month of April.

The League’s Social Responsibility Committee extends a special thanks to all the credit unions that participated in this year’s Book Drive: • Attleboro Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union • Berkshire Federal Credit Union • Brookline Municipal Credit Union • Central One Federal Credit Union • City of Boston Credit Union • CPCU Credit Union • Credit Union of the Berkshires • Crescent Credit Union • Everett Credit Union • Fall River Municipal Credit Union • Hanscom Federal Credit Union • Haverhill Fire Department Credit Union • Harvard University Employees Credit Union • IC Federal Credit Union • Leominster Credit Union • Liberty Bay Credit Union • Luso-American Credit Union • Luso Federal Credit Union • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Federal Credit Union • MassMutual Federal Credit Union • Members Plus Credit Union • Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union • Metro Credit Union

14 | centerpoint | fall.2013

Union, East Longmeadow, MA, is pictured with Ronald McDonald House Manager Enix Zavalia and 10-year-old patient Cesar Ropdriquez-Gerez with the 200 books they donated.

For 13 years, Massachusetts credit unions, their staffs, and members, have collected and donated more than 252,000 books to a variety of family service agencies throughout the state, including the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, to benefit thousands of children in need of books. Each year, during the month of April, the Massachusetts Credit Union League promotes the collection of children’s books. In May, more than 12,400 books were distributed by 37 credit unions and the League for the Children’s Book Drive. It is hard to believe that the simple act of donating a book could make a difference in a child’s life. But it is true. The credit unions that participated in this year’s Children’s Book Drive went a long way in helping the Coalition as well as other agencies give less fortunate and homeless children throughout the Commonwealth a book of their own. Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, Lowell, MA, had a heartwarming experience this year, as Haverhill (MA) Branch Manager Carrie Fitzgerald explained: “Our members have been wonderful this year. We can always count on their support for the book drive and other charitable efforts. This year they especially shined by donating the most books we have collected since we started participating in the Children’s Book Drive several years ago.” The credit union collected the secondhighest number of books (910) this year. Congratulations to Hanscom Federal Credit Union, Hanscom AFB, MA, for collecting the highest number of books at 4,729. Each year the staff at Hanscom embraces this project as a full team effort by collecting

books throughout the year. Rounding out the top five credit unions are Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, 910; MassMutual Federal Credit Union, Springfield, MA, 689; Leominster Credit Union, Leominster, MA, 660; and the Massachusetts Credit Union League, 640. Once again, the books were distributed to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, such as local YMCA/YWCAs, Head Start Programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Catholic Charities, Family and Children Services Centers, and Big Brother/Big Sister, to name just a few. The agencies that received the books expressed their gratitude and pleasure with the quantity and the quality of the books. Cheryl Trant, assistant vice president, Children’s Aid and Family Services in Fitchburg, stated, “We rely on the community for items such as these, and we are extremely grateful to IC Federal Credit Union that our children will benefit directly from this act of kindness.” Reading is a pathway for youngsters to gain knowledge, to succeed in school, to discover themselves, and to understand the world before them. Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success. However, nearly two-thirds of lowincome families do not own books for their children. Robyn Frost, executive director, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, expressed her appreciation by stating, “The Children’s Book Drive celebrates the value of reading by providing thousands of books that give children hours upon hours of reading to open their imaginations and become inspired. Thank you for recognizing the value of reading and showing children a whole new world. The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless is extremely proud to have the credit unions participating in activities such as the Children’s Book Drive as well as working with us for long term solutions to ending family homelessness.”•

CREDIT UNION VOLUNTEERS BRING ON THE GOLD AT SPECIAL OLYMPICS SUMMER GAMES IN RHODE ISLAND More than 70 volunteers representing eight credit unions and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island spent Friday, May 31, at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI, helping to make the Special Olympics of Rhode Island Summer Games a success. The volunteers were responsible for “clerking” the walking and running events. “Clerking” involves checking athletes in, gathering them into “heats” for their races, and escorting them to the track. This assistance, according to the Special Olympics event organizers, is crucial to the success of the event. Many of the athletes’ families and coaches were enormously appreciative of all the credit union volunteers’ efforts and commented on the wonderful job they do each and every year. This year’s credit union volunteers included employees from Blackstone River Federal Credit Union, Woonsocket, RI; Dexter Credit Union, Central Falls, RI; Navigant Credit Union, Central Falls, RI; Pawtucket Credit Union, Pawtucket, RI; People’s Credit Union, Middletown, RI; Rhode Island Credit Union, Providence, RI; Wave Federal Credit Union, Warwick, RI; and Westerly Community Credit Union, Westerly, RI. On Sunday, June 2, a group of Coventry Credit Union, Coventry, RI, employees, family, and friends volunteered at the Summer Games, working and serving the barbecue lunch to athletes and guests. The credit union has adopted this activity at the Summer Games each year. Throughout the year, the Association hosts a number of events to support the Special Olympics financially, including golf and bowling tournaments, candy sales, and direct fundraising. The Association Board and Social Responsibility Committee thanks all the volunteers who participated in the Special Olympics Rhode Island Summer Games on behalf of the Association and their credit unions.•

Social Responsibility Committee member and

Arthur Paul from People’s Credit Union,

volunteer Kristen Rojas from Pawtucket Credit Union,

Middletown, RI, waits alongside an athlete before

Pawtucket, RI pins an athlete’s number to her jersey

the athlete is called to his track event.

as she prepares for an upcoming track event.

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Credit unions are facing a demographic tsunami of CEO turnover as many in the top post reach retirement age. An estimated 50 percent of today’s credit union CEOs will retire in the next 10 years, creating a domino or ripple effect across the organizational chart that creates new opportunities, but also new challenges for credit union management teams. Credit union members are aging along with CEOs, says Edward Lopes, CEO of Liberty Bay Credit Union in Braintree, MA, who recently moved to his new position from Grafton Suburban Credit Union in North Grafton, Massachusetts. “We either become relevant to more diverse constituencies or we consolidate into a much smaller group of much larger institutions – which incidentally will be pressured over time to raise capital through conversions to stock chartered banks. We need a new style of CEO, focused on broader constituencies and relevance,” he says via e-mail. According to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the average credit union CEO age is 53; it is 55 for CEOs in credit unions with $500 million-plus in assets. That is no surprise considering that the Pew Research Cen16 | centerpoint | fall.2013

ter reports that 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 18 years. In fact, in the U.S., every single hour for the next 18 years, 330 baby boomers will turn 60. In addition to the CEO slot, many credit union vice presidents are also baby boomers. PLANNING FOR THE INEVITABLE These mass departures present challenges beyond the particular institution, even if the CEO and senior management team are well away from retirement age. Any of those individuals may be targeted by another institution in need of talent. The first step is the succession plan. Survey after survey show the importance of engaging key staff. Showing a career path to the role of CEO, CFO,


or vice president of lending or retail, provides employees engagement for both the senior and middle management teams. This strategy could prove to be one of the tools to retain key talent. John O’Brien, CEO of Leominster Credit Union in Leominster, MA, joined that institution in 2007 as senior vice president of lending. He was tapped for the CEO post earlier this year. He says LCU’s succession plan is intended both as an instrument for the board and management to use, and for regulators. Bruce Leighton, the newly appointed CEO of MembersFirst Credit Union of NH, Manchester, had joined the credit union in 2012, and since earlier this year, had been serving in the dual role of CFO and CEO. In ad-

SOME BASIC QUESTIONS: • What are the characteristics, experiences, and leadership traits your credit union needs in a new CEO in order for the institution to not only be viable but to thrive and grow? • Who on staff has the potential to move or grow into this role? • How do you create a real development plan to ensure that growth takes place?

YOU CANNOT JUST DO YOUR BEST AND GO HOME. YOU HAVE TO DELIVER. – EDWARD LOPES, LIBERTY BAY CREDIT UNION, BOSTON, MA dition to his credit union experience, he has also served in the banking industry, at Peoples United in Manchester, NH. Lopes says the squeeze on net interest margins requires financial acumen on the part of a leadership candidate, and that since non-interest income now drives profitability, sales management skill is essential. For the new CEO, he says, technical expertise will be less important than the capacity for organizational development. “The industry has been focused on ‘doing good’. The new focus is on doing ‘enough’ good and being accountable for it. You cannot just do your best and go home. You have to deliver.” CEOs need to lead by example, he says, and coaching is essential. As for the best background for a CEO – whether the

Continued on page 18

fall.2013 | centerpoint | 17

The Domino Effect Continued from page 17

best is from the CFO side or the lending/retail side – there are at least two different sets of opinions. O’Brien says Leominster Credit Union’s last two CEOs, including himself, came from a lending background. “Lending or retail experience is attractive because to be a good CEO, you have to know what’s important to the membership,” he says. “Lenders and retail have that experience. That’s ultimately why we’re here.” In addition to being familiar with general credit union operation and regulatory knowl-

with the client’s board to discuss the qualities they seek in a CEO candidate. “One of the most important things they do is the selection of the CEO,” Hall says. “[To avoid] trouble down the road, the search has to be done comprehensively and well.” Candidates must have the skill set to do the job, but also must possess cultural compatibility, Hall says. “The individual has to have behavior patterns and management style that fits the credit union doing the search.” Higley Hall relies on online resources and also live contacts beyond the circle of references that

LENDING OR RETAIL EXPERIENCE IS ATTRACTIVE BECAUSE TO BE A GOOD CEO, YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO THE MEMBERSHIP. – JOHN O’BRIEN, LEOMINSTER CREDIT UNION, LEOMINSTER, MA edge, and possessing industry knowledge, he says, community experience is important, particularly the ability to work with boards and committees. “You have to enjoy dealing with members, and being the face of your organization,” he says. “Being the face of the organization, that’s vital for a financial institution today. Members want to know who they’re dealing with.” Leighton emphasizes that someone with a CFO background has an understanding of how things work, and what burdens are imposed on the resources of a department or organization by a particular project. Additionally, he says, the candidate has to be able to make good decisions knowing what the impact will be, not only on income or on the balance sheet, but also on the asset/liability risk – for example, determining what level of fixed-rate mortgages to put on the balance sheet. But, he concurs that lenders have the advantage of being out in the community and establishing connections with business. A SEARCH FIRM’S OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE Don Hall is principal of Higley, Hall & Company, a Westborough, MA-based retained search firm that serves credit unions, banks, and trust companies. As such, he meets 18 | centerpoint | fall.2013

candidates provide – contacts willing to share information on a networking level. “Someone could have a good skill set but be a terrible fit as a CEO,” Hall says. “Some credit unions require a strong manager, while others find [that style] unacceptable.” SUCCESSION PLANS Leighton says that drafting a backup plan for vacations and flex time for emergency leaves of personnel can be a building block for a succession plan. “Everyone has personal issues to deal with,” he says. “It goes back to having critical backup. It shouldn’t be a burden when someone has to take a day off, and they shouldn’t feel that they have to work at home at night.” Then there’s what could be called the harder soft skill – the ability to confront poor performers, he adds. “You have to be a motivator, a director, and it has to be done in a very positive manner. You have to have the wherewithal to be able to confront poor performance, and try to bring them along on an improvement plan, [or] cut the cord when you need to.” MembersFirst Credit Union of NH’s succession plan considers both internal and external candidates. As this article was being written, Leighton was in the process of hiring a CFO.

PROMOTING FROM WITHIN For those who make the performance cut, how to keep them? Promoting from within is regarded as the sign of a healthy organization, but it must be presented with balance and care. Liberty Bay’s Lopes says that while his credit union will seek to support every key position with an internal candidate, “that is not a promise of promotion, since we cannot say what the future needs of the credit union will be. But, it means we will have the level of redundancy in place to manage in a crisis and that the people who prove themselves will have standing when executive positions come open.” Leighton says it can be difficult for a small organization to demonstrate a career path for everybody who may wish to advance, but that the credit union’s backup plan makes it easier to promote from within, which not only reduces turnover but lessens the cost of bringing in new employees. O’Brien says that his credit union looks at internal candidates first, then to external sources such as the Massachusetts Credit Union League, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and credit union consultants. Liberty Bay’s Lopes says that while its succession plan is still a work in progress, when complete, it will be structured to support every key position with an internal candidate. What to do when a potential successor jumps ship for an opportunity at another institution? A succession plan also provides for an external search for a new CEO. Even when an institution has groomed for successors, sometimes, when the time comes for that succession to take place, the successor still is not ready or has had another opportunity elsewhere. SEARCH FIRMS Within the credit union industry, there are a number of qualified professionals and firms to conduct an executive search. A credit union needs to consider if the executive search will be national or regional. New England has a wealth of financial-institution talent, and often an executive search can be localized for significantly less than the cost of a national search. The Massachusetts Credit Union League is a valuable resource in this area (see sidebar, facing page). Don Hall of Higley Hall strongly recommends that a board of directors appoint a

search committee, despite the strongly active role his firm takes in candidate screening. When the firm establishes a field of candidates who meet the board’s criteria, it studies resumes and conducts background checks to narrow the field. Those who make the cut are interviewed in Higley Hall’s offices, sometimes for more than one round, and the firm decides which of them should be brought before the full board. Higley Hall personnel are present when the board of directors interviews candidates. COMPENSATION The domino effect of retirements at the top will also reach down into a credit union’s compensation and benefit plans. If it has not already done so, the board of directors needs to define its compensation philosophy. It needs to consider if the salary data it will analyze is local, regional, or national; and this will probably change, depending on the level of the position and the size of the institution. The board needs to consider the impact of banking data on its credit union. Does the board want salaries at industry average? What surveys does it want to utilize? If the board wants salaries to exceed the industry average, at what threshold? And where does the credit union’s benefit package fit into the compensation philosophy? If the dominos are falling, are there retention plans/bonuses or benefits to put into play and for whom? If the CEO or other member of the executive team is not ready to retire, someone else is probably going to tap him/her on the shoulder for a promotional opportunity. If the compensation and benefit package is not robust enough, the lure of that tap on the shoulder could leave the credit union without the talent it needs. Lopes says Liberty Bay uses a third party for compensation analysis, and occasionally compares the results with findings from other parties for quality-assurance purposes. O’Brien credits Leominster Credit Union’s HR department with proactively

studying market surveys and data. Leighton is evaluating the organizational structure of MembersFirst, and paying attention to seniority levels. Of the 45-person staff, seven to eight have been with the credit union for 20 years, and many more staffers are in the seven- to 15-year range. Keeping them motivated, involved in their communities, and happy with their benefits is an ongoing task for any organization. THE CREDIT UNION LEADERSHIP OF THE FUTURE Hall says that in his experience in the financial executive search arena, he has seen the demographics of credit unions changing, most notably in the last decade with the crossover from banks to credit unions among seasoned executives. “Credit unions are very attractive to bankers,” he says. In the last several credit union CEO searches Higley Hall conducted, there were as many candidates from banks as from credit unions. The image of the staid, stolid credit union is indeed changing, as is evidenced by the work histories of the three CEOs we interviewed for this article. Members’ expectations are changing, too. Add to that, the challenges affecting credit unions in a slowly recovering economy and the need to attract and retain talent is more important than it has ever been.  •

BEVERLY PURTELL, senior vice president of human resource management, brings extensive executive search expertise to the League. For a number of years, she managed her own HR consulting practice and then joined HRValue Group, a consulting firm to the credit union industry, as a principal consultant. During her tenure at the League, she has successfully conducted over 20 CEO and other C-level searches. In addition to her executive search and recruiting functions, Beverly works with boards and CEOs to create succession plans, compensation plans, and CEO performance management tools. fall.2013 | centerpoint | 19


Credit unions compete with banks and other businesses for managerial talent, but as memberowned corporations credit unions do not have stock that can be offered as an incentive to recruit and retain key executives. This disadvantage often can be overcome if the credit union adopts an individualized supplemental compensation arrangement for its key personnel, beyond those basic ERISA-qualified benefit plans that are made available to employees broadly. The most common of these “top hat” plans are funded and unfunded deferred compensation/supplemental retirement plans. This article considers such arrangements.

FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS AND STATE CHARTERS HAVING BROAD PARITY POWERS WILL ENJOY THE GREATEST LEGAL FLEXIBILITY IN CREATING TOP HAT PLANS AND ANY ASSOCIATED PRE-FUNDING EXPANDED INVESTMENT PROGRAMS. KEY ISSUES IN TOP HAT PLAN SELECTION 1. To Fund or Not to Fund. A basic issue is whether to adopt a plan that requires current funding. Advantages of current funding include (i) from the executive’s perspective, the amount and availability of the eventual benefit is less likely to depend on the credit union’s financial health on the future payout date(s), 20 | centerpoint | fall.2013

but instead will turn on how well a third party expert invests the currently contributed money. Where a credit union provides an unfunded top hat plan, such as a 457(f ) plan or a promised severance payout, the covered executive will be at risk, potentially for an extended period, that he or she may have to compete for payment with other unsecured creditors of the credit union, and also that a regulator (most

likely the National Credit Union Administration [NCUA] as conservator or under its “golden parachute” rule) will order the benefit payout reduced, delayed, or even cancelled if the credit union is insolvent or otherwise in troubled condition at the time the payout is owed; and (ii) from the credit union’s perspective, currently funded plans will cost less on an all-in basis than unfunded arrangements, assuming the ongoing plan contributions earn a net investment return above the credit union’s own return on assets, which in this persistently low interest rate environment seems a good bet. On the other hand, advantages of not currently funding a key executive plan include (a) no current demands on credit union assets, making the arrangement financially less burdensome, in its early years, (b) retention by the credit union of flexibility as to when and how to make formally unrelated investments to fund the payout, including the increasingly popular approach of “pre-funding,” described in paragraph #8 below, and (c) the potential for lesser regulatory scrutiny of unfunded arrangements (discussed below in paragraph #7). 2. Taxable or Non-Taxable Payout. Depending on the type of plan selected, the eventual payout to the executive will be taxable or not. In general, any arrangement that results in a compensation payment will be taxable to the executive, typically in the year paid. Taxable arrangements include a 457(b) savings or 457(f ) unfunded deferred compensation plan, as well as a fixed/formula or discretionary bonus or severance arrangements, including socalled Section 162 salary continuation plans. Non-taxable arrangements are most commonly “collateral assignment split dollar” (CASD) plans funded by life insurance policies owned

by the executive and paid for by the credit union by making premium payments (treated as loans to the executive), where the payout takes the form of non-taxable loans against the policy rather than a taxable compensation payment. CASD plans do, however, involve the potential for interim income taxation to the covered executive on any amount of imputed but unpaid interest accruing on the premiums paid, though many credit unions cushion this carrying cost with added bonuses or by allowing the executive to borrow the annual tax cost from the growing cash value of the policy itself. 3. Protection from Credit Union Creditors. Many top hat plans will subject the executive to the risk that if the credit union is in financial trouble when the payout is due, the executive will have to compete with other claimants against the credit union’s assets. And because top hat plan payouts will be unsecured obligations, the affected executive will rank down the list of creditors when it comes to sharing whatever assets are left after secured and senior unsecured claims have been paid. CASD plans (at least when all required premiums have been paid), however, are insulated from credit union financial troubles because

the funding source, the life insurance policy, is owned directly by the executive and the benefit is payable by the independent life insurer and not the credit union. In CASD plans, the credit union retains a lien on the policy to ensure eventual repayment of all premiums paid and in many cases also interest the credit union elects to charge on the premiums. 4. Protection from Regulator Action to Prevent Payout. Whether under the NCUA’s authority as conservator/liquidator, or its separate “golden parachute” rule (NCUA Rule 750), if when the top hat benefit is payable the credit union is insolvent, under conservatorship or otherwise in “troubled condition” – defined to include a 4 or 5 Camel rating or receipt of special NCUA financial assistance – the executive might find its claim to any benefit being delayed, reduced, or even voided. This is less true of long-established deferred compensation plans, but more likely true of discretionary severance benefits or bonuses authorized within 12 months of the onset of the credit union’s woes. Certain top hat plans are exempt from the risk of regulatory interference at the time of payout, including CASD plans (because the benefits are paid not by the credit union, but by the issuer of the insurance policies).

5. Cost of the Plan to the Credit Union. Another consideration in deciding what type of top hat plan to provide is the likely all-in cost to the credit union. Unfunded plans, such as 457(f ) deferred compensation arrangements, or bonus or severance plans, will ultimately cost the credit union the full amount payable, less income the credit union earns on whatever investments it makes to hedge the cost of the benefit, leaving the credit union with an unknown future net cost. By contrast, a CASD plan is likely to cost the credit union little or nothing on an out-of-pocket, all-in basis, since at or before the executive’s death all premiums will be repaid to the credit union, plus any interest the credit union charged on its premium loans; however, a CASD plan typically involves the long-term investment of substantial amounts, so that those funds paid as policy premiums will not be available for lending and other uses. A recent development further reducing the effective cost of CASD plans are special deposit accounts offered by some insurers, which allow credit unions to make a lump sum payment, which earns a favorable interest rate, further reducing the effective premium Continued on page 22

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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION continued from page 21

cost by as much as 10% while preserving the credit union’s first lien on the account and the insurance policy. 6. Regulatory Issues for a Top Hat Plan – Federal Credit Unions. Under NCUA rule

requires affirmative action by the regulator after submission of a fairly substantial application describing the proposed plan, its cost, implications for credit union earnings and capital and the internal governance process that resulted in the decision to offer the plan. In other states (such as New Hampshire), the process is more streamlined (a notice versus an

AS A MATTER OF GOOD GOVERNANCE (AND IN SOME PLACES REGULATOR INSISTENCE) THERE ALSO IS EMPHASIS ON ASSURING THAT THE CREDIT UNION’S MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTORS HAVE DONE THEIR DUE DILIGENCE AND ARE AWARE OF THE DETAILS OF THE PLAN. 701.19, top hat plans of any type can be offered by federal credit unions, and they can be funded in any manner, including insurance policies, mutual funds, and publicly traded domestic and foreign equity and debt securities, subject to the bedrock conditions that the cost of the benefit for all covered executives must be reasonable in relation to the credit union’s condition and resources, and the amount of the benefit for each executive must be reasonable in relation to the person’s duties and overall compensation (most plans aim at up to 70% employment income replacement, taking into account other anticipated retirement benefits, including social security, 401Ks, and any other ERISA plans). Advance approval of top hat plans for federal credit union executives is not required (or possible) and oversight will take place as part of ongoing examinations under safety and soundness criteria. 7. Regulatory Issues for a Top Hat Plan – State Credit Unions. State regulation of top hat plans naturally presents a more varied landscape. Nevertheless, some general observations can be offered as to the current state of legal regulation of top hat plans offered by state-chartered credit unions. First, those states with broad parity powers (such as Rhode Island) generally will permit such plans with no prior approval or notice process and only ongoing safety and soundness review. Second, a number of states do require prior approval of top hat plans (at least those with dedicated current funding), and in some of those states (such as Massachusetts) approval 22 | centerpoint | fall.2013

application) and approval is automatic unless the regulator issues a timely denial or request for additional information. Third, in some states where top hat plans require prior approval, there appears to be a growing focus on the magnitude and duration of the investment to fund the arrangement, measured against credit union assets and net worth (some states have cited 25% of net worth as a benchmark on total credit union investment in funded top hat plans, but this appears to be a soft rather than a hard cap, especially for smaller credit unions). Of course, as a matter of good governance (and in some places regulator insistence) there also is emphasis on assuring that the credit union’s management and directors have done their due diligence and are aware of the details of the plan, including structure, cost, benefits, and the nature and health of any third party funding mechanism, be that the issuer of a life insurance policy or an independent investment adviser managing the monies intended to fund the plan. It is not clear at this point whether there is or will be the same degree of regulatory scrutiny of formally unfunded arrangements (such as 457(f ) plans). In principle, there ought to be the same focus on unfunded plans since the all-in cost of unfunded arrangements likely will exceed those of currently funded plans, and by their nature, unfunded arrangements can accrue substantial obligations for which no adequate provision for payment is made, creating a threat to future earnings and capital. Insofar as state regulation of top hat plans is all over the map, it is essen-

tial that any state charter considering a top hat plan of any kind consult with legal counsel familiar with the relevant rules. 8. Pre-Funding Employee Benefit Costs. An increasingly popular means of helping fund the rising cost of all employee benefits, from broad-based ERISA-qualified plans to individual top hat plans, is “pre-funding,” whereby credit unions are able to make investments outside the tight universe of “legal investments” where those investments are effectively dedicated to defray the cost of employee benefits, broadly defined. Pre-funding is available automatically to all federal credit unions (under NCUA Rule 701.19) and to state charters in some states, while in others (including Massachusetts) prior approval is needed. While CASD plans effectively pay for themselves over time, other top hat plans do not and therefore are likely to require offsetting investments that yield far above the return on assets currently achieved by most credit unions. Pre-funding allows credit unions to access professionally managed, diversified portfolios designed for credit unions, including mutual funds, REITs, domestic and offshore debt and equity issues as well as certain alternative investments, including insurance policies, that can close the gap between rising benefit costs and credit union income. Again, board and management due diligence is key, including checking on the pre-funding experience of other credit unions of comparable size and condition. 9. Accounting Issues. Evolving FASB/ GAAP rules also need to be taken into consideration when choosing a top hat plan. Different plans will have varying financial statement effect. Unfunded long-term plans generally will require accretion of the payout amount in increments over time, resulting in recurring charges to income and a growing liability, while a CASD plan with full recourse loans to the executive and assurance of payment of all premiums prior to the executive’s retirement will usually be reflected as offsetting cash and asset entries, with no net charge against income or capital. Discretionary bonuses or severance payments, of course, will be expenses in the year accrued, which typically but not always will be the year actually paid. 10. Pitfalls-When Things Go Wrong. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss comprehensively how things can go wrong with top hat plans and what happens if they do. All that is fact-specific. Suffice it to say that executives whose employment ends before they have vested in much if any of their long-term

benefit obviously will suffer the associated financial loss, and the premature end of certain types of long-term plans also can have other adverse consequences for employer and/or executive depending upon the details, including unanticipated taxes and/or burdensome loan repayment obligations. In our practical experience, however, most of these theoretical risks are just that – theoretical. Proper planning and intelligent response to unanticipated scenarios should mitigate or avoid these potential problems. One word to the wise, however – executives covered by a long-term top hat plan with substantial eventual benefits should consult with their own advisors to carefully consider the potential financial and tax implications to them of leaving their employment before their benefits have fully vested; assuming that their benefit arrangements will somehow follow them unimpaired to their new employer is unwise. Given the competition for top managerial talent, credit unions will continue to offer a variety of individualized top hat plans for key executives, tailored to the specific needs and objectives of employer and executive. Plans can be structured that require current dedicated funding or that allow the credit union

to address its eventual obligations on a flexible or even purely pay as you go basis. Plan benefits can be made taxable or non-taxable to the covered employee, benefits can be tied to vesting schedules and scenarios where vested plan benefits are lost in certain extreme situations (such as where the executive is fired for defined cause), and currently funded plans can

in other states will face a variety of hurdles, including upfront reviews of varying scope (Massachusetts, for instance, imposing a demanding prior approval process for all top hat plans with dedicated funding). And all credit unions must upon examination be able to justify whatever plans they adopt against familiar safety and soundness criteria of reasonable-

UNDER NCUA RULE 701.19, TOP HAT PLANS OF ANY TYPE CAN BE OFFERED BY FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS, AND THEY CAN BE FUNDED IN ANY MANNER. be structured with eventual full out-of-pocket cost recovery by the credit union or which involve little or no upfront cost but which in the end involve a substantial net cash outlay. Federal credit unions and state charters having broad parity powers will enjoy the greatest legal flexibility in creating top hat plans and any associated pre-funding expanded investment programs, while domestic credit unions

ness, affordability, and ongoing oversight and risk management of the funding mechanism.• Steven Eimert is a partner and chair of the credit union practice at Sherin and Lodgen LLP of Boston, an Associate Member of the League. Michael Sullivan (a lawyer and CPA) is a partner and member of the credit union practice at Sherin and Lodgen LLP..

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New Officers Elected at Greylock Federal Credit Union At their organizational meeting following the Greylock Annual Meeting on March 19, the Greylock Federal Credit Union, Pittsfield, MA, board of directors elected three new officers for the positions of chairman, vice chairman, and clerk/treasurer, for one-year terms. Newly elected board chairman is Gerard E. Burke. Burke has been a member of the board since 1999, and during the past 14 years, has served on a number Gerard E. Burke of board committees. He is president/CEO of Hillcrest Educational Centers and holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Fitchburg State University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Anna Maria College, and a master’s of business administration from Western New England College. Burke’s community involvement includes membership in both the Massachusetts and Berkshire Business Roundtables and recent service as board chairman of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. A Pittsfield resident, he is also a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Approved 766 Private Schools, the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, and 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance. Ann B. Deely was elected as board vice Ann B. Deely chairman. She joined

the board in 2010 and serves on several board committees. An attorney, she is a partner with Deely & Deely in Lee, and is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, additionally holding a bachelor’s degree in business management from Pine Manor College. Deely is a member of the Berkshire and Massachusetts Bar Associations and is a Massachusetts Bar Foundation Life Fellow. Her community involvement is extensive having served with the Lee Youth Association, the Lee Planning Board, Berkshire United Way, and the Lee High School Building Committee. She is past legal advisor for Community Television of Southern Berkshire County, and the Lee VNA Ethics Commission. Stanley B. Walczyk was elected to the office of clerk/treasurer. He began his tenure with the Greylock board in 2011 and serves on several board committees. He is Stanley B. Walczyk the owner and president of O’Laughlin’s Home Care Pharmacy and Medical Equipment in Dalton and is a graduate of Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Walzyk is active in many pharmaceutical organizations including the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy, the Massachusetts Pharmacist Association, and the National Association of Retail Druggists. He was president of the Board of Pharmacy in 2011, serving from 2008 to 2011 as a member appointed by Governor Deval Patrick. A resident of Dalton, he also serves his community through

In Memoriam John S. “Mitch” Mitchell, age 84, of Fall River, MA, passed away on April 7. Mitchell was a dedicated board member of the Southern Mass Credit Union (SMCU) for over 25 years. He served on various committees throughout his tenure on the board. In reflecting on Mitchell’s service to SMCU, Board Chairman David S. Darmofal and CEO Daniel E. Waltz stated, “John will be truly missed as a valued board member of Southern Mass Credit Union. He was an excellent Audit Committee member. He represented the membership extremely well, especially the members from the greater Fall River Community. He was instrumental in the research of a location for a full service office of the credit union in Fall River. We will miss John’s insight and expertise greatly.” The League Board of Directors and staff offer their condolences to the Mitchell family.

the Dalton Rotary Club and the Degree Knights of Columbus, and is past chairman of the St. Agnes Parish Council. Rounding out the 11-member volunteer board of directors are Angelo Borsello, Jr., Elizabeth R. Costley, Richard A. DeFazio, J. Paul Dube, Sheila LaBarbera, Anthony J. Rinaldi, Jr., Alfred L. Shogry, and Marilyn L. Sperling. Greylock President and CEO Marilyn L. Sperling said, “On behalf of the board, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our past officers, especially to our immediate past chair Sheila LaBarbera. Sheila guided Greylock through some difficult times and we all appreciate her leadership during these past four years.”

Leominster Credit Union Elects New Officers

Front row: Anthony Gasbarro, chairman; and Michael Sauvageau, vice chairman. Back row: Joyce LaFleur, assistant treasurer; Giulio Greco, treasurer; and Nancy Graves, clerk.

Following the Leominster Credit Union (LCU), Leominster, MA, Annual Meeting in April, the board of directors met and elected officers for 2012-2013: Anthony A. Gasbarro was elected to the office of chairman of the board. He is a Leominster resident and has been on the board since 2003. Gasbarro also serves on LCU’s Executive, Audit, Investment, Compensation, and Advisory Board committees. Gasbarro succeeds Amedeo E. Bilotta as chairman of the board. Michael J. Sauvageau was elected vice chairman. He currently serves on the Executive, Audit, and Investment committees. He has served Continued on page 26

24 | centerpoint | fall.2013


on Leominster Credit Union’s board of directors since 2007 and resides in Fitchburg. Giulio G. Greco, who is a past chairman of the board, was elected treasurer. He serves on the Executive, Audit, and Advisory Board committees. Greco is a lifelong resident of Leominster. Joyce A. LaFleur was elected assistant treasurer. LaFleur joined the Leominster Credit Union board of directors in 2007. LaFleur resides in Leominster and prior to her joining the board of LCU, she was a member of LCU’s Advisory Board. LaFleur sits on the Executive, Credit, Compensation, and Advisory Board committees. Nancy L. Graves was elected to the position of clerk. Graves serves on the Executive, Credit, Compensation, and Advisory committees. She is a Leominster resident and has served on the LCU board of directors since 2004.

IC Federal Credit Union Board Elects New Chair and Vice Chair

in higher education; and 10 years in manufacturing. She holds a J.D. from Western New England University, School of Law; a M.Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School; and a B.A. from Boston College. Norman P. Gariepy was first elected to the board of directors in 1986. He served as chairman of the Supervisory Committee from 1998 to 2004 and is currently chairman of the ALM/Investment Committee. He also recently served on the CEO Search committee. A self-employed CPA, Gariepy has maintained a practice in Leominster since 1984. He established a small digital printing and copying business in Devens, MA, in 2010 to serve the needs of the many businesses that have moved to the former Fort Devens site. He earned a B.S. in computer science from WPI in 1976, followed by a M.S. in accounting from Northeastern University in 1977. President and CEO Tony Emerson said, “I welcome the opportunity to work closely with Mary and Norman, and I would also like to thank our outgoing chairman, Kenneth V. Stone, Jr., for his dedication and leadership over the past five years.”

Grigg-Saito Elected to Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union Board of Directors

Mary E. Scott, Esq., and Norman P. Gariepy

The board of directors of IC Federal Credit Union, Fitchburg, MA, recently elected Mary E. Scott, Esq., and Norman P. Gariepy chairperson and vice chairman, respectively. Scott was first elected to the board of directors of IC Federal Credit Union in 1994. For the past five years she served as vice chairperson of the board and chairperson of the Executive Committee. Prior to her role on the board, she served the credit union as a member of the Supervisory Committee for five years. She is employed by Quincy College, Quincy, MA, as vice president for human resources. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a human resources professional; 20 years working 26 | centerpoint | fall.2013

Richard P. Viau, chairman of the board of directors of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Lowell, MA, recently announced the election of a new member to the board of Dorcas Grigg-Saito directors. Dorcas GriggSaito, chief executive officer of the Lowell Community Health Center, accepted her seat on the board in May. Grigg-Saito earned a graduate degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in physical therapy from the University of North Carolina. “We are very pleased to have Dorcas GriggSaito as a member of the board,” said Mark S. Cochran, president and chief executive officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “She brings

extensive management experience as well as a tremendous understanding of the community.” Earlier this year, Grigg-Saito was selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as one of the Commonwealth’s Unsung Heroines of 2013. She received the Paul Tsongas Award for Exemplary Community Service in 2012 and was selected as the Community Health Center Leader of the Year by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in 2004.

People’s Credit Union President and CEO Ford Recognized for Career Achievement On May 30, Ellen Ford, president and CEO of People’s Credit Union, Middletown, RI, received the Career Achievement Award at the Providence Business Ellen Ford News’ sixth annual Business Women Awards program. She was joined at the awards luncheon at the Providence Marriott by many of her fellow credit union CEOs and officials from around Rhode Island along with representatives from the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island and many other well wishers. Ford was singled out for this honor by virtue of the exceptional work she has done over the course of a 30-year career at People’s Credit Union. She began that career as a teller, later becoming the credit union’s CFO before being named president 12 years ago. The award recognizes the fact that Ellen has been at the helm of a large, successful credit union that has established a well-deserved reputation for providing outstanding service to its members as well as the larger community. In an article that appeared in a special section on the Business Women Awards of the Providence Business News, reference was made to the many member and community service awards that the credit union has won over the years. The board of directors of the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island extends its sincere congratulations to Ellen on behalf of the entire Rhode Island credit union community.

Leominster Credit Union Appoints John J. O’Brien President and CEO The board of directors of Leominster Credit Union (LCU), Leominster, MA, has appointed John J. O’Brien president and CEO. O’Brien joined LCU John J. O’Brien in 2007 as senior vice president of lending, where he was responsible for the credit union’s real estate, consumer, and indirect lending programs, as well as its loan servicing and collections operations. O’Brien has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and previously worked in operations, sales, and planning capacities at Household International, and HSBC after it acquired Household. “The board is extremely pleased with the appointment of John O’Brien as president and CEO,” said Anthony A. Gasbarro, chairman of the board. “By selecting a candidate of John’s caliber from inside the credit union, not only did we find someone with great leadership and management skills, but one who knows the organization very well.” “I am truly honored to have been named as president and CEO of such a great institution as Leominster Credit Union,” said O’Brien. “Over the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with an outstanding team who is truly dedicated to making the credit union the best it can be. I believe that, because of this talented and committed staff, my transition to president and CEO will be virtually seamless to the members and communities we serve.” In addition to his service to his hometown, O’Brien has also been a member of the North Central and Worcester Chambers of Commerce, North Central Chamber Golf Scholarship Fundraising Committee, and the Steering Committee of the New England Credit Union Services Lending Council. O’Brien served for four years in the United States Air Force, and attended the University of Maryland, Holyoke Community College, and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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Triangle President/CEO Appointed to WOCCU Leadership Development Committee Maurice D. Simard, Jr., president/CEO of Triangle Credit Union, Nashua, NH, has recently been appointed to the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) by Maurice D. Simard, Jr. the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Simard, who has served as president of Triangle since 1986, will serve on the World Leadership Development Committee for the WOCCU. During his 27-year tenure at Triangle, the credit union has grown from 5,400 members, $28 million in assets, and 10 employees, to today’s 40,000 members, $500 million in assets, and 151 employees. While serving with the WOCCU, Simard will lend his expertise on how to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities that credit unions face on an international scale and help fortify the credit union movement internationally. For more than 40 years, WOCCU and its members have been making a world of difference by improving people’s lives through credit unions, by raising awareness of the international credit union system, and communicating with leaders to further the understanding of credit unions and their worldwide benefits. The organization facilitates the exchange of knowledge, information, and best practices in operations between credit union movements. The WOCCU is associated with credit union cooperatives, federations, and associations in 35 countries and has completed credit union development projects in 71 nations, rang-

ing from Afghanistan and Bolivia, to Kenya and Uzbekistan. Simard, then serving as a Moderator for one of the Educational Sessions at the WOCCU’s Annual Conference in 2012, noted, “I am both honored and excited to have been asked to serve in this capacity, and grateful for the opportunity it affords me, as a representative of Triangle Credit Union, to contribute at the world council level in making a difference in people’s lives.”

Worcester Credit Union CEO Named Chair of Worcester Regional Research Bureau At the Annual Meeting of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) on June 5, Karen Duffy, president and CEO of Worcester Credit Union (WCU), Karen Duffy Worcester, MA, was elected chairman of the board. Duffy replaces past chairman Michael Mulrain, CFO of Polar Beverages. The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts research about public policy issues of concern to the greater Worcester region. The WRRB has prepared hundreds of research reports in areas ranging from municipal finance and economic development to public administration and public education. These reports are used to help promote informed public debate and influence the decision-making of political officials. WRRB also hosts forums and addresses civic organizations, community groups, and participates in appointed task forces and commissions. Appointed to the WRRB Board in 2007,

In Memoriam Lucille M. (Parthenais) Sullivan, age 89, of Chelmsford, passed away in May. Lucille Sullivan was the retired president of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. Sullivan began her career fresh out of high school, as a part-time bookkeeper for a community bank in 1941. Growing in responsibilities in financial management, she became the first full-time employee of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union as treasurer in 1975. She became the first woman president of any financial institution in Massachusetts in 1987 and she retired in 1990. The board of directors and staff of the League extend their most sincere sympathies to the Sullivan family. 28 | centerpoint | fall.2013

Duffy has been a member of its Executive Committee since 2010 and has also been chairman of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Committee since 2010. “Karen was nominated by her peers on The Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s Executive Committee to serve as chairman of the board because of her years of valuable service heading the Green Public Service Awards and for holding the vice chairman’s position,” said Roberta R. Schaefer, Ph.D., president, WRRB. “Karen is a strong advocate of the bureau’s mission of providing independent, non-partisan research and education to promote informed public debate and decision-making and I look forward to working with Karen to make the greater Worcester region a better place to live and work.” “I am honored to have been elected to the position of chair of the board of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau,” Duffy said. “The organization has demonstrated a deep commitment to the community for almost 30 years by providing comprehensive reports and information on timely subjects to the residents of greater Worcester, a commitment Worcester Credit Union shares.” The credit union has shared, and continues to share, its financial acumen with a variety of nonprofit organizations through specialized financial literacy programs throughout the Worcester region that include: Worcester’s Veterans Inc. program; Worcester Community Action Council, Inc.; Guild of St. Agnes; Girls Choice; Worcester Technical High School; and Flagg Street School. Duffy is the past president of the Worcester Community Housing Resources, Inc. (WCHR), a private not-for-profit organization whose mission is to create and preserve affordable housing opportunities for low to moderate income households. The non-profit also initiates and supports neighborhood revitalization in the greater Worcester area. In addition, she was the treasurer of Worcester Educational Development Foundation for five years; is a current board member and the former Chairman of the Board for the Massachusetts Credit Union League; and Treasurer of the Quinsigamond Rowing Association. Duffy is also a Corporator for the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, where she assists in


grant evaluations and requests for nonprofit programs in Worcester County.

MembersFirst Credit Union Board of Directors Promotes Leighton to President/CEO Bruce Leighton has been appointed as the new president/CEO of the Members First Credit Union of New Hampshire, headquartered in Manchester, NH. Bruce Leighton Leighton has been serving in a dual role as CEO/CFO since earlier this year. He joined MembersFirst in 2012, with over 30 years of banking and credit union experience, including senior executive level positions at People’s United Bank in Portsmouth, NH, and St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union in Manchester. “The board of directors is delighted to name Bruce as president and chief executive officer of MembersFirst Credit Union,” said Dave M. Wihby, chairman of the board of directors of MembersFirst. “Bruce has proven himself as a highly skilled credit union executive, an effective leader, and someone who understands the needs of our members and the communities we serve. With his experience and vision, he will lead us to a new and exciting chapter in the credit union’s history.”

Workers Credit Union’s Doolin Elected to American Red Cross Board Jack Doolin, senior vice president of human resources for Workers’ Credit Union, Fitchburg, MA, has been elected to the American Red Cross of Central MassachuJack Doolin setts’ board of directors. Doolin, of Marlborough, is also chairman of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce College Scholarship Committee, which he has led for the past 10 years. He serves on the board of the New England Council of the Credit Union Executive Society as well.

The American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts is a volunteer-dependent organization that serves 69 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts. The mission of the American Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Among its core services are blood services programs, providing onsite and follow-up emergency response services to disasters of all types that affect individuals and families, and providing training programs for individuals interested in health service occupations.


St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union Names Scheiner VP and Commercial Loan Officer St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union, Manchester, NH, has named Steven Scheiner vice president and commercial loan officer. His duties include originating new Steven Scheiner commercial loans, managing an existing loan portfolio, and supporting the financial needs of business members. Scheiner, who most recently was vice president and business banking officer at People’s United Bank, will report to Don St. Germain, St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union executive vice president and chief lending officer. “Steven comes to us with years of experience in business lending and retail banking,” said St. Germain. “In addition to his proven record of assisting local businesses, Steven is also very active in the community, volunteering his time for several organizations. He will be a great addition to our team.” Scheiner’s previous positions include vice president and business banking at Ocean Bank-People’s United Bank, and assistant vice president and branch manager at Citizens Bank New Hampshire. A resident of Pembroke, he is active in the Greater Manchester community. He currently serves on the board of directors of The Caregivers, as well as on the board of directors of Manchester Crimeline. He is a member of the Manchester Kiwanis Club and is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Greater Manchester. •

A publication of the Massachusetts Credit Union League, New Hampshire Credit Union League and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island



fall.2013 | centerpoint | 29


Special Events CONFERENCES AND CONVENTIONS Fall Leadership Conference October 25-27..... Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH Small Credit Union Conference & Fiserv/CUSA Product Line Users Group Meeting November 3-5...............................The Viking Hotel, Newport, RI

Networks COMPLIANCE NETWORK Compliance Network Meeting September 24.................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA December 11..................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA All Network Event October 24........................ Double Tree Hotel, Westborough, MA National CUNA Economist, Mike Schenk

Seminars and Schools CFPB Mortgage Rules September 10.............................Double Tree Hotel, Milford, MA 2013 BSA Update September 17................................... Angelica’s, Middleton, MA November 20..................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA Credit Union Employee Boot Camp September 18.................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA November 13..................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA Consumer Lending Basics September 26.................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA IRA Essentials, October 8........................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA IRA Advanced October 9........................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA Account Essentials October 16......................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA Developing Great Managers – Part I of III October 22......................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA Developing Great Managers – Part II of III November 12..................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA Financial Educator Meeting December 5....................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA

Developing Great Managers – Part III of III December 10..................Credit Union Center, Marlborough, MA

Dealing with Adverse Action: What to Do & When to Do It October 23

Webinar and Webcast Sessions

HMDA Solutions: Achieving Data Integrity for Effective Fair Lending Analysis October 24

Putting the “Credit” Back in Credit Unions: Making Loans Members Want September 4 Garnishment Rules: Including Accounts Receiving Federal Benefit Payments September 5 Frontline Excellence Series: Detecting Counterfeit Items & Fraudulent ID September 11

Critical Risk Factors in Loan Portfolio Management October 29 Simplifying the Compliance Function October 30 UDAAP: Civil Money Penalties & Examiners’ Findings on Unfair, Deceptive, Abusive Acts November 5

Handling Member Credit Report Disputes September 12

Call Reports: What to Look for, Entering Information & Why It’s Important November 6

Directors & Financial Literacy Session II: Monitoring & Measuring the 9 Risks Your CU Faces September 17

Frontline Excellence Series: Advanced Endorsement Issues: POAs, Businesses, Trusts & More November 7

Mandatory Compliance Series: Compliance Rules Deposit Operations Must Know September 18

Managing IRA Beneficiary Designations & Distributions November 12

Skip Tracing Tools & Techniques September 19

Mobile Payments for Credit Unions: Impacts, Choices & What to Do Next November 13

Advanced Facebook Strategies for Credit Unions September 24

Indirect Lending: Risks, Rewards, Controls & Common Mistakes November 14

Conducting the 2013 ACH Audit September 25

Fair Labor Standards Act: Sorting the Dos & Don’ts of Exempt & Non-Exempt Pay Issues November 19

Consumer Debt Resolution Series: Advanced Bankruptcy Issues October 1 From Prospect to Member: Skills & Tools for Successful Business Development October 2 Director Series: Documenting Your Strategic Plan Years 1, 3 & 5: October 8 Electronic & Hard-Copy Records: What to Keep, What to Destroy, What Holds Up in Court October 9 Conducting an HR Audit: Compliance Risks, Audit Areas & Best Practices October 16

Form 1099 Reporting: Third-Party Vendors, Foreclosures, Debt Forgiveness & More November 21 Compliance Update on Nonresident Alien Accounts: Opening, Tax ID Numbers, IRS Issues & More November 26 Consumer Debt Resolution Series: Avoiding Liability in the Collection Process December 3 Cracking the Code on Risk-Based Examinations: 10 Techniques to Ace Your Next Exam December 5 Managing Day-to-Day ACH Risk December 10 Documenting Your Required Information Security Program December 11 12 Steps to Effective Expense Control December 12

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Regulation E vs. ACH Rules: Which One Prevails? December 17 Director Series: Top 10 Questions Board Members Need to Ask Now December 18


ONE-HOUR TELEPHONE CONFERENCING The Art of Skip Tracing (90 Minutes)............... September 10 Business Continuity Regulations & Examiner Expectations.................................. October 24 Identity Theft..................................................December 17

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CenterPoint Fall 2013  
CenterPoint Fall 2013  

In this issue: Addressing executive compensation; annual meetings coverage; charitable records surpassed.