UNCUA ХХVІІ Annual Meeting
Cooperation among Cooperatives
in Support of the Ukrainian Community
The Ukrainian American credit union movement in the United States has been growing strong for over half a century, providing wealth-building services to its members and assisting in the growth of Ukrainian community organizations. Since 1957 the credit unions have been working together to enhance their activities.
The Ukrainian National Credit Union Association (UNCUA) held its XXVII Annual Meeting June 5-7, 2008 in New Jersey. Some 50 representatives of 14 Ukrainian American credit unions gathered to discuss issues facing the credit unions, plans for future development and to elect a new board of directors.
Thursday’s activities included a round table discussion on the current status and future prospects for development of Ukrainian credit unions in the US. The discussion was moderated by Walter Kozicky (BOD chair, SUMA-Yonkers FCU), with the assistance of Jaroslaw Fedun (BOD chair, Selfreliance-New Jersey) and Orest Liscynesky (CEO, Selfreliance- Cleveland). The day concluded with a reception for conference attendees.
Day two began with a welcome by Mary Kolodij (BOD chair, Selfreliance-Philadelphia), whose credit union hosted this year’s conference. Bohdan Watral, UNCUA BOD chair (CEO, Selfreliance-Chicago) introduced the panel of presenters, andBohdan Kekish, chairman of the World Council of Ukrainian Cooperatives (BOD chair, Selfreliance-NY) reminded participants that the IX Conference of WCUC would be held August 20th inKyiv, Ukraine. Paul Gentile, President/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League greeted the Ukrainian credit union leaders attending the conference and congratulated them on their achievements. Victor Nikitiuk, Deputy Chief of Mission of theEmbassy of Ukraine in the United States thanked UNCUA for its continued involvement with and support of the growing credit union movement in Ukraine.
Presentations on topics of interest to the credit union leaders followed.
Bob Hoel, PhD and Filene Fellow, a leader of the Filene Research Institute in Madison, WI spoke to the topic: “What your members and potential members really want.” He identified the various issues being discussed by fellows of the institute and their findings on the most effective means of growing credit union membership, especially various methods of attracting young professionals to credit unions.
John McKechnie of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) addressed the topic of “How credit unions are faring during the mortgage and credit crisis” and spoke of NCUA activities on Capitol Hill. He emphasized the need for credit union leaders to maintain close ties with their local government representatives, to increase awareness of the credit union advantage.
Peter Duffy of Sandler O’Neill (NY) spoke on the current economic situation in the US and its affect on credit unions and conducted an exercise with attendees, proposing a model for future growth in Ukrainian American credit unions.
Marina Kats, Esq., a candidate to the US Senate from the state of Pennsylvania and a member of the Ukrainian “fourth wave” of immigrants, informed participants of her belief that as a member of the US Senate she will be able to act as an advocate for Ukrainian American credit unions and for strengthening US ties with Ukraine.
Kenneth Otsuka of CUNA Mutual engaged the audience in a discussion of crisis management within credit unions, initiated by his presentation on the “New RED Flag Rules & Regulations – FACT Act Provisions for 2008.”
Ronald Koza of Members United FCU spoke on the financial situation of credit unions in the US and provided an economic overview of future growth.
William Klewin of CUNA Mutual stressed the need for credit unions to attract the youth of “Generation Y” as members, to ensure their future existence and growth.
Steve Goldberg of CUNA Mutual conducted a wrap-up exercise for the credit union leaders, encouraging them to think ahead and to plan for continued growth.
UNCUA conducted its annual general meeting of membership on Saturday, with reports by outgoing board members and election of new representatives to leadership positions. UNCUA Board chair Bohdan Watral and President Orysia Burdiak reported on the current status of UNCUA. As of December 31, 2007, assets of the seventeen UNCUA member credit unions totaled $2.146 billion, with reserves and undivided earnings totaling $344 million. Member deposits totaled $1.777 billion, with $1.360 billion total loans issued in 2007. 107,566 individuals are members of Ukrainian American credit unions in the US. Ukrainian American credit unions contributed over $3 million in support of community organizations, once again emphasizing the tremendous impact of credit union membership on the development of our communities.
The following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors of UNCUA for the 2008-09 year.
UNCUA Officers: Bohdan Watral – Chair (Selfreliance, Chicago); Stephen Kerda – Vice Chair (Selfreliance, Baltimore); L. Mykola Hryhorczuk – Vice Chair (Selfreliance, Michigan); and Olga Jakubowska – Secretary (Selfreliance, Philadelphia). Executive Committee members: Serhiy Hoshovsky (Ukrainian National, NY); Walter Kozicky (SUMA Yonkers, NY); Bohdan Kurczak (Selfreliance, NY); and Honorary Member Bohdan Kekish (Selfreliance, NY). Members of the Board of Directors: Jack Burscu, Bohdan Czepak, Tamara Denysenko, Andrew Diakun, Jaroslaw Fedun, Andrew Jakymowych, Raymond Komichak, Yuri Pedenko and George Stachiw.
Supervisory Committee: Andrew Jakymowych (Future CU, Warren, MI); Oleh Karawan (Selfreliance Chicago) and Bohdan Sawycky ( Selfreliance NY).
Nominating Committee: Jaroslaw Fedun ( Selfreliance NJ); Olga Jakubowska (Selfreliance Philadelphia); Wolodymyr Pylyshenko (Ukrainian CU, Rochester NY); George Stachiw (Selfreliance, New England); Lubomyr Zielyk ( Selfreliance NY) and Orest Liscynesky (alternate, Selfreliance Cleveland).
By-Laws Committee: Orest Liscynesky (Selfreliance Cleveland); Bohdan Kekish ( Selfreliance NY) and Lubomyr Lypeckyj (Selfreliance, Warren MI).
Loan Protection and Life Savings Insurance Trustees: Orysia Burdiak, Stephen Kerda, Mary Kolodij, Bohdan Kurczak, Ihor Laszok, John Olijarczyk and George Stachiw.
Orysia Burdiak was elected President of UNCUA. Staff members of the UNCUA office also include Christine Pylypowycz and Nina Bebko.
The new Board of UNCUA will hold its next quarterly meeting and strategic planning session inNewark, NJ. Members also proposed that the next UNCUA annual meeting be held in Washington, DC.
The annual meeting and conference of UNCUA concluded with a meeting of the new Board of Directors. CEO Bohdan Watral sent the delegates on their way home with best wishes for the further growth and prosperity of Ukrainian American credit unions in the United States.