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Advocacy News

Media and Consumer Advocacy a Top Priority for New OCUL Manager of PR

Media and consumer advocacy are top priorities for new League Manager of Public Relations, Steph Greegor, who says financial literacy is a cornerstone of communications for Ohio’s credit unions. “There is a very special story that Ohio’s credit unions can tell about how their advocacy for financial education has helped Ohio gain traction as a leader in the space,” says Greegor. “As the world gets bigger from a digital perspective, the personal and cooperative story of Ohio’s credit unions becomes even more special and unique.” Greegor has already acted on behalf of Ohio’s credit unions, advocating for them nationally and within the state of Ohio by writing letters to the media that further the mission and unique value proposition credit unions offer. To request a meeting, reporter luncheon, or materials from Steph, reach out to her at (800) 486-2917, ext. 256, or at sgreegor@ohiocul.org.


League testifies in support of legislation legalizing hemp cultivation; believe CU’s can help industry grow

The League supports the ability for credit unions to serve legal businesses, which is why we provided public testimony in the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, supporting Sub S.B. 57, which would decriminalize hemp and hemp products from Ohio’s Controlled Substance Act and establish a hemp cultivation and licensing program, regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Due to a change in federal law, hemp, which is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant, is now exempt from the Federal Controlled Substance Act and hence can be legalized by states. Sub S.B. 57 would allow Ohio’s credit unions to provide additional funding to ag-partners looking to diversify their crops and take advantage of the high demand for hemp products. Currently, hemp is considered a “high-value crop” meaning its gross revenue per acre is roughly double traditional commodity crops, due to its variety of uses. The legislation was passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate and the House is also expected to pass it shortly. If you would like to learn more about the legislation, contact Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, Cory Fleming, at (800) 486-2917, ext. 205, or cfleming@ohiocul.org or Manager of Legislative and Political Advocacy, Andrew Canan, at (800) 486-2917, ext. 210, or acanan@ohiocul.org.


Still Time to Join Us: Statehouse Day June 19

Join us on Wednesday, June 19, as we bring back CU Statehouse Day as a means to advocate for important issues, such as public deposit access and regulatory relief. We will also hear directly from influential state leaders, like Treasurer of State Robert Sprague. Registration is free, quick and easy through our #WeAreOCUL page, which includes the tentative agenda, logistics, and schedule updates. If you are traveling from out of town, a hotel block is available here. Also, please stay engaged with our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for special event announcements. If you would like to learn more about CU Statehouse Day, contact Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, Cory Fleming, at (800) 486-2917, ext. 205, or cfleming@ohiocul.org.


League and credit union staff featured on elder fraud reporting panel

Because three brains are better than one, your League teamed up with the Central Columbus Chapter of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) to discuss federal and state elder financial exploitation (EFE) reporting. The League’s Regulatory Counsel Miriah Lee, Director of Compliance and Risk Management of Pathways Financial CU Linda Battaglia, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Glenn-Applegate participated in a panel discussion with local financial services industry professionals. The panel discussion focused on EFE requirements issued by FinCEN, elder abuse reporting at the state level, red flags when investigating EFE at the CU, and how to write a persuasive suspicious activity report. For more information on EFE reporting requirements, contact the Compliance Hotline at (844) 731-6073.


#AdvocacyInAction: Budget passes out of Ohio House; League staff looks to next move

The state budget process is a winding road of surprising twists, but the League Advocacy team is pleased that one of the first major hurdles was cleared last week when the Ohio House passed the state budget. As the budget goes across the way to the Ohio Senate, the League is pressing forward on seeking a few policy changes while remaining focused on covering all advocacy angles. Below is a snapshot of recent advocacy action. For a more in-depth synopsis, follow our social media channels: TwitterFacebook, Instagram, and Snapchat (@WeareOCUL), as well as LinkedIn.

-        A well-funded PAC enables the League and Ohio credit union leaders to attend events that offer exclusive facetime with legislators, like the most-recent fundraiser hosted by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). As the Ranking Member for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Senator Brown often hears legislation impacting how credit unions serve their members. That’s why your League and Glass City FCU joined Senator Brown in Cleveland this weekend to talk about how we can move Ohio and the country forward, together by helping hardworking Ohioans achieve their dreams.

-        We know how frustrating the ambiguity of banking marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) can be given the current federal prohibition. That is why the League recruited Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to join a bipartisan coalition of 37 other attorneys general in signing onto a letter urging Congress to pass legislation making it easier to bank MRBs.

-        During a hectic time like the budget process, it is critical to support individuals who will support credit unions, ensuring credit union interests remain top-of-mind. That is why League staff recently attended the following fundraisers for long-standing and newly-elected credit union supporters: State Sens. Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) and Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), and State Reps. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon), David Leland (D-Columbus), Mike O’Brien (D-Warren), Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), Bill Roemer (R-Richfield), Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), and Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster).

-        Building coalitions is one of the most effective methods of strong advocacy so League staff recently partnered with the Ohio Bankers League and mortgage bankers to seek a remedy to the problematic debt notification provision in House Bill 489. Once it was clear the amendment would not be accepted in the House, League staff immediately organized a meeting with the Senate Finance Chair, Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), to go over the language and answer any questions he had. Additionally, League staff met with Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) to discuss credit union-specific amendments that we are seeking to have included during the budget process in the Senate.


If you would like to learn more about our advocacy efforts, or have questions about a specific piece of legislation, contact Emily Leite at (800) 486-2917, ext. 270, or eleite@ohiocul.org; Cory Fleming at ext. 205 or cfleming@ohiocul.org; Miriah Lee at (800) 486-2917, ext. 262, or mlee@ohiocul.org; or Andrew Canan at ext. 210 or acanan@ohiocul.org.


League member benefit InfoSight gets a new look

Because we understand that compliance is a top concern among credit unions and compliance resources should be easy to navigate, we have launched a new InfoSight website, which contains comprehensive information on federal and state laws and regulations. The new website is more interactive and user-friendly with a modern, streamlined design creating an optimal member-experience that is easier to navigate. While you are checking out InfoSight’s new look, make sure you check out new content that has been added as well: such as dormant and inactive accounts, dower and homestead, escheatment requirements, and a framework for OFAC compliance commitments. If you need help navigating the new website or finding content, contact the League’s Regulatory Counsel Miriah Lee at (800) 486-2917 ext. 262 or mlee@ohiocul.org.


The Foundation can help you build a stronger community

Providing members financial independence through new products, financial education programs, and community outreach initiatives is important to your credit union. And the Ohio Credit Union Foundation offers financial assistance for just the occasion. Grants are available for credit union outreach initiatives, financial education, professional development, and disaster relief. To learn more about grantmaking opportunities, visit the Foundation website or contact League Director of Member Experience Kim Connor at 800.486.2917, ext. 248, or kconnor@ohiocul.org.


Last chance to register for InOHvate 2019

There is just one week left to register for the premier credit union FinTech experience, InOHvate. Don’t miss this opportunity to deepen your innovation mindset, collaborate with other like-minded credit union peers, and explore the impact of FinTech in our industry on June 10-12 in Cleveland. The deadline to register is May 28. If you have a question about InOHvate, contact League Director of Member Experience Kim Connor at 800.486.2917, ext. 248, or kconnor@ohiocul.org.


Gas station TV could help you get the word out

Gas Station TV (GSTV) is the nation’s leader in geo-targeted advertising by putting your content in front of prospective members as they fill up their tanks—often right around the corner from your credit union. GSTV is also highly visible, boasting a higher ad recall double that of regular TV. Rest assured you’ll be driving the most value possible out of your media impressions. Through CU Solutions Group® and GSTV, you get professional-level broadcast advertising for an exclusive discounted price. And because your audience can’t click away or change the channel, GSTV also guarantees eyes and ears are on your brand. It’s the biggest bang for your advertising buck, and your secret weapon in the battle against the competition. To boost your credit union’s visibility with GSTV, contact OCUL Services Corporation Business Consultant Jose Ortiz at (800) 486-2917, ext. 217, or jortiz@ohiocul.org.


Shared Branching on Statehouse lawn; join the shared branching and ATM networks

League VP of Advocacy Emily Leite recently stepped in front of the camera on Ohio Tourism Day to advocate for credit unions’ Shared Branching network with a very special message: “Shared branching provides the world to your members.” Credit unions can participate in a Shared Branching Network, which provides over 5,600 walk-in branches nationwide, as well as in seven different countries. They can also participate in surcharge-free ATM Networks that offer members access to more than 30,000 ATM’s across the United States. Additionally, the League helps advocate for shared branching by providing free shared branching marketing materials for inside your local branches and throughout social media. Get started informing your members, as well as letting new members know just how convenient accessing their money nationally really is. To learn more, contact Marty Auxter at (800)486-2917, ext. 204, or mauxter@ohiocul.org.