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Spring 2014

Annual Meetings Review

This year’s Annual Meetings were a great opportunity to meet with members and guests. The Lethbridge Annual meeting was held at Coaldale Christian School and featured a great meal from the Coaldale Ladies Auxiliary and piano performances by Nathalie Davidson. John Veldkamp, CEO, gave a presentation highlighting 2013 events, financial results, and donations made to the Lethbridge community. It was also announced that Christian Credit Union would provide financing for a new ELIM Christian retirement community.

 

Theo Van Ee and Casey Slingerland were thanked for their service on the Lethbridge Advisory Committee and it was announced that they have both agreed to serve another 3-year term. Praise to the Lord for the dedicated staff and volunteers serving our members in the Lethbridge area!

The Annual General Meeting was hosted at The Kings University College. We were treated to entertaining performances by The Kings University Chamber Choir and a delicious meal. Members had the opportunity to mingle with credit union staff and a presentation was made to Jackie Rudyk, Edmonton Branch Manager, for completing 25 years of service.

 

Greetings were given from Credit Union Central of Alberta and the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC), congratulating Christian Credit Union on another successful year. John Oort, Hans VanGinhoven and Norm Spronk were thanked for completing 3 year terms on the Board. It was also announced that Ed Spronk, Mike Vos and Bruce Adema were elected to the Board by acclamation.


IN THIS ISSUE
  • Staff Profile: Stephen Slomp
  • E-Statements
  • Service Fee Changes
  • Get to Know the Board
  • Fraud Prevention: The Little Black Book of Scams
  • Planner’s Corner: Generous Giving/Generous Living
Serving members of our Reformed Christian community since 1952
John Veldkamp, CEO

Welcome to our Spring newsletter! Spring is a wonderful time of year when the promise of new life is evident all around us. In particular, each spring we celebrate the new life we have in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ during the recent Easter celebrations. I hope and pray that you all took time to reflect on the amazing grace and love our God has shown us by giving up his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Hallelujah!

 

At your Credit Union, we are also excited about the opportunities to serve new and existing members in our Reformed Christian community. I have hinted in the last few newsletters that we have been studying how best to promote biblical stewardship in service to our members. Let me take this opportunity to provide you some insight into recent discussions that have been happening with Board, management and staff.

 

At our Board strategic planning meeting and at manager’s meetings we have been discussing our Credit Union’s "value proposition". Specifically we have been asking four questions about our value proposition: 1. What is it? 2. Do our members value it? 3. Is it sustainable? and 4. Will the member of tomorrow value it? To answer these questions we reviewed member feedback, considered our Mission and Vision statements, and discussed past performance and future opportunities.

 

As we discussed, we began to focus on the three words in our brand: Give. Receive. Provide. We believe the these three words can help correct some misunderstandings people may have about our value proposition. From our experience, many people have the perception that our value proposition is solely what we do in providing discounts and donations to charitable organizations. In the past I, and other staff members, have reinforced this concept by stating to potential members they "should" bank at the Credit Union because of all of the good things we do in the community. Why should they? As a result there is a misperception that to bank at Christian Credit Union means that you will probably have to pay more for less financial

services options but at least you will be contributing to the good of charitable organizations.

 

That is not how a financial cooperative works! We understand that to pool the resources of our Reformed Christian community we need to offer competitive financial services to individuals, families and businesses, not just charitable organizations. We have defined "competitive" to have four elements: First, our interest rates and fees need to be in line with comparable financial service providers. Second, our services must be convenient and accessible. Third, we have to maintain a high priority on confidentiality. Finally, we must provide a full range of financial products and services. We have worked hard to make improvements in all of these areas in recent years and we will strive to continuously improve.

 

We believe we can use the words Give. Receive. Provide. to help counteract potential member misunderstanding of what our Credit Union has to offer. When we say "Give" we are not asking members to "give us your business no matter what the cost is to you", we are asking members to "give us an opportunity". In turn, members do not merely "receive a warm fuzzy feeling" but they "receive competitive products and services that meet their financial needs". As a result of this exchange, members are able to provide benefits to the Reformed Christian community in a way that would not be possible on an individual basis.

 

Our key challenge today is increasing member awareness that our Credit Union offers a complete range of competitive, confidential and convenient services to our members. We would appreciate your help in this, either in giving us feedback on how we can improve further or in helping others understand our value proposition. As part of this effort, we are highlighting the Give. Receive. Provide. concept in our spring mortgage campaign. In addition we will be sending out a member survey asking for your input on our value proposition later this year.

 

We are truly blessed with many wonderful members and we thank you for your patronage! Together let us "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). Sola Deo Gloria!

In Our Community

Christian Credit Union was pleased to sponsor the Stronger National men’s conferences in Edmonton on March 14-15 and Lethbridge on March 21-22. The event features inspirational messages from various Christian authors and speakers, live music, and fellowship with other believers. Men were encouraged to discover God’s plan, become better leaders, and live a life of integrity.

 

Promise Keepers Canada is a national ministry reaching out to men to ignite and equip them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. For more information, visit www.promisekeepers.ca.

 

Staff Notables

Edmonton

Congratulations to Karen Struik, Member Service Supervisor who celebrated 5 years of service in March. Karen provides banking expertise and is a positive leader for our team.

 

Welcome to Melissa Klooster, Credit Assistant. She is a member of the Support Services team and prepares and executes documentation for Personal Bankers and other personnel.  Melissa has previous administrative and
customer relationship experience in the financial and automotive industries.

 

Welcome to Gord Vande Burgt, Senior Relationship Manager. Gord is responsible for building relationships with small business and agri-business organizations. He has several years of experience in commercial banking and an extensive background in Agri-business including successfully starting and operating his own agriculture business.

Staff Profile

Stephen Slomp

Stephen Slomp began working as a Financial Advisor in the Edmonton Branch in November 2013. He graduated from MacEwan University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Commerce Degree with a major in Accounting. He has previous experience in the customer service industry and caring for individuals with special needs.

 

Stephen and his wife Julienne have two children and attend Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church. Stephen enjoysfitness, cooking and learning languages (especially Filipino, his wife’s background).

 

Stephen loves the friendly work environment at Christian Credit Union. He hopes to make a difference by helping members with their financial planning.
 

Career Opportunity

Member Service Representative
- Summer Intern, Full-Time, Lethbridge

 

The Member Service Representative will provide members with a variety of services related to the promotion and sale of deposit products and services with courtesy and accuracy. You will be responsible for processing member transactions, resolving routine issues, and maintaining your knowledge of our products, services and member benefits. The successful individual will also be responsible for soliciting new members and fostering new business through service excellence and product knowledge.

 

For more information, visit www.christiancu.ca.

 

 

E-statements

Effective June 26, 2014 all members enrolled in Internet Banking will no longer receive paper statements and will receive FREE e-statements and on-line cheque images.  E-Statements dating back to March 5, 2010 can be viewed or downloaded from the Internet Banking website. Transaction history previous to March 5, 2010 is available from a branch.

 

If you wish to receive a paper statement, please contact a branch and we will also provide this service for FREE. Members who are not enrolled in on-line banking will also continue to receive a FREE paper statement.

 

Please note: you cannot select E-Statements for some of your personal accounts and paper statements for others. You can select a different option for a personal and business account
if applicable.

 

Service Fee Changes

Service fees will be changing effective July 26, 2014 for Personal Banking and August 1, 2014 for Business Banking. More information will be posted on our website and included in your statement in the coming months. If you have any questions, please contact a branch.

 

School Field trips

A number of Kindergarten and grade 2 students visited the Edmonton branch for a field trip. Students counted money, designed their own 100 dollar bill, and learned about tithing. They also had a branch tour and received a loot bag with chocolate loonies and other goodies. Thank you to the students, teachers, and parent volunteers who brought a little excitement to the Credit Union! If you are interested in having a field trip for your school, please contact a branch.

 

 

Hockey and Saving Challenge Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Hockey and Saving Challenge. We are happy to announce the winners who received Hockey tickets or gift cards. If you would like to enter a contest, please visit a youth banking volunteer at your school. Members can also enter on-line at www.christiancu.ca.

Sierra Kruisselbrink

 

Edmonton

1stKiersten Kippers, Covenant Canadian Reformed School, Grade 1
2ndHope VanLeeuwen, Covenant Canadian Reformed School, Kindergarten
3rdSpencer Thiessen, Edmonton Christian School West, Grade 1

 

Calgary

1st  – Zoe Kemppi, Calgary Christian School, Grade 6
2nd  – Renee Bennik, Tyndale Christian School, Grade 5
3rdAyden Rust, Trinity Christian School, Grade 8

Lethbridge

1st  – Sierra Kruisselbrink, Immanuel Christian School, Grade 5
2ndNoah Bezooyen, Immanuel Christian School, Grade 3

 

Get to Know the Board

Following the Annual General Meeting, Bruce Adema, Ed Spronk and Mike Vos joined the Board replacing the out-going members, John Oort, Norm Spronk and Hans Van Ginhoven. We want to thank the outgoing members for their commitment, work and insightful thought. They will be missed.

 

The Board Executive is chosen at the first board meeting following the AGM. The Board now consists of Peter Van Bostelen (President), Wally Mulder (Vice-President), Mike Vos (Secretary), Bruce Adema, Ed Spronk, Ed VanderVeen and Henrietta Wildeman. I am excited to be part of this team and am sure that we will be able to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to us. Please support us with your prayers.

 

In January we hold our annual day long strategy meeting. Management is invited and occasionally other guests or a facilitator may be present as well. We review the past and set measurable goals consistent with our mission and vision statements for the future.

 

The Board meets 11 times per year, usually on the last Monday of the month. We do not meet in July. The meetings are divided into three areas of focus: Audit and Finance (5 meetings), Strategic Planning follow-up (3 meetings) and Training (3 meetings).

 

The Board must maintain an Audit and Finance Committee. It has long been the practice that the Audit and Finance Committee is a Committee of the whole, the entire Board. The Board provides an independent review of the Credit Union’s operations in areas deemed necessary to maintain the integrity of the financial data, adequacy of the internal controls and adherence to sound business practices when the focus is on Audit and Finance.

When the focus is on Strategic Planning, the board reviews the business plan and discusses the progress being made. The discussion is free ranging ensuring that our goals are realistic and achievable.

 

Our March meeting focused on training. A representative from our internal auditing firm, PRA Group, introduced the topic of Enterprise Risk Management. All the Board members were enthused by the insights we obtained. We will discuss Anti- Money Laundering at another meeting, actually a recently legislated requirement. And we will discuss reports prepared by delegates to the Alberta Central AGM and the Alberta Central fall convention so the entire board can share the presentations and insights from these meetings.

 

The board recently adopted a “Consent Agenda” format. Agenda items that are not the focus of the meeting are grouped together into a Consent Agenda. The Board members receive the papers pertaining to the Consent Agenda items well in advance of the meeting. A motion is brought forward to adopt the Consent Agenda at the meeting. Upon acceptance of the motion, all the items in the Consent Agenda are considered dealt with and adopted. However, any Board member may decide that an item on the Consent Agenda requires immediate attention or discussion in which case the item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and moved to the Meeting Agenda before the Consent Agenda is adopted. Although this has been a recent innovation, we are already seeing greater efficiency in our meetings.

 

The Board asks that you will support us, our management and staff and the Credit Union with your prayers.

 

Peter Van Bostelen

 
 
Jim Hummel, CFP®

Planner’s Corner

Generous Giving/Generous Living

 

Recently a fellow staff member forwarded a devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley based on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 entitled “The Fruitful Giver”. Dr. Stanley compares the Jordan River which is surrounded by trees and greenery to the Dead Sea, where nothing lives. The reason is the Dead Sea has no outlet; when the water flows in, it stays there. The salts accumulate and poison the water.

 

Dr. Stanley goes on to make a comparison between two financial plans. The Dead Sea is based on accumulation and preservation of wealth. The goal is to get enough so you have enough. This approach can lead to self-centered stagnation and can make lives spiritually unfruitful and may hinder the good works God wants us to do. The Lord’s financial plan is like the Jordan River that moves continuously. As His provisions flow into our lives, we pass them on to others. This results in a fruitful life centered on the building of God’s kingdom. Verse 10 promises that God will supply enough to live (“bread for food”) plus enough to give (“seed for sowing”).

 

What implications does this have for you today and for your estate plan? There may be needs in the church and the world that He wants you to meet through your generosity. Verse 11 makes another promise: “You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us”. I have been blessed to know many members in our community who can attest to this. Blessings as you consider this.

 

Jim Hummel, CFP®
 

Fraud Prevention

The Little Black Book of Scams

 

The following is a letter from James Moore, Minister of Industry that we wanted to bring to the attention of our members:

 

Each year too many Canadians feel the devastating impacts of fraud. Criminals target and exploit Canadians of all ages and from all walks life through false or misleading advertising, lottery scams, pyramid schemes and countless other illegal activities. That is why it is essential to be vigilant in recognizing the signs of a scam and report it to authorities immediately. Canadians can help fight fraud and protect themselves by learning about what scams and fraudulent activities look like.

 

The Canadian edition of The Little Black Book of Scams is a reference guide with information Canadians can use to personally protect themselves. It offers information on how a variety of common scams work and how to recognize them, as well as practical tips on how consumers and businesses can protect themselves.

 

The Government of Canada through the Competition Bureau and other agencies is taking action to vigorously enforce the laws that fight fraud. I encourage you to read this booklet and to share it with your family and friends.

 

To read the Little Black Book of Scams, visit Fraud Prevention at www.christiancu.ca.


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