July 30, 2013

Albany, N.Y. – The New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) recently partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension to train New York teachers and community volunteers on the National Endowment for Financial Education's (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP). The organizations hosted training sessions July 18 at The Summit FCU in Rochester, N.Y., and July 23 at Teachers FCU in Hauppauge, N.Y.

Nearly 30 educators and credit union professionals completed the daylong trainings, which prepared them to teach the award-winning, recently updated HSFPP curriculum to youth in their area schools and community groups. Cornell Cooperative Extension Trainer Barbara Henza reviewed each of the curriculum modules, which include: planning, borrowing, earning capability, investing, financial services and insurance. She also outlined the program resources available to educators, including: student guides, teacher lesson plans and a growing collection of online resources and learning activities.

"Attending this seminar was hugely helpful because the financial literacy curriculum provided through NEFE is excellent. It follows state and national education standards, but, more importantly, it is presented in a fun, logical and enjoyable way," said attendee Jackie Wiegand, marketing administrator at Compass FCU. "My plan is to share the seminar's resources with an area teacher and to use NEFE materials for credit union workshops and any guest presentations in our local schools."

The HSFPP curriculum is used by credit unions across the state, with many providing free curriculum materials to area schools and/or teaching the financial literacy workshops themselves. According to the Credit Union Association of New York, the state's credit unions educated more than 35,000 youth through financial literacy programs last year.

"Our Foundation's mission is 'fostering the financial independence of New Yorkers through credit unions,' and building youth financial literacy is a critical part of that," said Allison Barna, director of NYCUF/community development. "We are proud to partner with NEFE and Cornell Cooperative Extension to bring HSFPP resources to New York credit unions and educators."

For the past four years, NYCUF has partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension to provide NEFE HSFPP trainings across the state. The organizations are planning to host another session this fall.

To learn more about NEFE HSFPP, visit http://www.hsfpp.org/ or contact Allison Barna, director of NYCUF/community development, at (800) 342-9835, ext. 8134 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


June 24, 2013

Albany, N.Y. – The New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) has selected board officers and welcomed new trustees for the year ahead. Together, the group will oversee the operation of the Foundation as they advance its mission of "fostering the financial independence of New Yorkers through credit unions."

The following updates were announced June 13 during the Foundation's annual meeting:

  • ACMG FCU President/CEO Vicki O'Neill has been re-elected board chairman.
  • Great Erie FCU CEO Robyn Young has been newly elected vice chairman.
  • Bethpage FCU CFO Brian Clarke has been re-elected treasurer/secretary.

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Four individuals are joining the board of trustees, including: Laurie Baker, VP/COO of The Summit FCU and board chair of the Credit Union Association of New York; Catherine Benson, lending SVP at CFCU Community CU; Tristram
Coffin, CEO of Alternatives FCU; and Cara Carlevatti, member development coordinator at Great Erie FCU. Carlevatti is a member of the Credit Union Association of New York's Young Professionals Commission and will represent her fellow young professionals on the board.

During the meeting, the group also recognized outgoing trustees John C. Gibardi, president/CEO of Entertainment Industries FCU; Gerard Herrling, principal at CarPort Consulting; James L. Mack, business development executive at Sunmark FCU; and Bruno Sementilli, president/CEO of Quorum FCU.

Remaining trustees include: Linda Bourgeois, CEO of UFirst FCU; Kevin A. Brauer, SVP of Alloya Corporate FCU; Alfred Frosolone, CEO of Niagara's Choice FCU; Chris Guild, sales manager at CUNA Mutual Group; Shirley Jenkins, secretary/board member of Municipal CU; William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York; Mark Pfisterer, president/CEO of AmeriCU Credit Union; Christine Peters, CEO of Family First of NY FCU; John Prumo, president/CEO of GPO FCU; and Mike Vadala, president/CEO of The Summit FCU.

"I am so pleased to continue my tenure as chairman of the Foundation's board of trustees, and to serve alongside such a distinguished group of leaders from the New York credit union movement," said O'Neill. "The Foundation has provided significant support to New York credit unions and their members through grants, partnerships and disaster relief, and we hope to build on that success in the year ahead."