Revenue-boosting opportunities in the new year

first_imgThe environment credit unions operate in is constantly changing amid new regulations and compliance issues, evolving technologies and shifts in members’ needs. But while these changes present their own set of challenges, they also come with great opportunities. When leveraged correctly, today’s financial services environment offers many ways credit unions can stay ahead of the curve while stimulating their own growth. Here are a few options to consider as you seek new ways to help your members and grow your credit union’s  bottom line:Investing in technologyCredit unions are investing significant resources in new technologies, and it’s no wonder why – technological advancements are disrupting the way consumers use financial institutions. From online banking to remote deposit or contactless payment, credit unions need to embrace the tools and services that can make it easier for members to manage their finances. Credit unions that stay ahead of the technological curve – in both services and the protection of members’ sensitive data – will be the ones best positioned to grow and thrive in the marketplace of tomorrow.Member business lendingCredit union member business lending – commercial lending – can be critical to boosting local economies and strengthening credit unions’ bottom lines. Commercial lending can mean the difference between the success or failure of a member small business. When conducted in a safe, sound manner, it offers an avenue for diversifying the credit union loan portfolio and growing net interest income.Investing in a credit union service organization (CUSO)CUSOs can offer a cost-effective means to expand member services and strengthen the bottom line. As fintech expands and more market disruptors enter the financial space, CUSOs can help drive down costs per loan, increase access to new technology and expertise and give credit unions a stronger foothold in the consumer financial services market.Other growth opportunitiesMy own expertise in strategic growth planning includes significant experience guiding Webster First Federal Credit Union through a number of mergers over the past many years. Some institutions approach mergers as a way to strengthen and diversify the balance sheet, but it’s important for credit unions contemplating a merger to consider how the institutions involved will complement one another and ensure the best outcome for members.I’ll be speaking about the merger process during the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’ Strategic Growth Conference March 5-7 in Nashville. I’m excited to be part of this conference – NAFCU has built the agenda to give attendees revenue-boosting solutions that are achievable now.We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world, so it’s important for credit unions to take advantage of these opportunities before they’re gone. I hope to see you at the Strategic Growth Conference in March – the strategies it will cover will help you as you forge a path to keep your credit union the best financial institution it can be. 57SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mike Lussier Mike Lussier is the president and CEO of Webster First Federal Credit Union (Webster, Mass.) and has worked in the credit union industry for 30 years. He is the author … Web: https://www.websterfirst.com/home/home Detailslast_img read more

Bladow ready for return to starting lineup

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoDuring her freshman year, Amy Bladow played in 109 of the Wisconsin women’s volleyball team’s 123 games. The last two years, however, she has only played in 82 of Wisconsin’s 230. Now as a senior, Bladow is ready to get back on the court full time, become a team leader and help the Badgers achieve their goals of winning the Big Ten and making it to the Final Four.”I think as a senior on the team, I’m definitely going to have to step up into a leadership role this year,” Bladow said. “With Aubrey Meierotto and Shelia Shaw leaving last year, those are some big shoes to fill. I think that Katie Lorenzen, Maria Carlini and myself are all three going to have to step up this year and really try to take the leadership role on this team.”However, for Bladow, volleyball wasn’t always a passion of hers.”I tried out because my dad made me in the seventh grade,” she said. “I was a basketball player for the a long time, and he was like, ‘I think you should try it,’ and he made me do it. And I cried for two whole days straight because I didn’t want to do it, but I ended up going, and I made the team.”From there on, Bladow went on to play high school and club volleyball. When it came time to choose a school to attend to play volleyball and get an education, she knew right away Wisconsin was the place she wanted to come.”I went on a lot of visits to a lot of different schools, and everyone kept telling me while I was visiting, ‘When you go somewhere you will know; you will just get that feeling on the inside, like that’s where you are supposed to be,'” she said. “As soon as I took a tour of Wisconsin and met with the coaches and toured the facilities and everything, it just clicked. I was like, ‘This is where I’m supposed to be. This feels like home.'”During her freshman year in Madison, Bladow teamed with former Badger and two-time all-Big Ten player Shelia Shaw in the middle, but before the beginning of her sophomore year, Taylor Reineke came in and beat Bladow out of her spot, forcing her to more of a reserve role and limiting her playing time.”In my sophomore year, Taylor Reineke came in, and [Reineke] is super tall and super athletic, and she’s a great volleyball player,” Bladow said. “She just beat me out for my spot in the middle, and she deserved it. [Reineke’s] an awesome volleyball player. She was just really strong, really consistent and held her own really well even as a freshman; she was a stud. She came in and earned that spot and got to play a head of me, and I was fine.”Even though Reineke beat her out of the starting middle spot, Bladow has used the last two years to become a better player.”I’ve learned a lot from Taylor; just as a volleyball player, she has taught me a ton, especially about blocking in the middle,” she said. “In practice, I’m always asking Taylor what I am doing wrong. ‘Why am I not blocking that ball, I feel like I’m doing something wrong,’ and she helps and she corrects me.”And head coach Pete Waite sees the time spent on the bench the last two years has helped her improve her game.”She has always brought a lot of energy, and that is one thing she always did, even from the bench,” Waite said. “She was really pushing the team on and off the court. What I think she learned from being on the sidelines is how hard she has to work in practice to become more disciplined as a player to raise her level of her game.”Waite also sees a big difference in her game and the way she worked to become better from last year to the spring season.”There were times in her game in the past where she wasn’t working as hard as she could,” Waite said. “I think she wasn’t correcting things and raising the level of her game as fast as she could. She really has had a goal this spring to give it everything she had, and we’ve all seen the results of that.”All of Bladow’s hard work over the past three years has helped her get closer to getting back in the starting lineup.”We are still determining [the starting lineup],” Waite said. “I think she has become much more of a leader because she has worked very hard on all of her skills. She has become much more disciplined in everything she does, and we’re excited about it, and we can tell she is, too.”I think as a senior coming into the season, she has shown the ability to take charge out there, and she is a very powerful athlete, so those are all great things that we want in the lineup.”One thing is for certain, whether Bladow makes it back in the starting lineup, she will be the team’s emotional leader next year just like she has been in years past.”I think my role is kind of like the spark plug,” Bladow said. “I think I just bring a lot of energy and a lot fire to the team. I know that I’m really loud. I love to cheer for everyone, and I think that will be one of my biggest roles on the team, to just keep us pumped up and motivated all the time. Especially in practice sometimes you don’t always want to do every single drill because it is toward the end of the day and it might get monotonous or something.” Just like any senior, Bladow wants to end her volleyball career at Wisconsin by going out on top.”One of my personal goals is to go out with a bang,” Bladow said. “I think it says a lot the last two years we lost to the national champs. We really, really would like to make it to the Final Four this year. I think that is a huge goal for us, and for me personally. As a senior, you always want to go out on top.”We are always looking to finish first in the Big Ten, too. There are such great teams in the Big Ten in Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan. Everybody’s always vying for that first-place spot. I think that just with the talent that we have this year, it is a definite possibility for us. We could actually make it happen. A really great way to go out would be to win the Big Ten and make it to the Final Four.”During the spring season, Bladow has been playing on the right side, besides playing her normal position in the middle. This has helped improve her chances of being in the starting lineup.”The fact that she was able to play both makes her more versatile and more valuable to us,” Waite said.Regardless of where she ends up playing this year, Bladow isn’t really concerned, just as long as she is on the court.”I feel pretty comfortable playing both positions,” Bladow said. “I just want to play. If [Waite] wants me to set, I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, put me in coach.'”last_img read more

Novak Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus after organizing Adria Tour

first_img“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested,” Djokovic said in a statement. “My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. “Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from south-eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.” World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus. The 33-year-old and his wife Jelena returned tested positive after returning from the Adria Tour, while his children tested negative. The 17-time grand slam singles champion is asymptomatic and will now isolate for 14 days.  View this post on Instagram “The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this. We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”A post shared by Adria Tour (@adriatourofficial) on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:28am PDTMORE: Nick Kyrgios slams ‘boneheaded’ Novak Djokovic-led Adria Tour eventDjokovic was a driving force behind the creation of the Adria Tour, which took place in Serbia and Croatia in front of large crowds and saw players shaking hands despite concerns over social distancing. However, the final between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was canceled when Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for COVID-19 and Borna Coric later confirmed he too had contracted coronavirus. Viktor Troicki, who played in the tournament in Belgrade, and his wife also tested positive for the virus.The decision to hold the event during the pandemic has been criticized by Tour players including Nick Kyrgios and Dan Evans, while long-term rival and friend Andy Murray described the fall-out as “a lesson for all of us.” Kyrgios was a bit more direct with his anger.🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️ Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE. https://t.co/SUdxfijkbK— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020As for Djokovic, he provided some additional thoughts on the tournament.”We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met,” Djokovic said. “Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease in time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”last_img read more

Time for Shikhar Dhawan to stand up, says Sourav Ganguly

first_imgSunrisers Hyderabad opener Shikhar Dhawan has so far experienced a hot and cold campaign in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. The aggressive southpaw has managed 473 runs in 16 games at an ordinary average of 39.41 – way below the standards for a player of his calibre. (Scorecard|Full Coverage) Dhawan, who had a lean patch during the ICC World Twenty20 – scoring just 43 runs in four matches –  was eyeing the IPL to make a solid comeback but has not been able to achieve the target. He has failed to score the runs in big matches, putting the pressure on SRH captain David Warner.On Friday, it was again Warner who scored a match-winning 93* off 58 balls against Gujarat Lions to see Sunrisers Hyderabad through to their maiden IPL final. (Also read: Here’s how Warner, Bipul showed the door for Gujarat Lions) Chasing 163 to win, SRH witnessed a turbulent start, losing Dhawan (0), Moises Henriques (11) and Yuvraj Singh (8) cheaply. But Warner kept Gujarat at bay, with his belligerent batting, completing his fifty in 35 balls – his eighth half-century of the tournament.SRH will now face a red-hot Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final on Sunday and former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels Dhawan needs to rise up to the occasion for his team.  “Hyderabad have been outstanding this season. The influx of a couple of Indian players have helped them and don’t forget, they don’t have Ashish Nehra who is injured and out of the tournament. With Nehra in the squad, the bowling attack looked even better. They need some runs from Shikhar Dhawan. Time has come for Dhawan to stand up. He is a key batsman for India and it’s a big tournament, big games. He missed out on the first qualifier, he missed out on the second qualifier. Hopefully in the final he will stand up for David Warner and his team and get some runs,” Ganguly told India Today.advertisementPHENOMENAL WARNERWhile most of the Sunrisers batsmen cut a sorry figure last night, Warner showed his class and super cool temperament as he never let the innings fall apart. (Also Read: David Warner targets Virat Kohli in IPL final to defuse RCB’s batting)Wickets kept tumbling but Warner dug his heels and found amazing support in Bipul Sharma, who came up with a sizzling unbeaten 27 run knock under pressure.”Phenomenal batting and specially under pressure. The other night it was AB de Villiers against Gujarat Lions and today it was David Warner. The other night it was the support of Iqbal Abdulla against the Lions and today it was Bipul Sharma.”Warner is a serious batsman, look at his record in all formats of the game. He has been unbelievable for Australia. Some of the shots he played during the later part of the innings against those slower deliveries were terrific… captain standing up in the big game that speaks volumes of his temperament.”He has taken Sunrisers on his own to the final, what else do expect from the captain. 93 off 58 deliveries. He has changed over the years, his temperament has changed. His family, his wife and runs at international level have made him a more matured person and I thought he was exceptional tonight,” Ganguly said.IMPRESSIVE BIPULYoungster Bipul Sharma took the pressure off his captain with his timely big shots. His sixes off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni played a crucial role in turning the tide in SRH’s favour.Bipul, who played for India A in 2010, always had batting credentials but last night he showed his worth as he added 33 runs with Warner in their unbeaten partnership for the seventh wicket.Ganguly asked the selectors to keep a watch on the young all-rounder.”I am equally impressed with Bipul to be honest. In the last game against the Kolkata Knight Riders he hit two crucial sixes off Morne Morkel and extended that run for the Sunrisers and yesterday under sheer pressure, he came in when they were 117 for 6 and took the game away from them. He hit some superb shots, that six off Praveen Kumar straight in front and then flicking Dwayne Bravo for a six fine leg and then hitting one of the most difficult deliveries from Bravo which is the slower off-spinner and that too being a left-hander he hit him straight into the stands.”I think this fellow is a good cricketer and the selectors need to keep a watch on him because the Indians need someone at No. 7 and Ravindra Jadeja’s batting at international level has not been the best under pressure and I don’t think he has done much with the bat in this IPL as well. This kid has done a wonderful job for the Sunrisers at No. 8, No. 9. So, somehow down the line they need to keep a watch on him.”advertisementTHE FIZZ FACTORGanguly said SRH need their strike bowler Mustafizur Rahman in the final against the batting might of RCB. Left-arm medium pacer Mustafizur (16 wickets) was ruled out in the match against Gujarat due to a hamstring injury.”Sunrisers can give Royal Challengers Bangalore a run for their money. As I said, anybody can win on that day but the batting line-up of RCB looks very serious and I think SRH need Mustafizur. He is the key, I don’t know what’s his injury, I hope it’s not too bad and is nothing to do with the hamstring and the calf because then he might be out of the next game as well. So, from that point of view he is important and hopefully they can get the team together,” he said.last_img read more