News & Notes: Here’s What’s Happening Around the Northwest

Oregon’s Merkley Adds His Name to Privacy Notification Bill in U.S. Senate

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) added his name this week as a cosponsor of the Privacy Notice Modernization Act of 2013.

The privacy notice bill, S.635, which was introduced in March, would eliminate a requirement that financial institutions send out privacy notices on an annual basis. It would instead allow the notices to be sent only when the privacy policy of a financial institution has changed.

The bill is similar to legislation that passed the House early this year, although it includes some key differences. For example, the Senate bill would require credit unions and other financial institutions to make their privacy policy always accessible in some form in order to qualify for the bill’s exemption from sending annual privacy notices.

On Wednesday, the Credit Union National Association joined a coalition of financial-services and business-trade groups in urging quick action on the bill. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the organizations said the “common-sense measure would reduce the significant costs institutions incur providing unnecessary disclosures and, more importantly, give (consumers) a break from redundant notices.”

The Senate bill currently has 35 bipartisan cosponsors, although Merkley is the only one from the Northwest to add his name. Rep. Kurt Schrader from Oregon and Reps. Doc Hastings and Derek Kilmer of Washington were among 73 cosponsors of the House legislation. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray has also expressed his support for the measure.

Royce Markley Wins 2013 Maps Community Foundation Challenge

Royce Markley, a 20-year-old college student who proposed a peer-mentoring system to augment the counseling and social services that Oregon foster youth receive, has been named the winner of the Maps Community Foundation’s 2013 Community Challenge Award.

The $1,000 award was presented to Markley, a former foster youth himself, at Maps Credit Union’s annual business meeting this week in Salem. The award also includes $1,000 for a related nonprofit; Markley chose to split that donation between Oregon Foster Youth Connection and the Jackson Street Youth Shelter in Corvallis.

Markley works with Oregon Foster Youth Connection to advocate for foster youth, and he was part of the group that helped draft and lobby for the Oregon Foster Youth Bill of Rights that was signed into law in June. Those experiences had a major influence on him, he says, and on his Community Challenge proposal.

“It was really hard for me as a young teen and a preteen to have all these mentors who didn’t understand the experience I was going through,” he says. “Having a mentor who had already been through similar situations would have really helped me just be more open-minded.”

Maps formed its Community Foundation in 2011 to “build financial security through education,” and its inaugural Challenge last year—which sought solutions to teen homelessness—won a first-place Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award from the Credit Union National Association.

Many of the entries in this year’s challenge, which focused on helping youth transition from foster care, came from community members who work at local nonprofits that serve these often-marginalized youth. Finalists Lara Barnes, the director of quality assurance at Options Counseling and Family Services in Marion County, and Rachel Freeburg, an advocate coordinator for CASA of Marion County, also attended the awards presentation.

North Coast CEO Terry Belcoe Named 2013 Skagit County Advocate of the Year

Terry Belcoe, the president and CEO of North Coast Credit Union and a member of the NWCUA’s board of directors, has been named the 2013 Advocate of the Year by Community Action of Skagit County.

“Terry’s leadership in our advocacy efforts includes leading yearly trips to meet legislators in Olympia, establishing our first advocacy plan and convincing state Rep. Kristine Lytton to serve as his board alternate,” says Susan Lange, the agency’s donor development manager. (Belcoe is chairman of Community Action’s board of directors, as well as a past chair of United Way of Skagit County.)

Lange thanked Belcoe for adding “advocacy” to the agency’s mission statement and inserting “ending poverty” into North Coast’s mission, and she praised his efforts on behalf of the yearly Bite of Skagit, which raises funds to provide fresh produce to local food banks; his leadership role in the Bank On financial-literacy program and the Skagit Asset Building Coalition; his development of micro-lending options for business startups; and his support for a North Coast loan program for people seeking a path to U.S. citizenship.

“Despite his ‘day job,’ Terry shows up all over town for almost anything, rolls up his sleeves and pitches in,” Lange says, “and it’s always with a smile, an engaged intellect and unstoppable enthusiasm”

Belcoe’s advice for others? “Toss the ‘user’s manual’ for being an advocate,” he says, “and follow your heart.”

Brian Devereux Joins Unitus Community Credit Union as Vice President of Lending

Brian Devereux, who has more than two decades of experience in leadership roles at financial institutions with more than $1 billion in assets, has joined Unitus Community Credit Union as vice president of lending.

Devereux most recently served as Seattle Bank’s executive vice president and COO. He has also led strategic operations and lending services at other West Coast financial institutions, and served as an examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

At Unitus, he will lead the credit union’s overall strategic lending strategies with the goal of strengthening member service, effectively managing risk and enhancing the credit union’s reputation as one of Oregon’s strongest financial institutions.

“Brian possesses a unique blend of leadership experience and skill sets related to risk-based compliance, merchant services and commercial and retail operations,” says Unitus President and CEO Patricia Smith. “Unitus is committed to strategically growing our consumer and business lending operations in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Brian’s strategic leadership and underwriting experience brings additional strength to our efforts.”

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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