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CU News Briefs
Friday, July 11, 2014 6:45 AM

Mike Smith Named Vice President of Finance/CFO at Cherokee Strip CU

Mike Smith has been named the vice president of finance/CFO for Cherokee Strip CU in Ponca City, Okla. Smith had previously held the position of CFO at OU FCU in Norman, Okla. Prior to that, he had spent 12 years as an auditor with the Oklahoma Credit Union Association (Now the Cornerstone Credit Union League).

In his new duties, Smith will oversee all accounting functions, operations, investments, budgeting, ALM, data processing, IT and regulatory compliance.

$72,000 in Grant Funds Awarded to Central Texas Educators

 A+ Education Foundation (Foundation), a philanthropic arm of A+ FCU, has awarded more than $72,000 in grants to 81 educators in Central Texas and over half a million dollars since 2004. These funds cover the cost of programs, supplies, and training to improve the classroom experience for students.

This year’s 81 winning submissions included a literacy learning lab, nutrition and cooking, college readiness, music in play, circuitry in engineering, and integrating technology to foster and develop mathematics, reading, and science as well as assistive technology to conquer dyslexia.

“We continue to be impressed by the innovative and creative grants submissions we receive each year,” said Kerry A. S. Parker, Foundation President. “It’s exciting to provide grants to educators for programs that enhance their teaching and their students’ learning experiences. What a positive impact these educators are making on their classroom, campus and in their community.”

 A+ FCU was founded by teachers in 1949 and remains dedicated to its educational roots and the communities it serves. The Foundation also continues to offer an Honorary Grant Program in which grants are awarded, in a name designated by contributors, in the amount of $1,000. This year’s recipient of The Kate Loftis Memorial Education Grant, awarded on behalf of Dennis and Cindy Loftis, is Jennifer Weaver from Callison Elementary School in Round Rock ISD. Her grant program is entitled I Want to Read, I Love to Read, I Can Read.

Kate Loftis, who was born Jan. 31, 1900, was a life-long teacher who obtained her teaching certificate from what is now Texas State University. At age 20, she began teaching in schools around Travis County until her retirement in 1945. She then began teaching veterans returning from World War II and continued teaching until her mid 90’s, travelling from her care facility to a local elementary school to teach reading.

Braden GrahamSSFCU Names Braden Graham Manager of Corporate Services

Braden Graham, JD, has been named manager of corporate services for Security Service FCU, where he will be responsible for managing tenant and landlord relations, as well as overseeing and managing food service and mailroom operations at SSFCU headquarters.

Graham recently completed his master’s in business administration and earned a juris doctorate from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

United Heritage Charity Foundation Auto Raffle Raises $53,796

United Heritage RaffleAs a result of its fourth annual Auto Raffle for charity, the United Heritage Charity Foundation raised $53,796. On June 27, Michael Williams from Round Rock won the new 2014 Honda Civic LX Sedan donated by Howdy Honda of Austin, Texas. The $1 winning ticket was purchased at the United Heritage CU branch in Round Rock and randomly drawn at an event held at Howdy Honda.

After learning he was the winner, Williams was initially in disbelief, but later said, “This has been a surreal experience, and I’m extremely fortunate to have won the car. The United Heritage Charity Foundation and Howdy Honda are top-notch organizations, and I am looking forward to working with the United Heritage Charity Foundation to make a difference in people’s lives. What an unforgettable experience.”

Proceeds from the Auto Raffle benefit local charities supported by the United Heritage Charity Foundation. A total of $200,594 has been raised for charity in the first four years of the auto raffle.

The United Heritage Charity Foundation Chairman, May Lofgreen says, “The Charity Foundation appreciates the support from all who purchased raffle tickets and the generous donation of the Honda Civic from Howdy Honda. We look forward to continuing the Foundation’s support of deserving organizations that make a difference in Central and East Texas.”

The United Heritage Charity Foundation was established in 2003 as a means to provide ongoing support to charitable projects. Since its inception, United Heritage Charity Foundation has distributed more than $1,180,268 to local organizations including Austin Children’s Shelter, Capital Area Food Bank, CASA of Travis County and Central Texas, Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas and Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation.