You Asked, We Answered…
Nearly 1,000 members were in attendance at the 2015 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting held on Tuesday, March 3, at the Jackson County Civic Center. The event featured traditional stopping points for giveaways and information and also a new option for members to make a “Power Pledge” with a chance to double their savings.
“The Power Pledge encourages members to save by creating the possibility for Navigator to match any new savings from the time they take their pledge,” stated Chief Communications Officer, Kathy Scarbrough. “We hope, for some, this encouragement will be the start to a new habit of saving for their future.”
The event also included reports from the Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, Supervisory Committee, Overview Committee and Nominating Committee.
The theme for the evening’s event, “The Power of You,” was chosen as an acknowledgement of the power of member-owners who, throughout the credit union’s history, have seized the opportunity to create better lives for themselves.
Robert A. Fertitta, President & CEO, commented, “Although we take it for granted today, many of these pioneers in the credit union made certain that the average person could access affordable financial services. Their bold moves created a legacy that has succeeded throughout several generations.”
ANSWERS TO MEMBER QUESTIONS
Q. How does the credit union select candidates for elections?
A. A nominating committee chooses qualified candidates who are voted on by the members. To be qualified, candidates must have knowledge of credit union affairs; have a good credit standing; be able to administer the affairs of the credit union, fairly and impartially; and have been a member of the credit union for at least two years, or have served in an official capacity in a credit union. If elected, Board members are required to take an oath that they will diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the credit union.
There is also a petition process where a person can be placed into nomination, subject to the above qualifications, if at least 200 primary voting members’ signatures are gathered and filed with the secretary of the credit union at least 15 days prior to the annual meeting. Although an account may have one or more joint members, only one signature and one vote per account is allowed by state law.
Q. What are the qualifications for candidates?
A. To be qualified, candidates must have knowledge of credit union affairs; have a good credit standing; be able to administer the affairs of the credit union; and have been a member of the credit union for at least two years. In addition to the qualifications, the candidate must not have any criminal convictions and certify he or she is willing to serve, if elected.
Q. What is the process for reviewing expenditures?
A. According to Navigator’s bylaws and Mississippi state law, the Supervisory Committee conducts four audits per year, including audits of the credit union’s expenditures and financials. The Supervisory Committee uses an independent CPA firm to thoroughly examine the credit union’s books. Navigator employs a dedicated risk officer and Quality Control Department which report all findings to the Supervisory Committee. Navigator is subject to examinations by the State Department of Banking and Consumer Finance and the National Credit Union Administration at least every 18 months. All contracts with a cost of more than $10,000 are presented to the full board for approval. Bauer Financial awarded the credit union a five-star rating for the 31st consecutive year. This superior rating not only indicates that Navigator is financially sound, but also that the credit union is operating well above the regulatory capital requirements. Based upon the above, Navigator is classified as “well capitalized” by the U.S. government with all expenditures reviewed multiple times by various agencies.
Q. If, during the course of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, a member has a question, will that question be answered at that year’s meeting?
A. The Parliamentarian will determine whether the member’s question(s) pertain to the report just completed. If they do not, such questions will be handled under “New Business.” This is not an attempt to avoid member questions, but rather to move them to the appropriate portion of the agenda.
Q. Does the credit union spend money to send people on trips?
A. There are various reasons why the credit union may send employees and representatives on trips. The annual Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., is a perfect opportunity for credit union representatives to meet with legislators to discuss matters of importance to all credit unions and discover ways to further increase benefits to our members.
The credit union also sends employees and volunteers to required training to help them keep current with the quickly evolving, highly regulated and highly technical world of financial services.