CUANM Newsletter
July 1, 2021
Inside this issue
  Cooperation Will Get Us Through  
CUANM CEO Juan Fernandez


Credit unions have shown their strength and vitality during the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, we have come through stronger by demonstrating how our movement benefits our members as they navigate some of the hardest months of their lives. While dealing with an unprecedented and constantly-evolving crisis, credit union leaders delivered incomparable service and value to their members and communities. The key to our success during these difficult times was cooperation. Credit unions thrived through collaboration and helped lift each other up.

As New Mexico reopens today, the time is now to harness our collaborative spirit to build a stronger movement. I am thankful to the Association Board of Directors for selecting me to seize this cooperative moment, and I am committed to building an Association that is relevant, nimble, and innovative. Your Association will work to help your credit union thrive during these times of uncertainty, and we will have your back so that you can serve your members. I am committed to using my expertise to enhance our advocacy programs and educational offerings. We must also invest in the future of our movement, and I am looking forward to developing programs to train and equip the next generation of credit union managers and CEOs - ensuring we have a strong talent succession that will enable credit unions to thrive.

I will spend the next several weeks meeting with every single credit union in the state, listening to your needs and challenges and sharing my vision for the future of our Association. I look forward to working with you as we seek opportunities to increase the value proposition for every credit union - no matter the size. Just as you work for every member, we will work for you. Now, let's seize this cooperative moment and reach new heights - together.

Thank you, 

Juan E Fernández Ceballos

President & CEO 

Credit Union Association of New Mexico 



  Rock Out at the 2021 National Credit Union Call Center Conference - October 11-13  
Register Today

The National Credit Union Call Center (NCUCC) Conference is ready to ROCK in 2021! This year's Conference, dubbed the "Stronger Together Tour-Call Centers Rock!," will be a hybrid, live and virtual conference held at the famous Las Vegas Park MGM Hotel, October 11-13. 

The conference schedule features a lineup of presenters, information and presentations all designed to help nationwide Credit Union Call Center professionals continue our commitment to providing superior customer experiences. The lineup of subject-matter experts, community discussions and the latest in contact center innovations will give our Call Centers new tools and enhance leadership development.

As we continue to progress through COVID restrictions, our conference attendees' safety is paramount.  The NCUCCC team, in conjunction with our partner hotel, Park MGM, is following guidance from local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in our conference preparations. Also, the entire conference will be available to registrants virtually.

Register Today, and "Get Ready to Rock!"



  Two Connected Academy Students Win National BizKid$ Awards  

Two students from the UNM Mimbres School Connected Academy won a national entrepreneurial award for creating a cake business with a mission. In June, The two students who are undergoing long-term treatment at the school which is located in the University of New Mexico Hospital, won second place in the national BizKid$ Showcase competition with their C Squared Cakes company.

BizKid$ is a credit union-funded and branded financial education program for young adults, championed by the National Credit Union Foundation. Biz Kid$ ignites a passion for students to invest in their financial futures through lessons in entrepreneurship, money, managing finances, and more. Biz Kid$ Business Plan Competitions are a unique way for students to learn the ins and outs of business planning and put ideas into action.

C Squared Cakes was created by Casey Harrison and Camdon Farmer from the Connected Academy at UNMH. C Squared Cakes is a cake business plan with a mission. For each cake purchased, C Squared Cakes donates a cake to UNM Hospital to bring joy to a child who may be there during a special occasion. 

Over the last few months, over 100 students participated in the first-ever national Biz Kid$ Showcase presented in partnership with the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, the RMJ Foundation, the Illinois Credit Union Foundation and the Credit Union Association of New Mexico. The Biz Kid$ Showcase allowed creativity to continue in a virtual world. Throughout the showcase, participants completed learning modules focused on creating a business plan, building a brand, and setting a business up for future success. Each participant or team submitted both a business plan and a final showcase project, displaying all of their hard work. Judges from each partner state scored final showcase projects on branding, uniqueness, need, target market and overall presentation.

After winning first place at the state level in New Mexico, the winning final showcase projects from each state were reviewed again by a panel of judges on the national level. Congratulations to all the winners (listed below) of the first-ever National Biz Kid$ Showcase.

"Camdon and Casey are amazing and caring students!  Their business plan reflects those attributes because if a cake is purchased, they would donate a cake to a pediatric patient in the hospital on their birthday or holiday because they know what it is like to be hospitalized on one of those special occasions," said Monica Garcia-Roach, Lead Special Educator at the UNM Mimbres School Connected Academy.

The students won $500 from the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, as well as $750 from the national competition.  The first-place award was given to GradGenie, created by Yuktha Senthil, a student at Westview High School/Poway Unified School District in San Diego, California.

Amy Vigil, Executive Director of the New Mexico Credit Union Education Foundation, said "Camdon and Casey baked all the right ingredients into their business plan. We're proud to have partnered with UNMH and to support this amazing school and its very creative students.."

The Connected Academy is funded through a 10-year, $800,000 million commitment, by New Mexico's credit unions. New Mexico Credit Unions Connected Academy. The first student was enrolled in August 2020, and today there are 19 students enrolled from kindergarten to 12th grade. The students receive help with their homework when they are in the hospital or in infusion or dialysis. Students attend school daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. if they live nearby and have the ability to work from home as the curriculum is an online program.  More than 80 patients and siblings from eight different counties in New Mexico have participated in the program. Enrolled students have completed more than 3,000 assignments/activities for their classes.

Find C Squared at



  New CUANM Board of Directors Elected  

The Credit Union Association of New Mexico announced the results of their 2021 Board of Directors elections and welcomed the arrival of new president and CEO Juan Fernandez. The annual meeting, June 9th-10th, included breakout sessions and presentations designed to address issues affecting New Mexico's credit unions and their members.

Join us in congratulating the 2021-2022 CUANM Board of Directors:

Karen Griffo, Board Chair, President& CEO Roswell Community FCU
Judy Carrasco, Board Vice Chair, CEO Financial Security Credut Union
Ron Moorehead, Board Treasurer, CEO First Financial Credit Union
Class A 
Joe Christian, CEO Nusenda 
Ron Moorehead, CEO First Financial Credit Union
Class B 
Winona Nava, CEO, Guadalupe Credit Union
Judy Carrasco, CEO, Financial Security 
Class C
Karen Griffo, CEO Roswell Community FCU
Matt Schmidt, CEO, Los Alamos Schools CU
At Large Director, 
Rick Anderson, COO, Sandia Laboratory FCU  



  Progress Reversed: Women Leaving the Workforce?  

Three million women have left the US workforce since the start of the pandemic. What does this mean for credit unions Moving Forward?

The New Mexico Sister Society will host a discussion on this trend and its impact on credit unions and how we, as leaders and organizations, can best support and retain our valuable female workforce.

The conference will be live (both virtually and in person) on Thursday, July 22, 2021, from 5:00pm - 7:00pm at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel 2600 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110. 

Dr. Laura Parajon, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Health, will be the featured speaker for this timely topic and will impart some important factors for women and credit unions going forward. 

Dr. Parajon, currently on leave as the executive Director for Community Health and Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, at the University of New Mexico (UNM), has served in a variety of community-based positions, including Medical Director for the City of Albuquerque's COVID-19 Response for People Experiencing Homelessness, Medical Education Director for Community Health Initiatives, and Executive Director for Community Health at UNM.

Join us either in person for dinner, networking and the virtual program or stream the virtual program right from the comfort of your home or office.  The choice is yours! 

Click HERE now to register!





Catalyst Corporate has launched a new product specifically designed to help credit unions prepare for the adoption of new accounting requirements.

Current Expected Credit Loss - also known as CECL - will have a significant impact on how credit unions account for expected credit losses in the future. "With CECL requirements set to take effect in January 2023, credit unions should be evaluating solutions and determining the most appropriate type of modeling now," said Mark DeBree, Managing Principal of Catalyst Strategic Solutions. "Today's rollout of CECLution will help credit unions get ready in a timely manner."

CECLution is a robust, self-directed, online platform built upon the financial know-how of Catalyst Strategic Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Catalyst Corporate.

"We've worked to provide a user-friendly platform that gives credit unions the flexibility to customize inputs that accommodate different assumptions," DeBree said.

Based on the Weighted Average Remaining Maturity (WARM) method, CECLution offers several benefits:

  • Captures and maintains credit union historical data
  • Automatically integrates economic data
  • Displays credit union and peer data
  • Enables fully customizable Q-factors and carve-outs
  • Preserves core assumptions for easy updates
  • Saves and stores forecasts