Louisiana Story Archive

Louisiana credit union expands field of membership into Arkansas

Feb. 23, 2023 — Centric Federal Credit Union in Louisiana has received regulatory approval for a major field-of-membership expansion, bringing it into Arkansas.

The $325 million-asset credit union in West Monroe has added 26 parishes and counties in Louisiana and neighboring Arkansas to its membership after the National Credit Union Administration approved the plans.

Centric Federal Credit Union CEO Rodney Parker said the company will expand into 26 new parishes and counties. Before the expansion, Centric’s field of membership covered only Ouachita and Lincoln parishes in north Louisiana.

“Centric FCU works earnestly to bring attentive, friendly solutions from start to finish and looks forward to being a great partner to the people in these communities,” Rodney Parker, Centric’s president and CEO, said in a press release Tuesday. Read more

Louisiana League Names Winner of Emerging Leader Award

Aug. 16, 2022 — The Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) has presented its 2022 Emerging Leader Award to Kristi Thornhill of Neighbors FCU.

The Emerging Leader Program recognizes the achievements of exceptional individuals who consistently integrate themselves into the industry through development, service, and engagement, according to the league.

Louisiana League

From left: Kristi Thornhill (Neighbors FCU), Rachell Murray (INSTEP CU), Shasta Leininger (OnPath FCU), Gina Foshee (Barksdale FCU), and Ben Dubuc (First Pioneers FCU). Standing behind the group is LCUL President/CEO Matt Rookard

“(Thornhill) is  recognized for successfully launching and managing the Virtual Teller Center from the ground up,” the LCUL said in presenting the award. “Her leadership and innovation have been the ingredients to an incredibly successful shift in the credit union’s business strategy. She stays highly engaged with industry trends which has helped Neighbors FCU to stay informed on best practices and industry insights in the ITM environment.

Kristi welcomes credit unions from all over for site visits while helping them from the beginning to the end in their ITM journey.”

Group of Five

According to the Louisiana league, Thornhill was selected from five Emerging Leader finalists who represented the elite among the promising credit union professionals across the state of Louisiana. Industry leaders evaluated all nominees to determine who would be represented in the statewide competition.

The five finalists received a full scholarship to LCUL’s 2022 convention. As the overall winner, Thornhill receives a full scholarship to CUNA’s Emerging Leader Institute.

Louisiana League Rolls Out New Social Media Platform, Bubble

Courtesy of CUToday.info

July 27, 2022 — The Louisiana Credit Union League has officially rolled out is new social media platform, bubble.


According to the LCUL, it entered a partnership with Breezio to “build a new approach to the online community landscape that fosters seamless collaboration. bubble offers members the opportunity to share ideas and best practices, seek input on vendors, discuss dozens of operational issues, and get fast answers to questions from colleagues statewide.”

Added SVP Lacey Weaver, “A strong emphasis on league value falls on collaboration and networking, where members can draw on the collective expertise and resources of their peers. LCUL knew it was imperative to incorporate a dynamic platform such as bubble in our engagement strategy, specifically in today’s environment.”

The league said it simultaneously launched an additional online community for credit unions actively involved in financial counseling. Counselors Corner is a networking tool for certified credit union financial counselors across 15 states, the association added.

“Provided as an extension of LCUL’s Enhanced Financial Counseling Designation Program, Counselors Corner is a strong community that offers actionable insights, resources and ongoing development that enhance the work they do,” the league said.

In 2021, Louisiana Credit Union Members Received $169 Million in Benefits
Courtesy of CUToday.info

Credit unions across Louisiana provide citizens the best value for personal financial services according to latest economics and statistic reports, delivering an estimated $169 million in benefits among 1.3 million members in the state during 2021. Louisiana Graphic

Details of the Louisiana Membership Benefits Report for year-end 2021 include credit unions’ lower average interest rates on new and used car loans, unsecured loans, and credit card balances, higher savings yields on deposit accounts, and lower fees than banks.

Among the not-for-profit cooperatives, a 60-month new auto car loan rate averaged 3.01% at a Louisiana credit union, compared to 5.03% at a bank. Those terms mean a borrower would save about $273 in interest annually when financing a $25,000 new vehicle through a credit union.

‘Ready to Move Forward’

“Consumers are ready to move forward, weighing opportunities to build for the future or reduce the cost of home and auto purchases. Our collaborative structure allows credit unions to help consumers with products and services that are driven by need rather than profit,” said Lacey Weaver, LCUL senior vice president. “Over the past two years, credit unions have fostered a new level of trust with members. As a result, credit unions have seen a membership growth of 3.8% in 2021.”

In addition to making an impact on the state economy, the impact report reaffirms credit unions’ efforts to empower their members by helping them make wise financial decisions. Approximately 79% of Louisiana credit unions offer financial counseling with 700 certified counselors throughout the state.

Louisiana Credit Union League Selects Matt Rookard as the Next President/CEO
Courtesy of CUNA News

LCULApril 13, 2022 — The Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) Board of Directors has selected Matt Rookard as their next President and CEO. Rookard joins LCUL following the departure of Bob Gallman, who retired in March after serving more than forty years in the movement.

Rookard brings extensive experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors throughout the state, most recently serving as President/CEO of the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority. Prior to this role, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) and Project Manager at Louisiana Economic Development.

“The League Board believes Matt is very much aligned with our collective values, culture, and shared vision for the organization. We are confident he will provide the strategic leadership, advocacy and innovative support necessary to advance Louisiana credit unions,” said Steve Webb, Vice Chair of the LCUL’s Board of Directors and President/CEO of Neighbors FCU in Baton Rouge. “Working together, we look forward to strengthening and expanding our footprint throughout Louisiana.”

Rookard earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University and is a graduate of University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (EDI). Professional accolades include establishing the Bayou Business Recovery Grant Program, a $500,000 grant fund for small businesses in Terrebonne Parish, and the creation of the Bayou Business Community Housing initiative which donated 45 travel trailers to families in south Louisiana after Hurricane Ida. His accomplishments have resulted in 44 announced projects representing $3.4 billion in capital investments and over 10,000 direct jobs.

Read More Here

Ascension Credit Union & Its Members Donate $14,139.90 to Sheriff Webre’s Christmas Crusade

December 9, 2021 Over the past month, Ascension Credit Union partnered with Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Christmas Crusade to help disadvantaged children in Ascension Parish have a Merry Christmas! This year, members had the opportunity to stop by to donate or place their donation online. The members alone were able to contribute $9,139.90 and Ascension CU added an additional $5,000 match, bring their donation total to $14,139.90. This contribution was ACU’s largest yet. Sheriff Bobby Webre and the Sheriff’s office will host a shopping night where a team will gather to purchase toys, games, and other Christmas gifts.

Pelican State Credit Union Supports Hurricane Ida Relief in Louisiana

Sept. 17 2021 Pelican was fortunate that the damage to branches and the Corporate Campus by Hurricane Ida was minimal and we acted quickly to offer assistance to others. They answered the call to help our employees, members, credit union peers, and communities.


  • They facilitated Quick Cash Grants from the Louisiana Credit Union Foundation. 94 Pelican employees received a total of $27,000.
  • The Lake Charles & Sulphur Branches gathered supplies such as drinks, snacks, and paper goods to donate to their team members in Southeast LA.
  • They are collecting donations to the Pelican Employee Relief Account to be distributed to the most severely impacted team members.


  • Fees incurred from 08/28/2021 – 09/03/2021 by members with physical addresses in a FEMA disaster declared parish were proactively refunded on 09/10/2021 totaling $118,151:
    • ODP Fees Refunded $93,000
    • NSF Fees Refunded $22,080
    • ATM Fees Refunded $3,071
  • Disaster Relief Loans
  • Visa Credit Card Limit Increases
  • Loan Payment Extensions


In the cooperative spirit of credit unions, Pelican provided supplies to LA Federal Credit Union in La Place, New Orleans Fireman’s FCU in Metairie, and La Terre FCU in Houma last week. Additionally, we provided lunch to the employees of New Orleans Fireman’s FCU.

Read More by visiting Pelican State Credit Union’s social media page. 

Emergency Declaration by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions

August 27, 2021 — Governor Edwards’ Proclamation No. 165 JBE 2021 dated August 26, 2021, declared a State of Emergency for Tropical Storm Ida through September 27, 2021, unless terminated sooner. Pursuant to
my authority under LSA-RS 6:121(A) of the Louisiana Banking Law, and, as a result of the serious threat and concerns presented by Tropical Storm Ida in multiple parishes in the State of Louisiana, which may
threaten the lives and property of the residents and businesses located in such areas, I hereby deem these conditions to create an emergency relative to financial institutions in general in the affected areas, and as to
their employees, and their customers, and therefore issue the following Emergency Declaration:

Temporary Branch Office Closures, Relocations, and Reduced Operations

As a result of the existing state of emergency, I hereby grant state-chartered financial institutions authority to temporarily close an existing branch office(s), establish a temporary location(s), and reduce operations,
products, and services provided by state-chartered financial institutions pursuant to my authority under LSA-RS 6:121(A).


Click here for the Emergency Preparedness Guide

LCUL Co-signs CUNA Letter to NCUA on Rulemaking Aimed at PCA Relief

March 24, 2021 — The Louisiana Credit Union League President/CEO joined credit union leagues around the country in signing a CUNA letter to the NCUA leadership on Friday. The letter urges the agency to provide additional relief to help credit unions facing prompt corrective action challenges.

In May 2020, the NCUA issued an interim final rule that provided credit unions relief related to PCA by permitting the NCUA Board to issue an order to temporarily waive the earnings retention requirement for any credit union classified as adequately capitalized. The interim final rule also permitted credit unions to submit simplified net worth restoration plans if the reduction in capital was caused by share growth resulting from a temporary condition due to the pandemic. The rule, however, expired Dec. 31, 2020.

In the letter, CUNA asks that the NCUA adopt a new interim final rule, essentially identical to the 2020 interim final rule to provide relief to credit unions experiencing prompt corrective action issues related to an increase in share growth, with the relief remaining in effect until the end of the pandemic as determined by the Centers for Disease Control or other federal entity authorized to make such a determination.

The letter can be accessed on CUNA’s website.

Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions Update 
June 13, 2018 — Louisiana updated its data breach notification law with, S.B. 361, which is effective August 1, 2018. Under the bill’s new provisions, businesses will be required to notify affected individuals of a data breach no later than 60 days from the discovery of the breach. The legislation does permit delays in notifications for certain reasons including, law enforcement investigations or to determine the scope of the breach.

‘Emergency preparedness guide’ updated, distributed
Aug. 25, 2017 — With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on the Gulf states, the LA Office of Financial Institutions has updated and distributed its “emergency preparedness guide” to help guide credit unions, banks and thrifts document how each will respond to “various scenarios and adversity in the event of a wide-area disaster or emergency.”

‘Great flood’ worse than ‘any hurricane ever’
Aug. 16, 2016 –– With reports of at least 20 Louisiana credit unions closed as a result of flooding after heavy rains, local state officials are reporting an inundation as bad, if not worse, than any hurricane.

NASCUS Regulatory Roundtable Set for Next Week in New Orleans
May 1, 2015 – New Orleans, La. – Next week, individuals from across the country will have the chance to exchange examination best practices with their peers at the NASCUS Regulatory Roundtable in New Orleans. Kirkland Promoted to Louisiana OFI Deputy Commissioner
August 13, 2014 – Baton Rouge, La. – Christine Kirkland was promoted to deputy commissioner with the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions (OFI). She formerly held the position of an internal auditor with OFI.

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