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AC&E Day Three: Stabenow Says She Appreciates Credit Unions; Wetherington Mesmerizes Crowd with High-energy Call to Make Use of Technology   (Misc News: July 15, 2012)

ACME – U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Michigan is coming back and credit unions have played a major role.

The Lansing Democrat, speaking at the Annual Convention and Exposition at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme, near Traverse City, said credit unions have made a difference in her life and many others.

“I can personally tell you that credit unions have been a very important part of my life,” Stabenow said.

“I want to thank you for being there for people when others weren’t,” she added. “You kept people afloat.”

In introducing her, MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams announced that the league is endorsing her for another term in the Senate.

“Sen. Stabenow is squarely in alignment with our issues,” he said.

In fact, Stabenow said she is working hard on credit unions’ top issue, member business lending expansion. She said she hopes to get MBL done this year.

Stabenow, a big supporter of Michigan agriculture and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, told the crowd that she hopes that when credit unions gain approval for more business loans, that they consider funding more agriculture projects.

She also said that recently she was at a celebration for the U.S. Patent Office’s first satellite office, located in Detroit. She said the office was put in Detroit because Michigan is tops in clean energy patents. Those patent holders are going to need small business loans and credit unions will have a chance to help.

“Someone needs to finance them,” Stabenow said.

Later, speaker Lee Wetherington, described as a financial futurist, energized the crowd with a funny and insightful presentation about the high-tech future financial institutions will face.

Wetherington said that to survive, credit unions will need to see new technologies coming so they can be at the leading edge. He said credit unions need to learn to listen to young staffers, the Gen Yers and Zers, who understand and follow the latest technology.

“To survive longterm, you have to work from the future backward,” Wetherington said.

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