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More than 1,000 attend the AC&E

The 3rd LSCU Annual Convention and Exposition (AC&E) carried the theme, "The Power of One. One Vision. One Voice." For three days, more than 1,000 attendees were immersed in how credit unions can work closer together to achieve many goals, including a greater presence with lawmakers and reaching more consumers.
LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine challenged credit unions to partner with the League, especially on advocacy topics. He told them that credit unions are a like a four-legged stool. He said credit unions, chapters, leagues and CUNA all need to work together to hold the movement up and move it forward. He told attendees that advocacy was the top priority for the League. 
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz spoke during the annual meeting and said credit unions are improving. She said that Alabama credit unions are beating the national average in nearly every category. Matz implored credit unions to invest in technology for Gen Y. The average age of those seeking a loan are between 25 and 44, while the average age of a credit union member is 47. Matz also asked credit unions to take part in advocacy to help get the changes needed to regulations. WOCCU President/CEO Dr. Brian Branch and CUES President/CEO Fred Johnson also spoke.
Game Change, the New York Times best seller and HBO movie, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann gave the keynote address during Friday's General Closing Session. Halperin and Heilemann took credit unions inside the 2012 elections and gave a great overview of the strengths and weaknesses of Pres. Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney. The LSCU awards were presented after the keynote address with former Alabama CU CEO Jimmy Lankford being awarded the Distinguished Service award. His portrait will now hang in the Credit Union House Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.
The Governmental Affairs luncheon featured Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL). Rep. Posey told the crowd inside Washington information about the budget and how gridlock is not necessarily a bad thing. He said that gridlock can keep bills from being passed that will be harmful to small businesses. He also talked about how laws are passed many times and then the regulations that are stacked on them are burdensome and often times don't reflect the original bill.
The LSCU Exhibit Hall is one of the largest among credit union shows. Nearly 130 exhibitors had five hours to mingle with attendees and talk business. A Best in Show competition awarded five vendors with blue ribbons. Think Creative, a website design company, won the Best in Show and the President's Choice for best booth.
The AC&E featured more than 20 education sessions, the LSCU/CUES Councils, and the Director's Institute. The Silent Auction concluded during Friday night's Dinner and Entertainment. The final totals won't be out for another week, but it will surpass last year's total. Eleven-year-old piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick brought the house down Friday night with two 20 minutes sets that had the crowd up and dancing. Ethan gave away two of his DVDs and two tickets to a concert this summer and auctioned off a custom message.
The 2013 AC&E will be June 12-15, 2013 at the JW Marriott, Orlando.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz speaks during the LSCU AC&E Annual Business Meeting.

The staff of Community Credit Union of Florida pose with Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL).

The AC&E featured 20 educational sessions.