Last Friday was our first meeting of 2015 after being away for two weeks of Holiday cheer. As the temperature was cold and in the single digits, we’re starting to see some brightness on the eastern sky – a sign of longer days and warmer times to come. The layoff also saw plenty of pent-up ‘Happy Fines,” two new member inductions plus a number of guests including former members, Larry D’Attilio and Pam Foard who were back from 3 months in Vietnam working with on the Women’s Micro-Lending Project. The program, which is one of ERC’s international projects, boasts a 100% repayment record which is the best of any similar project worldwide.
 
 
The 2 new members we inducted were Arne Landsverk and John Washkovick. Arne is an executive with the Boy Scouts of America and lives in Mt Pleasant. John and his wife Carol recently moved to Elm Grove from Wauwatosa where he'd been a member of the Wauwatosa Rotary Club. John is a Vice President and partner of Payroll Control Systems. We’ll be looking forward to their Classification talks in the coming weeks. Be sure to give a warm ERC welcome to Arne and John when you meet them.
 
Our Speaker this morning was Mike Tostrud, Community Relations Executive for FIS Systems talking about the challenges facing the Credit Card industry from fraud and hackers. Over 100 million cards were stolen in 2014, including some high profile cases such as Target and Home Depot, with over $200 million spent just to reissue stolen cards. We also learned a few new hacker terms including Pharming, Phishing, Vishing, and Smishing which are all techniques crooks use to steal our Credit Card information. 
 
But with all this, credit card fraud is still just a small percentage of the total volume of transactions but Mike stressed the need for consumers to protect their personal information, use strong passwords and change them occasionally. Mike also highlighted the improvements in card security, such as the new microchip credit card and smartphone payment programs which is a very timely and interesting topic.
 
Next week our speaker will be Ken Stanch, who is Head of the Waukesha County Airport, to discuss current issues facing the local aviation.