First Development Education Class outside Madison Graduates Credit Union Leaders from 15 States and United Kingdom

Waiting Lists Grow for 2008 Classes

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. (10/2/07) – In a rustic, pastoral setting on a wooded island off the coast of Seattle, the first Credit Union Development Education (DE) class ever held outside of Wisconsin graduated 41 credit union leaders from the United States and the United Kingdom. Sponsored by the National Credit Union Foundation, the training was held at IslandWood, a unique site that utilizes the environment as a learning laboratory.

The 41 graduates join over 700 leaders who have now earned the designation of Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE).

Graduation keynote speaker Carol Schillios – who graduated from the first DE Class of 1982, and this year earned the Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Individual Achievement – sent the new CUDEs off with inspiring messages. Schillios spoke of how credit unions touch lives on six continents, what being a CUDE means to her, and her award-winning cooperative that turns beggars to businesswomen in Mali, Africa.

Throughout the week-long DE training, participants learned about national and international credit union systems as well as development issues affecting people around the world. The training promoted credit unions’ social responsibility and possible areas for domestic and international development.

Work groups chose subjects to research, and then completed final projects proposing credit union solutions to modern challenges. The six final projects assigned to the work groups were to:

  • Establish credit unions in the rebuilding of Iraq;
  • Decide whether to merge or not to merge a small CU with a large CU;

  • Decide whether to convert or not to convert a CU to a mutual bank;

  • Plan to serve a low-income community;

  • Design a national CU brand campaign;

  • Recommend how NCUA should define the term “modest means” or why it should not.

Graduates also pledged to carry on DE projects of their own when they get back to their offices.

“When DE Training ends, graduates leave inspired; many share a new and deeper commitment to the credit union movement,” says DE Program Director Tom Decker.


For example, several of the new graduates pledged to:

  • Pursue a “Desjardin” approach in their state that will impact small and mid-size credit unions;
  • Revitalize a local chapter to unite credit unions of all sizes;
  • Implement training programs about credit union philosophy, cooperatives, and the history of their own credit unions;
  • Create corporate communications on development issues;
  • Create a financial education outreach program for young adults who do not attend college;
  • Expand credit unions’ support of international college students to open accounts and understand the credit union difference;
  • Address issues facing senior credit union members;
  • Embark on a financial literacy project in the Philippines;
  • Set up a volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) site.

Introducing the IslandWood DE Graduates

Barb Argo, Cal Poly FCU - Pomona, CA; Mike Banks, State ECU - Raleigh, NC; Deborah Binder, Schillios Development Foundation - Edmonds, WA; Bob Campbell, North Island Financial CU - San Diego, CA; Regina Carey, AEA FCU - Yuma, AZ; Mary Ann Caskey, Maryland and DC Credit Union Association; Robert Clontz, ELGA CU - Burton, MI; Jamie Chase, JayRay - Tacoma, WA; Sue Douglas, State ECU - Raleigh, NC; Barry Stuart Epstein, Credit Union Training & Enterprise - New Barnet, Herts, UK; Renate Fearonce, Pyramid CU - Tucson, AZ; Matt Goodwin, Unitus Community CU - Tigard, OR; Kami Gunn, TruWest Credit Union - Tempe, AZ; Theresa Hilinski, Credit Union of New Jersey - Ewing, NJ; Victoria King, CU Business Group - Portland, OR; Amy Klassen, Denver Community FCU - Denver, CO; Gary Kohn, National Credit Union Administration - Alexandria, VA; Candice Landeros, Capstone FCU - Aliso Viejo, CA; Dawn Lindley, Virginia Credit Union League - Lynchburg, VA; Jason Lindstrom, Orange County Teachers FCU - Santa Ana, CA; Kurt Lykins, Corporate One Federal Credit Union - Columbus, OH; Armando Martinez, Kingsville Community FCU - Kingsville, TX; Robert Mims, Water and Power Community CU - Los Angeles, CA; Dawn Neathawk, American Airlines FCU - Dallas, TX; Kathy Nolan, AEA FCU - Yuma, AZ; Amy Rapp, WesCorp - San Dimas, CA; Joshua Reams, Ohio Credit Union System -Dublin, OH; Pat Roberts, Municipal Employees CU Inc. - Baltimore, MD; Mary Schultz, Westby Coop Credit Union - Reedsburg, WI; Debra Shumate, American Airlines FCU - Fort Worth, TX; Gerry Singleton, CUNA Mutual Group - Madison, WI; Shari Smith, CP FCU - Jackson, MI; Carl Stewart, Water and Power Community CU - Los Angeles, CA; Bobby Stone, American Airlines FCU - Dfw Airport, TX; Julie Tanner, Heritage Family FCU - Rutland, VT; Erica Tobe, Michigan State University Extension - East Lansing, MI; Mike Tufegdzich, Water and Power Community CU - Los Angeles, CA; Cornelius Varlack, American Airlines FCU - Washington, DC; Curtis Varnold, Space Age FCU - Aurora, CO; Jill Weber, Wisconsin Credit Union League - Pewaukee, WI; Doug Webster, Pentagon Federal Credit Union - Fairfax Station, VA.

Development Education Training for 2008

In 2008, NCUF will again offer two DE training opportunities. The first DE class of 2008 will be held April 3-9 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The summer class is tentatively scheduled for August 14-20 at IslandWood. More than 60 potential CUDEs have already joined the waiting list.

For more information or to join the waiting list, call Decker at (608) 358-9183, e-mail cude@ncuf.coop, or log onto www.ncuf.coop and click “Foundation Programs” then “Development Education.”

More about the DE Program:

By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

Over the past 25 years, more than 700 credit union advocates have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.

CUDEs represent a cross section of the cooperative sector, including active volunteers from U.S. credit unions and leagues, and from Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Scotland, and the West Indies.

NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE program, with support from state credit union leagues, the Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group, and the World Council of Credit Unions.

About the National Credit Union Foundation www.ncuf.coop:

NCUF is the U.S. credit union movement’s primary national charitable and fundraising organization. In 26 years, NCUF has provided more than $26 million in grants supporting its mission to promote consumers’ financial independence through credit unions.

NCUF is grateful to all 650+ investors in the Community Investment Fund (CIF), as well as its nearly 40 Corporate Sponsors – led by CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, the Corporate Credit Union Network, Liberty Enterprises, WesCorp, CO-OP Financial Services, Card Services for Credit Unions, Fidelity National Information Services, and Visa. All NCUF donors provide support that empowers the national and state credit union foundations to make a real impact throughout the credit union community.

NCUF recently earned the Better Business Bureau seal of approval for meeting the Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.


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