International Officials Attending Development Education Training May 13-19 in Wisconsin

WOCCU Chair Leads Overseas Delegation; US and Global Scholarships Still Available

Melvin Edwards Addresses Attendees at WOCCU's 2008 World Credit Union Conference in Hong KongDELAVAN, Wis. (4/3/09) – International demand for Credit Union Development Education (DE) training is rising despite the worldwide recession.

With a full month of registration time remaining before the training scheduled for May 13-19, the class already includes two Africans, one Brit, and the internationally known credit union ambassador from the Caribbean: Melvin Edwards, chairman of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).

"Participating in the U.S. DE program will enable me to commence applying Caribbean and worldwide experiences of the past 27 years into academic thought and frameworks, especially in the unprecedented trauma facing the global economy and financial sector,” says Edwards. “The exchange of ideas and perspectives with other development planners and educators will enrich knowledge transfers and HR competencies strengthening processes throughout our respective movements. Ultimately, we will change more lives for the better through credit unions – in keeping with World Council's global vision.”

Caribbean DE Program Envisioned

Edwards also has a personal goal to change lives close to home: “I do hope to work with other graduates to start a sustainable Caribbean DE program." Edwards’ aspiration to start a Caribbean DE program was inspired by the joint launch in 2008 of an international designation between WOCCU and the National Credit Union Foundation.

“The U.S. DE program has had international participants for years, and there are DE-designated programs in Asia, Australia, the Philippines, and United Kingdom,” noted Foundation Executive Director Steve Delfin. “By formally expanding the U.S. DE program to the global market in partnership with WOCCU, we are building on the program’s foundation of cooperative values, as U.S. DE participants gain more exposure to credit union movements from other countries.”

Timely Economic Discussions

Click to see Lake Lawn Resort!International exposure is just part of the DE experience. “DE training in 2009 will incorporate emerging economic discussions while continuing to provide critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy,” assures DE Training Facilitator Tom Decker, director of social impact management for NCUF. “We plan to show this year’s trainees how the member-centric business model will enable credit unions to weather the economic storm better than most for-profit institutions.”

The first of this year’s two scheduled DE training classes will take place from May 13-19 in a new location: Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wis. The resort stretching across 2.5 miles of lakefront is a serene setting for retreats. DE participants will find the resort about 50 minutes from either Madison or Milwaukee, or less than two hours from Chicago.

Who Should Attend – And Why

Sign up for this interactive experience!DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge. Participants cite many benefits of attending DE training:
  • Graduates acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building, and public presentations.
  • Graduates earn certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). They join a networking group including over 800 graduates across America and 10 other countries.
  • CUDEs realize that local issues are indeed global – and that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively.
  • CUDEs return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive financial services marketplace.
More and more CUDEs are sharing their life-changing experiences on blogs. “I cannot recommend the DE program highly enough,” posted 2007 CUDE John Godwin, vice president of business development/strategic alliances at MECU in Baltimore, Md. “It is a very robust program that will inspire you and increase your knowledge about credit union history and philosophy. I strongly feel that CUDEs are the champions of the credit union movement.”

Click here for amazing testimonials!

Scholarships Available

Sign up to become a CUDE!Scholarships are available through NCUF’s DE Fund and through several state credit union foundations and leagues.

“We realize that the economy is tough, so we are doing everything we can to make it easy as possible for credit unions to send representatives to DE training,” Decker confirms.

Credit union advocates interested in a scholarship can contact their state foundation or league, or contact Decker at or 800-356-9655, ext. 4374. A list of states confirming DE scholarships is posted on the NCUF website.

Room & Meals Included

The $1,750 registration fee includes six nights lodging, as well as training materials and meals.
DE Class Graduation Photo

More about the DE Program:

The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking.

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 27 years, more than 800 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 US credit unions and leagues, and from Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Scotland, and the West Indies.

The National Credit Union Foundation is the primary sponsor of the DE program. Support is provided by CUNA Mutual Group, the Credit Union National Association, the World Council of Credit Unions, state foundations and leagues.

Click here for more information on Credit Union Development Education.