First Development Education Class of 2008 Graduates Cooperative Leaders from Washington, D.C., 10 States, and Four Countries

Registration Opens for Second DE Class in August

Photo of entire de training classThey started out as strangers – these intrepid 20 credit union executives and one cooperative professional, who are now forever bonded as graduates of the
Credit Union Development Education (CUDE) Training sponsored by the National Credit Union Foundation. They came from every corner of the U.S. and were joined by others from Australia, Kenya, England and Scotland.

Throughout the interactive, six-day training held April 3 – 9 in Madison, WI, the students learned about national and international credit union systems and cooperatives. Their training focused on cooperative principles, social impact, and credit union uniqueness as a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace, through lectures, debates, role-playing, and real-life experience.

Training for the Future

One exercise gave students a first-hand experience of the maze of financial options facing consumers today. The class was divided into four teams and charged to visit as prospective customers at least three of the following: a payday lending outlet, check cashing store, bank, auto loan title company, or credit union. Michael Ray, a DE mentor, said in a blog posting, “The experience was indeed an eye opener for many who had never entered these places.”

Another facet of DE training had the class divide into five work groups, the participants chose subjects to research, and then present their case studies that proposed credit union solutions to these modern challenges:
  • Decide whether to convert or not to convert a credit union into a mutual savings bank
  • Plan to serve the underserved in a low-income community
  • Provide credit access to the people of Iraq
  • Decide whether a small credit union should or should not merge with a larger credit union
  • Determine how credit unions can rebuild the community after the fallout of the sub-prime lending crisis.

The overall training promoted credit unions’ social responsibility and possible areas for domestic and international development.

Motivational Farewell

The graduates were given a motivational send-off from graduation keynote speaker, Maryland & DC Credit Union Association President Mike Beall, a graduate of the CUDE Class of 1994, who told his audience that it was every DE’s responsibility to continue to tell the credit union story and to seize the opportunity to make a difference in the lives and to advocate on behalf of ordinary people. He challenged the new CUDEs that as credit union and co-op ambassadors they were obligated to spread the philosophy of the credit union movement and to motivate others.

Just as over 800 others who have earned the designation of Credit Union Development Educator, these graduates have pledged to carry on DE projects of their own when they get back to their offices.

Introducing the 2008 Spring DE Graduates

James Berry, Bristol CU LTD, Bristol, England; Marie Coyle, East Ayrshire CU LTD, Kilmarnock Ayrs, Scotland; Allison Doney, New York State CU League, Albany, NY; Kitty Gray, Missouri Corporate CU, St. Louis, MO; Michelle Greear, Technology CU, San Jose, CA; Ken Halkett, CUNA Mutual Group, Traralgon, Victoria, Australia; David Hernandez, Chicanos Por La Causa FCU, Phoenix, AZ; Carolyn Hoover, DotCooperation LLC, Washington, DC; Cindy Johnson, National Credit Union Administration, Alexandria, VA; Jennifer Kuhn, CUNA Mutual Group; Madison, WI; Michelle LaCombe, National Credit Union Administration, Alexandria, VA.; Kathie Lorenz, Desert Energy CU, Tucson, AZ; Sandy McCormick, Total Assurance FCU, Worthington, OH; Teresa Meyers, American Airlines FCU, Hurst, TX; Duncan Muhindi Njiri, Majanees Savings and Credit Co-op Society, LTD, Limuru, Kenya; Jason Parkins, Millstream Area CU, Findlay, OH; Debbie Pope, Corporate America CU, Irondale, AL; Jeff Purvis National Credit Union Foundation, Washington, DC; Willard Rance, Washington State ECU, Seattle, WA; Scott Rose, Kelly Community FCU, Tyler, TX; and Stacey Sampson, Corporate One FCU, Columbus, OH.

Second DE Class in August

The second DE Training class will be held August 14 – 20, at IslandWood, located on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Washington State. This unique site, located in a rustic, pastoral setting, utilizes the environment as a learning laboratory.

DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge. Registrations will be accepted through July 14, unless the class fills up prior to that date. The registration fee of $1,600 (double room) or $1,700 (single room) includes six nights of lodging, as well as all training materials and meals.

Credit unions with questions about Development Education or would like brochures on the program are invited to contact Program Director Tom Decker at (800) 356-9655, ext. 4374; or e-mail

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 26 years, nearly 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 434 active volunteers from U.S. credit unions and leagues, and from Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Scotland, and the West Indies.