Lois Kitsch & Bill Myers Volunteer as New Facilitators to Lead Development Education Training

NCUF Extends Registration Deadline to March 16 for April Class at University of Wisconsin in Madison

The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is announcing two new volunteer facilitators for the upcoming Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training:
  • Lois Kitsch, CUDE and NCUF REAL Solutions National Program Director
  • Bill Myers, CUDE and President/CEO of Alternatives Federal Credit Union
  • “The combined knowledge of Lois and Bill is remarkable,” said NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. “They are both dynamic and innovative leaders in infusing cooperative principles, credit union uniqueness and social responsibility, which are the lifelines of Development Education.”

    Kitsch joined NCUF in December 2006 as national program director of REAL Solutions. In her prior role as director of field projects for the Filene Research Institute, Kitsch piloted REAL Solutions in three states that implemented new business models to serve people with low wealth and modest means. Kitsch has promoted credit union development in over 30 countries, managing projects throughout Asia and Europe for the World Council of Credit Unions. From 1997 to 2001, Kitsch was project manager of a credit union strengthening program in the Philippines that earned a Herb Wegner Award for Outstanding Program. She has also traveled to Afghanistan four times to obtain funding for credit union growth in that war-torn country. Prior to her world travels, Kitsch helped manage credit unions in Florida and North Dakota.

    Myers founded Alternatives Federal Credit Union in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1979 and has been its CEO throughout its existence, providing strategic direction as well as hands-on management. From its inception, Alternatives has focused on serving underserved markets with innovative products and partnerships. Noted innovations include volunteer income tax assistance, youth credit union branches, Business CENTS training, Money Wise financial planning, payday loan alternatives product, community partnership lending, and individual development accounts.

    Registration Extended through March 16

    Credit union supporters can now register through March 16 for DE Training on April 12-17 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. (Visit www.ncuf.coop and click Register for DE Training.) To inquire about possible scholarships to DE Training, credit unions can contact their state foundation or league.

    Who Should Attend – and Why

    DE Training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation, to seasoned credit union executives who need to recharge. The intensive, six-day DE Training focuses on cooperative principles, credit union uniqueness and social responsibility. Linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE Program brings renewed relevance to the renowned credit union motto, “People Helping People.”

    “Anyone who dearly loves credit unions and who believes that credit unions have the ability to impact the world around them will benefit from DE Training,” says 1994 graduate Mike Beall, a seven-time co-facilitator of DE Training. “When I look at who’s gone through training, it’s literally a list of the best and brightest from our movement.”

    Mike Beall Recognized

    Beall announced that he cannot facilitate DE Training this year due to increasing activities as president of the Maryland and DC Credit Union Association. Nonetheless, Beall has endorsed the new facilitators and pledged to stay involved. “I wish the program well and will continue to be involved in the program as a civilian DE,” Beall assured. “The DE program will always be near and dear to my heart. I am leaving in complete confidence that Bill and Lois will be great facilitators.”

    “Over many years, Mike Beall has been a true champion and ambassador for the DE program,” said NCUF Deputy Director Steve Bosack. “In fact, Mike and Lois Kitsch are the only people in the world to be certified as DEs in four different countries. Good news is Mike will continue as a guiding force for DE Training and a member of the Foundation’s Future of DE Committee.”

    Graduates Make an Impact

    Every year, dozens of dedicated individuals from all parts of the movement complete the training necessary to become certified as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Graduates commit volunteer and professional time to deliver credit union messages throughout the country. NCUF is offering two training classes this year to recruit even more credit union advocates.

    “When DE Training is over, people leave revitalized,” says DE Program Director Tom Decker. “They leave with a clear understanding that societal issues are, indeed, global, and that credit unions have the unique ability to improve the lives of people everywhere.”

    After graduation, many CUDEs take on projects in the name of credit union development. Whether making public presentations and writing articles on credit union uniqueness, designing new outreach programs, or providing technical assistance to credit unions in need, CUDEs provide a necessary service on behalf of the movement.

    CUDEs represent a cross section of the cooperative sector, including more than 350 active volunteers from U.S. credit unions and leagues, and from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Philippines, Mexico, Scotland, England, Fiji and the West Indies.

    NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE Program, with support from the World Council of Credit Unions, Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group, and state credit union leagues. DE Training is run by Tom Decker, consultant director of the Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management, with assistance from Christopher Morris, NCUF’s manager of communications & information. More information on the DE program can be found at ncuf.coop> National Programs> Development Education.