Forty-two credit union professionals become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) last week after being guided by eight dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training. The September 6-13, 2012 training was held at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.
DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, issue discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.
Graduates of the Fall 2012 DE Training stand outside of the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis.
“During the entire DE training experience, we work to ensure applicability of the credit union philosophy and relevance to current events,” said Lois Kitsch, DE Mentor and National Program Director for the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). “For example, for the final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included social media and virtual banking, mergers and small credit unions, payday lending, small credit union growth, National Credit Union Administration’s low-income designation, and credit union development in Great Britain.”
“I entered DE Training as the frustrated CEO of a small credit union, unsure how much more energy we had to fight,” said Chris Blough, President/CEO of Wayne County Community FCU in Ohio. “I left DE recharged and refocused on my mission to not only empower my own small CU, but to work to strengthen the CU system nationwide.”
The Fall 2012 graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S., the Caribbean, Scotland, and one from South Africa participating through the African DE Scholars Program. They are: Kelsey Balcaitis, A+ FCU in Texas; Barb Bates, TLC Community CU in Michigan; Coleen Bernabe, Central Credit Union in Commonwealth of Dominica; Chris Blough, Wayne County Community FCU in Ohio; Victor Botha, Sibanye Cape SACCO Ltd in South Africa; Lennox Bowman, General Employees Co-Operatives in St. Vincent and Grenadines; Susan Brunner, Carter FCU in Louisiana; Cynthia Campbell, Tinker FCU in Oklahoma; Mandy Clayton, FivePoint CU in Texas; Noelle Conzelmann, Frankenmuth CU in Michigan; Nancy Croix-Stroud, First Class American CU in Texas; Will Dahmen, State ECU in North Carolina; Jared Dance, TwinStar CU in Washington; Micah Davis, BIU Members Credit Union Co-Op Society in Bermuda; Andrea Demmith, NEW Credit Union in Wisconsin; Krissy Dubovec, Local Government FCU in North Carolina; David Faleski, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Jan Garkey, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Wisconsin; Corinne Glasgow, CICSA Co-op Credit Union Ltd in Cayman Islands; Mark Greene, State ECU in North Carolina; Halley Hayden, Missouri Credit Union Association in Missouri; Katy Hays, Credit Union Strategic Planning in Washington; Stuart Himmelstein, American Airlines FCU in Texas; Jessica Hrubes, CUNA Strategic Services in Wisconsin; Aimee Johnson, Oswego County FCU in New York; Robert Kelly, NHS Credit Union in Scotland; John Link, Agriculture FCU in Washington, DC; Janet McDonald, CUNA Mutual Group in Indiana; Sheilah Montgomery, Credit Union of Atlanta in Georgia; Alex Morales, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Stephen Nelson, The Utah Credit Union Association in Utah; Jim Pack, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Jane Parker, Woodstone CU in Washington; Leonard Parkhurst, League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Florida; Adrianne Rexius, Tempe Schools CU in Arizona; Josh Smith, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Dorothy Steffens, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Monica Titley, Filene Research Institute in Wisconsin; Laura Vann, League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Alabama; Steve Wilder, Horizon CU in Washington; Michelle Wingate, Peoples Trust FCU in Texas; and Jay Young, Fiberglas FCU in Ohio.
Upcoming 2013 DE Training
The next DE Training will be held at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. on May 1-8, 2013. Anyone who is interested in attending the upcoming class can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on a list to be notified when registration is open.
More Attendee Testimonials from the Fall 2012 DE Training
“I have always heard that DE Training will ‘change your life’ but never realized it actually could,” said Aimee Johnson, Vice President of Lending at Oswego County FCU in New York. “I have renewed my passion for the movement, and the impact that all of us - as individuals or as a whole - can have on the world. We truly are ‘heroes’ in every aspect of what we do, and should use that to inspire us to do more for this great movement.”
“My week at DE was very eye opening to the issues we face in both large and small credit unions,” said Mark Greene, Senior Vice President at State ECU in North Carolina. “The ‘do the right thing’ passion that all 42 credit union participants exuded during the week gives me confidence in the future success of our credit union movement.”
“The DE experience for me was all about being a part of something larger than myself,” said Joshua Smith, Advocacy Officer at SchoolsFirst FCU in California. “Over the course of my training, I had my eyes opened to the power of cooperation and the good that it can do. Whether it’s within my own credit union or as a part of the credit union movement itself, I now feel more empowered and prepared to make a difference.”
“DE Training confirmed my career calling,” said Cynthia Campbell, Vice President/Financial Empowerment Program Manager at Tinker FCU in Oklahoma. “I am prouder than ever to work in the credit union movement and have returned to the work that I love - financial empowerment - with a renewed sense of purpose. I have always been passionate about financial literacy, but DE Training has helped me connect this passion to the credit union movement more fully.”
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 30 years, more than 1,000 credit union advocates from over 30 countries 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.
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.
For more information on the DE program, visit www.ncuf.coop under Foundation Programs.
About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.
NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual Group. All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make financial freedom achievable through credit unions.
The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.