Forty-two credit union professionals became 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 from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). The September 4-11, 2013 training was held at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.
Graduates of the Fall 2013 DE Training stand outside of the Pyle Center 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.
“During DE training, we strive to ensure the lessons in credit union philosophy are applicable and relevant to current events,” said Lois Kitsch, DE Facilitator and NCUF National Program Director. “For instance, for the final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included credit union solutions to payday lending, a small credit union merger dilemma, the ‘Don’t Tax My CU’ campaign, building an Islamic banking center, developing a credit union awareness campaign, and to compensate or not compensate credit union board of directors.”
“While there is certainly substance to the DE program, brought through case studies and projects related to real-world issues facing the credit unions, there is also a robust focus on the philosophy and guiding co-operative principals of the movement,” said Greg Michlig, President/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League in Hightstown, N.J. “While many of the historical elements of the training were not new to me, the in-depth discussion of how the events of the past are applicable and relevant to current events was stimulating. Participation in programs such as DE training can bring new perspectives to drive innovation or perhaps just rejuvenate a weary soul.”
The Fall 2013 graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S., the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and South Africa. They are: Colette Beyer, National Cooperative Business Association in District of Columbia; Lisa Bills-Terrell, National Credit Union Administration in Virginia; Shannon Bradley, Pioneer West Virginia FCU in West Virginia; Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions in Wisconsin; Courtney Cantwell, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Mark Coburn, State ECU in North Carolina; Jonathan Creel, Wright Patt CU in Ohio; Steven Duckworth, Kentucky ECU in Kentucky; Gayla Duerr, TwinStar CU in Washington; Gina Evans, Kansas Credit Union Association in Kansas; Geoff Finken, North Carolina Credit Union League in North Carolina; Christina Frohnapfel, Bayer Heritage FCU in West Virginia; Dawn Fuson, Eli Lilly FCU in Indiana; Mary Galler-Sanchez, TruWest CU in Arizona; Boryana Georgieva, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Nathan Gillen, Weokie CU in Oklahoma; Sonya Harris, Peoples Trust FCU in Texas; Kimberly Ingham, Peninsula CU in Washington; John Keet Jr., Personal Care America FCU in Connecticut; Jami Kirksey, Montana Credit Union Network in Montana; David LeNoir, League of Southeastern CUs in Alabama; Scott Lopez, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Ann Lucas, First Education FCU in Wyoming; Peg Lucci, Heritage Family FCU in Vermont; Greg Michlig, New Jersey Credit Union League in New Jersey; Stephanie Missick-Jones, Bahamas Co-operative League in the Bahamas; Jack Moore, American Airlines FCU in Texas; Tara Neal, Texoma Community CU in Texas; Ximena Pacheco, Holy Rosary CU in Missouri; Lilnette Philipps, State ECU in North Carolina; Dawn Poker, Credit Union Executives Society in Wisconsin; Jennifer Pollastro, Edge FCU in New York; Steve Rahrich, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas in North Dakota; Wendy Richardson, COPOS Credit Union in Trinidad and Tobago; Amy Ridley, BECU in Washington; Nomadelo Sauli, Co-Operative Banks Development Agency in South Africa, Desiree Stafford, MECU of Baltimore in Maryland; Julianne Talley, League of Southeastern CUs in Florida; Caleb Thomas, First Class American CU in Texas; Dale Tomalin, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Tobi Weingart, Educators Credit Union in Wisconsin; and Latesha Wheeler, DC FCU in District of Columbia.
Upcoming 2014 DE Trainings
There are three DE trainings scheduled for 2014, with the first taking place January 22-29, 2014 at the Rizzo Conference Center, which is by the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, N.C. The next two trainings will be held April 23-30, 2014 and September 10-17, 2014 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. Registration recently opened for all three trainings and can be found on the NCUF website by clicking the “Register for DE Training” button on the homepage or anywhere on the website under “Foundation Programs>Development Education>Register for 2014 DE Trainings” at the top of every page.
More Attendee Testimonials from the Fall 2013 DE Training
“We’ve been entrusted with the future of a movement that is vitally important, and we need to make sure that the cooperative principles inform our decisions and guide our organizations so we may affect positive change in our communities,” said Geoff Finken, Project Manager at the North Carolina Credit Union League in Raleigh, N.C. “DE is about bringing into focus the cooperative principles from the credit union movement’s past to help us meet the challenges of the present and equip and energize the credit union leaders of the future.”
“DE Training was a transformational experience for me,” said Shannon Bradley, VP of Member Experience at Pioneer West Virginia FCU in Charleston, W.Va. “It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best and brightest in the cooperative space and took my mind to places I didn’t think possible. DE has reinvigorated me to share my passion and keep the flame alive for credit unions and cooperatives alike.”
“Before I attended DE Training, I had a vague awareness of what our credit union movement was all about,” said Tobi Weingart, Organizational Development Specialist at Educators Credit Union in Racine, Wis. “Through this immersive and transformative training, DE will allow me as a credit union employee and participant in the credit union movement to bring more value to our organization, community and most importantly our member-owners.”
“DE training was an incredible journey into the history, philosophy and structure of the global credit union movement,” said Gina Evans, AVP Education and Councils at the Kansas Credit Union Association in Wichita, Kan. “Each session helped me learn more about the need to embody the cooperative principles in everything we do and to share with others the magnitude of impact we can have in the credit union movement. It was a life-changing experience to interact with others from around the world to share our passion of promoting financial education, community involvement and making a difference in the lives of our members every day.”
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.”
Since 1982, 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, working to help consumers achieve financial freedom through credit unions. 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.