National Credit Union Foundation Schedules Two Development Education Classes in 2007

Registration Open for April 12-17 in Madison, Wis.; Summer Class Set for August 23-28 on Bainbridge Island, Wash.

For the first time in 10 years, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is scheduling two Development Education (DE) Training classes in 2007.

Registration is open now for DE Training on April 12-17 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. (Visit, and click the Register for DE Training button.)

Registration will open in May for a unique DE Training on August 23-28 on Bainbridge Island, Wash. This first-of-its-kind DE class will be set at IslandWood, a site designed to use the environment as a classroom.

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 DE Program is very worthwhile to become involved in, regardless of how long you’ve been in the credit union movement,” says NCUF Chairman Mary Cunningham, president/CEO of USA Federal Credit Union and a graduate of the DE Class of 1997. “Even after many years of loving credit unions, I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and explore a whole new world of cooperatives. Through doing so, I’m re-committed to be sure I never compromise the credit union ideals in my organization.”

Each 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, president of the Maryland and DC Credit Union Association and co-facilitator of the 2007 Madison DE Training. “When I look at who’s gone through training, it’s literally a list of the best and brightest from our movement.”

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, as well as from Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Scotland, and the West Indies.

NCUF is the primary sponsor of the DE Program, which will celebrate its 25th Anniversary later this year. Support is provided by the World Council of Credit Unions, Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group, and state credit union leagues.

New Educational Center

Last year NCUF established the Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management to house all of its educational programs. In addition to DE Training, these currently include:
  • DE Workshop – networking and project development event for DE Training alumni, to be offered June 5-7 in conjunction with America’s Credit Union Conference in Las Vegas;
  • Social Impact Management Institutes (SIMIs) – separate one- and two-day sessions to integrate cooperative values and social responsibility into credit union management strategies. The next two SIMIs for credit unions will take place on:
    • March 24 in Monterey, Calif., in advance of the California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Big Valley Educational Conference
    • May 16 in Des Moines, Iowa, after the Iowa Credit Union League’s Serving the Underserved Conference
The Credit Union Center for Social Impact Management is run by Tom Decker with assistance from Christopher Morris, NCUF’s manager of communications & information.

“With over 25 years as a professional educator, Tom Decker brings a proven track record in credit union and cooperative philosophy, program management, and creative problem-solving,” said NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. “His experience is essential as we look to grow more leaders in the credit union movement who will embrace and sustain credit unions’ competitive advantage in the modern marketplace.”

Morris also has education experience, having taught high school English in Chicago.

More information on the DE program can be found at> National Programs> Development Education. Decker can be reached at (608) 358-9183 or Morris can be reached at (800) 356-9655, ext. 4979 or

To inquire about possible scholarships to DE Training, contact your state foundation or league.