In Their Own Words...

What is DE Training? Staff & Attendees Explain:

Testimonial Video:

"I Can Tell our CU Story Better than I Ever Imagined."

“Getting back to our credit union roots and what makes our movement unique was really important to me and I head back to my organization with a clear understanding on how we can do things better. Simply put, I can tell our credit union story better than I ever imagined."

David Hinchey, CUDE 2014
Marketing Manager
Wepawaug-Flagg Federal Credit Union

"...a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity..."

“NCUF’s DE Training is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn deeper and broadly experience the movement you are a part of – more than any other credit union industry education you may ever go through. By mentoring, team-building and engaging in hands-on exercises and simulations, you leave this week-long session as a devoted advocate for credit unions in the U.S., and around the world. You are committed to action – looking at ways to improve our financial cooperative structure and outreach to be the best for our members … now and into the future.”

Debra Trautman, CUDE 2014
Vice President-Corporate Marketing
Maine Credit Union League

"....a Solid Reminder to Always Ask Ourselves ‘What's Best for our Members?’"

"There are a lot of tough decisions having to be made in the credit union industry right now. DE Training is a solid reminder to always ask ourselves ‘What's best for our members?’, and when we keep that as our focus, those tough decisions aren't so tough anymore."

Danielle Frawley, CUDE 2014
Vice President- Marketing & Communications
Fort Community CU

"...A Life Changing Event."

“DE training is by far, a life changing event. I had no idea about the depth of what I was a part of in the credit union movement and would recommend this training for all employees of credit unions.”

Frances Tiger, CUDE 2014
Administrator-Business Development
American Airlines FCU

"Re-kindled my Passion and Spirit..."

“NCUF’s DE training was an enriching experience that will stay with me for years to come. While I have 35 years of experience in the credit union industry, my week at DE Training re-kindled my passion and spirit for our cooperative movement and roots.”

Laida Garcia, CUDE 2014
floridacentral Credit Union

"DE Changed My Life!"

“The passion of all my DE Training classmates and the training material itself really ignited my flame for the credit union movement. I know now this is my calling and where I belong. DE changed my life!”

Brandon Walker, CUDE 2014
Government Affairs Specialist and Credit Union House Manager
Cornerstone Credit Union League

"...Most Educational, Inspirational, and Emotional Training or Conference..."

“DE training was hands-down the most educational, inspirational, and emotional training or conference I've ever been fortunate enough to be a part of. I learned of the principles on which credit unions were founded and how these principles should remain at the heart of every decision that we make today. It is not possible to attend this training and not, as a human being, be changed significantly."

Michael Waylett, CUDE 2014
Vision Financial FCU

"...DE Training can Bring New Perspectives to Drive Innovation..."

“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. 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.”

Greg Michlig, CUDE 2013
New Jersey Credit Union League

"...DE will Allow Bring More Value..."

“Before I attended DE Training, I had a vague awareness of what our credit union movement was all about. 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.”

Tobi Weingart, CUDE 2013
Organizational Development Specialist
Educators Credit Union

"DE Training was a Transformational Experience..."

“DE Training was a transformational experience for me. 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."

Shannon Bradley, CUDE 2013
VP of Member Experience
Pioneer West Virginia FCU

"...Equip and Energize the CU Leaders of the Future."

“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. 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.”

Geoff Finken, CUDE 2013
Project Manager
North Carolina Credit Union League

"...Together CUDEs will Drive the Passion that our Industry Needs to ‘Unite for Good’..."

“The DE experience was an opportunity to top off my tank of passion for assisting our members and the communities we serve. Through experiential learning, collaboration, and engaging with bright minds from within and around the credit union industry, the program ignites synergy in many different ways. Together CUDEs will drive the passion that our industry needs to ‘Unite for Good’ and continue to benefit millions of credit union members in this country and around the world.”

Jim Morrell, CUDE 2013
Peninsula Credit Union

"...Recommend every Decision Maker Within our CU Movement Become a DE..."

“DE training is such a fundamentally sound program to bring in to focus why we exist as a movement. I would recommend every decision maker and leader within our credit union movement to become a Development Educator. Let’s put co-op back into our movement, and mobilize to unite for good.”

Christopher Kemm, CUDE 2013
Vice President of Political Affairs
Mountain West Credit Union Association

"...the Electricity that we Need to Light our Continuing Path to the Future."

“My experience at DE training was eye-opening and inspirational. We need to go out and tell our story so we can keep the unique legacy and vision of our founders alive of ‘people helping people.’ The DE program is the electricity that we need to light our continuing path to the future.”

Lisett Olsen, CUDE 2013
Business Development Officer
Alhambra CU

"...a Life and Career Changing Immersion..."

“DE training is a life and career changing immersion into the history, philosophy and issues that transformed how I think about why and how we do our jobs within the credit union movement. The relationships I have built here will provide me a network of the most committed, innovative and intelligent people I have ever had the chance to work and learn with. From tackling local to international issues, together we are stronger in the true cooperative spirit.”

Christine Walsh Rogers, CUDE 2013
Director of Marketing
Tapco Credit Union

"...How Each of us can Play a Meaningful Role in [the CU Movement's] Future Success."

“DE training is designed to help both new and veteran credit union professionals understand the history and philosophy of the credit union movement as well as how each of us can play a meaningful role in its future success."

Patrick La Pine, CUDE 2013
League of Southeastern Credit Unions

"Gives me Confidence in the Future Success of our CU Movement..."

“My week at DE was very eye opening to the issues we face in both large and small credit unions. 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.”

Mark Greene, CUDE 2012
Senior Vice President
State ECU

"I Left DE Recharged..."

“I entered DE Training as the frustrated CEO of a small credit union, unsure how much more energy we had to fight. 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.”

Chris Blough, CUDE 2012
Wayne County Community FCU

"Confirmed My Career Calling..."

“DE Training confirmed my career calling. Taking time to remember the operating principals that founded the credit union movement, and then realizing that they are as true today as they were in the beginning is powerful! I am prouder than ever to work in the credit union movement. I have returned to the work that I love - financial empowerment - with a renewed sense of purpose because I have been reminded that my role as a financial educator allows me to live several of the operating principals (service to members, building financial stability, ongoing education, social responsibility) each day. I have always been passionate about financial literacy but DE Training has helped me connect this passion to the credit union movement more fully.”

Cynthia Campbell, CUDE 2012
Vice President/Financial Empowerment Program Manager
Tinker Federal Credit Union

"Single-most Enlightening Experience I have had..."

“DE training has been the single-most enlightening experience I have had since joining the credit union movement. Regardless of your age, title, experience or where you call home, DE provides exactly what you need to come home energized about the world of possibilities available to credit unions. It’s a wake-up call, a recommitment to our founding principles, and a call to action.”

Stephen Pagenstecher, CUDE 2012
Vice President of Member Relations
Valley Credit Union

"An Eye Opening Experience..."

"This was an eye opening experience that allowed me to separate myself from my daily routine and take a macro view of our movement. As a league president, I found it especially motivating to see the passion and dedication others have for seeing our industry survive and be there for our members. It should be everyone's goal to attain this designation!"

Tony Emerson, CUDE 2012
President & CEO
The Credit Union League of Connecticut

"Inspires You to do More..."

“Sometimes the experiences we have from listening to others, and sharing our ideas, are so powerful that they inspire you to do more. DE training also helps you develop your own sense of understanding of credit union philosophy, and further shapes your desire to learn and grow.”

Patrick Livingston, CUDE 2011
Director of Strategic Projects
Coastal Federal Credit Union

Inspired after the training, Livingston co-founded a group for local credit union staff to network informally and learn more about credit union values. “CU Aware” meets monthly and continues to grow in attendees and content. The group was started with fellow DE training graduate Brandon McAdams, who also works at Coastal FCU.

"A Solid Foundation..."

“The DE experience has reignited my passion for working in the credit union movement. It has provided a solid foundation with cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and global development issues. I believe that having the knowledge provided by DE combined with the network of other CUDEs, I will now be able to play a more purposeful role in the current and future success of the industry.”

Meghann Dawson, CUDE 2011
Instructional Design Manager
Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

"Strengthening Credit Union Movements Worldwide"

Melvin Edwards, Chairman, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU)"Participating in the US DE program enabled me to commence applying Caribbean and worldwide experiences of the past 27 years into academic thought and frameworks, especially in the unprecedented trauma facing the global economy and financial sector. The exchange of ideas and perspectives with other development planners and educators enriched knowledge transfers and HR competencies strengthening processes throughout our respective movements. Ultimately, we will change more lives for the better through credit unions – in keeping with World Council's global vision.”

Melvin Edwards, CUDE 2009
World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU)

Click to hear Credit Union Magazine's interview with World Council of Credit Unions Chairman Melvin Edwards after Edwards graduated from the first Credit Union Development Education training class of 2009.

Edwards' goal after the training was to establish a Credit Union Development Education program for cooperative leaders in the Caribbean: “I do hope to work with other graduates to start a sustainable Caribbean DE program, " said. And he did! In 2010, he hosted the 2nd Caribbean DE program in Jamaica.

"Not Just Another Conference"

“I am so much more aware of a whole other world, outside my credit union, that is full of folks who need the same services that my members need – specifically, those who are underserved. Individuals who get to participate in this experience become a part of the credit union movement in a different way. This is not just another conference – this is a life-changing event! DE is really about getting down in the dirt.”

Sue Douglas, CUDE 2007
Senior VP/Chief Operating Officer
North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union
, Raleigh, North Carolina

"Unexpected Career Success and Respect"

"This program has brought me unexpected career success and respect, moments of overwhelming awe, unique opportunities that have enhanced my life, global and internal perspectives, heartfelt passion for what I do and better yet why I do it, lasting friendships and a creative energy to keep going and seeking possibilities when the world seems to offer little of it."

Debbie Wege, CUDE
Education Services Manager
Boeing Employees' Credit Union
, Seattle, Washington

"Not Just a Career -- It's a Passion!"

"This experience has given new meaning to my professional life as well as my personal life. I will never see things in the same manner as I did before. This has reinforced all the reasons that I chose to make this my career! Now it's not just a career – it's a passion!”

Marion Kersnick, CUDE
Phoenix Branch Manager
Southwest Airlines Federal Credit Union
, Houston, Texas

"Inspiring Dreams"

"The program has really inspired me with my dreams and goals. I have a renewed sense of direction and support. I would recommend this program for anyone interested in the credit union movement or in community development. This program should be required education."

Jennifer Minich, CUDE
Pennsylvania House Democrats

"Explore a Whole New World"

“The DE Program is very worthwhile to become involved in, regardless of how long you’ve been in the movement. Even after 23 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.”

Mary Cunningham, CUDE 1997
President/CEO, USA Federal Credit Union
, San Diego, California

"Shape the Future of the Credit Union Movement!"

"The DE Programme is without a doubt the most important experience in my career and has given me confidence to try and help shape the future of not only my own credit union, but also the British credit union movement, through challenging what we do, why we do it, and how we can do it better for our members. The opportunity to make life-long friends and have a worldwide network to call upon will also make a huge difference to me personally."

Marlene Shiels, CUDE
General Manager
Capital Credit Union
, Scotland

"Development Education Changed My Life!"

Joshua Kurtz, CUDE 2007, CFO and VP-Finance, Millstream Area Credit Union, Findlay, OhioBy Joshua Kurtz, CUDE 2007
CFO and VP-Finance
Millstream Area Credit Union

Findlay, Ohio

"Prior to going through my Credit Union Development Education (DE) training, I wasn’t sure exactly what my overall purpose in life was. One thing I knew, however, was that I did have the passion of the credit union philosophy of 'People Helping People.'

"Throughout the week of training, we heard stories of what our credit union founders went through to begin this unparalleled movement and of credit unions, both large and small, doing immaculate things in their respective communities and throughout the world. I also had the privilege to meet several inspirational people who had the same passion of the credit union philosophy at work in their lives.

"Every day as I listened to the different speakers and we acted out different scenarios, it became clearer to me exactly what my purpose and my responsibility in life was. I now can say with confidence that my purpose and responsibility is helping people less fortunate make their lives better – whether it’s community service, donating money, or simply sitting down with a member to show them how to balance their checkbook. I now know that I am committed to serving people."
Click here for text of Josh's full testimonial

What did I take away from DE?"

Nancy Johns, CUDE 2000, Branch Manager, American Airlines Federal Credit Union, Los Angeles, CaliforniaBy Nancy Johns, CUDE 2000
Branch Manager
American Airlines Federal Credit Union

Los Angeles, California

"I have been in the credit union movement for more than 20 years. What I took away from DE training was an understanding of credit union philosophy at a core level and what that really means to me. I finally understand my compelling need to stay in a movement where what I do makes a positive difference in people's lives. I like that I feel good about my career and that making this difference fulfilled a need in me. The credit union difference and philosophy is my passion for being.

"I came back from DE training recharged, as is so often the experience from a seminar—but I did not lose that charge as time passed. Rather, the DE network helped to keep it switched on. My passion in credit unions is shared by so many people—not just locally, but worldwide. I have since had opportunities to take the DEUK (United Kingdom) course and co-facilitate the PhDE (Philippines) course. I also had a great opportunity to work on a project with the league in Jamaica, through a colleague of mine from DE. Further, I have had some experience hosting a credit union person from Kenya. The DE experience has opened doors and driven home the passion of credit unions and translated into some unique real-world experiences. Many of these experiences were on my own time and expense – but the rewards totally outweigh the time and cost.

"I work in a very large credit union. There are times when we can stray from basic credit union philosophy. I considered myself in charge of philosophy; I jokingly call myself the "philosophy police." I, along with other DEs we have on staff, keep us as true to the credit union mission as possible. I have also renewed my interest in the credit union movement as a whole by rejoining the League Chapter Board of Governors (where I still serve today).

"I have mentored several DE classes, and there is nothing like the experience of seeing the 'a-ha' moments as DE participants get the 'why' of credit unions. Whether on a domestic or international level, the true mission of credit unions is all about the Development Education program. At the root of everything is the basic philosophy that is as pertinent today as when our credit union founding fathers developed the 'people helping people' focus. The democratic structure, the social mission and the member-owned spirit that is alive today is why credit unions are America's best financial choice."