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Credit Union Leaders Graduate from Foundation’s Virtual DE Program

DE Class April 2021

Forty-seven credit union leaders were designated as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after completing the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training. 

The April DE Training was held April 26 – May 21, 2021. The virtual training was completed by employees and volunteers from credit unions and system partners across the United States credit union movement. 

DE Training is a unique experiential training program that provides lessons in credit union structure, purpose and the “why” that differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions. During the Foundation’s signature program, participants engage in small and large group exercises and interactive speaker sessions focused on the credit union difference, development issues, and empathy. Each lesson provides insights into how credit unions can leverage their unique business model to help their members and communities overcome the financial and developmental issues they face.

Hear what a few graduates had to say about their experience: 

DE was not only eye-opening it was soul opening!! I am re-energized by my classmates and the passion of every CU pioneer who came before me. ”   Opal Tomashevska, CUNA Mutual Group 

It’s life-changing – just trust the process.” This was a quote shared with me by another DE and truer words have never been spoken. Four weeks ago, I began my DE journey and I am forever changed. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to learn alongside of this talented group of CU professionals, who are so committed to influencing meaningful change within our industry and communities. I am beyond honored to now call this talented group my friends. I am leaving this program with a deep connection to our industry, a renewed passion to be involved and make a difference, and an unbelievable sense of pride to be part of this amazing movement….a movement that matters.”   Jill Edsall, Chartway FCU  

Class Graduates 

The most recent DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the United States. They are: Rachael Abrams, Maple FCU in Louisiana; Sharee Adkins, Northwest Credit Union Foundation in Oregon; Jodi Allen, Iowa Credit Union League in Iowa; Jorge Amaya, Space City CU in Texas; Trena Anderson; Deseret First FCU in Utah; Amber Bailey, Cornerstone Credit Union League in Texas; Cody Banks, PSCU in Iowa; Beverly Baskin, Coastal Credit Union in North Carolina; Kevin Carrel, TrueSky CU in Oklahoma; James Cashman, 3Rivers FCU in Indiana; Paris Chevalier, USE CU in California; Carl Clark, Humanidei in North Carolina; Kevin Clark, Corporate One FCU in Ohio; Erica Clements, East River FCU in South Dakota; Natasha Damian, WSECU in Washington; Tina Davis, TwinStar CU in Washington; Jill Edsall, Chartway FCU in Virginia; Anita-Louise Fonner, Vizo Financial in Pennsylvania; John Goering, CO-OP Financial Services In Iowa; Faith Hernandez, Texas Telcom CU in Texas; Michael Hostetler, Crane CU in Indiana; Cara Houck, Patelco CU in California; Deshundra Jefferson, Credit Union National Association in Virginia; Kristen Jensen, Seasons FCU in Connecticut; Sara Keller, Nusenda CU in New Mexico; Lexie Kroeger, GEM FCU in North Dakota; Kevin Lashley, ; Israel Lazo, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Nathan Lombard, Redstone FCU in Alabama; Mahlon McCaleb, El Paso Area Teachers FCU in Texas; Cheryl Middleton-Jones, CO-OP Financial Services in Georgia; Jessica Ongstad, Cutting Edge FCU in Oregon; Mandy Pom, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Kelly Reddy, Unity Catholic FCU in Ohio; Ken Riedel, Unitus CCU in Oregon; Eddie Rivera, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Amy Rodriguez, New Orlean’s Firemen’s FCU in Louisiana; Nancy Romo, Upward CU in California; Marianne Scarzello, Tucson Old Pueblo CU in Arizona; Lisa Marie Simonis, Christian Financial CU; Timothy Smith, Workers CU in Massachusetts; Mara Spears, FIS in Florida; Sarah Steadman, Mountain CU in North Carolina; Opal Tomashevska, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Heather Wessley, Fox Communities CU in Wisconsin and Peter Winch, Vermont FCU in Vermont. 

Training Staff 

The program was facilitated by Chad Helminak, the Director of DE and Cooperative Culture at the Foundation, assisted by Kalli Shelton from the Foundation and coordinated by Maggie Wolff from the Foundation.  

Interested in Attending DE Training? 

Fall 2021 DE Training dates will be announced soon! Email us at [email protected] to be put on a notification list to stay up to date on upcoming 2021 registration information, or click here for additional information.  

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