March 22 DE Class

Congratulations to the spring ’22 DE class

Thirty-eight credit union leaders from across the United States were designated as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after completing the National Credit Union Foundation’s signature Development Education (DE) program in April.

Delivered over a number of weeks as a virtual program, or as an immersive week-long in-person event, DE is a unique, transformative training experience. It provides lessons in credit union structure, purpose and the “why” that differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions. Participants engage in small and large group exercises and interactive speaker sessions focused on the credit union difference, development issues, and empathy.

Each session 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.

“Participating in the DE program was so transformative for me. Beyond the outstanding class material, I enjoyed the brave sharing of ideas and the opportunity to connect with credit union professionals across the United States,” said graduate Lori Timm of Allegacy Federal Credit Union.

“DE has reenergized me, equipping me with resources and tools to drive positive change in my own community.”

The Foundation’s Director of Programs and Impact, Chad Helminak, added, “We’re proud to have these 38 credit union leaders join the ranks of one of the oldest and largest credit union networks. We look forward to watching them carry forward a legacy of DEs putting learning into action.

“This year, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the DE program and while it has evolved over years, we keep its purpose constant by focusing on how we can improve peoples’ financial well-being and offer humanity through financial services.”

Class graduates

The most recent DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the United States. They are: Danielle Anderson, Altra FCU in Wisconsin; Noreen Cady, Park Side Credit Union in Montana; Maricela Castillo, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Abby Churchill, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Lily Currin, Rio Grande Credit Union in New Mexico; Sabrina DeFazio, Western Connecticut FCU on Connecticut; Tanya Dittberner, Cornerstone League in Texas; Christa Dotson Dean, EdFed in Florida; Ning Duong, Credit Union West in Arizona; Michael Dyrdahl, Whitefish Credit Union in Montana; Candice Elders, Honor CU in Michigan; Matthew FitzGerald, Verity Credit Union in Washington; Coquise Frost, CUCollaborate in Illinois; Stephanie Harney, Chartway FCU in Virginia; Leslie Jenkins-Jones, Civic FCU in North Carolina;  Erica Johnson, Vizo Financial Corporate CU in Pennsylvania; Randy Kahlich, PSCU in Florida; Crystina Laffin, Bridge Credit Union Inc. in Ohio; Nicolette Luna, Upward CU in California; Shawn Mathey, Health Care Professional FCU in Ohio; Brittany McCary, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Yvonne Meeks, SRP FCU in Georgia; Marcy Mitchell, Reliant Community CU in New York; Karey Neal, Prodigy in Idaho; Avery Ragsdale, Family Savings CU in Georgia; Bobbi Randall, North East Welch FCU in Pennsylvania; Jennifer Rathke, Westconsin Credit Union in Wisconsin; Karen Rigoni, American Airlines FCU in Texas; Matthew Rivera, TwinStar CU in Washington; Allison Beck, Cutting Edge FCU in Washington; Annie Snead, Ent CU in Colorado; Todd Spiczenski, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Lori Timm, Allegacy FCU in North Carolina; Alondra Vazquez, Coopera Consulting in Colorado; Teresa Woodie, Coastal Credit Union in North Carolina; Yolonda Woodson, Resource One Credit Union in Texas; Brian Wringer, iDiz Incorporated in Indiana; and Elizabeth Zamora, El Paso Area Teachers FCU in Texas.

Training staff

The program was facilitated by Chad Helminak, the Director of Programs & Impact at the Foundation, assisted by Maggie Wolff and Tobi Weingart from the Foundation.

Interested in attending DE?

2022 DE training dates and learning environments are available here. Email us at [email protected] to be put on a notification list to stay up to date on upcoming 2022 registration information.