May 2022 DE Class

Congratulations to the May ’22 DE class

42 credit union leaders from across the United States and Kenya were designated as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after completing the National Credit Union Foundation’s signature Development Education (DE) program in May.

Delivered 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, empathy, and financial well-being for all.

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.

“We learned from credit unions and credit union partners the impact of the topics we discussed while tapping further into our emotional intelligence. The teams found trust and vulnerability in the small groups that eventually carried through to faith and trust in the class. The DE program allowed me to realize that the opportunity to make a real change was glaring, and I was now given the resources and people who could help bring it to fruition.” -Robbie Young, CUInsight

The Foundation’s Director of Programs and Impact, Chad Helminak, added, “We’re proud to have this class of 42 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.

“As we continue to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the DE program and its evolution over the 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 and Kenya. They are: Allie Braswell, VyStar CU in Florida; Jeff Cain, Rio Grande CU in New Mexico; Dustin Daniels, Tallahassee-Leon FCU in Florida; Terrence Davis, Buckeye State CU in Ohio; Stephanie Decker, Coastal Credit Union in North Carolina; Andrew Downin, Vantage West CU in Arizona; Michelle Easton, Simplicity CU in Wisconsin; Jackie Ekdahl, Credit Union National Association in Washington, DC; Greta Gibson, Local Government FCU in North Carolina; Jamleck Gichobi, Kenya Police Sacco in Kenya; Matt Halter, SRP FCU in South Carolina; Kellie Henzel, TruWest Credit Union in Arizona; Melissa Janssen, Royal Credit Union in Wisconsin; George Johnson, Resource One CU in Texas; Pam Kastrava, Ent CU in Colorado; Tara Lambert, Elements Financial FCU in Indiana; Melanie Lambie, Vizo Financial Corporate CU in Pennsylvania; Heather Lyons, Greensboro Municipal FCU in North Carolina; MindaMichelle Mattox, WSECU in Washington; Cinthia Mendez, Guadalupe CU in New Mexico; Alex Minor, Advia Credit Union in Michigan; Rich Mohr, MWCUA in Colorado; Mike Moore, U.S. Eagle FCU in New Mexico; Sara Morales, South Bay CU in California; Jason Neifield, RelyOn CU in Texas; Buffy Nustad, Spokane Teachers CU in Washington; Layna Officer, Blue FCU in Wyoming; John Okumu, Kenya Police Sacco in Kenya; Jennifer Parker, Charlotte Metro FCU in North Carolina; Lettie Ramos, GECU in Texas; Peter Rector, Maps CU in Oregon; Cody Rodgers, Mountain Credit Union in North Carolina; Lindsay Runk, COPFCU in Ohio; Rafael Saucedo, Gesa CU in Washington; Betsy Sibley, Community Credit Union in Maine; Derek Smith, Family Focus FCU in Nebraska; Jeffrey Tennant, TwinStar CU in Washington; Brent Tercero, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Grace Watsiera, ACCOSCA in Kenya; Dylan Watts, Heritage Family FCU in Vermont; Wongel Worabo, Associated CU in Georgia and Robbie Young, CUInsight in South Carolina.

Training staff

The program was facilitated by the Foundation’s Director of Programs & Impact, Chad Helminak & Education Program Manager, Tobi Weingart, and coordinated by Maggie Wolff, Development Education Manager.

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.