46 CU Professionals Become Certified CU Development Educators (CUDEs)

Foundation’s Transformational CU Training held in Madison

Forty-six credit union professionals became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after being guided by dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation. The DE training was held September 13 – 20, 2017 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

After completing the September DE Training, Aaron Bresko, VP of Indirect Lending & Consumer Underwriting at BECU, said, “With 29 years in the credit union movement, this program was undoubtedly the best class I have ever attended. It was fun, challenging and opened my eyes to a new world of opportunities. I wish every credit union employee worldwide could have the privilege of having this experience.”

Team Projects
DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area. For this training’s final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included financial stability among young adults and families, credit union board development, building microfinance programs in the Philippines, credit union solutions to predatory lending, the increasing issue of homelessness in America, and rejuvenating a stagnant credit union.

Class Graduates
The most recent DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S, as well as a representative from Zimbabwe. They are: Cindy Abrams, Ent CU in Colorado; Lacinda Athen, CUNA Councils in Wisconsin; Benjamin Bauer, Simplicity Credit Union in Wisconsin; Kanika Boutte, Energy Capital CU in Texas; Aaron Bresko, BECU in Washington; Cory Cigler, Fairfax County FCU in Virginia; Lloyd Cockerham, Ascension CU in Louisiana; Patrick Conway, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association in Pennsylvania; Ben Corby, CULIANCE in Florida; Melissa Cozart, Duke University FCU in North Carolina; Kyle Craigen, Gesa CU in Washington; Wendy Dawson, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Jamie Deno, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Stephanie Dreiling, Heartland Credit Union in Kansas; Colleen Eastman, Sisseton-Wahpeton FCU in South Dakota; Sara Ferguson, Filer CU in Michigan; Ginny Flanagan, PSCU in Michigan; JoAnne Funk, League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Alabama; Amanda Habansky, Peoples Advantage FCU in Virginia; Jennifer Hallman, Tuscaloosa Credit Union in Alabama; Lindy Hancock, United Equity Credit Union in Illinois; Stacey Hand, Chattahoochee FCU in Alabama; Ashkan Jafari, Unitus Community CU in Oregon; Ken Kelly, Red Canoe CU in Washington; Hazel Kennedy-Ledesma, GECU in Texas; Brooke Laszewski, CUNA Mutual Group in Minnesota; Steve McCathran, Texas; Tim Merwin, Advia Credit Union in Michigan; Farai Mtawa, ACCOSCA, NACSCUZ and Municipality of Harare SACCO in Zimbabwe; Nina Myers, Fitzsimons FCU in Colorado; Marsha Needham, MemberSource Credit Union in Texas; Suzanne Peterson, Resource One CU in Texas; Zully Prieto, OAS Staff FCU in D.C.; Caitlyn Ramseier, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Caroline Redmann, Blackhawk Community Credit Union in Wisconsin; Kristel Renn, STAR Credit Union in Wisconsin; Erika Romenesko, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Meegan Siegwarth, Interra Credit Union in Indiana; Pamela Stelly, Maple Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Amanda Stevens, TwinStar CU in Washington; Kathleen Sullivan, Local Government FCU in North Carolina; Melissa Thometz, Capital Educators FCU in Idaho; Jenny Torres, Suncoast CU in Florida; Scott Weaver, Carolina Foothills FCU in South Carolina; Victor Williams, Randolph-Brooks FCU in Texas; Ed Williams, Discovery FCU in Pennsylvania.

2018 DE Trainings
The Foundation is holding four DE Trainings next year, all taking place in Madison, Wis. Anyone interested in participating in one of the 2018 DE Trainings can visit ncuf.coop to learn more or they can email cude@ncuf.coop to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up.

More September DE Training Testimonials
“It’s amazing to see what we, as a movement, are capable of, and the many ways we can help make things better for so many people,” said Ben Corby, Senior Prepaid Services Coordinator at CULIANCE. “DE Training gives you the chance to experience it firsthand and sends you home ready to put what you’ve learned into use in your community.”

“I am not sure I would describe DE as ‘training’,” said Caroline Redmann, SVP-Operations/COO at Blackhawk Community Credit Union. “The lessons learned were more personal than any type of training/education I attended. Each person starts the program with some reservations and uncertainty but we all leave knowing there is no better investment we can make in ourselves or our communities!”

“DE Training is a one-of-a-kind development opportunity for anyone in the credit union industry,” said Erika Romenesko, LDP Content Manager at CUNA Mutual Group. “Through experiential learning and true teamwork, you will find even more passion and awareness of the differentiating factors credit unions have in your community and the world. I’m forever changed by my experience in DE Training!”


More about the DE Program:
The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

Since 1982, more than 1,700 credit union advocates from over 35 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.

For more information on the DE program, click here.


About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through grants and programs, the Foundation is strengthening financial well-being, igniting passion and instilling knowledge about the credit union difference, and uniting resources to help credit union people during disaster. Donations to the Foundation ultimately enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. The Foundation continues to earn the
Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.

For More Information...

...contact Christopher Morris, Communications Director, at cmorris@ncuf.coop or (608) 231-4374.


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