CU Development Education (DE) Program Awards Presented to Todd, Decker & The Disclosures

Alumni of Foundation’s CU Philosophy Training Gather at Special Workshop in Denver

Three Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program Awards were presented last week at a special reception during the annual DE Workshop, July 9-11, 2015 in Denver, Colo. in conjunction with the jointly held America’s Credit Union Conference and World Credit Union Conference. The DE Program Awards go to those certified Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) who exemplify what DE stands for through their individual or cooperative efforts to make a difference in their credit union, community or on a national/international basis.  

“The DE program encourages action around the credit union philosophy and this year’s winners exemplify what being a CUDE is all about,” said Lois Kitsch, Foundation National Program Director.

Over 100 CUDEs gathered at the recent workshop to help the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) present the following awards:

Christopher Morris and Chad Helminak win Cooperative Spirit Award for their band, the Disclosures
Cooperative Spirit AwardThe Disclosures (Chad Helminak & Christopher Morris) for the following:
  • Making a significant difference to youth and the greater credit union community by engaging in the credit union difference in a completely new and unique way using their own talents and gifts.
  • Captured the attention of media, blogs, speaker bureaus, unique entertainment spots that always brought positive attention to the role of credit unions and financial education.
  • Created lasting videos, albums and songs to be leveraged by various credit union groups.
  • Known for being fresh, new, unique, inspirational, fun and impactful.
Carla Decker, Winner of the Individual Achievement Award
Individual Achievement AwardCarla Decker for the following:
  • Helping get needed services to the DC Latino Community of local immigrants and others who were underserved through ACCESO.
  • Instrumental in starting and growing the Caribbean DE Program (CaribDE) and related events (she has facilitated nearly every class, if not all).
  • A mentor and facilitator of the US DE Program.
  • Inaugural at-large elected member of the CUDE Advisory Council and Chair of Governance Committee.
  • Speaker at national and international events sharing about credit unions and ways they can serve low income communities.
  • Board Member of the Federation and NCBA CLUSA.
  • Appointment to the CFPB Inaugural CU Advisory Council.
      Joanne Todd, Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award
      Lifetime Achievement Award Joanne Todd for the following:
      • Since age 16, Joanne has worked to make an impact on credit unions, the DE program nationally and internationally, in her local community, with cooperatives and through international programs and projects.
      • Started an intern program at her credit union for youth.
      • Helped create a non-profit called Friends of Kenya in her community, where local community members created a student exchange program.
      • Very involved with the cooperative movement partnership between the Connecticut Credit Union League and Trinidad and Tobago.
      • Sits on a cooperative board and helps build collaborative efforts between her credit union and local cooperatives.
      • Helped with a farmer-to-farmer program in Uzbekistan for small cooperatives in rural areas.
      • Helped bring microfinance to a group of Haitian women entrepreneurs through a NGO in Haiti following the devastating earthquakes.
      • Supports DE through mentoring, sending DEs from her credit union, attending and completing the United Kingdom DE program (DEUK) and mentored DE Trainings in the Caribbean and Africa.
      • Conducted and established many reality fairs and other financial education related programs.

      Nominations were submitted by CUDEs and winners were chosen by the 2015 CUDE Awards Committee, which consisted of the following individuals:

      • Debbie Wege, BECU;
      • Larry Blanchard, CUNA Mutual Group;
      • Brandon McAdams, Coastal FCU; and
      • Lily Newfarmer, Tarrant County’s CU.

      View past award winners online here.

        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 1,400 credit union advocates from over 34 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, visit under “How We Help”.

        About the National Credit Union Foundation (
        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 Foundation grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.  Donations to the Foundation 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.

        Can't Find What You're Looking For? Lacey Yasick, Communications Manager at or (608) 231-4397.