48 CU Professionals Become Certified CU Development Educators (CUDEs)

Graduates of the June 2017 DE Training stand with training staff outside the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis.
Graduates of the June 2017 DE Training stand with training staff outside the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis.

Forty-eight 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 Foundation). The DE training was held May 31 – June 7, 2017 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

After completing the June DE Training, Lisa Sutton, SVP Human Resources at PSCU, said, “DE Training was one of the most impactful learning experiences I’ve ever participated in. While a relative newcomer to the credit union world, I felt I had a reasonably good understanding of their mission and purpose, as well as their strong social agenda. Clearly, that was not the case. I have been educated, enlightened, and evangelized by this movement. Working in an industry where people helping people is such a core value, makes me feel my job is important and makes a difference every day.” 

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 representatives from Kenya and Swaziland. They are: Harrinson Agudelo-Rios, Members CU in Connecticut; Aida Arce, GECU in Texas; Danielle Bargas, Catalyst Corporate FCU in Texas; Monica Belz, Kauai Community FCU in Hawaii; Myles Bristowe, PSCU in Florida; Dawson Brown, Tallahassee-Leon FCU in Florida; Maggie Conaghan, Central CU of Florida; Kris Conner, Streator Onized Credit Union in Illinois; Cynthia Daly, Peoples Trust FCU in Texas; Michelle Damato, Suncoast CU in Florida; Emily Engstrom, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Nilsa Farriss, Suncoast CU in Florida; Tracey Fitzgerald, BECU in Washington; Francois Henriquez, Shutts & Bowen LLP in Florida; Melanie Hutchinson, Trona Valley Community FCU in Wyoming; Jalena Johnson, Vocal CU in Montana; Malcolm Johnson, Public Service Credit Union in Colorado; Tina Jones, Hiway FCU in Minnesota; David Kangogo, Kenya Police Sacco in Kenya; Sherrie Krizic, Local Government FCU in North Carolina; Amos Kuresia, Kenya Police Sacco in Kenya; Tami Langton, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Dean Lewis, Gesa CU in Washington; Alvaro Macias, Ascentra CU in Iowa; Amy Manley, Laramie Plains Community FCU in Wyoming; Daniel Masha, Imarika Sacco Society Limited in Kenya; Jennifer McHugh, Royal Credit Union in Wisconsin; Katelyn McManamon, Penn East FCU in Pennsylvania; Mark Minickiello, Harborstone Credit Union in Washington; Karen Nussle, Ripple Communications in Washington, D.C.; Shaun Ongstad, Mountain West Credit Union Association in Arizona; Amberlee Payne, Pentagon FCU in Tysons, Virginia; Nasario Rodriguez, American Airlines Credit Union in Texas; Diane Sandoval-Griego, Guadalupe CU in New Mexico; Julie Schmidt, Laramie Plains Community FCU in Wyoming; Dana Schuller, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Trish Shermot, Visions FCU in New York; Kathy Smith, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Jim Speshock, Christian Financial Credit Union in Michigan; Lisa Sutton, PSCU in Florida; Becky Taviano, Topmark FCU in Ohio; Tabatha Thurman, WEOKIE CU in Oklahoma; Tracey Toko, Peach State FCU in Georgia; Jesse Valdovinos, Gesa CU in Washington; Gugu Vilakati, Lubane Sacco in Swaziland; Ashley Wilsey, Educational Systems FCU in Maryland; Raffo Wimsett III, Commonwealth CU in Kentucky; and Gina Yetman, Resource One CU in Texas.

2017 DE Trainings
The Foundation is holding four DE Trainings this year, all taking place in Madison, Wis. The September training session is sold out, but registration for the November session will be opening in late June. If you are interested in participating in the November 2017 DE Training, visit ncuf.coop to learn more or you can email cude@ncuf.coop to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up.  

More June DE Training Testimonials
“Having advocated for credit unions at the League level for over 17 years, educating policy makers on how credit unions benefit their members and communities, and having built a pretty decent level of knowledge on issues facing credit unions, I thought DE Training would be a culmination,” said Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Community Development at Harborstone Credit Union. “It is actually a whole new beginning for me – one I feel deeply privileged to be starting.”

“DE Training was like hitting the ‘refresh button,’ in teaching us how dig deep into our roots, allowing us to rediscover our foundation and purpose,” said Raffo Wimsett, Business Development Representative Senior at Commonwealth Credit Union. “Sounds simple, but with life constantly interrupting, DE strategically slows all your day-to-day worries down by opening your mind to an even bigger picture – our mission! Something we often forget.”


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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