Nearly 100 certified Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) gathered in Tampa, Fla. recently to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program.
The popular philosophy training program from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) started in 1982 and continues to educate credit union professionals from around the world every year.
The 35th anniversary was recognized during the annual DE Workshop for CUDEs that took place July 11-13 in Tampa, Fla. This year’s workshop was focused on diversity with a special emphasis on all areas of inclusion. In addition to the sessions, CUDEs in attendance raised money to help the Pinellas Hope Shelter furnish 14 recently built apartments for homeless veterans in the area and went onsite to assemble the furnishings.
CUDEs also surpassed their fundraising goal, with additional funds going support more of the homeless Tampa population transition into permanent housing. Click here to watch a short video overview of the project.
“The DE Program has grown and improved over the last thirty-five years, with the focus on helping people gain a new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive financial services marketplace,” said Lois Kitsch, Foundation national program director. “Every year, we see new CUDEs become passionate advocates of the credit union philosophy, which boosts employee motivation, creativity and a deeper commitment to their credit union organization and the movement.”
The DE program began in 1982 with a grant to the CUNA Foundation, now known as the National Credit Union Foundation, from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
At the time, Sens. Joe Biden and Clairborne Pell sponsored legislation that allocated $1 million annually to be used by private voluntary organizations in the United States to fund programs that educate the U.S. public about major development issues related to hunger and economic development, primarily in developing countries.
Eighty-eight programs received funding over time, but the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program is the only one still in existence.