Forty-seven credit union leaders were designated as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after completing the National Credit Union Foundation’s (the Foundation) Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training.
The May DE Training was held May 15-20 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. and was attended by employees and volunteers from credit unions and system partners across the United States and the globe.
DE Training is a unique experiential training program that provides lessons in credit union structure, purpose and the “why” that differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions. During the Foundation’s signature program, participants are involved in group exercises, field visits and interactive speaker sessions that provide 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.
Hear what a few graduates had to say about their experience:
“Being a 40-year credit union veteran, I’ve had a lot of educational and outreach opportunities, but none of them have compared to what the DE program did in the longest/shortest week of my life. I’m still emotional thinking about the impact this week had on me and what I can do for my credit union and the credit union movement here and abroad!” said Linda White, Upward CU.
“DE was not just a professional growth for me but a personal one as well. I gained perspective on parts of life I never thought I would. It pulls you back to the Credit Union roots and why we are here and why we do what we do. It motivated me to want to help others even more than I already was. If every credit union employee was a DE, this world would be on a path of inspiration beyond everyone’s expectations!” said Lauren Severance, Unitus Community CU.
The Foundation’s two remaining classes for 2019 are sold out. Email the Foundations at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on a notification list to stay up to date on upcoming 2020 registration information.
The most recent DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S., as well as representatives from Kenya.
They are: Damian Alarcon, Travis Credit Union in California; Joan Atuhurra, ACCOSCA in Kenya; Ariel Bilskey, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Lauren Bowen, Advancial Federal Credit Union in Texas; Brian Burton, Access of Louisiana Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Stephanie Buskirk, Box Butte Public EFCU in Nebraska; Sandra Cano, Navigant Credit Union in Rhode Island; Justin Cousins, Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union in Virginia; KC Dickens, Old West Federal Credit Union in Oregon; Dustie Donihoo, Resource One Credit Union in Texas; Deborah Donnelly, BECU in Washington; Thomas Flowers, Calhoun Liberty ECU in Florida; Anna Hauck, Illinois Credit Union System in Illinois; Jeanne Heath, Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union in Pennsylvania; Grace Helms, SRP Federal Credit Union in Georgia; James Hunter, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Cody Huth, Gesa Credit Union in Washington; Alphonse Kaio, Mwalimu National SACCO Society LTD in Kenya; Melissa Kerley, Local Government FCU in North Carolina; Jaz Kilpatrick, Local Government FCU/Civic Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Kathy Lanning, Harborstone Credit Union Washington; Gabriela Leon, Guadalupe Credit Union in New Mexico; Angela Lowe, Verity Credit Union in Washington; Dakoda McKennon, Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union in Washington; Karen Meyer, Education Credit Union Council in New York; Kevin Mietlicki, Alternatives Federal Credit Union in New York; Alexis Miller, Twinstar Credit Union in Washington; Barri Mogilewsky, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in California; Flora Nafei, Patelco Credit Union in California; Luiza Ostapenko, Cutting Edge Federal Credit Union in Oregon; Ara Penny, Heritage Family Federal Credit Union in Vermont; Tom Pierce, PSCU in Florida; Brooke Rogers, Coastal Credit Union in North Carolina; Kimberley Ruiz, Bethpage Federal Credit Union in New York; Jess Sadler, GTE Financial in Florida; Mike Sarabia, GECU in Texas; Lauren Severance, Unitus Community Credit Union in Oregon; Michael Sherman, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Amber Ullah, Fairfax County Federal Credit Union in Virginia; Dave Van Buskirk, Brazosport Teachers Federal Credit Union in Texas; Lori Velie, Ent Credit Union in Colorado; Linda White, Upward Credit Union in California; Tori Williams, Neighbors Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Laura Wills, Guardians Credit Union in Florida; Clinton Wilson, Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Terry Wood, Suncoast Credit Union in Florida; and Melissa Yurko, Belco Community Credit Union in Pennsylvania.
The program was facilitated by the Chad Helminak, the Director of DE and Cooperative Culture at the Foundation and co-facilitated by Gerry Singleton from CUNA Mutual Group in Montana. Onsite event coordination was done by Maggie Wolff from the Foundation. The class was mentored by a group of six credit union professionals and CUDE alumni: Mike Akers, Flag Credit Union in Florida; Holly Fearing, Filene Research Institute in Wisconsin; Dawn Grohskopf, UnitedOne Credit Union in Wisconsin, James Gukeisen, FIS in Florida; Kevin Shaw, Illinois Credit Union System in Illinois; and Blake Woods, Lake Trust Credit Union in Michigan.