Brandon Riechers believes in developing young professionals and getting them involved in all areas of the credit union movement.
“I’ve always been a champion of young professionals,” says Riechers, president/CEO of $2.6 billion asset Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis. “At Royal, we do what we can to help in the development of future leaders on many fronts.”
Those fronts include advocacy.
Earlier this year, Royal launched the Young Professional Credit Union Activist (YP CU Activist), a program designed to strengthen the credit union movement and amplify the voices of young professionals.
Amanda Farnham, an organizational development advisor, was selected to fill the YP CU Activist role. Her term runs from August 2019 through July 2020. She’ll attend state and national advocacy events and will meet with an advocacy mentor monthly to discuss issues and prepare for upcoming events.
It’s an experience Farnham is looking forward to.
“I want to be the voice for young professionals in this movement,” Farnham says. “I think it’s very important that young professionals have a voice because we’re truly the future of the credit union and I want to bring that excitement to others.”
Reichers and Farnham joined the CUNA News Podcast to discuss the program, what Farnham is learning, why it’s important for young professionals to get involved in advocacy, and more.
In this episode:
0:57: The ideas behind the activist program
2:16: How the activist program works
3:23: The process of selecting an activist
4:19: What drew Amanda to the program
4:52: Amanda’s background in the movement
5:33: Becoming the voice of young professionals
5:50: What Amanda has accomplished so far
6:29: Amanda’s most eye-opening experience
7:07: Hike the Hill: an opportunity to share stories
7:56: The importance of highlighting financial education
8:43: Making a lasting impact on lawmakers
9:15: How Amanda hopes to continue her advocacy
9:35: Growing interest from other young professionals
10:34: Advice for getting involved and seeking guidance
11:15: How to identify a mentor who can give perspective
12:07: The benefits of getting young professionals involved
14:05: Preparing a first-time advocate for the experience
15:26: Activism at the local, state, and national level
15:57: Student-run branches leave an impression
16:20: Young professionals as the future of the movement