A young professional who’s committed to sharing the credit union story, Amanda Farnham found herself in the perfect role.
Farnham recently finished a two-year stint as Royal Credit Union’s Young Professional Credit Union Activist (YP CU Activist).
Launched in 2019, the program aims to strengthen the credit union movement and amplify the voice of young professionals.
“I want to tell everyone how amazing credit unions are and share the credit union difference,” says Farnham, a compliance risk management specialist at the $3.7 billion asset credit union in Eau Claire, Wis.
Royal’s first YP CU Activist, Farnham sees herself as a “trailblazer” because she likes to pave the way for other young professionals. This role is another way she can inspire young professionals and help them grow professionally.
Before becoming involved in the program, Farnham didn’t completely understand what advocacy entailed. But it took only one meeting with lawmakers to see the impact her efforts had.
“You could tell that lawmakers want to hear from their constituents with varied experiences and different perspectives,” she says.
Farnham also attended state and national advocacy events, including the Wisconsin Credit Union League’s Government Affairs Conference and the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). She was a crasher for the 2020 CUNA GAC.
“My biggest takeaway is encouraging young professionals to speak up and want to have a seat at the table,” she says. “Advocacy can sound a little intimidating to some who may not know exactly what you do when you’re talking to lawmakers.”
Farnham was part of the selection committee for the next Royal YP CU Activist and has been on panel discussions speaking about the credit union’s program. She also appeared on a 2019 episode of the CUNA News Podcast.
Farnham started at Royal as a part-time teller when she was 17. She held positions in financial education and organizational development, before taking on her current role earlier this year.
“I’m still unsure what I want to do forever,” says Farnham, who’s been with Royal for eight years. “But in compliance you get to tap into every department and business unit. That gives me a broad scope of understanding how the credit union functions.”