CUNA’s Salemi talks CUDE, ‘crashing,’ YPs and more

September 3, 2019

Young credit union professionals are very motivated to make a difference, CUNA Social Media Administrator Christina Salemi told CUltivate. In a recent interview with the publication, Salemi shared her thoughts on becoming a DE, “crashing” CUNA conventions and the importance of mentorship, among other topics.

Having been in the movement nearly five years, Salemi said becoming a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) through the DE program was a goal from the beginning, and that she learned several things.

“First, there’s good people out there who want to help you make your financial dreams come true. Second, it’s not just a professional growth but a personal one as well. Third, it’s the longest/shortest week of your life. And finally, trust the process!” she said. “The CUDE program focuses on exploring the “why” and purpose of credit unions. The week long training allows you to escape your daily distractions and work obligations by focusing on why we do what we do. It’s a transformative training that will stay with you forever!”

Since her first CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, Salemi has been heavily involved with the “crasher” program, in which young credit union professionals are invited to attend CUNA GAC, or America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC), with a complimentary registration.

She said getting young professionals involved in credit union advocacy is a passion of hers, and she found it especially rewarding to serve as a mentor at this year’s ACUC.

“It was great to meet 15 future leaders and hear what they’re experiencing on the front lines assisting our members. It was also satisfying to hear they enjoyed the ‘VIP’ meet and greet sessions I arranged with CUNA senior staff,” she said. “I like to use my connections at CUNA to help other YPs network and succeed in their positions. And most of all, make their conference experience enjoyable! I’m excited to be a crash mentor at CUNA and WOCCU’s joint international conference in July 2020.”