A delegation of Oregon credit unions visits Seoul Pharmacists' Credit Union. (World Council photo)

Oregon credit unions complete Global Bridges journey with South Korean visit

November 17, 2022

Representatives of five Oregon credit unions last week traveled across the Pacific Ocean for a deep dive examination of South Korea’s largest credit union system, concluding a two-year Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ (WFCU) Global Bridges' journey with the National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK).

Professionals from Advantis Credit Union, Northwest Community Credit Union, Oregon Community Credit Union, Rivermark Credit Union and Unitus Community Credit Union visited NACUFOK’s headquarters and training center in Daejon, along with four of their member credit unions in Seoul and Busan.

The visit, which also included stops at several marquee cultural and historic sites in South Korea, comes six months after NACUFOK representatives visited the credit unions in Oregon.

“Global Bridges allowed our Oregon delegation to not only connect and learn from a worldwide credit union leader, but also with each other as we jointly advance the movement forward. The approach and concepts are different than those we traditionally employ in the U.S., so this presented an excellent opportunity to see their model in action and gather new ideas,” said Steve Stapp, president/CEO of Unitus Community Credit Union.

Global Bridges allows participating credit unions to select and customize thematic content that gives their teams a global context of current credit union challenges through interactive webinars, peer-to-peer engagements and conferences that add value to existing education and training programs.

“It is exciting to see the completion of our first Global Bridges' journey that started in early 2021,” said Mike Reuter, WFCU executive director. “Now that we have largely moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to deliver more in-person engagement opportunities to connect credit unions from different areas of the world.”

Global Bridges' journeys can be delivered over a 12- or 24-month timeframe. The program employs a versatile model to orient both new hires, and give existing staff access to new global credit union experiences.

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