Young CUnext pros see Kan. state advocacy in action

February 2, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (2/3/15)--Seeing is believing.

Thirteen young professionals from credit unions across Kansas participated in CUnext Advocacy Day in Topeka, Kan., last week. (Kansas Credit Union Association Photo)

A group of young credit union professionals witnessed first hand last week how the movement's experienced leaders represent credit unions at the state level during the Kansas Credit Union Association's (KCUA) CUnext Advocacy Day.

A baker's dozen of credit union employees, from seven credit unions in Kansas, traveled to Topeka and participated in "A Day in the Life of a Legislator," Advocacy 101 training, and also learned how credit unions pump up their regulatory advocacy efforts.

The young staffers also met with the Kansas Department of Credit Unions and attended a House session.

"I attended this event to meet other young credit union professionals who are enthusiastic and committed to helping promote the credit union movement," said Jake Scott, loan officer for Emporia (Kan.) State FCU, with $68 million in assets (Vision Jan. 30). "I was also very interested to see exactly how the legislative process works and how lobbyists play a role in protecting our vision."

Scott followed Rep. Don Hill (R-Emporia) during his "Day in the Life" activity, spending time in the state legislator's office and on the House floor.

"He had a lobbyist for another organization come in and talk to him," Scott said. "It was quite interesting to see the dialogue between the two."

Several in the group also attended a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting while KCUA staff members testified on patent legislation.

"I got to visit the committee when Haley DaVee (KCUA vice president of governmental affairs/association services) testified about the patent bill," said Holly Terrill, contact center team manager at Meritrust CU, Wichita, Kan., with $970 million in assets. "It was exciting to watch her explain how this issue affects credit unions and why we support the bill."

Terrill also said that she gained a lot of insight--which she plans to take back to her credit union team in Wichita--such as how committees work, how bills become law and how great an effect the general public can have on certain issues.