NWCUA 2012 Calendar of Events: Helping the Movement ‘Flourish’

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) has released the 2012 Events Calendar, offering opportunities for growth related to every facet of the credit union movement through networking, training and continued education.

“We strive to provide educational opportunities for every person in the credit union movement,” said Nancy Pullen, the NWCUA’s senior director of training and development. “Based on member feedback and the growing resources and influence of the Association, we have developed a rich, diverse calendar of events for 2012 to reflect the strength of the movement in the Northwest and to help it continue to grow.”

The calendar includes 200 training programs and 92 webinars. Highlights for the coming year include The Business Lending School, which kicks off in January, the Washington Government Affairs Conference in early February, asset liability management training in Spokane and Portland in March, and the Executive Summit in late April.

“We operate in a highly competitive field and it’s important to be on top of the game at all times,” said Cathy Brorson, outreach coordinator for Kitsap Credit Union. “The training opportunities provided through the Association provide ways for credit union personnel to stay cutting-edge and relevant. It’s through education that credit unions really differentiate themselves from other financial institutions, so I place a lot of value on every opportunity I have to increase my knowledge and my networking. It’s through the great networking that you really see ‘cooperation among cooperatives’ played out.”

The Volunteers Conference, another popular event, targets boards of directors, supervisory committees, and other leaders in the industry who are involved on a volunteer basis, providing a continuation of the ongoing training needed to succeed in such roles.

And of course, the cornerstone of the calendar is the 2012 Convention and Annual Business Meeting, set for Oct. 2-4 in Vancouver, Wash.

“It’s a robust calendar,” said NWCUA President Troy Stang. “We’re not a state league. We are a regional association, and it’s got firepower that you’re just not going to see anywhere else. And it continues to evolve, because we’re tweaking it in real time based on feedback as part of our ongoing efforts to improve.”

Pullen said that through that feedback, it became clear that continued education was a priority for credit unions now more than ever.

“It’s evident that credit unions are excitedly reinvesting in the training and development of their professionals, from the front lines to the executives,” Pullen said. “It’s encouraging—and it’s a smart business decision.”

New for 2012 are the Woman Up Seminar, designed specifically for women in leadership in the credit union movement, and the Marketers Conference in May. This high-level conference will span a number of topics related to marketing and communications, affording attendees the opportunity to learn basic skills and understand research trends, distinguish between marketing and promotions, and dive into the value of earned media and of communicating the return on investment (ROI) of a credit union’s marketing department.

The value of the Association’s training and development programs also comes in the form of cooperation and collaboration, particularly through the networking councils, leveraging the collective expertise of the larger group.

“The opportunities for learning from your peers are tremendous,” said Kelly Haag, employee development consultant for BECU. “I have not only been able to bounce ideas off of people who were more tenured in their positions than I was, but I have also played a role in influencing others based on my own experiences. The learning and sharing doesn’t stop at the meetings either. Because of the networking that is provided, I was able to meet professionals from other credit unions and was invited to speak at their annual meeting as their keynote speaker! This would not have happened had we not made a connection through the league.”

“The councils were a great way to meet like-minded professionals, share ideas and get real-world experiences and examples to take back to our credit union,” said Steve Pagenstecher, vice president of member relations for Valley Credit Union. “Given the joining of Oregon and Washington this past year, it was also a fantastic way to meet folks from Washington. More than anything, it was amazing to see the creativity and passion of so many credit union professionals on display. If nothing else, I always left inspired to go back to Valley and double my efforts for our members.”

The NWCUA also provides a number of direct training solutions, keying on the expertise of the Association staff.

“The NWCUA, as well as other associations, makes all the difference for their state credit unions through quality training and leadership,” Brorson said. “[It is] evidenced by the fact that doors are opening to credit unions and we’re making a difference in financial literacy—the solid foundation that everyone needs. I can’t imagine trying to go it alone without the support of the Association.”

Scholarships for training and development programs are available through the newly-merged Northwest Credit Union Foundation based on asset size and merit. Gift certificates can also be purchased as a way to reward or recognize employees and colleagues.

“We want people to have the educational resources available so that they can be more than just successful,” Pullen said. “We want them to flourish.”


Questions? Contact Training Programs Coordinator Yuri Jung: 206.340.4817, yjung@nwcua.org.

Posted in Events, NWCUA.