Four from Northwest Become Certified Credit Union Development Educators

Four credit union professionals from the Northwest are among 42 people to earn the Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) designation last week after attending the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from Sept. 6-13 at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.

Jared Dance, financial education specialist at TwinStar Credit Union, Jane Parker, human resource manager at Woodstone Credit Union, and Steve Wilder, vice president of relationship management at Horizon Credit Union, joined Katy Hays of Credit Union Strategic Planning, a credit union consulting firm headquartered in Tacoma, Wash., in earning the coveted DE distinction.

“It was a wonderful experience to be able to work with other credit union professionals, and to become better acquainted with our history and to learn more about what we can do as cooperatives working together,” Dance said. “It’s not about credit unions versus credit unions. It’s about all of us working together to fulfill a mission. Every credit union has a unique history, but no matter how big a credit union gets, it’s important to remember where we came from.”

The DE program’s mission is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. DE training also provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to the seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

During the most recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, and issue discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and each student is required to complete a team project that proposes solutions to help credit unions alleviate or eliminate a challenging situation.

“During the entire DE training experience, we work to ensure applicability of the credit union philosophy and relevance to current events,” said Lois Kitsch, DE mentor and national program director for the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). “For example, for the final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included social media and virtual banking, mergers and small credit unions, payday lending, small credit union growth, National Credit Union Administration’s low-income designation, and credit union development in Great Britain.”

 “The DE experience for me was all about being a part of something larger than myself,” said Josh Smith, advocacy officer at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in California. “Over the course of my training, I had my eyes opened to the power of cooperation and the good that it can do. Whether it’s within my own credit union or as a part of the credit union movement itself, I now feel more empowered and prepared to make a difference.”

Over the past 30 years, more than 1,000 credit union advocates from over 30 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.

The next DE Training will again be held at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis., May 1-8, 2013. Anyone interested in attending the upcoming class can email to be notified when registration is open.

The Fall 2012 graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S., the Caribbean, Scotland, and one from South Africa participating through the African DE Scholars Program. They are: Kelsey Balcaitis, A+ Federal Credit Union in Texas; Barb Bates, TLC Community Credit Union in Michigan; Coleen Bernabe, Central Credit Union in Commonwealth of Dominica; Chris Blough, Wayne County Community Federal Credit Union in Ohio; Victor Botha, Sibanye Cape SACCO Ltd in South Africa; Lennox Bowman, General Employees Co-Operatives in St. Vincent and Grenadines; Susan Brunner, Carter Federal Credit Union in Louisiana; Cynthia Campbell, Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma; Mandy Clayton, FivePoint Credit Union in Texas; Noelle Conzelmann, Frankenmuth Credit Union in Michigan; Nancy Croix-Stroud, First Class American Credit Union in Texas; Will Dahmen, State Employees’ Credit Union in North Carolina; Jared Dance, TwinStar Credit Union in Washington; Micah Davis, BIU Members Credit Union Co-Op Society in Bermuda; Andrea Demmith, NEW Credit Union in Wisconsin; Krissy Dubovec, Local Government Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; David Faleski, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Jan Garkey, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Wisconsin; Corinne Glasgow, CICSA Co-op Credit Union Ltd in Cayman Islands; Mark Greene, State Employees’ Credit Union in North Carolina; Halley Hayden, Missouri Credit Union Association in Missouri; Katy Hays, Credit Union Strategic Planning in Washington; Stuart Himmelstein, American Airlines Federal Credit Union in Texas; Jessica Hrubes, CUNA Strategic Services in Wisconsin; Aimee Johnson, Oswego County Federal Credit Union in New York; Robert Kelly, NHS Credit Union in Scotland; John Link, Agriculture Federal Credit Union in Washington, DC; Janet McDonald, CUNA Mutual Group in Indiana; Sheilah Montgomery, Credit Union of Atlanta in Georgia; Alex Morales, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Stephen Nelson, The Utah Credit Union Association in Utah; Jim Pack, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Jane Parker, Woodstone Credit Union in Washington; Leonard Parkhurst, League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Florida; Adrianne Rexius, Tempe Schools Credit Union in Arizona; Josh Smith, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in California; Dorothy Steffens, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Monica Titley, Filene Research Institute in Wisconsin; Laura Vann, League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Alabama; Steve Wilder, Horizon Credit Union in Washington; Michelle Wingate, Peoples Trust Federal Credit Union in Texas; and Jay Young, Fiberglas Federal Credit Union in Ohio.


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Posted in CUNA, Events, Federal.