Visitors Add Brazilian Touch to Northwest’s International Credit Union Day Celebration

How will you celebrate International Credit Union Day? Let credit unions in the Northwest and around the world share in the fun:

  • On Twitter: Tweet using the hashtag #ICUday, and include photos.

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Four credit union professionals from Brazil are celebrating International Credit Union Day in the Northwest today, part of a three-week visit that will include time not only to learn more about their U.S. counterparts but also to experience the region’s eclectic culture.

The visit, part of the World Council of Credit Unions’ International Credit Union Leadership Program, is designed to give emerging leaders a chance to share innovative ideas and learn firsthand how to better serve an increasingly diverse membership. In exchange, professionals from the U.S. will travel to Brazil in Jan. 2014.

BECU, Sound Credit Union, and Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union are serving as hosts for the visit. Staffers will work alongside their Brazilian counterparts to show what day-to-day operations look like in the U.S.; they’ll also explain the structure, value, and impact of the credit union movement here.

“What an incredible opportunity this is, not only for our visitors but ultimately for our Northwest credit unions,” says Brandi Gleason, director of member relations for the Northwest Credit Union Association. “They’ve already shared so much with each other about how credit unions are working hard to improve the lives of their members all over the world.”

At BECU, Heather Nadeau is working with Marina da Silva Bordin. Denise Reagan is the liaison for Raquel Ternes da Rosa at Sound Credit Union, while Hamilton Cassol and Clarice Koch will shadow Jill Vicente at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union.

Later this month, NWCUA will lead several field trips for the Brazilians and their hosts, including a tour of Seattle Children’s Hospital, a visit to a chapter meeting, a trip to the Washington Department of Financial Institutions to attend a rule-making session, and a stop at the state Capitol in Olympia.

After business hours, credit union employees are already going to great lengths to immerse their visitors in the natural and man-made wonders of the Seattle area. “I hope this visit will foster relationships that will last far into the future,” Gleason says.

Although not officially an International Credit Union Day event, the timing of the Brazilians’ visit couldn’t be more perfect. Credit unions in more than 100 countries are reflecting on the movement’s history today, promoting its achievements and raising awareness about the great work that credit unions are doing around the world.

This year’s theme, “Credit Unions Unite for Good,” builds on CUNA’s ongoing “Unite for Good” campaign. That campaign serves as a unifying vision for U.S. credit unions by creating awareness and fostering service excellence to encourage Americans to choose credit unions as their best financial partner.

In Washington’s Whatcom County, Industrial Credit Union is spreading the “Unite for Good” message by staging its 19th annual “Feed the Need” food drive, an ICU Day tradition that brings neighbors together to collect food and donations for the region’s hungry. If it reaches its goal of 300,000 pounds this year, the drive will have collected more than 2 million pounds of food since it began.

Unitus Community Credit Union is marking the day with a “Why I Appreciate My Credit Union” contest and in-branch displays. Credit unions across the country are holding special financial literacy events. And in Ireland, Dublin’s Swords & District Credit Union has created a “Hands of Declaration” display, offering members a chance to trace their hands and write the reasons why they are credit union members in return for a chance to win a flat-screen TV.

NWCUA is joining in the celebration, too. T-shirts, hoodies, posters and stationery adorned with a unique ICU Day design are on sale at Goodjoe.com; 15 percent of all sales will benefit Credit Unions for Kids.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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