Get Cash to Crash the GAC

Watch this video and find out what it means to be a crasher.

The Cooperative Trust and CUNA invite young credit union professionals to “crash” CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. in March 2015. And the Northwest Credit Union Association is stepping up with grants to pave the way.

Crash the GAC is a program tailored for young professionals that runs alongside the main event, and offers mentor sessions with leaders from the likes of the National Credit Union Foundation, Credit Union National Association, Filene Research Institute and CUNA Mutual Group.

Every crasher receives a free GAC registration from CUNA. Applications are due January 1, 2015.

Still, airplane tickets and hotels are costly. The NWCUA has raised $12,000 to help crashers and other advocates attend the GAC through its grassroots grant fund.

“Crashing the GAC was the most influential thing I have been a part of in my five years in the industry,” said Liz Henderson, business development officer for Maps Credit Union, who crashed last year’s GAC.

“It was a very powerful thing to meet and learn from the very best and brightest in the industry,” said Henderson. “Our work at the crasher sessions with the Cooperative Trust forced me to think about my future in the industry, and where I want to be. I met industry leaders and learned all about Filene, The Cooperative Trust, CUNA, the National Credit Union Foundation and World Council of Credit Unions.”

Twenty-five state leagues have committed to support crashers from their states, including the NWCUA.

James Marshall, manager of The Cooperative Trust at the Filene Research Institute, said Crash the GAC opens the door for young professionals. “It brings the focus back to the sustainability of the credit union movement,” Marshall said. “Attendees can gain access to these bright young minds while crashers learn the true meaning behind the credit union difference. If they can even bring back one idea to their credit unions, then we have had a successful Crash the GAC.”

Henderson said that she almost didn’t attend last year. “Between the cost, finding coverage for my position at my CU and getting approval, I was unsure if I should even apply,” she said. “But I got an incredible amount of support from my own credit union, the Northwest Credit Union Association, the NWCUA Foundation, The Cooperative Trust and CUNA.”

This year she says that if another young professional is considering applying she would tell them, “Just say yes, and work out the details later.”

Apply to Crash the GAC at their website, and contact Samantha Beeler at to apply for grassroots grant funds.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA, Events, NWCUA.