NWCUA’s Inaugural Micro-Communities Workshop Unites the CU Movement’s Thought Leaders


More than 40 professionals from Northwest credit unions attended NWCUA’s Micro-Communities Workshop June 7.

More than 40 passionate Northwest credit union professionals brought their A-games to the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) inaugural Micro-Communities Workshop in SeaTac June 7. The event united Chapter Board members, past graduates of the Emerging Leaders program, Credit Union Development Educators (DEs), and others who value collaboration.

The theme for the day-long think tank event was “Cooperation in Action.” NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang launched the program with a presentation that highlighted the #CUobsessed mission to reach 75 percent market share in the Northwest by 2025. Membership in the region’s credit unions is now over 50 percent.

“Growing market share is not only about outstanding products and services, it’s about how credit unions are different because they put people before profits,” said Carmen Vigil, NWCUA Director, Cooperative Momentum and the event’s host. “It’s about why credit unions truly are different—because they make such a difference.”

Workshop attendees were inspired by the way that Seattle’s Jeff Lew lead by example and fixed a social problem. Lew learned that some of his kids’ classmates were not being served hot lunches at school because they could not afford the meals. The budding activist fought the “lunch shaming” trend by galvanizing the community to help him pay the $20,000 in local school lunch debt. Lew’s crusade not only resulted in nutritious lunches for Seattle school children, it went viral, and started a national trend.

Erin Coleman, Senior Impact Director for the Filene Research Institute, gave a high-level presentation about technology and trends on the credit union and financial landscape.

The Northwest Credit Union Movement’s own collaborative rock stars were also showcased at the Workshop. A panel of micro-community leaders spoke about their experience getting more deeply involved in credit unions’ missions. For example, Suzanne Klenk, Financial Literacy & Community Relations Coordinator at WSECU, spoke about how her personal passion for financial literacy helped her credit unions adopt financial education as a key pillar of its community outreach work.

The workshop is not a one-and-done. Attendees were asked to note their top three take-a-ways and move at least one into action this week.

Editor’s note: Interested in learning more about Micro-Communities? Email NWCUA Director, Cooperative Momentum Carmen Vigil at cvigil@nwcua.org.

Posted in Micro-Communities.