Nine Northwest Credit Union Leaders Graduate from NCUF CUDE Program


Nine Northwest credit union leaders recently completed the NWCUF Credit Union Development Education Training Program. Forty-seven professional in total finished the program.

Nine Northwest credit union professionals recently completed the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education Training Program, held in May in Madison, Wisconsin.

A total of 47 credit union leaders from across the nation and the globe completed the program, which focuses on credit union structure, purpose, and the unique differences that make credit unions stand out from other financial institutions.

From the Northwest, DE graduates included:

  • KC Dickens, Community Education Director, Old West Federal Credit Union
  • Deborah Donnelly, Senior Manager of Learning & Development, BECU
  • Cody Huth, Senior Financial Analyst, Gesa Credit Union
  • Kathy Lanning, Training Manager, Harborstone Credit Union
  • Angela Lowe, Director of HR & Training, Verity Credit Union
  • Dakoda McKennon, Branch Manager, Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union
  • Alexis Miller, Business Development Officer, Twinstar Credit Union
  • Luiza Ostapenko, Financial Service Specialist, Cutting Edge Federal Credit Union
  • Lauren Severance, Assistant Manager, Unitus Community Credit Union

Dickens decided to enroll after she’d heard great things about the program from coworkers at Old West Federal. The program, they told her “reignited a spark in them,” she said.

“The DE Experience is hard to put into words. I experienced significant professional and personal growth while in the program. There were great connections and creative collaborations amongst our group of 47 during the longest, shortest week of my life,” Dickens recalled. “It was astonishing to me that in this world that we live in today that 47 people from all over the US and some from Kenya, Africa, who had never met each other and came from so very different walks of life could have deep, emotional, and yes, controversial conversations in a respectful and reserved manner.”

Lowe also said she finished the program with a new perspective, helping her to grow as a credit union professional.

“After attending Western CUNA Management School, I felt fairly connected to the Credit Union Movement, our history, and guiding principles. But DE really brought this to life and helped me connect to our purpose in a deeper, more personal way,” Lowe explained. “After 12 years in the movement, DE gave me a renewed sense of energy, passion, and commitment for what we do. And through the friendships I developed, I now have a network of people in the movement who can help inspire and teach me.”

Each year, DEs work together to give back to their communities in a variety of ways. Lowe plans to focus on “employment issues around pay equity and living wages,” she said. “I believe these are critical challenges to address to fully live our mission and create stronger and more vibrant communities. I’m excited to work with my fellow DEs, credit union peers, and like-minded community partners to impact these important issues.”

Dickens recommends the DE program to those who want to grow in their careers. “I would recommend the DE Program to all credit union employees and board members that are truly vested in the movement. The program speaks for itself from the many years of success it has already had.”

For information on future trainings, click here or send an email to be put on a notification list for additional registration information. The two remaining sessions for 2019 are sold out.

Credit union professionals can gain a snapshot view of the full DE training at the 2019 Leveraging the Credit Union Difference Workshop, held on a 250-acre environmental learning center on BainBridge Island, Washington, from on Nov. 21 to 23. Chad Helminak with the National Credit Union Foundation will serve as co-facilitator. Register today to take advantage of early bird pricing. 

Posted in Professional Development.