Eight Northwest Credit Union Leaders Earn CUDE Designation


Last month, eight Northwest credit union leaders completed the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education Training, earning the designation of Credit Union Development Educators.

DE Training is a unique experiential program that provides lessons in credit union structure, purpose, and the “why” that differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions. During the Foundation’s signature program, participants engage in small and large group exercises and interactive speaker sessions focused on the Credit Union Difference. Each lesson provides insights into how credit unions can leverage their unique business model to help their members and communities overcome the shared challenges and issues they face.

The September DE Training, which ran from Sept. 14 to Oct. 9, included 37 credit union professionals from across the United States, and this class was the first to complete the training through a virtual avenue.

Northwest graduates include:

  • Aimee Berg, Community Development Manager at Unitus Community Credit Union, Portland
  • Brady Howe, President and CEO of Cutting Edge Credit Union, Milwaukie, Oregon
  • Emily Hagan, Retail Support Specialist at TwinStar Credit Union, Olympia, Washington
  • Evan Strandberg, Business Development Manager at iQ Credit Union, Vancouver, Washington
  • Heaven Curl, Collection Officer at CALCOE Federal Credit Union, Yakima, Washington
  • Michael Murdoch, Communications Specialist at Wauna Credit Union, Clatskanie, Oregon
  • Natasha Rivers, Program Manager of Sustainability & Measurement at BECU, Seattle
  • Noel Gabler, Corporate Relations Manager at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Anchorage, Alaska

Here’s what a few of them had to say about their experience:

This was truly an empowering four-week journey. I gained new perspectives on our credit union development issues, serving with empathy, and, more importantly, how credit unions can grow stronger by working cooperatively to better serve our members and community. We all have the opportunity to make a difference and I couldn’t be prouder to be among an amazing group of inspiring and motivated DEs.”
— Aimee Berg

“It was exciting to be part of the first ever virtual DE program! Learning about each development issue and seeing all the great work already being done by so many people has motivated me to do even more. I’m taking the knowledge I’ve gained and using it not only in my credit union but also in my personal life. We have a number of DEs now on staff, and I’m hoping we can work together to create something much bigger!”
— Brady Howe

“The CUDE virtual training program was phenomenal. Chad and Maggie did an excellent job converting the experience to the first virtual DE class ever. I connected and bonded quickly with my five-person team (Go Triple E Team!) while also networking in brief breakout rooms with others in the class. The level of interaction and participation with the material and presenters was engaging and open.”
— Emily Hagan

The DE designation opens eyes and doors to the true potential of our abilities as credit union advocates and socially responsible human beings. To spend time with tenured industry leaders — whose passion and commitment to the lives of their members and communities is immensely inspiring — and all while learning and practicing equity, empathy, and the Movement, is truly a life-changing experience.”
Michael Murdoch

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced the Credit Union Development Educators course and even more appreciative given the year. Though I was a little apprehensive being the first virtual group, it was a phenomenal experience, providing one of the best trainings I have ever experienced. Somehow, the National Credit Union Foundation was able to deliver a well-rounded deep dive into credit union history and the Credit Union Difference while also providing a platform in which classmates could connect and network. It was an experience unlike any other.”
— Noel Gabler

Congratulations to this year’s new CUDEs!

For more information on the CUDE Program or what Northwest CUDEs are up to, please contact Carmen Vigil, NWCUA AVP of Member Engagement.

Posted in Leadership, Professional Development.