Event Info

November 29th 12:30 pm -
December 1st 12:00 pm PST

November 29th 1:30 pm -
December 1st 1:00 pm MST

1 day, 23 hours, 30 minutes

$685 (late registration price)

Venue Info:

4450 Blakely Avenue NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110


Program Overview

Your Association is proud to promote an immersive workshop hosted by Northwest Development Educators with support from BECU, the National Credit Union Foundation, and your Northwest Credit Union Foundation.

Registration for the workshop is now closed.

About the Workshop

A unique experiential opportunity to step away from the daily stress of balancing work and life to engage in a workshop designed for professionals of any level within the Credit Union Movement.

Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of why credit unions are unique and more importantly, how credit unions are well suited to make a tangible impact on the lives of our members and the greater communities we serve.

Attendees will return to their credit unions with a greater appreciation for the Movement as a whole, as well as with ideas to help grow membership, understand and solve the specific needs of members, and increase loyalty.

The registration price of $685 is inclusive of 2-nights lodging, workshop materials, and all meals. 

Who should attend?

Leveraging the Credit Union Difference is designed to appeal to a wide range of professionals, including:

  • Young professionals who wish to learn more about the history and origins of credit unions
  • More seasoned professionals who are new to the CU movement
  • Longtime credit union employees who wish to deepen their appreciation for the uniqueness of credit unions, re-ignite their passion, and find new approaches and inspiration


  • Understand the unique history and role of credit unions in the marketplace
  • Gain a deeper understanding of why credit unions are different and how our cooperative principles & structure can frame our day-to-day operations in a way that leverages our uniqueness
  • Experience how financial health is affecting our members and what some credit unions are doing to provide solutions
  • Create a personal/professional action plan
  • Develop a renewed appreciation for the CU movement and bring insightful ideas and potential solutions to your credit union


Lois Kitsch and Mark Lynch, Co-Founders and Owners of CU.Difference

CU Difference is the brainchild of Lois Kitsch and Mark Lynch. Their passion for credit unions and the difference they can make in the lives of people around the world led them to establish cu.difference as a way to help credit unions and organizations that support credit unions to use the credit union difference to improve peoples’ lives.

Mark and Lois first started working together in 2007 on the National Credit Union Foundation’s REAL Solutions Program. Lois was the Program Director and Mark was a Field Coach. The REAL Solutions program helped credit unions develop strategies to better serve their under served members and communities. In 2011, Lois became responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education program. This immersion program focusss on the credit union difference and trains credit union staff to understand the power of the social mission of credit unions and the importance of achieving the appropriate balance between the business and social mission. Mark worked with Lois on the CUDE program as a facilitator, mentor, and presenter.

So when they decided to “retire” from the Foundation, they wanted to use their more than 80 years combined experience to help credit unions and credit union organizations develop a better understanding of the power of the credit union difference and how to use it to serve and attract members.

Lois and Mark believe that what makes credit unions different should not be the best kept secret, nor should it be just something that is used behind the scenes to motivate credit union leaders. Mark and Lois believe it is a very powerful tool to inspire everyone in credit unions to do a better job of helping members achieve financial stability, while at the same time growing credit union membership and enhancing the financial viability of credit unions.


If you have questions about the workshop please email Debbie Wege at debbie.wege@becu.org.