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40 CU professionals become CU Dev. Educators
MADISON, Wis. (4/30/12)--Forty credit union professionals were guided by eight program facilitators and mentors through the week-long Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training. The April 18-25 training was held on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis., said the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).

During the week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, encouraged to ask questions of visiting speakers, and completed team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.

"DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today," said Lois Kitsch, DE facilitator and national program director for NCUF. "It is timeliness that we strive for in the entire DE training experience as participants work through critical issues that include member business lending, mergers and small credit unions, bank conversion, serving emerging markets, national branding, and credit union development in Haiti."

"This was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to separate myself from my daily routine and take a macro view of our movement," said Tony Emerson, class attendee and president/ CEO of The Credit Union League of Connecticut. "As a league president, I found it especially motivating to see the passion and dedication others have for seeing our industry survive and be there for our members. It should be everyone's goal to attain this designation."

The 2012 graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S. and one from Kenya participating through the African DE Scholars Program.

"Industry trainings and conferences remind you that you are a part of something bigger than yourself and your credit union, but DE Training goes a step beyond," said Lisa Totaro, marketing associate at Sunmark FCU in Latham, N.Y. "DE reminds us that we are part of a worldwide cooperative movement united by deep philosophical principles, and helps cement what sets us apart. It reminds us what 'people helping people' is really about."

"The Poverty Simulation (or Life Simulation) on its own, is worth the price of attendance," said Jeff Kunberger, service center manager at Suncoast Schools FCU location. "Being able to put yourself in your member's shoes as they live week to week and day to day, and the frustration of all the obstacles placed in front of them opens your eyes to all the potential products, services and solutions we as a credit union can offer to improve the quality of our member's lives."

The next DE Training will be held at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis., Sept. 6-13. Registration is still open and can be found at the NCUF website. Use the link.

To see a list of the new 40 Credit Union Development Educators, use the link.
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