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CU development educators program marks 30 years
Graduates of the Spring 2012 Development Education Training stand outside of the World Credit Union Center campus in Madison, Wis.
MADISON, Wis. (7/6/12)--Thirty certified Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) gathered in San Diego last month to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program.

The credit union philosophy training program from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) started in 1982 and continues to educate credit union professionals worldwide every year.

A 30th anniversary reception was held during the annual workshops for CUDEs that took place June 20-22 in conjunction with Credit Union National Association's America's Credit Union Conference.

The workshop also featured sessions on innovation, immigration issues, sustainability, community development financial institutions, advocacy, young adults, activities/projects by CUDEs, and updates on the DE program.

Graduates of the DE program attending were from training sessions ranging from the first year in 1982 to the most recent training in April.

Alumni of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program gather at the DE Workshop, June 20 in San Diego.
"We never dreamed the program would evolve in the way it has, and what an awesome group of dedicated credit union volunteers and professionals it has grown to be," said Susan Luke, owner of Luke Communications Group and a graduate of the first DE Training in 1982.

"It wasn't until I attended this remarkable program that I truly realized we are part of a movement," said Ruben Cisneros, chief operations officer at Border FCU, Del Rio, Texas, and a graduate of DE Training in April.

"It's a movement with social values that I strongly believe in and have applied after attending DE Training," He added.

The DE program began in 1982 with a grant to the CUNA Foundation (now the NCUF, from the U.S. Agency for International Development).

Attendees of an early Development Education Training class gather at the St. Benedict Center (now Holy Wisdom Monastery) where training was held in Middleton, Wis. (Photos provided by the National Credit Union Foundation)
Eighty-eight programs received funding over time, but the Credit Union Development Education Program is the only one still in existence.

"For 30 years, the DE Program has stayed true to its original intent and has been instrumental in increasing the awareness and support of international credit union development efforts, which has helped to strengthen credit union movements in other countries and the services offered to members everywhere," noted Lois Kitsch, NCUF national program director.

The next DE Training, at Madison, Wis., Sept. 6-13, is sold out.

However, there are two trainings scheduled for 2013, with the first taking place May 1-8.

For more information, e-mail cude@ncuf.coop.

During the week-long program, participants are involved in group exercises and field trips, are encouraged to ask questions of speakers, and must complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations.
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