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Filenes Crash Network builds momentum
MADISON, Wis. (12/6/11)--In less than two years, Filene Research Institute's Crash Network has evolved from a gathering of 25 young credit union professionals at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in 2010 to a group comprising more than 270 members and six league partners.

Filene Research Institute's Crash Network, a group of young credit union professionals, has grown to more than 270 members and six league partners. Kevin Kindschi, sales executive, CUNA Mutual Group, talks to the California-Nevada Credit Union League members of the Crash Network about how the economy affects credit unions in their states. (Photo provided by the Crash Network)
"Crash gives young credit union professionals a place to network," said Theresa Hilinski, Crash Network community manager. "We're helping the next generation of credit union professionals to learn, grow and develop, and we've really gained some momentum over the last year."

In 2011, the Crash Network partnered with the California-Nevada, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania credit union leagues to provide events at their annual meetings. After the events, Crash Network participants were encouraged to build upon what they learned at the event by keeping in touch via its online network.

"The Crash Network was developed to help young credit union professionals connect outside of events," Hilinski said. "It allows them to get involved where they typically wouldn't be invited."

The Crash Network was the brainchild of Brent Dixon, Filene's young adult adviser. The 25 young professionals who crashed CUNA's GAC in 2010 wanted to fight for the future of the credit union movement alongside industry veterans, Dixon said.

"Little did we know at the time that our initial 'Crash' would be only the start of things to come," Dixon said.

The Crash Network's 2011 activities are sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group, which has provided both support and the mentoring that the network was formed to promote.
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