NAPERVILLE, Ill. (4/27/12)--More than 650 executives representing 120 credit unions have signed up to attend the Illinois Credit Union League's (ICUL) 82nd Annual Convention, which began Thursday and runs through Saturday, and features many new enhancements.
With a sports theme of "Get in the Game!" the convention will tout a new location for the event--the Renaissance Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill., which will host more than 80 vendors.
The convention will feature the keynote and awards ceremony, in which credit unions and individuals will win accolades for their accomplishments for the past year, including one inductee into the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame and one recipient of the Illinois Credit Union Foundation's Tribute Award.
Winners of the Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring, and Desjardins awards competition, and supporters of the Credit Union Political Action Council, will also be recognized. Connie Payton, wife of the late football legend Walter Payton, will serve as keynote speaker and present "Family Values, Teambuilding, Embracing Life." This session will also include the changing of the gavel for ICUL's chairman of the board.
The annual convention also includes 24 educational sessions, including a pre-conference workshop on Thursday followed by the first group of sessions, which will begin Friday morning.
One session at this year's event will be Organ Donation Importance. More than 5,000 men, women and children in Illinois are on the organ transplant waiting list. Because April is "Organ Donor Awareness Month," ICUL will be offering complimentary onsite donor registration sponsored by the Illinois Secretary of State's office following Brittany Payton's break out session. One donor can save or enhance more than 25 lives.
Other new features for this year's convention include:
A mobile website. It is intended to provide more information at the fingertips of attendees via their smartphones, either by scanning the convention QR Code or if a user enters the annual convention page URL directly. The mobile website features: convention highlights, schedule and speakers, a hotel floor plan/map, a comprehensive list of area restaurants and attractions, including shopping and nightlife options, and a listing of exhibiting business partners.
A new a special one-day registration rate. This was initiated to give credit unions the opportunity to bring extra staff to the convention and includes admission to the keynote session, the morning and afternoon education sessions, access to the exhibit hall and a "tailgate" lunch on Friday. As of press time, 86 people from 30 credit unions have taken advantage of this new promotion and more are anticipated to register on-site.
Credit union "crashers." This initiative is part of an effort to attract young professionals to this year's event, under the guise The Cooperative Trust (formerly The Crash Network), a grassroots organization comprised of hundreds of young credit union professionals. Sponsored by ICUL and CUNA Mutual Group, Crash Illinois will give young credit union professionals the opportunity to participate in the event by attending the full convention and additional mentor sessions with industry thought leaders each day and building relationships with other young credit union professionals.
The opportunity for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. Many of ICUL's convention sessions, as well its annual schedule of more than 60 "QuickBites," telecourses, and in-person sessions, are now CPE eligible.