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N.Y.s young pros hold third crash meeting
ALBANY, N.Y. (11/24/10)--Twenty-three young credit unions professionals, from 10 credit unions, including five members of the Credit Union Association of New York’s Young Professional Commission (YPC), gathered recently near Henrietta, N.Y., for the third “Crash” meet-up in the state. Crash ( is the brainchild of Brent Dixon, the young adult advisor at the Filene Research Institute. It provides young credit union professionals an opportunity to connect. The association’s YPC partnered with Crash to do just that.
Crash meet-up participants share a laugh during the open conversation segment for the event, which was coordinated by the Credit Union Association of New York. (Photos provided by the Credit Union Association of New York).
Francesca Iraci, marketing specialist at Gates Chili FCU, and a member of the Young Professional Commission, welcomes the group to the Crash meet-up recently at Lovin’ Cup coffee shop just outside Rochester in Henrietta, N.Y., for the third meet-up in the state. Iraci coordinated the event locally.
Crash meet-ups serve to bring young professionals together to learn, network and dialogue about how to attract young people to credit unions while spreading the word about the benefits of credit unions. They also discuss ways they can support each other. The first meet-up took place in Albany in August. Future meet-ups are being planned for Syracuse, Utica and Jamestown. Dixon, joined by Lisa Hochgraf, editor from Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), and Allison Barna, the association’s community development coordinator, joined the New York group. Dixon provided general information about Filene, the Credit Union National Association, World Council of Credit Unions and the Credit Union Development Educator program, as well as the Women’s Global Development Group. He mentioned the possibility of developing a speaker’s bureau of and for young credit union professionals. Hochgraf discussed CUES membership in the CUES NextGen group, the recent CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec and how credit union professionals want to hear the ideas of their younger cohorts. Participants agreed that technology is essential when reaching out to the younger demographic. They discussed their biggest barriers: resources, logistics, time, the “we’ve always done it this way” answer and a fear of being outside of the credit union’s comfort zone. “With each meet-up we throw, new people step up who want to throw one of their own. This tells me we’re on to something,” said Barna. “There’s a need that, until now, has not been met for young people in credit unions, and there's an army of young credit union people willing to help.” “As young professionals, we want to be involved and connected,” said Francesca Iraci, marketing specialist at Gates Chili FCU, Rochester, and a member of the YPC. She coordinated the event. At the Rochester meet-up, one thing was clear--the cooperative spirit is alive and well. Credit unions represented included: Boulevard FCU, Amherst; Focal Point FCU, Syracuse; Gates Chili FCU; Genesee Valley FCU, Geneseo; Oswego (N.Y.) County FCU; Pittsford (N.Y.) FCU; Reliant Community FCU, Sodus; St. Pius X Church FCU, Rochester; The Summit FCU, Rochester; and Rochester Ukrainian FCU. The commission was formed this year to develop strategies and practices that will assist the New York association and credit unions in recruiting young adults as employees and volunteers and in developing and promoting them into positions of leadership within the state credit union community. The commission includes about 30 credit union employees statewide, all 35 years of age or younger.
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