Miracle On The Hudson Pilot, Huffington And Matalin Headline 2011 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)

‘Miracle On The Hudson’ Pilot, Huffington And Matalin Headline 2011 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)

Registration open for credit unions’ premier political conference, Feb. 27-March 3     

October 1, 2010

Contact: Patrick Keefe
CUNA Communications, 202-508-6765

WASHINGTON -- A genuine American hero and a face-off between two of the nation's best known female political pundits headline the Credit Union National Association's 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 27 through March 3 at the Washington Convention Center. Registration and housing lines are now open.

The GAC will feature remarks from Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, the heroic pilot who on Jan. 15, 2009 masterfully landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on New York's Hudson River and saved the lives of 155 people.

Sullenberger's daring landing captivated the nation and has been dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson." Sullenberger later wrote the New York Times bestseller "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters" and was named one of the 2009 world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine.

Another 2011 GAC highlight will be a political point-counterpoint between Mary Matalin and Arianna Huffington. Matalin is a celebrated conservative voice, CNN commentator, and former assistant to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. She and her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville, are one of Washington's best-known political couples.

Huffington is the liberal commentator who co-founded The Huffington Post blog and news site that has become one of the most widely read and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. The Huffington Post also was the launch pad for the "Move Your Money" campaign that has urged consumers to move their accounts from big banks to credit unions and community banks.

Matalin and Huffington are accustomed to sparring with one another over political issues; the two recently began a radio show together, "Both Sides Now," as a forum to debate politics and current events.

CUNA's GAC is the credit union movement's premier political conference, each year giving credit union executives and board members an opportunity to hear influential leaders from Congress, the administration and the federal regulatory agencies. The afternoon of Wednesday, March 2, and the morning of Thursday, March 3, will be devoted to Capitol Hill visits, when attendees meet face-to-face with their members of Congress and staff to discuss issues of concern to the credit union movement.

The 2011 GAC conference theme is, "Visionary: Creating the Credit Union Future."

"The new Congress that gavels into session in 2011 will be dramatically different than its predecessor," noted Bill Cheney, who will be presiding over his first GAC as CUNA's president/CEO. "More than ever, we must educate legislators, demonstrate our grassroots strength, and make a powerful impact. The GAC presents an early opportunity to do precisely that and set a compelling vision for political success."

The conference also offers a wide array of educational "breakout" sessions, the credit union industry's largest exhibitor showcase, guest programs to tour Washington's sights, and a number of entertaining events such as the Gala Reception and Dance on the evening of Wednesday, March 2, where attendees can network and socialize with colleagues from around the country.

The conference will begin the evening of Sunday, Feb. 27, with an opening reception in the Grand Exhibit Hall.

Additional speakers and session topics will be announced in the weeks to come. For more information and to register, go to www.cuna.org.

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