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Change·Collaboration·Community Development·Cooperative Economy·CUNA·Filene·Gen Y·Innovation·Leadership·News Release·Updates

CUNA Support for The Cooperative Trust

MADISON, Wis. (9/9/14) – The Credit Union National Association will support The Cooperative Trust, Filene Research Institute’s young professional initiative, as a chairman’s roundtable benefactor with a commitment of $250,000 over three years.


“In order to successfully position credit unions as forward-thinking, we need to invest in our up-and-coming industry leaders,” said Bill Hampel, interim CUNA President/CEO. “We see our best results from people fully engaged with the credit union philosophy. CUNA wants to drive those opportunities for young professionals.”

The move is part of CUNA’s already-strong commitment to raise awareness with and involvement by young professionals in credit unions. CUNA and its CUNA Councils have provided “crash” opportunities at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference and individual council conferences.

CUNA Councils will be highly involved in CUNA’s role as benefactor.

“This support is part of a bigger strategy, which includes the launch of an official CUNA Young Professionals Committee, demonstrating our commitment to developing and retaining the next generation of leaders to grow, promote and sustain the credit union movement,” said Jill Tomalin, CUNA executive vice president/chief operating officer.

“We are excited to build on our work with CUNA Councils and Filene and provide leadership support to the Cooperative Trust,” she added.

“Our relationship with CUNA really demonstrates our shared commitment to shape and build the future of credit unions,” said James Marshall, The Cooperative Trust manager.  “These are indeed exciting times for young professionals who are passionate about credit unions and cooperatives.”

Business Development·Collaboration·Community Development·Conferences·Cooperative Economy·Ideas·Professional Development·Updates

Cooperative Credit Unions: My Experience at ACE Institute

Last month I had the opportunity to see North American cooperatives in action. ACE—the Association of Cooperative Educators puts on their annual ACE Institute Conference, and this year it was held in cooperative central, Austin, Texas. Woohoo for my first time in the Cooperative Capital!

ACE is a membership organization that brings together educators, researchers, cooperative members, and cooperative developers from across cooperative sectors and national borders resulting in ideas that enhance cooperative development, strengthen cooperatives, promote professionalism and improve public understanding.

Being a busy guy, I unfortunately only had the opportunity to attend day 1 of a 3-day conference. It was a quick trip, but nothing short of a fantastic experience. I had never before seen the momentum of the cooperative movement outside of consumer finance.  Like many of my colleagues, I am a self-proclaimed credit union junkie, so I guilty admit that I tend to neglect thoughts of the cooperative movement that exists as a whole. Credit unions live by the cooperative principals, so how could I forget?!

I was most impressed with the cooperative efforts in housing, community gardens, and retail. I noticed that credit unions and “cooperatives’ were often categorized in two different buckets, unintentionally of course. I want to hear from my fellow credit union junkies, why are credit unions not associated with the word “cooperative” as much as other segments? What can be done to bring the two closer together?

Ready, set & go!…

Business Development·Change·Collaboration·Cooperative Economy·CUNA Mutual Group·News Release

CUNA Mutual Group Commits $35,000 To The Cooperative Trust

MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group has committed $35,000 over the next year to The Cooperative Trust to support the future of credit unions. This new sponsorship continues CUNA Mutual Group’s long-standing involvement with the Trust and will increase leagues’ efforts to engage young adults.

“The leagues’ ability to engage young adults and credit unions attracting and retaining them as members and employees is key to the future of our industry,” said Gerry Singleton, vice president, CU System Relations, CUNA Mutual Group. “Our industry needs to pursue the next generation of members and employees, and we see our support of The Cooperative Trust as an investment in the future of credit unions.”

The Cooperative Trust, founded by Filene Research Institute in 2010, is a grassroots group of young people working in credit unions and cooperatives with the goal to learn from the vast amount of talent among industry veterans while aggressively shaping the future.  CUNA Mutual Group is a charter and founding member of the Filene Research Institute.

CUNA Mutual Group’s funding will help The Cooperative Trust community attend, learn from and be heard at non-traditional industry events.  It will also support Leagues’ desire to engage and maintain relationships with young professionals by providing on-site facilitation for young professional events, guidance, templates, mentorship best practices and more.

“Our continued relationship shows CUNA Mutual Group’s commitment to the future of credit unions.” said James Marshall of Filene, and The Cooperative Trust manager.  “We are very excited to engage on a deeper level with credit union leagues and associations to help them develop their young professionals and future leaders, thanks to the support of CUNA Mutual Group.”

The Cooperative Trust’s online community offers open conversation and encourages active collaboration among young credit union and cooperative industry professionals.  If you’re under-35, entrepreneurial and have a passion for cooperatives and credit unions, apply for membership.

To learn more, follow @CUNAMutualGroup on Twitter, circle +CUNA Mutual Group on Google+, or visit http://www.cunamutual.com/pressroom.

CUNA Mutual Group was founded in 1935 by credit union pioneers, and our commitment to their vision continues today. We offer insurance and protection for credit unions, employees and members; lending solutions and marketing programs; TruStage®-branded consumer insurance products; and investment and retirement services to help our customers succeed. More information is available on the company’s website at www.cunamutual.com

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Life, accident, health and annuity insurance products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company. Property and casualty insurance products are issued by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies and contracts it issues. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.

CFO·Cooperative Economy·Crash·Crash Event·Ideas·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·Professional Development

Recap of Crash the CUNA CFO Council 2014

By great Odin’s beard, was #CrashtheCFO14 and incredible experience!! I’m going to try and do the best I can to recap this for you with a couple of takeaways that we experienced.

Check out the Storify:

And continue below….

Day 1 – Saturday, 17th May.

“I had an amazing experience at crash the CFO. I made connections that will last a lifetime. I gained new insights and ideas that I can now bring back to my credit union. But most of all, I gained a sense of confidence that will help me in years to come and help me follow my dream of becoming a credit union CFO.”

All but one of our Crashers arrived the day before our conference. We had dinner and had planned to take them to the hotel ‘party and dance establishment’. However, this establishment had requested 90 of your fine American Dollars, per male, to enter. At which point, we took the gang to town and found a place we could enjoy. We danced the night away and had a great time getting to know each other before we really kicked things off on the Sunday!

Day 2 – Sunday, 18th May.

After a morning gathering pool side, we kicked off at about 1pm. We had our own room just off the main conference area and we gave the Crashers a simple task of introducing themselves before we asked them to set their own standards of what success would look like for them that week. So, what would make Crash the CFO a success for our group? They wanted to: learn new ideas, network, be heard. We also asked the group to set their own standards; how would they represent themselves, their credit unions and The Cooperative Trust. Following all the great discussion, the CFO Council Executive Committee came to spend 30 minutes with us, where we asked each one for their horoscope sign, their current position and an embarrassing story. I won’t repeat the things we heard… We always had our group sit in a circle with our speakers. No presentations. We had conversations, on the same level.

Straight away, you could tell that our Crashers were accepted.

We then had first time attendees orientation where we played a version of ‘people bingo’, where we had to meet others with certain attributes, the first 10 to complete their sheet would win a Target (ironic following their problems?) gift card. Three of our Crashers won!

After orientation, we stayed around with the rest of the conference attendees for the first reception of the week. A short 90 minute vendor reception. We let our Crashers go off and do their own thing and meet with vendors.

Following the evening festivities, we walked ALL THE WAY down the strip in Vegas to find food, we didn’t sit down until 10.30pm to eat! I, at least, was hungry!

Day 3 – Monday, 19th May

Early Monday morning breakfast followed by the Keynote Speech! This was incredible. John Foley, former lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels took us through the ‘framework’ of what he and his fellow demonstration pilots used to become high performers. He called this the Diamond Performance framework. Now, John himself admitted that this wasn’t an inherently new framework, but one which had been adapted in order to help people take their performance to the next level. This talk was engaging and inspiring and I’d advise you to check John out at: http://johnfoleyinc.com. The Blue Angels motto is “Glad to be here”. Each member of the team would remind themselves of that each day. At the end of the talk, we could tell that our Crashers were #gladtobehere

Then the breakouts began. The Crashers had been tasked for the week to make sure they have one key point / one key theme they can takeaway with them from breakouts.

At lunch we were recognised in front of the entire conference delegation by the CFO Council Exec Committee.

Between the breakout sessions, we had our own sessions… Our first Crasher session was with Texans CU CEO; Kevin Durrance and his young CFO, Andrew Swoger. Kevin’s passion and energy about hiring the right person for the job, regardless of age – was inspiring. Each Crasher walked away from that believing they could ‘make it’ too. Kevin backed up his words by bringing his CFO, Andrew, with him.

Following more conference breakouts, we closed the day with 4 guests:

  • Suzanne Weinstein, CFO at Orlando FCU (AND I3er! WOO!)
  • Jay Scrugio, CFO at Freedom CU.
  • MJ Coon, CFO at Ent Federal CU.
  • Peg Lamb, CFO at Co-Op Services CU.

They all had inspiring stories and each had a different perspective which gave our Crashers something to think about! Amazing session and really, we probably didn’t have enough time with these great people.

The evening took us to a reception in The Shark Reef at the hotel. Cool reception at the aquarium. Following that, Crashers had time to do their own thing. Some went to the strip, some stayed to network.

Day 4 – Tuesday, 20th May

Well, breakouts continued! Our Crashers excited as the returned from each one that they had gained some great insights. We also had some great guest speakers on Tuesday – including:

  • Steve Rick from CUNA
  • Scott Knapp from CUNA Mutual Group
  • Richard Reed from National Cooperative Bank

All three made an incredible effort to welcome our Crashers, and all three were highly highly intelligent.

This day flew by with not a minute to spare. And before we knew it, it was night time again. We made an active decision that the Crashers needed a ‘real Vegas experience’, I’ll leave the rest of the story there….

Day 5 and final day – Wednesday, 21st May.

So, final day. What felt like a slow start to the morning quickly turned around with Mick Schenk from CUNA presenting on risk-based capital. The group took a tremendous amount away from the session. Our keynote who also became our last minute guest Crash speaker for the day was Jon Wolske, Culture Evangelist at Zappos Insights. I don’t want to ruin Jon’s great keynote, so instead - here’s him presenting at TEDx. Also – my fingers are a little tired from typing this post!

Mike Schenk was supposed to be our guest speaker but had to run as duty called, so Jon stepped up to the plate and gave our Crashers a great closing session with 15 minutes just talking about culture. He gave some great advice on managing up, on creating a culture and also on keep culture when you’re on the road.

Finally, we closed our day by asking our Crashers: So, was this a success? We got a resounding YES! And tied back to day 1 where we discussed how our week would be successful. We touched upon our new connections, our new ideas and whether we thought we had been heard by the industry. Chris gave some great closing words, before handing over to me who ruined it by finishing with a card trick… Well… When in Vegas, right?

 

Collaboration·Community Development·Cooperative Economy

Southern Grassroots Economies Project Wants YOUR Support!

Are you ready to show your support for southern grassroots co-operative organizing? If not, it’s time to consider.

Why?

  • The South has been home to intensely exploitative and dehumanizing economic structures since the founding of this country.
  • The declining US economy heightens the importance of this work, but it did not create it.
  • Southern Grassroots Economies Project came into being to bring the energy, idealism and justice orientation of the southern freedom struggle to the current needs for economic development along cooperative lines of democratic ownership and control.
  • We need your support. We know that as cooperators we should all uphold principle 6 of cooperation among cooperatives. This should extend to building and strengthening the cooperative movement.

How did it start?

  • We began with a meeting at Highlander Research and Education Center in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, then after much working and planning we held a much larger gathering called “CoopEcon 2012” at the Rural Training Center of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in Epes, Alabama.
  • Since the spring of 2011 there have been growing numbers of southern social justice activists and cooperativists who have gathered to talk about building a new economy in the South that is rooted in ideas of cooperation and justice rather than competition and greed

Who does Southern Grassroots Economies Project work for?

  • Our work is consciously centered on engaging directly with those most affected by the economic crisis and least likely to benefit from any efforts at recovery
    • Women, youth, African Americans, poor whites, immigrants and native Americans in rural and urban settings in the South form our core constituency.

What is CoopEcon 2013?

  • We are now working to organize CoopEcon 2013 to be held October 4-6 again in Epes, Alabama.
    • This year we are planning to have 125 folks from the 14 state areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Who is CoopEcon 2013 for?

  • We will have two tracks of participants: those who already are engaged in cooperative economic enterprises and want to strengthen and expand them on the one hand and those who are looking to learn how to start such enterprises on the other.
    • This is not a conference for developers, although we are sure some will come. This is mainly meant to get down with how to go home and do the work of building in our communities for jobs and community wealth.

How much should I and/or my organization give?

  • We need you to help spread the word, and we need your material support. If you are a small and struggling co-op or credit union, we need $25. If you can afford it we need $2500. Any contribution helps build our solidarity and makes this movement possible and worthwhile. You can make your payment online here or check by mail to: Southern Grassroots Economies Project, 2769 Church Street, East Point GA 30344.

Contact us through our website, Like us on Facebook, and Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date.

Cooperative Economy

Cooperative Economy: A Call for Support

By Matt Epperson

This note is to tell you about some important work we are doing in the US South to build and strengthen the cooperative movement and it is to ask you to support an important piece of that work. Since the spring of 2011 there have been growing numbers of southern social justice activists and cooperativists who have gathered to talk about building a new economy in the South that is rooted in ideas of cooperation and justice rather than competition and greed. The declining US economy heightens the importance of this work, but it did not create it.

The South has been home to intensely exploitative and dehumanizing economic structures since the founding of this country. But the South has also been the home of transformative social and economic justice struggles that have inspired the nation and the world. The Southern Grassroots Economies Project came into being to bring the energy, idealism and justice orientation of the southern freedom struggle to the current needs for economic development along cooperative lines of democratic ownership and control.

We began with a meeting at Highlander Research and Education Center in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, then after much working and planning we held a much larger gathering called “CoopEcon 2012” at the Rural Training Center of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in Epes, Alabama. Our work is consciously centered around engaging directly with those most affected by the economic crisis and least likely to benefit from any efforts at recovery. Women, youth, African Americans, poor whites, immigrants and native Americans in rural and urban settings in the South form our core constituency.

We are now working to organize CoopEcon 2013 to be held October 4-6 again in Epes, Alabama. Last year we had about 100 people gathered from 11 Southern states. This year we are planning to have 125 folks from the 14 state area of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. We will have two tracks of participants: those who already are engaged in cooperative economic enterprises and want to strengthen and expand them on the one hand and those who are looking to learn how to start such enterprises on the other.

This is not a conference for developers, although we are sure some will come. This is mainly meant to get down with how to go home and do the work of building in our communities for jobs and community wealth.

We need your support. We know that as cooperators we should all uphold principle 6 of cooperation among cooperatives. This should extend to building and strengthening the cooperative movement. We need you to help spread the word, and we need your material support. If you are a small and struggling co-op, we need $25. If you can afford it we need $2500. Any contribution helps build our solidarity and makes this movement possible and worthwhile.

Thanks for your consideration.For more information and to contact us, check out our website: SGEProject.org and Like Us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/southerngrassroots.economiesproject#!/pages/Southern-Grassroots-Economies-Project/443837869019831).

Collaboration·Cooperative Economy·Crash the GAC

Crash the GAC 2013: What’s Ahead

This year’s Crasher projects have been in full swing the past few weeks.  Since we returned from DC, (four) groups have been working like crazy to prototype their ideas on creating more accessible lending options for cooperatives, through a cooperative fund. You’ll find their individual recaps through the links below on the steps they’ve taken so far.

The Projects

LoCoSo (local, co-operative, social)

Team members: Chris Friederich (team lead), James Marshall, Jennifer Tebbe & Meghan Storck

The Cooperative Bucket

Team members: Ashley Dietz (team lead), Amanda Brenneman, Olivia Rockers, Mitchell Michiels & Liz Weger

Community Cooperative Catalyst (CCC)

Team members: Sean Flynn (team lead), Justin Mouzoukos, Lindsay Estok, Blake Woods & Josh Smith

CU Grow Foundation

Team members: Danielle Frawley (team lead), Erin Ballard, Brittany Hilton, Chad Holz & Ashley Pierce

The Judges

We’ve been lucky enough to secure four well-respected judges to provide feedback and direction to our teams.  Over the next several months, each of the judges will be piping in with their thoughts on how the teams can improve their projects and refine their focus.

Bryan Sims
Entrepreneur
Tansley Stearns
Impact Director
Tim McAlpine
President & Creative Director
Todd Marksberry
Executive Leadership

Next Steps

As you can see, the teams have jumped in with two feet and already have plans for what they’ll revise for their second round of prototyping.  In early May, each group, along with our judges will be meeting up through a Google Hangout to review more in-depth results from their first round of work.  Here’s a glimpse for the rest of the steps they’ll be taking towards a successful cooperative fund:

Round 1: Prototype 1 – Due April 2nd
Round 2: Prototype Results – Due April 30th
Round 3: Prototype 2 – Due June 4th
Round 4: Prototype Results – Due July 9th

 

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