We’re back once again! We have FIFTY young professionals from all over the U.S.A. heading to Washington D.C. for Crash the GAC! We’re so thankful once more to Credit Union National Association (CUNA) for being our partner and primary supporter to make these magical events happen, all of our Crashers are receiving full attendance scholarships from CUNA. Speaking of Crashers… Come and meet them!
In addition, for the CUNA GAC – we are bringing even more political advocacy to our Crash event, including a ‘town hall’ style meeting with Rep. Swalwell and more events for our crashers, to be announced!
Oh… and guess what… THUNDERPUNCH IS BACK! Come and join us on Monday, 2/27 for the best time and one of the ‘go to’ evening events of the CUNA GAC hosted by your Crashers & supported once more by our friends at Larky and SavvyMoney. Check out the details now!
Herb Wegner Award
This year we have been lucky enough to be the recipients of the National Credit Union Foundation‘s Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Program! This is a huge honour and the highest in the credit union system. We’re very humbled by the recognition of The Foundation and can’t wait to celebrate with everyone at the awards dinner at GAC! Read more about why we are being recognised…
Crash the GAC wouldn’t be able to happen without an army at our disposal. First, we would thank the talented colleagues we have at Filene Research Institute, Credit Union National Association for being our partner and the Crash the GAC team made up of Ariel Bilskey, Lindsey Hodson, Matt Vance, Andy Janning and James Marshall.
A shout out must be given to the credit union leagues and associations who have helped us promote and recruit for this event, as well as being strong proponents of our program.
Finally, we would like to thank Larky & SavvyMoney for partnering on Thunderpunch once more; we’d like to thank CUNA Mutual Group for their ongoing support; and lastly but certainly not least – Visa, Bethpage FCU, and Alogent for helping to get all our Crashers to the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner at GAC 2017!
(1) Selfie with Jim Nussle. (2) Meeting with my representatives. (3) Group shot with my fellow crashers!
When you sign up to be a crasher, you create these expectations in your head. You might think “Oh, I’m just going to meet a few credit union people, learn some cooperative stuff and not embarrass my CEO at Thunderpunch.” Ok, we did all these things (maybe not that last one), but it’s just hitting the surface of this amazing experience.
Crashing personifies our feelings as young professionals. We are the future of the industry, and it gives us the opportunity to learn how to be ambassadors of our cooperative brand. When you Crash, you can expect to:
Being a lifetime learner is the cornerstone principle of the “Young Professional.” I think we pride ourselves on this quality because it’s admitting that we don’t know everything but we WANT to know more. Crashing is like an extreme professional apprenticeship. You take in volumes of information in a short amount of time, but you leave with a new appreciation for your job. Yes credit unions help people, but crashing teaches us that we actually help each other too.
This experience was full of starstruck moments. It is totally intimidating to rub shoulders with people like Jim Nussle, Gigi Hyland and Stan Hollen. But any insecurities you may have had wash away because you are surrounded by bright like-minded individuals ready to hold you up and make you feel included. I compare this feeling to going away to college for the first time: everyone is a stranger at first, but the bonds you create are life-long.
I left DC with a spark *queue “this girl is on fire” by Alicia Keys*. I didn’t just come home with knowledge, I brought ideas. Crashing will do that. Blame it on the group dynamics, but I am motivated to share my experiences, encourage others to Crash and build an advocacy program at my credit union. Crashing has opened doors that maybe didn’t even exist, but now I feel empowered to create them.
As I sit here reflecting on these experiences, my phone continues to blow up with messages from fellow crashers. It reminds me to hold on to that excitement, stay motivated to learn more and continue to share the #CUdifference! Thank you for this amazing opportunity. The energy is real, and together we are going to do amazing things.
For the first time, the Montana Credit Union Network, thanks to CUNA Mutual Group, will have a group of crashers at their annual meeting. During the 3 days onsite in Billings, our Crashers will work together to help assess what credit unions need to do to serve the next generation of members. Looking at products and business models which are needed to do so, before standing up and talking to Montana Credit Union CEO’s on the final day. So without further adieu, here they are:
Ally Haegele, Rocky Mountain Credit Union
Benjamin Endicott, Park Side Credit Union
Beth Musso, Park Side Credit Union
Danielle Servais, McCone County Federal Credit Union
Jalena Maughan, Trico Community Federal Credit Union
Jamie Redmon, Park Side Credit Union
Jess Mosby, Trico Community Community Federal Credit Union
John McEwen, Rocky Mountain Credit Union
Katelyn Bykari, Missoula Federal Credit Union
Katelynn Piper, Park SIde Credit Union
Kelly Fleiner, Rocky Mountain Credit Union
Kelsey Hovey, Park Side Credit Union
Kelsey Fandry, Rocky Mountain Credit Union
Kelsey Kamera-Stephan, Horizon Credit Union
Molly Berg, Missoula Federal Credit Union
Sara O’Hara Rocky Mountain Credit Union
We can’t wait to see all the incredible things they do!
Can you believe it’s almost November already? (Or it might be November when you’re reading this – in which case, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?). What does November bring? A change in leaves? A change in weather? Thanksgiving? A countdown to Christmas? (As I write this, it’s just 62 days until Christmas day!).
But you know what else November brings us?!?! TWO CRASH EVENTS! That’s right… TWO! Our Crashers have been selected and we’d love for you to meet them.
A hurricane just flew through Austin, TX. No, not what you’re thinking – it was our Crashers!
We’ve just this moment finished an incredible 5 days. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, taking advantage of their free wifi, trying to note and account for everything that we learned and to give you something to learn too! Where to start… I have no idea. But let’s try this…
So, arriving the day before the symposium kicked off we got our Crashers together and really set out some goals which they decided on themselves. We asked them: “what makes Crash the CU Water Cooler Symposium a success at the end?”. As you can imagine, the conversation took off! When the dust settled though, we decided on 3 key things that our Crashers wanted from their experience:
To network and make realconnections.
Find an idea or innovation which they can take back to their credit union and implement.
Build a support network for themselves.
So – if we achieve these things, Crash CUWCS is a success. What happened next I hear you say (through my secret spy equipment currently positioned conveniently near to your current location….).
The symposium kicked off with a cool networking event at a local arcade / bar. You could feel the energy straight away and we couldn’t wait to get things started. I would love to give you a full overview of every speaker and every session but let’s be honest you don’t have the time to read that and I don’t have the time to write it. So I’m going to leave you with some themes and takeaways from the sessions in a short a form as possible:
Symposium Day 1:
The man who invented Pringles was so proud of his creation he was buried in a Pringles can. What will you do to make you that proud? – Matt Davis.
We have fantastic tellers who we then ask to become sales people. You don’t say congratulations to your dog for being a great dog and then ask them to become a cat! – Shari Storm.
Save water, drink beer. – Linda Bodie.
Savour the time you have now, enjoy life’s moments. Look at life through 30 year goggles. When you look back, what will be those moments you remember? – Andy Janning.
Symposium Day 2:
No one ever started a cooperative who wasn’t pissed off! – William Azaroff.
Take every chance, drop every fear. – Ronaldo Hardy.
Children have the freedom to just ‘do’. Adults seek instruction, let’s rediscover the freedom to be creative. – Brent Dixon.
Mistakes allow us to make our most beautiful creations. – Charlie Trotter.
An idea is nothing unless you get up and do something about it. – Jimmy Marks.
And as quickly as it had started, the CU Water Cooler Symposium was over. But not for us! For those of you that don’t know Crash events – throughout whichever conference we are attending, we run our own separate track alongside to bring something a little extra.
On that note I’d like to thank our guests: Brett and Corlinda Wooden, CUNA Mutual Group, Currency Marketing / It’s a Money Thing, Andy Janning, Larky, Jimmy Marks, Matt Davis, Charlie Trotter, William Azaroff, Gene Blishen and Brent Dixon.
Saturday morning we came back together to talk about whether or not Crash the CU Water Cooler was a success. The answer, a resounding YES! We made connections, we found innovations and within our own group built a support network that will last a life time. I would love to tell you how the conversations on that day went, but I want to throw that challenge to our Crashers – go out. Tell the world what you learned. Make a difference. Share your success, recognise your failures… But most of all, above anything else – don’t forget how lucky you are to be a part of this wonderful thing that we call the Credit Union System, love what you do.
Finally, thanks must go out to Credit Union National Association to making all that we do at The Cooperative Trust possible, to CUNA Mutual Group for supporting the Crash the CU Water Cooler event and to CU Water Cooler themselves for having us.
Until next time, check out our storify to catch up on all things #CrashCUWCS:
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.
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.