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Change·Collaboration·Community Development·Conferences·Crash·Crash Event·Creativity·CU Water Cooler·CUNA·CUNA Mutual Group·Filene·Gen Y·Ideas·Innovation·Interviews·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·Professional Development

#CrashCUWCS – a recap

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:

  1. To network and make real connections.
  2. Find an idea or innovation which they can take back to their credit union and implement. 
  3. 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:

Interviews

Need a Polka Teacher? Dominic is your man.

Dominic Sloma is an interesting 27 year old that enjoys sports and spending time outdoors. If given a time machine; he would send himself to the March on Washington to witness MLK Jr.‘s I have a dream speech.

Dominic has been active in the Credit Union movement for 8 years. He has held many positions at Best Advantage Credit Union including; Member Specialists, Operations Assistant, Operations Leader, and his current position as Chief Information Officer.

He attributes both his personal and professional development to his mentor, Sarah Robertson. Robertson, a successful business owner was a previous credit union President who currently works as a credit union consultant.

While on the topic of success, I asked Dominic what’s been his greatest work-related success & failure? He recognizes his greatest success to his credit unions data processing system conversion last year which he served as the leader of the project. He was quick to point out that this was an overall success because of the “amazing crew” that he worked on the project with. Dominic admits his failure as an incident that if you haven’t personally experienced a similar situation take his experience as a lesson learned. Five years ago Dominic typed a sassy remark about an employee over instant messaging … BUT he sent it to the wrong person. He had sent the message to the person the sassy remark was about. After countless apologies, Dominic still regrets what he did.

I was lucky to actually meet Dominic in person during a 2 day WI/NY YP networking event. Not only is he dedicated to the CU industry, he is also a rather fun and entertaining guy. He can rock the house at Gomeroke and teach anyone how to polka. Sloma is certainly a credit union enthusiast worth getting to know.

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