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Filene·Leadership·News Release·Updates

New Beginnings

A note from James:

Four years ago, you all started a journey with me. A journey to an unknown destination, but you came with me anyway. Four years ago, I took charge of The Cooperative Trust and everything that includes. As I write this, my part in this journey is approaching its end. Yours, however, continues onwards… What’s next for me? I’ll come to that later, but first…

The last four years have given me the chance to meet and work with some of the brightest talent in the credit union system. I’ve been surrounded by passionate, committed, kind and generous people at all times. Not once in the last four years has working with you, ever been ‘work’. You have made my life a joy to live, in all that you and this community of people have done. As I think about this time, a song comes to mind – “Swing Life Away” – there’s a line in this song that describes my time with The Cooperative Trust perfectly:

“I’ve got some friends, some that I hardly know
But we’ve had some times, I wouldn’t trade for the world”

In addition, there are also some thank-yous that need calling out by name: Brent Dixon, Theresa Jelderks (Hilinksi), Chris Fraenza, Meghann Dawson, Chad Helminak, Brianne Williamson, Heather Ristow, Tammy Wood, Lindsey Hodson. Andy Janning, Ariel Bilskey and Matt Vance.

As much as all this ‘touchy feely” stuff is what I’m all about, we’ve really achieved something too! We’ve seen the credit union system open its eyes and its arms to the need for the development of young talent, of you! We have seen more professionals than ever before come through our Crash programs and leave with a new lease of life for credit unions and what they do. We’ve seen our Crashers attend CUDE, become i3’ers and become credit union CEOs. Yes, we’ve really achieved something. I never could have imagined that we’d be here, achieving so much, together.

As for me, I’ll still be at Filene. For now, I’ll still be with the Trust helping to manage our transition. This is not goodbye, just, catch you later! I am excited to continue to help credit unions implement our vast body of research to better help Main Street Americans and credit union members all over the world.

As for The Cooperative Trust: LAUREN! LAUREN CULP. Lauren is amazing and is joining us by way of Alaska. Lauren brings a curiosity to The Cooperative Trust that will take this amazing community to the next level – I don’t want to tell you too much as I’ll let her speak for herself (below…)

Four years ago, when I started, Brent Dixon asked you to reach out to me, meet me, mentor me. As Brent asked this of you four years ago, I ask this of you now for Lauren. If my rollercoaster has been anything to go by, Lauren is sure to have 100 more loops and corkscrews and she’ll need you to help her through!

Thank you for everything. I’m not crying, you are.

James

A note from Lauren:

Hi everyone!

Thanks James, for the introduction! If you don’t know me yet, I’m Lauren – avid coffee lover, recent Alaska resident, current i3er, and 2016 Crash the GAC alumnus. I just moved to Madison last week after six years spent in “The Last Frontier.” In case you’re wondering, here are just a few fun things I did in Alaska:

  • Backpacked the scenic 33-mile Chilkoot Trail
  • Watched the Northern Lights from my bedroom window
  • Flew a tiny plane (with the assistance of an actual pilot) through Alaskan mountain ranges
  • Took lots of Vitamin D because yes, it is really dark in the winter
  • Spent five years working for a great Alaskan credit union

Now, I’m thrilled to be joining the awesome folks at Filene. Brent and James have done big amazing things with the Trust and have left large shoes to fill. In the coming months, I’ll be working with James and Tansley to transition into the Cooperative Trust Manager role. My first Crash in this capacity will be a really cool opportunity to Innovate with Visa in San Francisco this August – check it out!

Lots of exciting things are happening at the Cooperative Trust from earning the Herb Wagner Award to reaching the 1500 member mark. None of this could have happened without YOU, so give yourself a pat on the back and then come back for more!

In the coming months, we’ll be focusing on a mentorship program, more integration and engagement at Crash events, and an exciting new website. More on that later. In the meantime, check out the opportunities to stay involved with the Trust!

I’d like to take a moment to personally thank James so much for his fearless leadership, boundless energy, and determined commitment to young people in the credit union movement. Reach out to James (jamesm@filene.org) to let him know how awesome he is (and congratulate him on tying the knot!)

I can’t wait to get to know as many of you Trust members as is humanly possible (shout out to my #CrashTheGAC16 and #Filenei3 family)! Drop me a line if you’re in town or at a Filene event – I’d love to connect, and look forward to working together to empower young adults in credit unions.

 

With lots of excitement,

Lauren

laurenc@filene.org

704.771.8483 mobile

Conferences·Crash·Crash Event·Crash the GAC·CUNA·CUNA Mutual Group·Filene·Gen Y·Governmental Affairs·Leadership·News Release·Professional Development·Updates

Crash the GAC 2017!

Your 2017 Crashers!

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!

Something new!

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!

Thunderpunch!

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 SavvyMoneyCheck 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…

Thanks to… 

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!

Follow Along.

Make sure you follow along on social, on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Our hashtag is #crashthegac17 and you can see our social wall here!

Careers·Change·Collaboration·Conferences·Crash·Crash Event·Crash the GAC·Creativity·CUNA·Filene·Gen Y·Governmental Affairs·Ideas·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·News Release·Perception·Professional Development

Say Yes.

Let’s get up around 6am daily and potentially stay up until 2am nightly.  On a daily average let’s do 13,000 steps and burn 3,500 calories without hitting the gym.  But it doesn’t stop there, let’s push through the joint pain, muscle aches and any other bodily issue that may fall to fatigue or soreness because trust me, places that you didn’t know could ache will show themselves during this timeframe.

High-fiving Crash Facilitator, CUNA’s Ariel Bilskey!

However, let’s not forget conditions that require emotional and mental preparation.  Although these conditions may vary, they could include but aren’t limited to: being alert every waking hour, managing hunger or the feeling of being hangry (hungry +angry), dehydration or over hydration, seeing every moment to make an impression for future follow ups, photo opts, converting strangers to friends or family, massive social media updates, patience of a grade school teacher, stamina of long distance runner, and smiles and handshakes, oh yes many many smiles and handshakes for everyone.  Lastly, let’s make sure we are equipped with two very important skills, the electric slide and a new or current dance.  For this example let’s say the Whip and Nae Nae but, it’s ok to only prepare for one or the other, this is a judgment free zone.  Who fills this role and what calls for this type of conditions?  Is it a professional athlete, a politician, or movie star?  Is it a sporting event, campaign, or an awards show?

No, it’s a Crasher at the CUNA GAC (Government Affairs Conference) 2016 and I’m proud to be one.

I can still remember the stages of excitement vividly as the days changed throughout the week.  Although originally nervous, I was at ease entering into this conference thanks to the preparation, structure and leadership of James Marshall, the Crasher team captains, and The Cooperative Trust.  It didn’t take long before the nerves fell by the waste side and were replaced with adrenalin.  Looking back, I am thankful for memories that will last a lifetime.

Carrying my flag at the opening ceremony, in front of almost 5000 people.

I can recall how exciting it was to meet my fellow crashers after many weeks of discussions and online activities.  I’ll never forget my heart pounding as I walked with my association president carrying our state flag surrounded by the claps, shouts and positive energy to kick off the conference.  I’ll recall the unity while everyone bowed their heads in prayer for a divine blessing for the conference and each attendee.

Although 5000 people were estimated to participate, it was the consistent message and unity that I felt throughout the conference.  I remember other defining moments such as the feeling of honor and admiration to meet some of the current leaders of the movement from NCUA, CUNA, and NAFCU, to mention a few.  Knowing that individuals such as Jim Nussle, Rich Meade, Gigi Hyland, Ryan Donovan, and Monica Davy would take their time to invest in us was unbelievable.  To be able to hear their personal stories was a highlight of the conference.  It’s not every day that anyone can get personal time with so many leaders of the movement.  All of this can transpire in one day at the GAC and its worth every moment.  It seems overwhelming, and it is.  Yet in this environment I found the culture had a way of keeping me energized and wanting more.

My experience at the GAC made me even more proud to be a credit union professional.  The feeling that I can effectively create change through advocacy or community reinvestments, to increase financial wellness is incredible. But it was at the GAC where I saw the credit union culture at its best.  The GAC served as a platform to hear the stories across the nation of kindness and courage to fight for what’s right.  From conversations with representatives in congress to random conversations at social events, it was easy to see how the culture of people helping people was contagious.  Information sharing wasn’t frowned upon, in fact it was the norm.  The culture of every individual I came into contact with broadened my understanding of the impact our not for profit cooperative has on the nation.  Every moment was invaluable at the GAC.

For future crashers, it’s important to know that a crasher isn’t one person who is selected to get shipped to Washington DC to meet 51 other strangers from across the nation.  We aren’t just gung-ho credit union advocates under the age of 35 with time on their hands to travel.  A crasher is a person who has said yes and believes in it. That’s it!

But this yes has probably been said a millions times in the mind of a crasher even after several no’s.  This yes is also a readiness.  The GAC is the

Saying YES to singing our National Anthem on day 1.

largest credit union advocacy event of the year with a duration of 5 days, but what about the other 360 days.  That yes is a consistent drive in the movement of a crasher from day to day.  That yes makes them get up early to tend to the needs of members and coworkers a like that isn’t in their job description.  That yes enables the mind of a crasher to innovate, create and establish new ideas that may disrupt the way we used to do things to be relevant to the new needs of a changing society.  That yes understands the social and economic needs of tomorrow and works to get them in place today.  That yes transfers the mind of a crasher to seek out mentors while being a mentor. That yes says I understand the call to action and I am available.  That yes represents the credit union difference.

That, is the heart of a crasher.

Future crashers of the world are the successors that will join hands with the current leaders now.  That is why the GAC is so important.  That is why you are so important.  It is at the GAC where that transfer can begin to take place.  Crashers go through an incubation process in a safe environment and it has the potential to change both your professional and personal lives forever.  Crashing the GAC was a defining moment in my life and it can be the same for you.  All it takes is a yes in your spirit and the rest can make history.

Careers·Community Development·Conferences·Crash·Crash Event·Crash the GAC·Creativity·CUNA·CUNA Mutual Group·Filene·Gen Y·Governmental Affairs·Innovation·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·News Release·Professional Development

Crash Course in Crashing

(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:

LEARN.

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.

CONNECT.

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.

GROW.

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.

Conferences·Crash·Crash Event·Crash the ACUC·CUNA·Filene·Finance·Gen Y·Ideas·Innovation·Leadership·Meetups·News Release·Professional Development·Updates

Denver, we’re coming for you!

In just under 6 weeks we’ll be in Denver, CO. where we will join credit union professionals from all over the world at the co-chosted World Credit Union Conference and America’s Credit Union Conference by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Remember, everything we do is made possible thanks to CUNA! Crash Denver is happening thanks to Fiserv.

We’ll be calling our little excursion; Crash Denver. At Crash Denver, our Crashers will be put through their paces to help build a new credit union business model aimed at the next generation of consumers! This is an exciting opportunity for our group to really put something together which can have real impact in our industry.

We have also been warmly invited to join WOCCU’s World Young Credit Union People program for their events – so our Crashers are certainly going to be working hard!

We will have a reception on Tuesday night of the conference too, which all are welcome to attend. Watch this space!

In the mean time, why don’t you look below to meet our Crashers:

Abram Rodriguez, Border Federal Credit Union, Texas

Alycia Kaiser, Limestone Federal Credit Union, Michigan

Amanda Carrozza, Eagle One Federal Credit Union, Pennsylvania

Amberlee Payne, High Plains Federal Credit Union, New Mexico

Chad Maheux, Seasons Federal Credit Union, Connecticut

Dainelle Riley, USF Federal Credit Union, Florida

Denice Saucedo, North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Illinois

Ryan Manis, Kohler Credit Union, Wisconsin

Shelley, Ennis, New Castle County School Employees FCU, Pennsylvania

Spence LaCroix, Jefferson Financial Credit Union, Louisiana

CFO·Crash·Crash Event·CUNA·CUNA Councils·Filene·Gen Y·Ideas·Innovation·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·News Release

Future CFO’s Heading to New Orleans!

Once again, we are working with the CUNA CFO Council and Twenty Twenty Analytics to bring you Crash the CUNA CFO Council Conference.

Last year, we took a bright group to Las Vegas, this year we’re taking a bright group to New Orleans. Our Crashers this year will be put through their paces using business model generation theory to help build something, something that will help in developing a whole new generation of credit union CFO’s.

After scouring the country, we found a group of 10 incredible young credit union professional. And here they are:

Alyssa LaLonde, Limestone Federal Credit Union

Amber Ball, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union

AnnMarie Buglione, Community Choice Credit Union

Ibrahim Fall, New York University Federal Credit Union

Jordan Kowalkowski, Filer Credit Union

Lindsey McMillen, ORNL Federal Credit Union

Luke Soper, San Diego County Credit Union

Matt Fuller, Affinity Plus FCU

Patrick Gross, Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union

Ricky Hasan, West Community Credit Union

Crash·Crash Event·Creativity·CUNA·CUNA Mutual Group·Filene·Finance·Gen Y·Ideas·Innovation·Leadership·Meetups·News Release

Crash Montana is a-comin’

Billings, MT. May 2015. Crashers descend.

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!

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