46 credit union professionals become Certified Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs)

Foundation's Credit Union Philosophy Training Held in Madison

Forty-six credit union professionals became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after being guided by dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). The Fall DE training was held September 9-16, 2015 at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.

After attending the Fall DE Training, Crystal Long, President/CEO of GECU in El Paso, Texas, said, “I feel like I’ve learned more in one week of training than I learned in my entire 35-year career.”

Team Projects
DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area. For this class’ final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included student loan debt, a small credit union merger dilemma, board development and recruiting including the debate over compensation, microfinance to women in Africa, credit union solutions to predatory lending, and engaging millennials for growth.

Class Graduates
The Fall 2015 DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S, as well as a representative from Malawi. They are: Lacey Adler, National Credit Union Foundation in Wisconsin; Naomi Anderson, Illinois Credit Union System in Illinois; Deborah Avery, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Kim Baker, Midwest Community FCU in Ohio; Matthew Ballou, WyHy FCU in Wyoming; Jennifer Bauer, Riverwood-Maritime Credit Union in Wisconsin; Kathy Boswell, Central Credit Union of Florida in Florida; Adriana Briggs, Houston Highway Credit Union in Texas; Susie Brown, Old West FCU in Oregon; Anthony Chavira, San Francisco Federal Credit Union in California; Megan Collins, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Jeremiah DeGollon, Summit Credit Union in Wisconsin; Sara Delance, Heritage Family FCU in Vermont; Ryan Donovan, Credit Union National Association in DC; Monique Dunbar, Credit Union of Atlanta in Georgia; Shannon Duran, PBC Credit Union in Florida; Aziza Gary, MECU of Baltimore Inc. in Maryland; Kyle Gurzynski, Safe Harbor Credit Union in Michigan; Jimese Harkley, America’s First FCU in Alabama; Jayne Hitman, Credit Union National Association in California; Jamie Koster, Pacific NW Ironworkers FCU in Washington; April Krause, Cornerstone Credit Union League in Texas; Brian Lee, Landings Credit Union in Arizona; Shasta Leininger, New Orleans Firemen’s FCU in Louisiana; Juli Lewis, League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Alabama; Crystal Long, GECU in Texas; James Marshall, Filene Research Institute in Wisconsin; Dianne McDaniel, Suncoast Credit Union in Florida; Heather McKissick, University Federal Credit Union in Texas; Ralph Nava, CUNA Mutual Insurance Agency Inc. in Wisconsin; Fumbani Nyangulu, MUSCCO LTD in Malawi; Randall Pearson, Pyramid FCU in Arizona; Terra Perry, The Summit FCU in New York; Aaron Racicot, Peoples Trust FCU in Texas; Patty Ray, True North FCU in Alaska; Brent Rempe, WEOKIE Credit Union in Oklahoma; Jhazmine Ruiz, Suncoast Credit Union in Florida; Beth Satre, Montana Credit Union Network in Montana; Tom Shea, PBC Credit Union in Florida; Sarah Stout, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Juan Villegas, Houston Highway CU in Texas; Teresa Welborn, Peach State FCU in Georgia; and Sonia Woosley, Streator Onized Credit Union in Illinois.

2016 Winter & Spring DE Training’s Already Filled
Registration opened less than a month ago for the 2016 Winter and Spring DE Training sessions, but due to popular demand, both are already both sold out. For professionals interested in attending the 2016 Fall DE Training (or 2017 DE Trainings), visit to learn more or you can email to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up.

More Fall DE Training Testimonials
“DE was not a training, nor a conference, nor anything I’ve experienced before,” said Shannon Duran, Senior Vice President, COO of PBC Credit Union in West Palm Beach, Fla. “It was a recharging, invigorating, in depth experience that challenged the heart, mind and soul of the passion of credit union existence – we all need DE!”

“The DE program is a life changing event, personally and professionally,” said Gena Carroll, Vice President of Operations of Meridian Trust FCU in Jackson, Wyo. “The energy you feel for carrying out the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ is so spectacular that you want to shout it from the rooftop and get everyone on board immediately. This is a must for all staff involved with credit unions to get in touch with where we came from, why we are where we are today, and to never stop working to help members.”

“Becoming a Credit Union Development Educator is probably the single most illuminating professional task I have ever encountered,” said Sara DeLance, VP Branch Operations of Heritage Family FCU in South Londonderry, Vt. “I have always been committed to the ‘people helping people’ mission of credit unions and view this program as a catalyst to the greatness I am to become.”

Graduates and training staff of the Fall 2015 DE Class stand outside the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis.

Graduates and training staff of the Fall 2015 DE Class stand outside the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis.

More about the DE Program: 
The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

Since 1982, more than 1,400 credit union advocates from over 34 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.

For more information on the DE program, visit under “How We Help”.

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