DCUC conference: day two recap

NAPLES, FL (August 13, 2021) — DCUC’s 2021 Annual Conference continued into its second full day, which featured a series of phenomenal military speakers and NCUA Chairman Todd Harper.

The first of three military speakers was Col. Mark Tillman (USAF, Ret.), who shared stories from his time as the pilot of Air Force One. Col. Tillman’s engaging presentation took attendees into the cockpit of Air Force One for the Presidential flights on September 11, 2001, and President George W. Bush’s top secret Thanksgiving trip to Afghanistan in 2003. He received the first standing ovation of the day, and DCUC’s President/CEO, Tony Hernandez echoed the sentiment of the room when he said, “Your stories matter, and we’re honored to have you here.”

The second military speaker was Medal of Honor Winner Staff Sgt. Salvatore Augustine Giunta, U.S. Army (Ret.). Staff Sgt Giunta’s connected his military experience and what led to his Medal of Honor to the service to others that credit unions provide each day. Throughout his presentation, he emphasized learning from your successes and failures, that sometimes the best action is to not take action and let things unfold, and to rely on the professionals around you to know how to handle what they have been trained to do. His presentation ended with a challenge to each person to give 100% in everything you do and watch how that changes the world. Staff Sgt. Giunta received the second standing ovation of the day.

General John Nicholson, U.S. Army (Ret.) concluded the trio of military speakers. General Nicholson discussed the state of the U.S. Military today and lessons he learned over his 36-year military career. Key takeaways from his presentation were the importance of communication, especially when things are complex or out of the ordinary, knowing how to manage difficult situations and the importance of risk in opportunities.

The second day also featured NCUA Chairman Todd Harper. Chairman Harper provided a brief set of remarks before sitting down with Hernandez for a brief discussion on his priorities. The priorities discussed included capital and liquidity, consumer financial protection, DEI, and Cybersecurity. The Chairman also offered the Crashers in the audience advice, emphasizing the importance of mentors and staying focused on members.

The day also included updates from the military service representatives, where attendees were able to ask questions of their individual service officials. Hernandez also sat down with Dan Berger, NAFCU’s President/CEO, to discuss the importance of collaboration and industry unification, threats and opportunities they are seeing, and advocacy efforts.

Following the General Session, DCUC held its Annual Business Meeting. During the Annual Business meeting, three DCUC Board Member positions were filled. Maggie Sayer, president/CEO, Keys FCU was re-elected to her Navy/Coast Guard Representative position, while Ryan Ross, president/CEO, Air Force FCU, and Ron Aoki, president/CEO, Schofield FCU, were elected for the Air Force Representative and Army Representative positions respectively.

Thursday evening featured DCUC’s Hall of Honor. Every year, DCUC honors individuals whose exceptional contributions over the years have made a significant difference to DCUC and the defense credit union community. This year’s ceremony honored both the 2020 and 2021 inductees. DCUC proudly welcomed LTC (Ret) Richard “Dick” Ardisson, Abound CU; Brigadier General Frank Cardile, Andrews FCU; Mary Ann Melchers, ABNB FCU; Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.) George Hoagland, Frontwave CU; and David Sprague, Hanscom FCU into its Hall of Honor.

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