Young professionals virtually crash 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference

Virtual conference expands this opportunity for emerging professionals far and wide

MADISON, WI (February 26, 2021)

COVID-19 has changed many things, including the way industry events look, but emerging leaders in the credit union movement will once again have an opportunity, virtually, to “crash” the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC) on March 2 – 4, 2021.

Representing nearly every U.S. state, the 2021 class of sponsored Crashers includes young leaders with diverse roles at their credit unions. Crashers are selected though a highly competitive process, with 32 crashers earning free registration to CUNA GAC.

“I’m very excited to meet the Crashers attending the 2021 CUNA GAC,” said CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle. “Every year, these rising leaders bring insight, energy, and passion that helps elevate the GAC experience to new levels. I can’t wait to see the mark that this year’s impressive group of Crashers leave on the meeting and on our movement. Thank you to the young professionals who dedicate their time to the CUNA GAC, and to Filene and the Cooperative Trust for making this special program possible every year.”

The virtual experience that CUNA GAC has to offer this year has opened accessibility to a total of 66 crashers with 32 of those crashers fully sponsored by CUNA and five by PSCU. While there are many benefits to in-person Crash events, the unique silver lining of this virtual world continues to be an increased level of inclusivity for more people to participate. Filene encourages credit unions to take advantage of this growth opportunity for their emerging leaders while possible.

“There has never been a more exciting time to get involved in credit unions and the Cooperative Trust. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the human spirit is resilient, and the rising talent in the credit union industry has proven their grit time and again,” said Filene’s Community Development Director, Cortney Angeley.  “Crashing the GAC is the next steppingstone for so many emerging leaders, and 2021 is no different. In fact, these folks are forced to be even more creative, collaborative, and cooperative than ever before. The #CrasherFam is breathing new life into the Cooperative Trust and the cooperative finance space.”

Crash the GAC is the largest Crash Filene organizes every year. It is a non-stop, career-changing program for young professionals that allows them to participate in the industry’s largest advocacy conference. The virtual experience they will embark on next week will provide the same amount of exposure to the top leaders in the credit union industry with perhaps a higher level of intimacy now that they won’t have to compete for attention among the thousands of people who typically attend in person. And the Crashers will still host the famous Thunderpunch event with DCUC, virtually, to keep that tradition alive.

“To have a group of more than 60 people I can reach out to with questions on anything, and can also offer solutions and recommendations based on my expertise, is a remarkable gift that benefits each of our individual credit unions, our professional and personal lives, and our movement as a whole — ultimately positively impacting our members, which is what it’s all about,” said Selah Cosentino, senior communications specialist at Vantage West Credit Union and 2020 GAC Crasher.

The Cooperative Trust is the credit union industry’s largest young professional community. The Crash Program is designed to empower credit union young professionals through professional development and by finding and amplifying their voices to advocate for the role of young people in the industry. This year, the Cooperative Trust also launched a new opportunity to foster commitment to credit unions and align with each of Filene’s Centers of Excellence called “Crash Filene’s Center of Excellence.”

Crash the GAC is brought to you by the Cooperative Trust from Filene Research Institute and is made possible by CUNA, with generous support from Visa, and with help from League partners.

About Filene Research Institute

Filene Research Institute strengthens organizations through innovative research and incubation to improve consumer financial well-being. As an independent cooperative finance think tank, Filene’s membership network connects a community of leaders and bright minds to change lives through innovation, truth and cooperation. In addition to delivering cutting-edge, actionable academic research, Filene also provides incubators to test and scale solutions, events to spark organizations into action and advisory services to help accelerate and implement innovation. For more information, visit and follow on LinkedIn.

About the Cooperative Trust:

 The Cooperative Trust, with its award-winning Crash programming, is the international community of young credit union professionals, brought to you by Filene Research Institute and made possible by Credit Union National Association. The Cooperative Trust won the Herb Wegner Award for Outstanding Program in 2017. To learn more, visit 

About CUNA: Credit Union National Association

(CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit 


Holly Fearing

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