We Are William Wallace

By. Nate Muniz, PSECU

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me or my work that I love the CUNA GAC.  Getting back to DC is always a treat (mostly because I don’t live there anymore and can come back home after an exhausting week).  But even for me after you’ve been to a number of them they can get to be a little repetitive.

But this year was different.  When CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney gave his speech on Monday it was engaging and exciting, not only to me, but many in the room who were live tweeting.  The moment that this really hit me was when one of the slides he brought up was one of the characters from Braveheart in full war paint ready for battle.  Mr. Cheney made a joke about it and said he’s not asking anyone to put on war paint, but one of my colleagues, tweeted that “some of us do want to wear war paint!”

The sentiment from many others was very similar and that’s what I found to be so exciting.  I think the “Unite for Good” initiative is great and I look forward to seeing where CUNA and the rest of the credit union industry takes it, but aside from that what I found to be the real benefit was the energy I felt from my colleagues about the idea. What I saw were young up and coming credit union professionals who have a passion for the credit union movement who have been looking for a rallying call – an outlet where they can direct their passion for the greater good.

Later in the week I had a conversation with some folks who said it’s often difficult to provide advancement opportunities for young credit union professionals in small credit unions.  My remark was that it’s not just small credit unions, it happens in large ones as well.  The advice I gave them was to find other ways to allow their young staff to grow and develop.  There are plenty of programs and organizations they can take advantage of.  The Cooperative Trust (I had to get that plug in), the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec contest, the WOCCU Young Credit Union People program are all great examples.  Many state leagues also have or are starting their own credit union young professional networks which could be another option.

So to echo my friend yes, some of us do want to wear the war paint and that’s not such a bad thing.  My recommendation to all senior managers out there is to recognize this in your younger staff and try to find creative outlets to harness and benefit from that enthusiasm.

Nate Muniz

Nate Muniz

Nate Muniz joined the credit union industry in 2004 and is Government Relations Manager at Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU). With a background in government and politics from his ... Web: www.psecu.com Details