Four times a year, credit union professionals from around the U.S., and some from around the globe, gather for a one week credit union “boot-camp” filled with lessons in principles, philosophy, history and more. In fact, we just completed the first training of the year with 45 new Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs)!
While many aspects of what goes on during Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training remain unknown to those who haven’t joined the secret circle, there is one aspect of the training that is well known – it is life changing. Often times this experience helps credit union professionals to discover and ignite a passion they didn’t know existed, which ultimately benefits their credit union career and the credit union movement as a whole.
To highlight the incredible successes that can come from attending DE Training, we have started capturing the stories of past attendees and learning how DE has changed their life.
Jim Morrell’s story is a great example of how DE can change your life. Jim graduated from the DE program in 2013, and since then has been highly involved in the program and bringing the lessons learned in DE to his credit union, working to “keep purpose constant” in the credit union movement.
“After attending DE, I felt I was given a firm foundation in the cooperative operating principles that I didn’t have before. DE gave me the ability to look through a different sets of lenses to better understand and better serve our members. DE helped remind me why and how we do what we do as a credit unions. We connect the strategic decisions we are making at Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union with the principles and lessons that are learned in DE, and it serves as a foundation of who we are as a credit union.”
Jim has stayed involved with the DE Program since graduating. He has served as a mentor for a North Carolina class in 2014, and will be involved in the upcoming June 2017 DE Class. Through the DE Program, he has been able to take the DE message internationally through a trip to Kenya in 2014 for the inaugural Africa DE class. Because of Africa DE, he had the opportunity to return in 2016 to speak about the cooperative brand in Kigali, Rwanda. This same trip, he visited Harare, Zimbabwe to have conversations with SACCOs (credit unions).
You can learn more about Jim’s incredibly journey after DE by clicking here.
Another great example of a DE graduate going on to accomplish great things is Brandi Stankovic. Brandi went through DE at the beginning of her career in 2003, and it served as the spark that ignited her fire and passion for helping people.
“Since I attended DE at the beginning of my career, it really gave me my understanding of the industry. Credit unions have a unique story, one that we have a responsibility to tell. In order to truly serve our community, we must understand, respect, and live the philosophy of ‘people helping people’. DE helped me to find my purpose. My purpose on this planet is to energize people to be the best they can be. I would not be able to accomplish and inspire people without the support of my DE friends and family!”
Her DE experience lead her to take on numerous projects, including writing educational modules in Spanish for credit union members, developing Vida Prospera, and working with the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to deliver financial tools to agricultural workers in Ventura County. You can learn more about Brandi’s DE projects and accomplishments by clicking here.
We hope these two DE stories have inspired you as much as they have inspired us. Stay tuned for more stories like these on our blog throughout the year!
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