(May 8, 2007 - Madison, WI) Six community development credit union (CDCU) representatives joined other leaders of the credit union movement at the University of Wisconsin in Madison for the recent week-long Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training, an intensive “boot-camp” developed to strengthen the credit union movement by teaching the credit union philosophy and the importance of social responsibility.
DE Trainings are sponsored by the National Credit Union Foundation who has expanded the number of trainings each year in hopes of further spreading the cooperative principles across the industry.
The six CDCU practitioners that attended the recent training included Elsa Simo from Bethex FCU (Bronx, NY), Nathan Famor from Generations Community CU (Durham, NC), Eric Loyd from Genesee Cooperative FCU (Rochester, NY), Jenn Thompson from the Lower East Side Peoples FCU (New York, NY), Sharon Saulters from Triumph Baptist FCU (Philadelphia, PA), Clara Lagos from University Settlement FCU (New York, NY), Joanne Evans from Winthrop FCU (Winthrop, MA), and Brian Gately of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation), making this the largest contingent from CDCUs to attend any of the DE trainings to date.
Eric Loyd, Chairman of the Technology Committee at Genesee Coop FCU, described the opportunity as life-changing. “DE Training,” he said, “fundamentally made people aware of certain core issues that face not just credit unions, but other important issues on the planet like health, hunger, and access to credit.” It helped him to see how credit unions can and are addressing these problems world- wide.
Elsa Simo, Project Specialist at Bethex FCU said “I felt like another person when I was finished.” She returns to her credit union reinvigorated and with a renewed focus on “approaching youth populations.”
Other CDCU attendees echoed these sentiments explaining that they return to their positions with a new focus and commitment to the credit union movement.
For Sharon Saulters, Manager of Triumph Baptist, a 15-year credit union veteran, “the DE experience was a renewing of her CU commitment. Our projects were very challenging with having seven leaders in one group… WOW!!! What a wonderful and fulfilling experience.”
The increased participation by volunteers and employees from low-income designated credit unions is a positive development for the program and gives CDCU representatives, who work and volunteer in underserved communities every day, the opportunity to share their experiences and connect with members of the broader industry.
In February, the Federation announced a partnership with NCUF to help DEs connect with CDCUs operating in underserved communities around the country. The Credit Union Development Corps provides an opportunity for DEs from mainstream credit unions and CDCU practitioners to share learn from and support one another.
For more information about CDCUs wishing to participate in the Development Exchange should contact Pamela Owens at (800) 437-8711, Ext. 215 (email@example.com), or Pablo DeFilippi at ext. 204 (firstname.lastname@example.org), both of whom are DEs.
Interested DEs should contact Tom Decker at email@example.com.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.