|Institute graduates show off their certificates with Federation Board Chairman Eunice J. Rogers (far right). From left to right: Jackie New, Total Community Action FCU; Chris Joynes, New Life FCU; Hannah Wallace, Triumph Baptist FCU; Angela Cattladge, Toledo Urban FCU; Christina Sauve, Cooperative Federal CU; Gail Taylor, South Side Community FCU; Ruthie Finch, New Hope Community Development FCU; Wendy Soria, Bethex FCU; Gwen Parker, Cosmopolitan FCU; and Lisa Neal, Holy Redeemer FCU.
(August 28, 2007 - Madison, WI) The Federation’s acclaimed CDCU Institute™, recently graduated its seventh class in the heart of the credit union movement, the CUNA Mutual campus in Madison, Wisconsin. The ten graduates included dedicated community development credit union (CDCU) volunteers and staff from a diverse group of credit unions.
More than fifty students attended the full week-long session, representing 33 credit unions and four organizing groups. Attendees included representatives from credit unions as small as $250,000 in assets to representatives from the Federation’s third-largest CDCU, the nearly $300-million Self-Help CU in Durham, NC.
The CDCU Institute™ is the Federation’s signature professional development program. Students learn skills that help their credit unions develop products tailored to underserved communities, all the while operating their credit unions more efficiently and increasing their safety and soundness.
Students that complete the three-year program graduate with a certificate in CDCU Management and are able to receive graduate school credit from Institute partner Southern New Hampshire University, home to one of the country’s foremost schools of community economic development.
The 2007 graduates included Jackie New, Total Community Action FCU (New Orleans, LA); Chris Joynes, New Life FCU (Philadelphia, PA); Hannah Wallace, Triumph Baptist FCU (Philadelphia, PA); Angela Cattladge, Toledo Urban FCU (Toledo, OH); Christina Sauve, Cooperative Federal (Syracuse, NY); Gail Taylor, South Side Community FCU (Chicago, IL); Ruthie Finch, New Hope Community Development FCU (Birmingham, AL); Wendy Soria, Bethex FCU (Bronx, NY); Gwen Parker, Cosmopolitan FCU (Chicago, IL); and Lisa Neal, Holy Redeemer FCU (Milwaukee, WI).
“The Federation is proud to graduate this year’s class – part of an incredible group of people that represent both the present and future of the credit union movement,” said Eunice J. Rogers, Federation Board Chairman and Institute graduate, during her remarks at the graduation ceremony.
New graduate Christina Suave of Cooperative Federal CU (Syracuse, NY) had a great time during her three sessions in Madison. “The camaraderie is unlike at any other training that I’ve been to,” she said. “At the CDCU Institute it really feels like we’re all in this together. I can call on any of my classmates after I return to my credit union and we collaborate and share ideas outside of the classroom. It’s a real family.”
The students also took advantage of three stand-alone sessions designed to build and expand their knowledge beyond the nuts-and-bolts of daily management.
This year’s program included a special one-day Credit Path® seminar, presented by Bill Myers, former CEO of Alternatives FCU and creator of the acclaimed program. Myers was also joined by Alternatives FCU CEO, Tristram Coffin, and by Director of Community Programs and Venture Fund Manager, Deirdre Silverman. The Credit Path® strategy shows students how credit unions can encourage the success of their members by determining each member’s position along the Credit Path® and steering them towards appropriate financial products.
Students also attended a workshop by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund representative Vanessa Lowe to learn about the intricacies of applying for certification and funding. Stacey Woiderski, a first year student from Straits Area FCU (Cheboygan, MI) heard about all the opportunities available at the CDFI Fund and is now “working directly with Vanessa to apply for funding.”
At another evening activity, attendees had the opportunity to see other parts of the cooperative movement, by visiting cooperatives around the Madison-area, including a tour of various housing units owned by Madison Community Co-op.
Students in all three class-years were excited about the opportunity to take such a wide variety of classes. Chris Joynes, a board member of the faith-based New Life FCU (Philadelphia, PA,), another new graduate, was particularly impressed by the “Innovations in Credit Unions” class, taught by Denise Gabel of the Filene Institute’s Chief Innovation Office. Joynes plans to “try to create partnerships with larger credit unions in his community and implement some of the ideas from i3,” Filene’s work group charged with creating innovations in the credit union movement.
“The ‘people-helping-people’ credit union philosophy is truly alive at CDCU Institute™,” said Institute alumna and Federation Board Member Sandell McLaughlin of Community Trust CU (Modesto, CA). “Everyone that attends the Institute brings their own passion for serving people of modest means, and it’s very encouraging and reenergizing to know there are so many others working towards the same goal.” McLaughlin was recently appointed chairman of the Federation’s Education and Training Committee, which has oversight over the Institute and other Federation educational programs.
Students like Woiderski are looking forward to returning next year, to continue building connections with their peers and working with the Institute’s top-notch instructors.
Scholarship support for this year’s CDCU Institute™ was provided by CUNA Mutual, Suncoast Schools FCU (Tampa, FL), Northwest FCU (Herndon, VA), Faith Community United CU (Cleveland, OH), and Northeast Community FCU (San Francisco, CA). Many Institute attendees also received financial support from the National Credit Union Administration.
For more information about the CDCU Institute™, please click here.