(Editor's note: the following information written and provided by the National Credit Union Foundation.)
Forty credit union professionals were guided by eight dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive week-long Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training. The April 18-25, 2012 training was held at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis.
The class included two NC credit union staff: Joe Mecca and Creighton Blackwell of Coastal FCU. In addition, Mike Banks of State Employees' CU served as a mentor for the class.
"I have attended many other financial programs during my career but none as inspiring as this," said Blackwell, Coastal's Manager of Business Development. "It challenged us to be better for our organizations, our community and most importantly, for our members."
“The DE program is such an incredible experience... both empowering and humbling at the same time,” said Mecca, the Marketing/Advertising Manager at Coastal. “I really can't equate it with anything else I've done, whether inside the credit union world or outside. However, if I had to summarize DE with only one lesson learned, that would be: 'given little more than their own passion and a common purpose, ordinary people can achieve the most amazing things,' Mecca concluded."
During the week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, encouraged to ask questions of visiting speakers, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.
“DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy while incorporating challenges credit unions face today,” said Lois Kitsch, DE Facilitator and National Program Director for the National Credit Union Foundation. “It is timeliness that we strive for in the entire DE training experience as participants work through critical issues that include member business lending, mergers and small credit unions, bank conversion, serving emerging markets, national branding, and credit union development in Haiti.”
"This was an eye opening experience that allowed me to separate myself from my daily routine and take a macro view of our movement,” said Tony Emerson, class attendee and President & CEO of The Credit Union League of Connecticut. “As a league president, I found it especially motivating to see the passion and dedication others have for seeing our industry survive and be there for our members. It should be everyone's goal to attain this designation!"
Next DE Training
The next DE Training will be held at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. on September 6-13, 2012. Registration is still open and can be found at ncuf.coop.
Mecca and Blackwell will now join the volunteer CUDE networking group in North Carolina. "This group has helped to focus attention on the need for staff training on the Seven Cooperative Principles of Credit Unions," said Jeff Hardin, NCCUL Director of Communications. "Creighton and Joe will be a terrific addition to this group, and we look forward to their creativity and contributions on projects such as the Principles & Philosophy Conference in Winston-Salem in October."