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News Archive

"Crashers" and other Young CU pros are seizing opportunity


12 young professionals(YPs) from Wisconsin credit unions Crashed The League’s Annual Convention in Milwaukee and took part in special sessions that provided unique networking and learning opportunities with industry thought leaders from credit unions and beyond.


Crash events provide promising young credit union staff with opportunities to attend major industry conferences at minimal cost to their credit union. This Crash event was made possible thanks to sponsorship from CUNA Mutual Group, Money Mission, W.C.U.L. Services Corp, CU*SWAG and The Wisconsin Credit Union League, which helped cover the group’s costs for Convention registration, lodging, shirts and meals.


The 12 Crashers attended the general Convention sessions and events but also participated in Crash breakout sessions, which provided the group with an intimate setting to meet with the following individuals:

  • Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The League, spoke about the importance of advocacy and provided insight to the current state of Wisconsin credit union affairs.


  • Meghann Dawson, Instructional Design Manager at CUNA, discussed professional development and shared tips on how to grow and make a positive impact within their credit unions.


  • Brian Branch, CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), shared stories about the credit union movement across the globe.


  • Salim Ismail, Entrepreneur and Convention keynote speaker, answered questions from the group about innovation and talked about ideas credit unions could implement to become more relevant to young adults and in this age of super-expanding technology.


  • Jeff Manning, a Convention keynote speaker who helped develop the "Got Milk?" campaign, shared insights on managing one’s personal brand in professional settings and discussed the impact and message behind credit union branding.


When they weren’t attending their breakout sessions, Crashers were a part of regular Convention activities and mingled with other Convention-goers during the receptions and a special YP meet-up on Thursday night at the Safehouse restaurant. In addition, three Crashers from last year’s event— Dominic Sloma (Best Advantage CU), Rhea Hogden (Co-op CU) and Chelsie Zima (St. Mary’s & Affiliates CU)—helped The League to plan for the event and provided onsite mentoring to the Crashers.


"With over 70 young professionals at Convention this year, it’s clear that there’s growing interest by this group to get engaged in the credit union movement and bring new ideas to help their credit unions grow and prosper," said Chad Helminak, Director of REAL Solutions and Outreach. "We look forward to offering more opportunities like this in the future, as we’d be remiss not to cultivate the young talent that exists within our ranks."


Crash events are just one facet of The League’s overall efforts to provide education and development opportunities to young credit union staff. Through The Network—The League’s ongoing networking and learning group for YPs—young credit union professionals have also crashed the State Government Affairs Conference and participated in a number of networking meet-ups and special events around the state.


Over the next month, The League will be overhauling its YP program to offer new leadership positions and opportunities for involvement to young CU employees. To learn about these opportunities as they arise, YPs (35 years and younger) are encouraged to register at no cost to the YP Network email list.

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