Top 10 Things I Learned at the Principles & Philosophies Conference -
Rebekah Cid del Prado, Latino Community Credit Union
Upon returning from the NC Credit Union League’s Principles & Philosophies conference, I had the opportunity to reflect on the discussions and history that we learned. I took away several things that have helped me look at my work and the credit union movement in a very different light. I hope the top 10 things I learned at the Principles & Philosophies Conference will inspire others to gain a greater appreciation for, and participate more actively in, the cooperative movement.
10. The goal is the same as when the movement started.
While I knew that credit unions had the potential to positively impact communities, I didn’t realize the origins were so reminiscent of the reality today. The challenges in the communities served at Latino Community Credit Union, including marginalization from the mainstream financial system, are very similar to those from 100 years ago. It was powerful to tie our credit union’s mission to that of the credit union movement, and its powerful and inspiring history. It helped me recognize the responsibility I have to continue and support the values of the movement.
9. The credit union movement is social and community development at its finest.
The credit union movement and its principles and philosophies serve as an international model for other cooperative initiatives. Before, I understood the importance of credit unions in providing ethical financial products to the communities they serve, but during the conference, I learned that the credit union model also serves as an example to other development initiatives. The credit union movement and its principles and philosophies are long standing endeavors that cross borders, socio-economic levels with the intention to serve the good of all.
8. Doing the right thing isn’t anything new.
Many of us are accustomed to watching the news and hearing about the difficulties many in the world face. However, the Principles & Philosophies are a great reminder that those within the cooperative movement work tirelessly to rectify some of these stark inequities and provide ethical economic opportunity for all.
7. Credit unions are a quiet force in the world with great potential.
As a credit union professional, and member of the community, I’ve learned that credit unions are a quiet force that needs a louder voice. While I understand the importance of credit unions throughout the world, I don’t believe that as an industry and movement that we are loud enough in helping others see what we do and why it’s so important. There is a great potential for credit unions to reach a wider audience and gain even more momentum as a movement.
6. Those who are a part of the movement often don’t even know it.
My first financial institution experience was at a credit union. My parents have been credit union members most of their lives, and as a child I thought they belonged to a bank. My parents called it a bank, so I followed suit. Now, when I hear them say they are going to the bank, I remind them that they are credit union member-owners. They tease me and say, “It’s the same thing.” I quickly respond, “No! It isn’t!” It’s worth reminding current members and employees of the strong value in being part of a cooperative financial institution.
5. The story needs to be shared with a sense of urgency.
The credit union story needs to be passed on to current and future generations! If we aren’t equipped to the spread the cooperative movement history, principles and philosophies far and wide, then we run the risk of losing momentum. We have a responsibility to spread the word and create advocates, particularly amongst those who are already part of the movement.
4. I have a personal responsibility to share the cooperative movement principles and philosophies with others.
The responsibility for me to personally share this story extends beyond my role in Latino Community Credit Union.
3. Everyone who is a part of the cooperative movement needs to attend this conference.
The conference is eye-opening, even for those who have been longtime employees of the credit union. Credit unions should add this conference as a strong tool in staff development to ensure that employees at all levels of the organization better understand their role in this movement.
2. The cooperative movement and its principles and philosophies should be included in onboarding and internal communication strategies.
All credit union representatives who have attended the Principles and Philosophies conference have a responsibility to indoctrinate new employees with the principles and reinforce these key messages consistently through internal communication.
1. If we don’t share the story now, who will?
One of the discussions that we had during the conference was our story and how it fits into the overall cooperative movement. It was a powerful exercise that emphasizes value of the cooperative movement story. If we don’t share our story within the context of the cooperative movement, we run the risk of losing the entire story that our predecessors have worked so hard to maintain. When we share our story, we also share the cooperative movement story. Storytelling is powerful and can be used to greatly benefit us all as a reminder of why we do this work and keep the credit union principles and history alive.
If you want to become a politically engaged credit union advocate, this conference is for you!
Each year, at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, hundreds of some of the brightest and most influential minds in the system descend on Washington DC to network, meet with political leaders, and affect change around credit unions’ hottest issues.
With over 4000 people, this is -the-
credit union event of the year and something that you simply should not miss! Do you want to go? Of course you do… But how can you make that happen?
Now celebrating its 5th year, Crash the GAC gives credit union professionals under the age of 30* the chance to participate in this premier event! And 2014 marks a new milestone with a goal of one YP from every state in attendance.
As detailed here
by the future Carolinas Credit Union League, an applicant selected from each state will receive a full conference registration, courtesy of CUNA, and a Cooperative Trust membership. To cover travel, hotel and food costs, the Carolinas Credit Union League will also provide a $1,000 scholarship to each winner from North Carolina and South Carolina. That’s right, an all-expense paid trip to our Nation’s capital to rub elbows with credit union veterans and politicians on Capitol Hill!
So if you want to become a stronger advocate for the credit union system, you should apply! More information can be found at www.crashthegac.com
and applications are due by December 17, 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Whaley
at 919-457-9066. So what’s this Crash thing all about? Hear from the only Crash representative in NC.
All Crash events are put together by The Cooperative Trust
, a grassroots group of young people fighting for the future of cooperative finance. Each event is designed to spark new ways of thinking, build lasting relationships, and send attendees home hungry to get things done.
The 2012 Crash event Brandon McAdams participated in at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference was an experience he'll never forget. The people and ideas were as inspiring as they were challenging. Here's a Top Ten Article
Brandon wrote about the ACUC and the charge of finding solutions to serve the underserved. *The age of 30 is not a firm cutoff. So if you are in your early 30s and it’s your first GAC, you should absolutely apply!
If they could be rock stars, Brandon McAdams and Patrick Livingston see themselves as long-lived stars that have spanned the ages with their work–Mick Jagger and Elton John, respectively, though McAdams is quick to add: “not in the leather pants.”
McAdams and Livingston are employees with Coastal Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C., and creators of CUaware, which brings credit union professionals together to learn from each other and bridge the knowledge gap between experienced veterans and those who are new to the profession. It provides an opportunity to share ideas and contacts as well as successes and burdens, and take proactive steps to help the communities that credit unions serve.Read More Here from Credit Union Magazine
On October 17th, credit union professionals from around the Triangle gathered at Skybox, the home of the first CUaware social. Attendees were able to celebrate International Credit Union day by mingling with their peers and enjoying a little credit union trivia. Congratulations to everyone who took home a prize for knowing their credit union facts!
A Recap on CUaware’s Ronald McDonald Volunteer Event By Laura Greene, Membership Development Officer for LGFCU & CUaware Volunteer Coordinator
CUaware’s charity event on September 25, 2013 at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham was a huge success! In total, 16 volunteers from five different credit unions plus the NC Credit Union League were there to cook, clean, decorate and entertain. With the generosity of a $500 donation from the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and smaller contributions from credit union employees, the CUaware volunteers were able to make “Fiesta Night” memorable!
CUaware also coordinated the collection of Wish List items that were needed at the Durham Ronald McDonald House. The response from credit unions was overwhelming and an estimated $2,500 in Wish List items were delivered. Thank you to the League and credit unions who donated their time as well as Wish List items - Coastal, LGFCU, Duke, RTP and ElecTel Cooperative. Also a huge thank you to the Carolina’s Credit Union Foundation for their $500 donation! Without you, none of this would have been possible!
When it came time to start cooking, everyone jumped in and got the job done! The families inside the house had the option of tacos, taco salad, cheese quesadillas, nachos with all the toppings, and freshly baked cookies for dessert! Since we had such wonderful help in our group we were also able to decorate the dining area for the families. When everyone came in to eat, they were not only excited for taco night, they were also happy to see some balloons for a change! Before dinner was served, we had some extra time so the group was offered a tour of the house! It is such a heart touching experience and we recommend that you go take one for yourself!
After eating, the children had the coloring station and the cookie decorating station to keep them busy! Even some of the parents jumped in and decorated their own cookies! The kids looked so happy with some of the biggest smiles I have seen in a while! For those of you that couldn’t make it, we encourage you to take a look at the pictures from this wonderful event. At the end of the night when we were cleaning up, the Ronald McDonald House staff was still in the process of putting up the Wish List items that we donated as a group! By this time it was around 7:30, when we started there at 3!! When the night was over, I think everyone left with a smile on their face! It was truly a great night!
Stay on the lookout for the next Triangle Volunteer event!
Check out the Flickr here
CUaware Triad held a fundraising event called CUdowntown, an 80s
themed tour of local restaurants and bars in downtown Winston-Salem. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event benefited the iCan House, a non-profit organization in Winston-Salem, NC that provides educational resources and social interaction opportunities to those who live with social challenges. 25 people signed up for the event, dressed in 80s fashion and raised a total of $450.
“I’m happy to see how CUaware has brought local credit unions together to make us all aware of the credit union industry’s value, connect the vast credit union employee network in Winston-Salem, and support the community where we work and live,” said Jessica Dillon, Chair of CUaware’s Triad Chapter and
Quality/Compliance Supervisor for Piedmont Advantage CU.
The tour began at 5 PM with free food, games and 80s trivia at
Foothills Brewery on Fourth Street in Winston-Salem. At seven o’clock it moved to Bulls Tavern, four doors down from Foothills, where contestants we quizzed during a 80s trivia contest. Dirk Spainhour of Summit CU won the trivia contest and received a $50 gift card to amazon.com.
“It really was fun to take a step back and try to remember things from the 80s,” remarked Spainhour. “This proved that all my TV watching really paid off!”
In addition to participating in an 80s trivia contest, everyone who registered and attended received a CUaware wristband, a Summit CU can huggie, and a ticket to enter a raffle for Foothills Beer School Tickets. An 80s costume contest took place at The District Rooftop Bar and Grill, the third destination of the tour. The winner was Catherine Jones who called her look, “Fluffy Cyndi Lauper.” Her prize was a $50 iTunes gift card. The second place prize for both trivia and the costume contest was a $25 VISA gift card and the third place was a CUaware T-shirt.
Prizes for the event were donated by CRI Solutions, Ensemble, Foothills Brewing, Members CU, and Summit CU. Bulls Tavern donated 10% of their proceeds between 7PM and 9 PM to the iCan House. CUaware plans to make the CUdowntown tour an annual charity event in both the Triad and Triangle regions.
Almost 80 credit union and cooperative employees enjoyed a great evening at the Raleigh Contemporary Art Museum last Wednesday, August 13th. This event was unique beyond just the elegant location. Raleigh played host to a Credit Union Developmental Educators Workshop. This provided a great opportunity because CUaware started as a project for Patrick and Brandon coming from CUDE training, so it was only natural to combine events and connect them with CUaware advocates.
The event featured great art, CUaware's favorite DJ, and of course the wobble:
We learned that 1 in 96 million is actually 343 Million after the NCBA came out in support #DontTaxMyCreditUnion
We also learned how to connect with CUDE and CoOps.
Check out the Flickr feed below to see all your fellow CUaware advocates!
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There were peanuts! There were cracker jacks! There were home runs! All this as over 75 credit union employees partook in America's favorite past time- baseball! CUaware's latest event had employees "Storming the Stadium" at the Durham Bulls and the Winston Salem Dash. Both games took place on Thursday, July 25th and employees had a unique setting to gather, have fun and continue to learn.share.grow!
2 cities, 2 teams, 1 heck of a time!
CUaware's mission is to create unique opportunities to bringing credit union professionals together to:
- LEARN from each other
- SHARE ideas and contacts, but also successes and burdens, and
- GROW by volunteering and taking proactive steps to help the communities’ credit unions serve.
The 2013 Principles & Philosophy Conference
will be held October 22-24 at the Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston-Salem. CUaware is awarding one full tuition scholarship to a future credit union leader 35 years of age or younger from any credit union in NC. To view and download the scholarship application form, please click on the link below
If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Whaley at 919-457-9066.
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