The Credit Union Fire Burns Deep
For advancement and future growth of the credit union movement, it is time we usher in a new era of collaboration and innovation among today’s young credit union professionals, CEOs and senior executives.
To say it is a privilege to attend and help plan five crashes with the Crash Network in the past 12 months is an understatement. This is unfathomable access to credit union education and networking for most young, emerging leaders. Through these unique experiences and the Crash Network online, I met more than 150 of the best and brightest young credit union professionals. For me, one word sums up this eclectic group of crashers–passion.
Individually, these young professionals have separate passions within the movement, including financial literacy, product development, compliance, legislative affairs and marketing. Collectively, our goal is no different than that of today’s CEOs and senior executives–advance the credit union movement.
To the 30-something credit union crowd, I say now is our time. By working together we can accomplish more than any one of us can achieve alone. With the support of our credit union managers, peers and mentors, we can live the mantra of people helping people, thus shaping one another into the next generation of credit union leaders. We can do this not for pride or personal accolades but for the betterment of one another and the movement. The future of this great movement is in our hands. As such, I am grateful that our CEOs, by granting us permission to attend such events, did not allow our age in the movement to define us. Nor did we. In fact, at each event, I was impressed by the professionalism of my peer crashers who displayed with pride that they are tomorrow’s leaders, today.
To the senior executives and CEOs that endorsed our attendance, we are grateful that you are embracing and engaging the future leaders of the credit union movement. You clearly demonstrate your understanding of the logic behind "If not now, when? If not you, who?" You hold the key to a wealth of knowledge and experience we can’t get anywhere else. Thank you for doing what is best for the long-term good of the movement by passing that down.
You are leaving the movement in good hands. I can assure you, the credit union fire burns deep within this generation. We are committed to the sustainability and success of this great movement. At young ages many stopped calling their work in the movement a job, knowing it now as a remarkable career.
Thank you for teaching us, embracing us, accepting us and helping us. We are ready to be the future leaders of the credit union movement. We understand that it won’t be handed to us. We are committed to earning your trust through hard work and a desire to learn what you have to teach. We are up for the challenge. Now is our time. Now is the time to work together.
The Crash Network is a grassroots organization of more than 100 young credit union professionals. Its activities include meetings, mentorships, online collaboration and development projects. Opinions expressed are the personal views of the author.
Matt Vance is marketing manager at Industrial Credit Union, Bellingham, Wash.
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