Speaking Out: Top Five Reasons to Crash GAC
A group young credit union professionals have been gearing up to crash CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference again this year. Crash the GAC is a project of the Cooperative Trust, a Filene project supported by CUNA Mutual Group. PSCU Financial Services has once again stepped up to sponsor the Crashers’ trip to Washington, D.C.
Credit Union Times asked Crashers why they wanted to attended GAC. Here are the Top Five answers followed by profiles of 15 Crashers.
To network with others to learn best practices in other states. Get ideas to excite my co-workers about advocacy and the CU movement. I'm curious to find out how others do it and am super excited to meet people who are as passionate about credit unions as I am.
A renewed sense of the cooperative spirit to ensure that we maintain it as we move our industry forward from these troubling times. Guaranteeing our prosperous success in the future as a cooperative movement.
Individual credit unions make an impact in members lives on a daily basis, I am looking forward to experiencing an event where credit unions are coming together collectively to make an impact on the industry.
I think Claire Huchet Bishop said it best, ‘Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians.’ GAC allows us the opportunity to share our industry’s point of view with our legislators as well as collect information to take back to our shops to ensure we are appropriately active, aware and prepared for the future of our financial sector. If there is ever a time to be politically conscious, it is this very moment.
Going to the GAC, besides leaving feeling inspired and connected, I would like to know what is my role in the future of Credit Union Organization and how it linksinto the overall vision of where organization would like to be both short term and long term.
Brigitte Husk, compliance officer at NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, has 10 years of experience in the credit union industry, in a variety of fields and positions, including lending, member services and contact center manager. She currently is responsible for all the compliance activities of the credit union along with security and project management functions. Currently, she is enrolled in college and will be receiving her business degree in 2012. Husk is certified with CUNA as a BSA specialist as well as a credit union compliance expert.
Corrin Maier is a product manager for MEMBERS Auto & Homeowners with CUNA Mutual Group and is responsible for helping to grow the individual property and casualty business. Throughout her CUNA Mutual Group career, she has been nominated for CUNA Mutual Group’s Values in Practice Award 2009 and 2011. Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group, she worked for six years at Middleton Community Bank in retail banking and operations. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in finance, investment and banking and in risk management and insurance. She is also working on an MBA at Edgewood College.
Kim Stewart, administrative support specialist at the Ohio Credit Union League, promotes credit union grassroots efforts, outreach and financial education initiatives designed to further financial independence through credit unions. Her work on behalf of Ohio’s 379 credit unions includes facilitating legislative “Call-to-Actions,” fundraising for the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and assisting with marketing and the overall efforts of the league. Prior to joining the league, she attended Otterbein College where she received a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and accounting.
Anthony Fletcher,IT project manager at American Airlines Federal Credit Union. is fairly new to the credit union industry. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and will be working on his master of science degree in information systems this fall. The native Louisianan is a true southerner, who has staked his claim as resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth area for almost six years. He considers himself an adventurer, always open and willing to trying new and exciting things. He prides himself on his love for family, his commitment to always giving 110% at everything he does, and most of all being the best person he can be.
Jeremy Martin, loan underwriter with Navigator Credit Union, received his undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of South Alabama and completed the credit union developmental education certification. He has been working for credit unions for almost four years and is also part of the EDGE steering committee in the state of Mississippi. The EDGE Group is committed to the promotion of young credit union professionals under the age of 40 and EDGE serves as an outlet to network and meet other credit union professionals from all over.
Ashly Platt has been with Educators Credit Union for over five years and plans to have her master’s degree in marketing and business administration in a few years. Last year, she crashed with other CU professionals on a state level at the league’s 77th annual convention and cannot wait to crash the GAC.
Ashley Lewis, staff development coordinator-trainer at Chesterfiled Federal Credit Union in Richmond, Va.. graduated from Averett University in 2003 with a BA in journalism. She previously worked for a large bank as an assistant branch manager but then discovered the splendor of working within a credit union. What she enjoys most has been the focus on members and helping them with their financial needs. She is excited to be a part of the 2012 GAC Crashers and is looking forward to learning more and meeting other Crashers.
Latonya Allen has been the senior member service representative for the Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union since 2004 and developed the credit union’s youth account launch in 2005. Throughout her career, she has pursued ongoing education and training courses including the designation as a CUNA credit union development educator. Community involvement has played an important role in her career. She is not only a member of the National Youth Involvement Board but has been active in many credit union sponsored and community events within the Washington metropolitan area, ranging from the Children Miracle Network to GPOFCU’S financial literacy program for Friendship Public Charter School’s Academy.
Dale Turner, vice president of lending at Eli Lilly FCU. has lending and banking management experience in major Midwest markets, including Indianapolis, Chicago and Minneapolis. He currently oversees a loan portfolio of approximately $590 million, which consists of mortgage and consumer loans. Prior to joining Eli Lilly FCU, he spent five years as the head of retail lending at First National Bank in northern Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and his graduate banking degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Jana Mearns, assistant branch manager of the virtual branch at People’s Trust FCU, began her career in banking eight years ago as a teller. In December 2009, she wised up and started working her way through the ranks at People’s Trust FCU. Six months in she was named Happy Un-Banker of the second quarter, which later led to her being named Happy Un-Banker of 2010 and awarded a trip to the America’s Credit Union Conference 2011. In October 2010, she represented People’s Trust FCU at the first CU Water Cooler Symposium. Mearns is also the Leader of the Employee Co-op Club, an advocacy group within People’s Trust FCU. She is active in the Houston Chapter of Credit Unions and attends meetings regularly.
Jason Mertz, senior operations and accounting representative at My Credit Union, left working in retail in 2004 and has never looked back. In his seven years in the credit union industry, between the cooperative culture that he works in and knowing that every day he serves members and helps them reach their goals, he believes running accounting, human resources and general operations for the credit union has been the perfect fit. In 2010, he graduated from Western CUNA Management School and currently serves as vice president of the El Camino Chapter of the California Credit Union League. Currently in the homestretch of finishing his bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis in accounting, he’s looking forward to joining the Cooperative Trust and working with other motivated credit union professionals.
Josh McAfee, marketing director for Leaders Credit Union, has been busy for the past two years ensuring consistent brand delivery across all five of the senses experienced when a member engages the institution at every touch point. He is a graduate of Harding University with a bachelor’s in business administration with a focus in marketing. At the credit union for almost two years, some notable achievements include the re-launch of Leaders CU’s retail website, mobile banking, business services and implementation of a successful social media presence. He holds positions with many of the industry trade peer groups, including marketing director of the CUES Greater Southern Council, member of the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council education committee, and a research associate with the Filene Research Institute’s i3 program. He was also named one of five regional finalists in the 2011 CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive competition.
Michael Molaka currently oversees the Fern Park branch for CFE Federal Credit Union. He has been with CFE for eight years, has gone through CFE’s year-long management and training program and has now managed four different branches over the last six years. He looks to create efficient and productive teams that capture the essence of people helping people. He has assisted with multiple projects for the operations team at CFE, ranging from new software evaluations, community involvement projects and employee description updates. He recently became president of the Central Florida Chapter board and will have his MBA from the University of Florida in 2013.
John Cassidy, senior communications specialist at CUNA Mutual Group, helps develop and support communication strategies for the direct to consumer business and consumer product areas designed to protect more members and their financial futures. Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group in 2010, he served as the marketing/business development officer at Charleston Area Federal Credit Union in Charleston, S.C. During his tenure, he developed strategies to increase asset size, wallet share, protect more members with insurance and investment products, and improve brand awareness. He led a rebranding effort that included the development of a new logo and website as well as the internal change management strategy during a data processor conversion.