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WASHINGTON – Campus Credit Union Council is proving the power of one. “I think people would be surprised to hear that our office staff consists of one person,” said CCUC Executive Director Gillian Coulter. “But the best part of the job is that because it is just me here I get to do so much that I never have the sameexperience twice.” Since October 2002 Coulter has filled the void left by former executive director Bradford Caldwell who resigned to pursue his MBA degree. With the position left open for almost a year Coulter says much of her time has been spent initially on administrative work and revamping the Web site. No stranger to campus cooperatives, Coulter has also served as vice president and development officer for the North American Students of Cooperatives- a membership association of primarily campus based housing cooperatives; vice president/CEO of the University of Michigan’s Inter-Cooperative Council; and her efforts helped make the .coop Internet suffix a reality for credit unions. Established in 1985 and dedicated to the needs of student run credit unions which at the time numbered 125 and has now dwindled to five; CCUC membership has evolved to include all credit unions that serve college and university students. There are currently 62 CCUC members. Meetings with the seven person board of directors with diverse credit union backgrounds are held via conference calls every other month. CUNA provides the office space and the majority of operations are funded from dues and grants. Recently CCUC received a combined $20,000 from the National Credit Union Foundation and the CUNA Mutual Foundation to fund its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative for one year. Partnering with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the African American Credit Union Coalition and the North American Students of Cooperation, CCUC hopes the project will create access to credit unions for more African American students and improve financial literacy opportunities. The project will include a survey of credit unions near HBCU campuses to discover which credit unions have included an HBCU in their field of membership, what services are being offered to the students and why some credit unions have not added the campus as an FOM. “There is a huge amount of potential that we feel the credit union movement hasn’t really tapped,” said Coulter. “Generation Y, which we’ll define as 18-25 year olds is one of the largest consumer groups out there with more money to spend than others demographics and they are very co-op oriented but unfortunately the age range that is most aware of credit unions is 45-65. Our goal is to try to work with credit unions about Generation Y so that they aren’t missing the boat.” In addition to serving as a Generation Y advocate, CCUC hosts an annual National Training Conference in conjunction with CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference. This year’s conference topics range from CU Best Practices and Marketing to Generation Y to The Cooperative Sector and You, which discusses the value of cooperation across all sectors. Other future projects on the CCUC agenda include having CUs involved with mandatory college credit classes for any federally funded university and more internship programs to “get the youth back into the credit union movement.” [email protected]

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