Two from West Virginia are latest to receive CUDE Designation — 12/6/18

Alexis Friel and Elizabeth Gilligan

Two West Virginia credit union representatives were among 42 credit union professionals that were certified as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after completing the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union DevelopmentEducation (DE) Training held November 7-13, 2018 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

Bayer Heritage FCU’s Elizabeth Gilligan and Members Choice WV FCU’s Alexis Friel became the latest West Virginia League representatives to earn the designation. Both received full scholarships from the West Virginia Designated Fund of the National Credit Union Foundation which locally administers and grants League level scholarships.

“DE was an amazing and eye opening experience! The DE program helped me understand why credit unions are here to serve our members. It truly is ‘people helping people,’” stated Gilligan upon her return back to West Virginia.

Friel stated that, “Before attending DE I knew credit unions existed for the people, but the Credit Union Development Educator training opened my eyes to the real power behind our ‘people helping people’ philosophy and the crucial role credit unions can play in a community.” “As credit union professionals we truly have the ability to positively impact others’ lives, and DE inspires attendees to be that change. I now look forward to a career dedicated to living the credit union difference and sustaining the credit union movement,” she added.

Intense Curriculum

DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area. For this class’ final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included student loan debt, board development and recruiting including the debate over compensation, building microfinance programs in developing countries, credit union solutions to predatory lending, the increasing issue of homelessness in America, and rejuvenating a stagnant credit union.

“We offer our sincerest congratulations to Alexis and Elizabeth upon earning their CUDE designations,” stated League President Ken Watts. “As part of our CU Next group, they are both enthusiastic and committed to credit union philosophy, and we are confident they will put their new earned designation to good use,” he added.

Mission and Focus

The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

Since 1982, more than 1,900 credit union advocates from over 36 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country.

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