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CUNA YP - You should be here

If you follow along with our Instagram (@cultivateia) stories, you know that we have been on the move the past few weeks. Between Filene’s Research in Action event in Seattle, AXFI Conference in Minneapolis and most recently the CUNA’S YP Conference you know our team has been busy.


We have been networking and chatting with YP’s in the industry and hearing their success, dreams and stories! While we heard them everywhere we have been, the feeling of unity and forward progression for our movement was strong and in full force at the CUNA YP Conference. While I am definitely on the high end of what is considered to be a “YP”, I will be going back as long as they will let me because of all of the connections and amazing information from the speakers I received! While some attendees knew other people at the conference, I went in knowing no one and it was the best experience ever. I went out of my comfort zone and approached many different people and everyone was so excited to talk to and get to know the other attendees!



We started out by attending the Pre Conference Option, Exploring Why, put on by Kristin Ryan, Director of Director of Learning Events at CUNA and Chad Helminak, Director of the DE Program and NCUF. As someone who has been in the industry for over 12 years, I thought I knew all there was to know about credit unions and their history, but I was so wrong. We dove in to the deep difference between credit unions and banks, the operating principals, and learning about all the past and present credit union pioneers. To finish out the day we looked at our own personal values, our sphere of influence, completed our personal SWOT analysis and came up with an action plan – and yes, that was all done in one day! Talk about a thought provoking and inspiring day!


On day one of the YP Conference, we heard from Antonio Neves (you might remember him from GAC!) as he showed us how we can create our own luck. Adam Engelman, Director of Federal and Grassroots Programs at CUNA gave us a breakdown on advocacy and all of the programs CUNA has to help get involved. Chris Morris at CUNA gave told us about the history on credit unions, while Lauren Culp at Filene talked about all the things to come in the 21st Century for credit unions. Josh Roberts from the Wisconsin Credit Union League whose League CRASHER Program is top notch and we met them earlier this year, gave us pointers on how to create a successful YP program. Then Sara Delance and Brian Lee talked about creating a mentorship program. To round out the day Nick Coleman from the Children’s Miracle Network led us through a give back project and told us more about the Project 2025! Then we ended the night getting to explore the Filene Headquarters and visiting with the rest of the attendees. We packed a lot in to day one, but the day flew by and left us wanting more, but also wondering – how can you top day one?


The answer, you think big and hit day two out of the park! Day two started with us learning how to be less awkward and communicate like a pro from the always amazing Antonio Neves. Dr. Brandi Stankovic, CSO at CU Solutions Group taught us how to Learn. Love. Kick Ass. by using the affinity process, then Ronaldo Hardy, CEO of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union told us about his story of highs and lows, and how he became CEO at the age of 27. Then, they put together a panel of the most fantastic YP supporters, Chad Helminak, Dr. Brandi Stankovic and Ronaldo Hardy facilitated by Antonio Neves that completely rocked our world.


I was so happy to have a 4.5 hour drive home by myself on Friday to try and start to process all of the new tips, tricks, and information I had been provided over those 3 days. It is now a few days later and my brain has still been on overdrive as I continually think of things that were talked about and how I can better myself and the movement by putting them in to practice.


I had no idea what to expect going in to this conference, yet am so inspired and in awe of how all of this amazing-ness could take place in such a short amount of time. If you get the chance to go, GO! Start budgeting it for next year, or start a savings account to go on your own. You will not regret it!


CUltivate is people helping people with our mission to spread the word, connect the people, and give an outlet to share your stories. Know someone in the industry we should interview? Have a story you want to share? Drop us a line at CultivateYP@gmail.com #CUltivateTheMovement

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