We were very fortunate to spend the week in Washington D.C. advocating for Credit Unions and meeting so many incredible young professionals. At a conference of this magnitude, it is easy to get siloed into deep discussions or simply blend in with the rest of the thousands of attendees. However, the effort Jim Nussle and Team put in to showcase the CRASHER Group, past CRASHERS, other young professionals, and to our shock - up and coming young vendors is inspiring. EVERY SINGLE State League should look to implement this type of culture at their own events / conferences. Yeah, most leagues have CRASHERS, hire people to run the CRASHER program during their conferences, but this was 6 full days of the CRASHERS being showcased. You saw it on the main stage, at the capitol, in the hallways, and all over social media. Young professionals were embraced, showcased, and treated respectfully throughout the conference.
In an industry where membership, staff, and boards are aging out we urge credit unions, Leagues, and even vendors to really examine the number of attendees and CRASHERS who are attending your conferences and events and find a way to increase the engagement of our future workforce. We encourage you to look beyond sponsorship dollars, being able to (or not) afford the dues, beyond so in so has been attending for 20+ years, beyond giving the CRASHER group (if you have one) the same tee shirt to wear for a day. How are you spotlighting and preparing the next generation to take over the industry in a few short years? At GAC, we heard credit unions are dissolving due to lack of a succession plan. Really think about that, are you going through the motions or are you really trying to develop young people to continue your credit union into the future - past your tenure. GAC was youthful, it was purposeful, it was unity, and most of all it felt like young people mattered. Every State League has at least one person in their state coming back more motivated and determined than ever. We live in a social world, they are going to share their experience with their peers and the social universe. What are you going to do to get that same type of motivational journey to your young people?