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Kari Dake - Credit Union Advocate

Kari Dake is an advocate that is doing big things in the CU Industry. She CRASHED the Iowa Credit Union League Convention and is part of this year’s Iowa Innovation Group. She is adamant about taking the time to become a better advocate and helping to push the movement forward. We hope you enjoy our chat with Kari as much as we did!

You have been very open about protecting financial choice and credit union advocacy lately. Tell us about how you became an advocate? What has helped you with your efforts and what can others do to protect the movement?

During my time as a CRASHER for ICUL, I learned the importance of advocating. Making sure that you’re educated on the subject is definitely key. I want to make sure that I am giving the correct information to my members and state reps when I am talking to them.

ICUL is great for getting information on the movement and what needs to be done. Simple things like following their social media and making sure take the 5 minutes to read the article that is attached is going to be the most beneficial for someone who doesn’t know much about what we do to protect financial choices. Another thing, don’t be afraid to defend credit unions. We are here to help and protect our members, stay educated and try to educate.

What did you take back to your credit union after crashing ICUL Convention last year that has helped you develop?

Being a CRASHER was the best thing that I have done for my career. It lights a fire in you that you didn’t know you had. It motivated me to continue with other training opportunities. I have been lucky enough to go to multiple trainings the ICUL have put on. My favorite so far is one that I just did, Financial Coaching with Adam Carroll. It was an eye opening experience and I cannot wait to be able to help my members!

After Crashing I came back not only wanting to change the world but also change how my credit union helped the community. Since coming back, FPCU held their first annual food drive for the Iowa Food Bank. I also planned the company Christmas party, where we had a raffle and all the proceeds from that went to the ARL. I continue to look for more opportunities to help our community.

Iowa Innovation Group kicked off a few weeks ago, what excited you about this opportunity? Any fears?

With the Iowa Innovation Group, I think the thing that I am most excited about is that my team’s idea could potentially help many credit union members. This process is definitely challenging, and that was something that took me a bit to get used to. I think I was teamed up with a great group of CU professionals and I cannot wait to see what the upcoming months have in store for us. I think the obvious fear the most is the presentation at the convention but I also have the fear of failing in the back of my head, and just not doing well enough.

What has helped you with staying involved in professional development as well as the CU movement as a whole?

Not being afraid to ask do extra things and taking the initiative when someone offers. I am lucky that FPCU is always encouraging us to advocate for credit unions and allows me to take time to do other things like crashers, training and the innovation group.

What’s next for Kari? Isn’t that the million dollar questions? I guess I am not quite sure yet. I plan on to continue to be a credit union advocate and try to educate people in the process. All while hopefully making through this innovation process! 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? Drop us a line at #CUltivateTheMovement

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