The sun ascended over the desert as 20 energetic young professionals (YP’s) descended upon the 2017 MWCUA Annual Meeting and Convention in Scottsdale. These YP’s joined nearly 300 credit union professionals and volunteers from Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming for three days of impactful discussion, training, and networking.
The YP’s kicked off the conference off with an early morning on the TPC Scottsdale golf course volunteering in support of the Foundation’s golf tournament. You may have seen them inviting you to smack a marshmallow, play blackjack, or even cheering you on as you teed off on the infamous 16th hole.
After taking care of their sunburns (especially our friends from CO and WY), the YP’s cleaned up nicely to attend the Mountain West Annual Business Meeting. There, they were introduced to the friendly banter between MWCUA Board Chairman John Uchida and Association President Scott Earl. The YP’s were even introduced to the conference attendees with a special “shout out” from the Chairman.
Keynote speaker Colonel Jill Morgenthaler told the crowd of her journey and the challenges she faced as a woman of many firsts in the military, and we all learned the proper use of “Hooah!”. After being motivated by the Colonel, the YP’s got out their business cards and cruised the trade show floor to network, learn about some amazing vendors, and collect swag. The YP’s then moved on to a private reception hosted by the good people at CUNA Mutual. They had the opportunity to network with each other as well as with CUNA Mutual’s Gerry Singleton, Dr. Dan Santangelo, Brandi Stankovic, Austin DeBey, and Chris Kemm.
The next morning brought another gorgeous Arizona sunrise and a morning meeting presented by the Arizona Youth Involvement Network (AYIN). AYIN committee members presented the cooperative principles to the group and asked the YP’s to come up with those principles that were most important to them. They then joined the rest of the attendees for a presentation on innovation by John Best. He taught that “Innovation is culture + passion and is fueled by discipline”.
Gerry Singleton then encouraged the YP’s in their morning session to be a courageous leader in a cooperative world. The YP’s were given a taste of the Credit Union Development Educator program as they had to determine the mission of the credit union movement and the role they play in it. He presented the thought from Ralph Waldo Emerson that “Doing well is the result of doing good” and that the movement is much bigger than an individual credit union.
The YP’s joined the rest of the conference for some enlightening afternoon sessions, and then put on their fancy clothes for an evening full of delicious food, awards, more friendly banter, fire dancers, and even a hot air balloon ride.
After getting to bed early, the YP’s awoke and were treated to a lively discussion on leadership with Brandi Stankovic. Brandi challenged the YP’s to determine how they will make a difference for their members. After teaching that intentions do not equal impact, the YP’s put pen to paper and wrote down what they would start doing today to “get over it and get after it”.
The conference ended with some inspiration courtesy of Alex Sheen, founder of Because I Said I Would. His story of how he turned tragedy into a movement motivated everyone to determine how they could make promises, and keep them, to make this world just a little better.
These 20 YP’s were given an incredible opportunity to take part in a well-planned conference full of takeaways, inspiration, and impressions. They all made commitments to go back to their credit unions and do their part to become leaders in this movement.
The MWCUA Young Professional Committee would like to thank the Association and Foundation for their support to help attract, engage, and retain young professionals in the credit union movement. Special thanks to all those involved in making this event possible including, but not limited to: Nicole Brusewitz, Gerry Singleton, Brandi Stankovic, AYIN, Dr. Dan Santagelo, Chris Kemm, Austin DeBey, and the credit union CEO’s that encouraged and allowed their YP’s to attend.