Furthering Your Education in the Credit Union Movement

For any professional looking to advance, one of the primary things to explore are ways to enhance your expertise and finding tools to be successful in a new position.  Fortunately, in the credit union movement and through the Mountain West Credit Union Association, there are some great opportunities to enhance your knowledge needed to develop and to build a strong network of cooperative colleagues.  Here are some incredible opportunities to consider:

Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Leadership Institute

The Credit Union Leadership Institute is a unique series of workshops designed for credit union employees who show the ability to assume greater roles and responsibilities. Through this journey you will learn the art of leadership with well-focused, guided exercises that encourage interactive participation and discussions.  This training puts good movies to great use to help participants dig into real life case studies.  Through interaction with peers, you will have the opportunity to develop deep relationships that enhance and strengthen the credit union community and igniting a passion for the credit union movement.

It is the direct application of leadership concepts that makes the Leadership Institute exceptional and creates a successful environment within the credit union.  Not only do you get the group interaction, but also a private one-on-one mentoring/coaching session, which is a key to the success of this program and in turn, also the credit union’s success.

Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE)

Beginning with credit union history and progressing to understand credit unions’ present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to the philosophy of “People Helping People.” This is truly an exceptional conference that provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy, international development issues, and building leadership skills.

During the National Credit Union Foundation’s week-long DE Training, participants are involved in group exercises, field trips, and are required to complete team projects.  This process will help push you to your limits in the most amazing way.  CUDEs acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building, and public presentations.  CUDEs realize that local issues are indeed global – and that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively.  I returned to my job with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive market.  CUDEs become passionate advocates of the credit union philosophy, which boosts employee motivation, empathy, creativity and a deeper commitment to their credit union.


Mountain West Credit Union Annual Meeting and Convention

The Annual Meeting & Convention is where the largest gathering of credit union professionals from Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming takes place each year.  At the conference you will hear from credit union experts on the financial services landscape and learn about innovative technologies and strategies for your credit union.  You will be able to identify new strategies to propel your credit union forward.  The breakout sessions on the hottest issues in the credit union movement always give you something to bring back to help your credit union grow.  This is also a fantastic opportunity to access vendor knowledge and new products.  The networking opportunities with credit union leaders in the Mountain West Region are very important to take advantage of at this conference too.  Attending this event will help you better understand the overall framework for the credit union movement and your credit union’s place in this system.

CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)

Held in Washington D.C., this is the premier event for political impact for the credit union movement.  Five thousand plus credit union leaders attend to further their knowledge and to remind legislators why credit unions are Americans’ best financial partners.  You will get the opportunity while in Washington D.C. to have face-to-face meetings with your representatives and facilitate productive conversations about the issues that are important to credit unions.  At this conference, you will also be able to see top notch keynote presentations from America’s foremost leaders in politics, media, and business.  Credit union membership in America has reached over one hundred million members.  This is a great conference to attend because the more advocates that show up, the louder the credit union message becomes.

 Western CUNA Management School

In our changing and uncertain world, it is more evident than ever that the long-term success of our credit unions depends on the professional development of our people. Western CUNA Management School offers a curriculum to assist credit union management staff meet the challenges of the future.  In addition to receiving solid academic training and practical background, students at Western CUNA Management School establish strong professional networks throughout the credit union movement that benefit both themselves and their credit unions. A diploma from Western CUNA Management School has come to be recognized as a mark of accomplishment in the credit union movement.

Each one of these training and networking opportunities has had a tremendous impact on my leadership style and helped to provide me with the skills necessary to be recognized as a leader within my credit union.  I’ve learned when to lead and when to follow and most importantly developed a network of credit union people that have helped me along the journey.  For more information on any of these trainings and conferences or for scholarship opportunities please visit the MWCUA website, CUNA’s website, and Western CUNA Management School’s website.

About Scott Sager

Scott Sager is the Chief Operations Officer at Trona Valley Credit Union, a member of the MWYCUP committee, and an ICUDE (International DE).  He is involved in community organizations and sits on many volunteer board of directors.  Scott has 6 years of experience in credit unions.  Scott has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Wyoming and is a CPA.  He believes that credit unions exist to provide financial opportunities for everyone and to help enhance the quality of life in our communities.

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