As the snow concluded its fall in Colorado Springs, Colorado over 20 Young Professionals (YPs) traveled to the beautiful Broadmoor Resort to participate in the 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention. These YPs joined credit union leaders to learn more about the financial services landscape and innovative strategies for their credit union.
This year, the convention began with a full day of education dedicated to YPs. The group was assigned to get familiar with four different mock credit unions, including a large credit union, a medium sized credit union, a small credit union, and a small troubled credit union. All teams worked with Dr. Brandi Stankovic as she facilitated a strategic planning session. The groups went through different exercises including the completion of an empathy map. The empathy map helped the teams better identify and relate to the members they were set to serve. All teams completed the session with strong strategic plans and presented these plans to the group. The YPs that attended the session came away with a better understanding of what their credit union leaders do in a planning session and were excited to get back in the office to become more familiar with what their role is in achieving the strategic initiatives.
The group then started on a service project making No Sew Blankets for the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals. The group jumped right in to working together to do something good for a great cause. After making blankets, the YPs made their way upstairs to the Penthouse Suite to meet the Chairman of the MWCUA Board of Directors John Uchida, other Board Members, MWCUA staff, and CEOs from the Mountain West region. This was a terrific experience where the group networked with some of the most important players that are leading the Association today. The YPs were very thankful for the invitation and the warm welcome to the conference.
Thursday morning began with a session where the YPs were invited to join the Global Women’s Leadership Network for a presentation by Deborah Scanlon. Deborah gave a wonderful presentation around removing fear and being willing to take chances to advance in your career. She provided a great balance of story telling with data to empower the room to overcome unconscious bias in the work place.
After Deborah’s presentation, the room picked up where the YPs left off on Wednesday evening and completed all the blankets needed for the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals. The YPs then signed up for more volunteer opportunities during the day to make center pieces for the Saturday festivities and at the golf course to help with the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation’s annual fundraising tournament. The YPs wanted to thank the Foundation for its support of Young Professionals throughout the Mountain West Region.
Later in the evening, everyone attending the conference made their way to the Vendor Hall for some appetizers, more networking, and a chance to converse with and get some nice swag from the vendors. Once the Vendor Hall closed the group was ready to rest to prepare for the Annual Meeting and breakout sessions on Friday.
Friday started with the Business meeting, where YPs gained exposure to the leadership of Scott Earl and John Uchida as they tried their best to stay on script. Following the meeting there were two great breakout sessions on Breaking the Digital Gridlock and Unbanking in America. After lunch, Tyler Valentine lead a panel including Eric Renaud, CEO of Pima Federal Credit Union, Scott Sager, COO of Trona Valley Credit Union, and Dean Miles, Founder and President of Bridgepoint Coaching & Strategy Group. This group candidly discussed recruiting and retaining Young Professionals and provided diverse perspectives into what the credit union movement should be considering for the future. Credit unions have been exploring the best way to recruit young members, and this session showed that young credit union leaders can be the key to achieving this strategic goal.
Friday concluded with the Awards dinner, where YPs helped recognize outstanding leaders in the movement today. Scott Earl and John Uchida had their last chance for some friendly banter on stage as next year the Chairman position will be in the hands of the Credit Union Professional of the Year winner Jim Yates. After dinner the group made their way to The Bar for a final networking opportunity with other conference attendees. Yes, the name of the fine establishment is called “The Bar.”
Saturday commenced with Innovation Sessions. Following the sessions, keynote speaker Matthew “Griff” Griffin inspired us all to persevere to overcome challenges to continue to make a difference for our members. Griff, co-founder of Combat Flip Flops, served in the 75th Ranger Regiment with three tours to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. Griff realized the best way to stop the war is to educate women and improve the economy in the area. His work in selling combat flip flops has now put over 500 girls through school. Following Griff’s speech, we celebrated CU4Kids Award winners and heard from a family that was fortunate enough to have Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals available to them. It was rewarding to see how the time and money our credit unions donate has such a wonderful impact on the families that use the hospital.
The YPs in attendance were able to take home some very useful knowledge and inspiration from the conference that will help drive them to accomplish important things for their organizations.
The MWCUA Young Professionals 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, Brandi Stankovic, Dr. Dan Santagelo, Scott Earl, John Uchida, Tyler Valentine, and the credit union CEO’s that encouraged and allowed their YP’s to attend.
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.