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40 CU Pros Become Certified CU Development Educators; 9 from Cornerstone Region
Thursday, November 17, 2016 6:50 AM

CUDE Graduates
Graduates of the November 2016 DE Training stand with training staff inside the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis.

Foundation’s Transformational CU Training held in Madison

Forty credit union professionals became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after being guided by dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation. The DE training was held Nov. 2–9 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

Class Graduates in Cornerstone Region
The most recent DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S, as well as representatives from Kenya and the Philippines. From the Cornerstone region, there were nine graduates:

  • Ruby Alvarez – GECU
  • Nathan Ashworth – AMOCO FCU
  • Deanna Bublik – American Airlines FCU
  • Audrey Gurira – American Airlines FCU
  • Tawanna Haswell – Southwest Financial FCU
  • Deborah Heusi – Houston Highway CU
  • Bradley Hickey – American Airlines FCU
  • Mary O’Rourke – Randolph-Brooks FCU
  • Jacque Valdez – GECU

"Each of them brought amazing passion, vision, and a willingness to step up to big challenges," said National Program Director Lois Kitsch of the Cornerstone graduates. "I loved working with every one of them and look forward to the great things they will do for DE projects. I also want to thank two Cornerstone DEs for stepping up to mentor. They were Debbie Ybarra and Brent Rempe—they both did such a great job." 

Team Projects
DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy, and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, and discussions with speakers from around the credit union system. They are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.

For this training’s final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included financial stability among young adults and families, credit union board disruption, building microfinance programs in developing countries, credit union solutions to predatory lending, the increasing issue of homelessness in America, and rejuvenating a stagnant credit union.

2017 DE Trainings
The November DE Training was the last training of 2016, and four more are scheduled for 2017 in Madison, Wis. If you are interested in participating in one of the 2017 DE Trainings, visit to learn more or you can email to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up. 

More about the DE Program
The mission of the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program is to promote credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive adult education and professional networking. By linking credit unions’ past and present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to credit unions’ seven cooperative principles and the philosophy of “People Helping People.”

Since 1982, more than 1,600 credit union advocates from over 35 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Once they earn their CUDE designation, people return to their jobs with a sense of personal enrichment and renewed energy to share what they have learned. This growing corps of credit union advocates devotes professional and volunteer time to spreading the credit union message to audiences throughout the country. For more information on the DE program, visit under “How We Help."

About the National Credit Union Foundation (
The National Credit Union Foundation is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through Foundation grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes. Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.