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45 CU Professionals Become Credit Union Development Educators
Thursday, May 11, 2017 6:35 AM

CUDE Graduates

Forty-five credit union professionals, including nine from the Cornerstone region, became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after being guided through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation. The DE training was held April 26–May 3 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

New graduate and Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation Grants Manager Emily Moreno said, "I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to go through CUDE. This experience truly helped to open my eyes to the needs of the world and how credit unions are able to make a difference serving those needs even beyond providing financial services. DE reminded me that each person in the credit union movement plays a very important role. The role is that each and every one of us can make a difference in another human being’s life, but… we are stronger together as a whole! If we say credit unions are different, then we must prove we are different. Training for staff at every level is so important to teach them why and how credit unions are different, and DE does this. DE left a lasting impression not only in mind but also in my heart."

After attending the April DE Training, Kim Cromer, director of prepaid services at CU24 Inc in Tallahassee, Fla., said, “DE Training didn’t just give me information on credit union philosophy and principles; it provided me with experiences that will last a lifetime! DE Training had a powerful impact that fueled an even a bigger fire in me to make a difference. DE training gives us purpose and now I’m an advocate of the credit union movement forever.”

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 development, 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.

Class Graduates

The most recent DE graduating class included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S, as well as representatives from Ghana, Scotland, Peru and Malawi. They include Cornerstone region graduates:

  • Myra Aranda, Complex Community FCU in Texas
  • Satya Bhadriraju, American Airlines FCU in Texas
  • Mark Joyce, Resource One CU in Texas
  • Morgan Kelsey, Texas People FCU in Texas
  • Carrie Marek, First Family FCU in Oklahoma
  • Sonya McDonald, Randolph-Brooks FCU in Texas
  • Emily Moreno, Cornerstone Credit Union League in Texas
  • Francisco Sanchez, Peoples Trust FCU in Texas
  • Daniel Vasquez, GECU in Texas


2017 DE Trainings

The Foundation will be holding four DE Trainings this year, all in Madison, Wis. The June training session is sold out, but registration for the September and November sessions will open later this year. If you are interested in participating in one of the fall 2017 DE Trainings, visit to learn more, or 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 (the 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 grants and programs, the Foundation is strengthening financial well-being, igniting passion and instilling knowledge about the credit union difference, and uniting resources to help credit union people during disaster. Donations to the Foundation ultimately enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.