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46 CU Professionals Become Certified CU Development Educators
Thursday, September 24, 2015 7:00 AM

DE Graduating Class

Forty-six 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 Fall DE training was held Sept. 9-16, 2015, at the Lowell Center on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison.

The Fall 2015 DE graduating class of 46 included credit union movement representatives from across the U.S, as well as a representative from Malawi. From the Cornerstone region, seven graduates brought home the DE designation:

Adrianna Briggs
Houston Highway Credit Union, Houston, Texas

April Krause, Political and Grassroots Director
Cornerstone Credit Union League, Dallas, Texas

Crystal Long, President and CEO
GECU, El Paso, Texas

Heather McKissick, VP­ Human Resources/Organizational Development
University Federal Credit Union, Austin, Texas

Aaron Racicot, AVP Risk Services
People’s Trust Credit Union, Houston, Texas

Brent Rempe, Director of Education
WEOKIE Credit Union, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Juan Villegas, Branch Manager
Houston Highway Credit Union, Houston, Texas

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 also required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.

For this class’ final case studies, participants worked through and presented solutions to critical issues that included student loan debt; a small credit union merger dilemma; board development and recruiting, including the debate over compensation; microfinance to women in Africa; credit union solutions to predatory lending; and engaging millennials for growth.

2016 Winter & Spring DE Trainings Already Filled

Registration opened less than a month ago for the 2016 Winter and Spring DE Training sessions, but due to popular demand, both are already sold out. For professionals interested in attending the 2016 Fall DE Training (or 2017 DE Trainings), visit 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 1,400 credit union advocates from over 34 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 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.

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. The Foundation continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.