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47 CU Pros, 7 from Cornerstone Region, Become Certified CUDEs
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:45 AM

CUDE Graduates
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Foundation’s Transformational CU Training held in Madison

Forty-seven credit union professionals from around the world, including seven from the Cornerstone region, just became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). Dedicated program facilitators and mentors guided the graduates through the National Credit Union Foundation's intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training during its Nov. 1–8, 2017, session at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis.

After completing the training, Luke Campbell, VP member loyalty and opportunity at Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union, said, “DE Training was an amazing experience for me. It opened my eyes in many different ways in how credit unions can help serve their communities, which goes so far beyond account types and lending. DE made me think outside of the box and realize what is going on out there on a more global level and how I can have a direct impact on improving peoples’ lives.”

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 and 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 the Philippines, 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 a representatives from the United Kingdom, Malawi, and Kenya. The seven graduates from the Cornerstone region are:

  • Luke Campbell, VP Member Loyalty, Southwest Financial FCU, Dallas, Texas
  • Ceci Davila, SVP, Chief Operations Officer, GECU, El Paso, Texas
  • Josh Franzen, Senior Community and Business Development Rep, InTouch Credit Union, Plano, Texas
  • Lori Higgins, Business Development Coordinator, Nederland, Mobiloil FCU in Texas
  • Aaron Persons, Chief Retail Officer, University Federal Credit Union, Austin, Texas
  • Randy Stolp, CIO, My Community CU, Midland, Texas
  • Andrew Walker, Peoples Trust FCU, Houston, Texas

View the complete list of all 47 graduates.

“I thought I would never find another experience to top the feeling I had completing Western CUNA Management School, I was wrong," said Randy Stolp, CIO at MyCommunity Credit Union. "Credit Union Development Education connected me with others who felt as strongly as I, that we have an obligation to give back to our movement, and at the same time taught us how to keep our credit union social mission strong through more strategic philanthropy so that we can create sustainable programs in any economy.”

"I compare the completion of my CUDE training to my son’s reaction at dinner when he tells me he’s full but still has room for ice cream," said University FCU's Aaron Persons. "His response is 'the ice cream melts and fills in the cracks.' My son’s expression is the best way to describe my experience with the exceptionally talented team of DE staff in Madison. After seven years of successfully reprogramming the 'for profit' banker within me, my week of CUDE training filled in the cracks.”

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2018 DE Trainings
The Foundation is holding four DE Trainings next year, all taking place in Madison, Wis. Anyone interested in participating in one of the 2018 DE Trainings can visit to learn more or they 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 1,800 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.