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Lois Kitsch joined the National Credit Union Foundation as national program manager of the REAL Solutions program in December 2006. Prior to joining NCUF, Lois served as director, field projects, for the Filene Research Institute. She assisted credit unions in the innovation and implementation of product lines designed to serve new target markets, including non-members and new Americans. Prior to joining the Filene, Lois managed credit union development projects throughout Europe and Asia for the World Council of Credit Unions and has actively promoted credit union development in 40 countries. From 1997 to 2001, she was project manager for a successful credit union strengthening program in the southern Philippines. She has traveled to Afghanistan four times to obtain funding for and determine the best method of promoting credit union growth in that country.
Prior to her employment with WOCCU, Lois held management positions in credit unions in Florida and North Dakota. Lois holds the designation of Credit Union Development Educator for the United States, Australia, and Asia. She has been recognized for her professional and volunteer credit union work several times.
Larry Blanchard, CUDE ’88, is a full-time contractor with CUNA Mutual, working on legislative, regulatory, and corporate relations activities, serving as their liaison to the National Credit Union Foundations REAL Solutions program. He is currently chairman of the credit union system-wide steering committee on Unrelated Business Income Tax, and is chairman of the cooperative movement’s Equity Fund Task Force.
Larry has been recognized repeatedly by both the cooperative and credit union movements for his contributions to co-ops and credit unions. In 2010, he was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, and in 1999, he was presented with the credit union system’s Herb Wegner Award for individual achievement. He is also the recipient of the Credit Union Development Educator’s Horizon Award, the Credit Union Executive Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, CUNA Mutual’s Roy F. Bergengren Award, and he was recognized by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions as one of the most 10 influential leaders of the last 35 years.