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Reverse Crashers Experience the YP Conference
Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:55 AM

The Cornerstone Young Professionals invited six CEOs from around the region to their YP Conference in Oklahoma City, July 31–Aug. 1. The CEOs were known as “reverse crashers,” an innovative, first-of-its-kind concept at Cornerstone, and a flipside to the high-profile “crasher” events sometimes offered to YPs, which allow them exciting opportunities to engage with seasoned credit union pros.

The reverse crash allowed the CEOs to learn about the many initiatives of the Cornerstone YPs; to build bridges to the next generation of energetic, driven, and motivated credit union pros; and to share their expertise and passion for our movement with rising stars.

Reverse crashers attended the entire conference and met with general session speakers like Brandy Stankovic and Christopher Morris, who challenged them to think about how they communicate with young professionals and what they can do to challenge and engage them.

Reverse crashers hung out with the YPs during the first day’s networking event, and the YPs enjoyed the one-on-one time with CEOs. The CEO Roundtable was the highest-rated event of the conference.

Reverse crashers at this year’s YP Conference included: Randall Dixon, Energy Capital CU; Michael Kloiber, Tinker FCU; Troy Kyle, First Abilene FCU; Lily Newfarmer, Tarrant County’s CU; Andy Reed, Texas People FCU; and Sharilee Strickland, Arbuckle FCU.

Crasher Randall Dixon will be retiring at the end of this year. Interestingly, his son Brent created the “Crash the GAC” program, and the senior Dixon can now say he was able to wind down his career by being a crasher as well.

“Being part of the reverse crashers was an honor to me,” said Sharilee Strickland, president/CEO, Arbuckle Federal Credit Union. “I have a passion for teaching our young professionals to ensure they’re prepared for the future and moving ahead in their credit union careers. During my tenure as CEO, other CEOs and Cornerstone employees have always been there to provide me with priceless guidance. This conference showed me that we have some really special and hardworking individuals throughout our industry.”

"The addition of the CEO reverse crashers to the Young Professionals Conference was genius!" said Meghan Allred from First Abilene FCU, whose CEO Troy Kyle was one of the reverse crashers. "It was educational and convenient to have access to multiple CEOs throughout the conference. The lunch panel session was very informational for credit unions of all sizes and leaders of all levels. As a young leader, a necessary skill set for me is listening. If you are open to hearing input from other leaders and those outside of your expertise, you open up to a host of new opportunities, both for yourself and your credit union." 

"I thought the idea of having the reverse crash was really cool," said Sarah Bowman, creative and digital services specialist at Oklahoma Central Credit Union and a former Leadership Conference crasher. "Being a crasher gives you the unique opportunity to be involved with and experience the conference from a different perspective than the traditional conference attendee. Having the CEOs crash the Young Professionals Conference gave them the opportunity and platform to share their knowledge and experience with the eager minds there with them. I think they probably learned as much from us as we did from them."  

Join us next year for the YP Conference in Houston, Aug. 2-3, 2018, at the Westin Houston, Memorial City. Save the date now, and watch for more information in the Leaguer.

Not yet a member of the Young Professionals? We can help you fix that! Check out the YP website, meet the YPs, and learn about the many ways you can get involved