I attended the Young Professionals Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Frisco, Texas, May 9-11. The YP Conference, hosted by Cornerstone Credit Union League (CCUL), was my first conference to attend, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was optimistic that I was going to bring many insights back to the Marketing team at Catalyst Corporate, while also learning leadership techniques I can implement in my everyday life.
I was extremely nervous stepping into the Juniper Ballroom for the opening and general session. The energy was upbeat, and it looked like a room full of opportunity. The opening session, Position Yourself for Growth, was a panel of three former YP advisors and crashers. I was able to gain insights on the benefits of the YP Program and how this program provided resources to aid in growing the panelists’ careers.
Kobey Mabry, a Commercial Lending Officer for Red River Employees FCU, said one piece of advice he would pass on to someone younger would be, “Just do it. The biggest accomplishments of my career,” he said, “have been because I just did it. Take the initiative.” His Nike-inspired quote resonated with me because I was so nervous to attend. I wanted to ensure I made the most of my experience, so “Just do it,” became my mantra for the remainder of the conference.
Day two was jam-packed with general session and power hour discussions. Arika Pierce, a leadership coach, was the opening keynote speaker. Pierce’s speech, You Gotta Water Your Own Plants: How to Grow and Thrive as a Leader, shared the mindsets, beliefs and actions you need to thrive and be more successful in your career. Pierce was inspiring and grabbed the attention of the audience with her analogy on how watering plants relates to shifting the mindset of “doing” to “leading,” which can aid one’s career growth.
As Pierce laid out her “shift list,” the steps to shifting one’s mindset, she stated, “Leadership is not a title, it’s a choice. It’s something you do with people, not to people.” As credit unions look to fulfill the “people helping people” philosophy, we must ensure we bring our members along for the journey, rather than simply point them where they need to go.
Day two consisted of two other amazing speakers, Tamra Gaines, CUDE, of Cornerstone League and motivational speaker Reagan Pugh. Both provided inspiring information about connecting with others through mentorship and the difference between communicating versus connecting.
Juan Bendana was the closing keynote speaker on day three of the YP Conference. His session, entitled Resilience to Thrive, taught young credit union professionals how to build resiliency while going through challenges. His impactful presentation demonstrated how even amidst the most challenging year we have ever faced, we can still thrive by taking ownership, telling a new story and taking action. During the pandemic, credit unions had to find a way to thrive, and it required taking ownership of the challenging situation, telling a new story of how things could work, and taking the necessary steps to improve the situation.
The Young Professionals Conference taught me about leadership, the power of mentorship and the Young Professionals program. I came out of this conference more confident in my networking skills and gained more knowledge about how credit unions strive to be a place for “people helping people.”
Check out my highlights video.
As the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Catalyst Corporate, Tuesday DerMargosian develops weekly email content, drives the organization’s social efforts and contributes to the daily operations of the Communications & Marketing Team.
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