38 Earn Credit Union Development Educator Designation | 2022-04-16


Thirty-eight credit union leaders from across the United States were designated as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) last week after completing the National Credit Union’s Credit Union Development Education (DE) signature training Foundation (the Foundation).

DE training is a unique experiential program that provides lessons about the structure, purpose, and “why” of credit unions that differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions. Participants participate in small and large group exercises and interactive guest speaker sessions focusing on the credit union difference, development issues and empathy.

Each lesson provides insight into how credit unions can leverage their unique business model to help their members and communities overcome the financial and development challenges they face.

“Participating in the DE program has been so transformative for me. Beyond the outstanding course materials, I enjoyed the courageous sharing of ideas and the opportunity to connect with credit union professionals across the United States,” said Allegacy graduate Lori Timm. Federal Credit Union. “The virtual format allowed me to participate in DE and I was amazed at how the program design really engaged participants via Zoom. The DE training re-energized me, provided me with resources and tools to make positive changes in my own community.”

“We are proud to have these 38 credit union leaders join the ranks of one of the oldest and largest credit union networks,” added Chad Helminak, Director of Programs and Impact at the Foundation. “We look forward to seeing them carry on a legacy of DE putting learning into action.

“This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the DE program and although the program has evolved over the years, we are keeping its purpose constant by focusing on how we can improve people’s financial well-being and provide the humanity through financial services.”

Class graduates

The most recent class of DE graduates included representatives of the credit union movement from across the United States. They are: Danielle Anderson, Altra FCU in Wisconsin; Noreen Cady, Park Side Credit Union in Montana; Maricela Castillo, CUNA mutual group in Wisconsin; Abby Churchill, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Lily Currin, Rio Grande Credit Union in New Mexico; Sabrina DeFazio, Western Connecticut FCU on Connecticut; Tanya Dittberner, Cornerstone League at Texas; Christa Dotson Dean, EdFed in Florida; Ning Duong, Credit Union West in Arizona; Michael Dyrdahl, Whitefish Credit Union in Montana; Candice Elders, Honor CU in Michigan; Matthew FitzGerald, Verity Credit Union in Washington; Coquise Frost, CU Collaborates in Illinois; Stephanie Harney, Chartway FCU in Virginia; Leslie Jenkins-Jones, Civic FCU in North Carolina; Erica Johnson, Vizo Financial Corporate CU in Pennsylvania; Randy Kahlich, PSCU in Florida; Crystina Laffin, Bridge Credit Union Inc. in Ohio; Nicolette Luna, Upward CU in California; Shawn Mathey, FCU healthcare professional in Ohio; Brittany McCary, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Yvonne Meeks, SRP FCU in Georgia; Marcy Mitchell, Reliant Community CU in New York; Karey Neal, Idaho prodigy; Avery Ragsdale, Family Savings CU in Georgia; Bobbi Randall, North East Welch FCU in Pennsylvania; Jennifer Rathke, Westconsin Credit Union in Wisconsin; Karen Rigoni, FCU of American Airlines in Texas; Matthew Rivera, TwinStar CU in Washington; Allison Beck, Washington Peak FCU; Annie Snead, CU Ent in Colorado; Todd Spiczenski, National Association of Wisconsin Credit Unions; Lori Timm, FCU Allegacy in North Carolina; Alondra Vazquez, Coopera Consulting in Colorado; Teresa Woodie, Coastal Credit Union in North Carolina; Yolonda Woodson, Resource One Credit Union in Texas; Brian Writer, iDiz Incorporated in Indiana; and Elizabeth Zamora, El Paso Area Teachers FCU in Texas.

Training staff

The program was moderated by Chad Helminak, Director of Programs and Impact at the Foundation, assisted by Maggie Wolff and Tobi Weingart from the Foundation.

Interested in taking DE training?

DE 2022 training dates and learning environments are available here. Email us at [email protected] to be put on a notification list to stay up to date on upcoming registration information in 2022.


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