News & Press: Credit Union News

Minnesota Credit Union Professionals Become Certified Cu Development Educators (CUDEs)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017  
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Tina Jones of Hiway Hiway Federal Credit Union and Jennifer McHugh of Royal Credit Union became Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after being guided by dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). The DE training was held May 31 through June 7, 2017 at the Lowell Center in Madison, Wis. A total of 48 credit union professionals received their CUDE designation.


After completing the June DE Training, Lisa Sutton, SVP Human Resources at PSCU, said, “DE Training was one of the most impactful learning experiences I’ve ever participated in. While a relative newcomer to the credit union world, I felt I had a reasonably good understanding of their mission and purpose, as well as their strong social agenda. Clearly, that was not the case. I have been educated, enlightened, and evangelized by this movement. Working in an industry where people helping people is such a core value, makes me feel my job is important and makes a difference every day.” 


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, 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 representatives from Kenya and Swaziland. They are: Harrinson Agudelo-Rios, Members CU in Connecticut; Aida Arce, GECU in Texas; Danielle Bargas, Catalyst Corporate FCU in Texas; Monica Belz, Kauai Community FCU in Hawaii; Myles Bristowe, PSCU in Florida; Dawson Brown, Tallahassee-Leon FCU in Florida; Maggie Conaghan, Central CU of Florida; Kris Conner, Streator Onized Credit Union in Illinois; Cynthia Daly, Peoples Trust FCU in Texas; Michelle Damato, Suncoast CU in Florida; Emily Engstrom, CUNA Mutual Group in Wisconsin; Nilsa Farriss, Suncoast CU in Florida; Tracey Fitzgerald, BECU in Washington; Francois Henriquez, Shutts & Bowen LLP in Florida; Melanie Hutchinson, Trona Valley Community FCU in Wyoming; Jalena Johnson, Vocal CU in Montana; Malcolm Johnson, Public Service Credit Union in Colorado; Tina Jones, Hiway FCU in Minnesota; David Kangogo, Kenya Police Sacco in Kenya; Sherrie Krizic, Local Government FCU in North Carolina; Amos Kuresia, Kenya Police Sacco in Kenya; Tami Langton, Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina; Dean Lewis, Gesa CU in Washington; Alvaro Macias, Ascentra CU in Iowa; Amy Manley, Laramie Plains Community FCU in Wyoming; Daniel Masha, Imarika Sacco Society Limited in Kenya; Jennifer McHugh, Royal Credit Union in Wisconsin; Katelyn McManamon, Penn East FCU in Pennsylvania; Mark Minickiello, Harborstone Credit Union in Washington; Karen Nussle, Ripple Communications in Washington, D.C.; Shaun Ongstad, Mountain West Credit Union Association in Arizona; Amberlee Payne, Pentagon FCU in Tysons, Virginia; Nasario Rodriguez, American Airlines Credit Union in Texas; Diane Sandoval-Griego, Guadalupe CU in New Mexico; Julie Schmidt, Laramie Plains Community FCU in Wyoming; Dana Schuller, SchoolsFirst FCU in California; Trish Shermot, Visions FCU in New York; Kathy Smith, Credit Union National Association in Wisconsin; Jim Speshock, Christian Financial Credit Union in Michigan; Lisa Sutton, PSCU in Florida; Becky Taviano, Topmark FCU in Ohio; Tabatha Thurman, WEOKIE CU in Oklahoma; Tracey Toko, Peach State FCU in Georgia; Jesse Valdovinos, Gesa CU in Washington; Gugu Vilakati, Lubane Sacco in Swaziland; Ashley Wilsey, Educational Systems FCU in Maryland; Raffo Wimsett III, Commonwealth CU in Kentucky; and Gina Yetman, Resource One CU in Texas.


The Foundation is holding four DE Trainings this year, all taking place in Madison, Wis. The September training session is sold out, but registration for the November session will be opening in late June. If you are interested in participating in the November 2017 DE Training, visit to learn more or you can email to be put on a notification list for when registration opens up.

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