Meet Michigan's 2019 CUNA GAC Crashers
Two Michigan credit union professionals have been selected to attend Crash the GAC 2019 by The Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to represent Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL): Members First Credit Union’s Melinda Blackledge and Wildfire Credit Union’s Brian Pennington.
“It is an honor to have been chosen as one of the Michigan representatives this year,” said Blackledge. “I am very excited for this opportunity, and I look forward to a week of learning, advocating, and meeting other young professionals that share my passion for credit unions.”
“I am excited to be able to Crash the GAC and represent Michigan and Wildfire Credit Union,” commented Pennington. “I look forward to networking and advocating for credit unions and their members in Washington, DC. Our purpose is our members and I will be the voice for them this year.”
Crash the GAC is a non-stop, career-changing program for credit union young professionals that allows them to participate in the industry’s largest advocacy conference with complimentary registration, exclusive networking opportunities, leadership development tools, and mentoring sessions with industry leaders from organizations such as Filene Research Institute, CUNA, and National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).
“The Crashers program is a great opportunity for young credit union professionals, the conference, and the entire movement at large,” said CUNA CEO and President Jim Nussle. “Crashers at the GAC will have the opportunity to network and participate in the premier event of the credit union industry. We will all benefit greatly from their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives as the movement is invigorated by a new generation of advocates.”
CUNA provides Crashers with a complimentary registration fee to attend the conference, and many state leagues and associations provide scholarships or other financial assistance. This year 100 Crashers will attend Crash the GAC representing every state in the nation for the Cooperative Trust’s 10th Crash the GAC event ever.
“We are excited for this opportunity for Melinda to continue to grow and showcase what Members First Credit Union is doing in our industry,” said Vice President of Member Services Amy Garver.
“We are very pleased that Brian has been selected to represent Michigan at the Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington DC. Only one representative is chosen from each state, and Wildfire has been fortunate to represent Michigan for the last several years,” said CEO Timothy W. Benecke.
Crash the GAC and other Crash events throughout the year are designed to spark new ways of thinking and build lasting relationships for young professionals within the credit union industry. Crashers will leave the nation’s capital with a new hunger to help strengthen their communities and organizations. This highly competitive opportunity is a launching pad for many young professionals’ careers and gives them the confidence and insight to make a profound and lasting impact in the industry.
“As the Cooperative Trust and Crash program grow and evolve, we continue to see positive impact on the careers of young professionals in the credit union space,” says Lauren Culp, Manager of the Cooperative Trust. “As we know developing this next generation of credit union leaders is critical to our success as an industry, we’re thrilled to work with CUNA to offer the opportunity to even more young professionals this year than ever before.”
Crash the GAC is brought to you by the Cooperative Trust and Filene Research Institute and is made possible by the generous support of CUNA, and with help from League partners.