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American Association of Credit Union Leagues Winter Conference Brings Together League Leaders to Connect Ideas, Vision and Impact

Dana Point, CA (December 18, 2023) - With a focus on the American Association of Credit Union Leagues’ (AACUL) recently updated mission, vision, and strategic pillars, credit union system leaders gathered in California this month for the 2023 AACUL Winter Conference. Over 200 attendees from across the League System as well as League Chairs, the CUNA board, federal and state regulators, and key business partners participated. The conference celebrated a renewed energy from Leagues for a sharp focus on advocacy impact, excitement for deepened collaboration throughout the League System, and intentional, strategic connection with the new America’s Credit Unions. 

This year’s theme - Connecting Ideas, Vision and Impact - was inspired by AACUL’s recently updated mission: to leverage the collective power of Leagues to create advocacy wins for credit unions and build a strong network of credit union associations.

League attendees joined their colleagues in one of five peer-focused collaboration tracks designed for league presidents and chairs, league advocacy professionals, league communicators, league foundation executives, and league service corporation executives. 

Attendees also had the opportunity to come together for a powerful general session which was comprised of a notable lineup of professional speakers and industry stalwarts discussing key topics.  

The general session was bookended by outside speakers. Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, Director of the Social Intelligence Lab at the University of Maryland, talked to the group about levering artificial intelligence safely and strategically. Tanya Meck, Partner and Managing Director, Global Strategy Group stressed the importance of using impactful communications to own your brand in times of change. 

Important insights were shared by several League Presidents and other industry leaders through three impactful panels. Jeff Olson, president/CEO, Dakota Credit Union Association facilitated a powerful discussion about the evolution of AACUL and the intentional collaboration between the League System and America’s Credit Unions. Michael Bell, Financial Institutions Practice Group Leader with Honigman LLP, moderated a panel about the political and advocacy dynamics surrounding banks selling to credit unions. African-American Credit Union Coalition President/CEO Renee Sattiewhite led an inspirational discussion which detailed ways collaboration between Leagues and other industry organizations has helped propel DEI initiatives in the credit union space. (Detailed lists of panelists are in the photos below.)

Key industry updates were provided by a variety of business partners. Sarah Bang, Senior Advisor to NCUA Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman, shared the agency’s top priorities for 2024. Brian Knight, President/CEO, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) showcased how Leagues and NASCUS work together with state regulators to advance credit union priorities and impact. Ryan Donovan, President/CEO, Council of Federal Home Loan Banks discussed  how the FHFA’s new report will impact credit unions. Future PSCU and CO-OP  combination President/CEO Chuck Fagan shared his vision for the future of PSCU and Co-op Solutions, including how the combination will benefit the credit union industry.  Carolinas Credit Union Foundation President/CEO Lauren Whaley highlighted some of the major accomplishments and the resulting impact league foundations had this past year.

AACUL held its annual meeting in conjunction with the conference during which the new AACUL Board took effect, and 2024 AACUL Board Officers were elected:  

Other AACUL Board members include Director Patty Corkery, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League and Director Caroline Willard, president/CEO of the Cornerstone League. Ex-officio members of the AACUL Board include Jeff Olson (Immediate Past Chair), president/CEO of Dakota Credit Union Association; Jim Nussle, president/CEO of America’s Credit Unions; and Brad Miller, president of AACUL.

 

Board
AACUL President Brad Miller and departing AACUL Board Member Diana Dykstra pose with the League Presidents serving on newly elected AACUL Executive Board.  (From L to R: CrossState Credit Union Association President/CEO Patrick Conway, Dakota Credit Union Association President/CEO Jeff Olson, Michigan Credit Union League President Patty Corkery, MD|DC Credit Union Association President/CEO John Bratsakis, Cornerstone League President/CEO Caroline Willard, Carolinas Credit Union League President/CEO Dan Schline, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President/CEO Diana Dykstra, AACUL President Brad Miller.)
Advocacy
AACUL announced the members of its newly formed advocacy committee. (From L to R:   Tennessee Credit Union League Chief Advocacy Officer Sarah Waters, Utah Credit Union Association President/CEO Scott Simpson, Wisconsin Credit Union League SVP of Advocacy Sarah Wainscott, Illinois Credit Union League SVP Governmental Affairs Keith Sias, LSCU President Samantha Beeler, AACUL President Brad Miller, Ohio Credit Union League Chief Advocacy Officer Emily Leite, Carolinas Credit Union League President/CEO Dan Schline.  Not pictured: Virginia Credit Union League President Carrie Hunt and GoWest Credit Union Association EVP and Chief Advocacy Officer Jennifer Wagner.)
Panel
Honigman LLP Financial Institutions Practice Group Leader Mike Bell moderated a panel highlighting the political and advocacy dynamics surrounding banks selling to credit unions. (Panelists from L to R:  League of Southeastern Credit Unions CEO Patrick LaPine, Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO Patty Corkery, Illinois Credit Union System President/CEO Tom Kane.)
DEI
African-American Credit Union Coalition President/CEO Renee Sattiewhite moderated a panel about the ways collaboration between leagues and other organizations has helped propel DEI initiatives in the credit union space. (Panelists from L to R:  National Credit Union Foundation Executive Director Gigi Hyland, Credit Union House Managing Director Sue McCue, Coopera President/CEO Victor Corro, MD|DC CUA President/CEO John Bratsakis)
Support Panel
Dakota Credit Union President/CEO Jeff Olson moderated a panel which discussed how Leagues, AACUL, and America’s Credit Unions will operate to embrace changes and best serve and support credit unions. (Panelists from L to R: Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle, America’s Credit Union Board Chair and Chartway FCU President/CEO Brian Schools, AACUL President Brad Miller, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President/CEO Diana Dykstra, America’s Credit Union Board Member and Manchester Municipal FCU Lori Herrick)
Gen Session
Representing all 33 leagues, over 200 executives including League Presidents, other League leaders, League Chairs, the CUNA board, federal and state regulators, and key business partners.

 

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