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AACUL Winter Conference Brings Together League Leaders to Connect Ideas, Vision, and Impact

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.

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 unionsFuture 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:  

  • Chair – Patrick Conway, president/CEO of the CrossState Credit Union Association; 
  • Vice Chair – John Bratsakis, president/CEO of the MD|DC Credit Union Association; 
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Dan Schline, president/CEO of the Carolinas Credit Union League.

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.

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