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Record-Breaking Attendance at CONNECT 2024

The MD|DC Credit Union Association’s CONNECT 2024, the premier event for credit union professionals in the Maryland and DC region, experienced an unprecedented turnout with over 400 attendees gathering at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center June 9 -11.

photo collage CONNECT 2024
Photos: Jason Putsché Photography

This record-breaking event provided an invaluable platform for attendees to gain expert insights from nationally renowned speakers, build lasting connections, and explore actionable strategies and fresh perspectives to drive their credit unions to new heights.

“CONNECT 2024 offers unparalleled learning and networking opportunities, and delivers the caliber of speakers typically found at national conferences, right here locally,” said John Bratsakis, President/CEO of the MD|DC Credit Union Association. “We appreciate the support of our industry partners who help make the event possible, in particular our Titanium Sponsor TruStage and Gold Sponsors Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, Cornerstone Advisors, and Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.”

Young Professionals
The Rocker program, modeled after the Crasher program at the Governmental Affairs Conference, returned for its second year, featuring eleven young professionals who participated in sessions to build on their career experience. The 2024 Miriam Rivera Lieb Emerging Leader award was presented to Michale Ches, a branch manager with Baltimore County Employees Credit Union. Ches will receive a professional development package sponsored by TruStage, while runners up will receive executive coaching sessions.

Event Highlights

  • Brian Schools, Chair of America’s Credit Unions and President/CEO of Chartway Credit Union, joined Bratsakis for a fireside chat and shared insights on the organization’s achievements, challenges, and future prospects.
  • Cassi Chandler, noted for her success in building diverse and inclusive teams at Bank of America and the FBI, discussed the impact of emerging technology and global changes on organizations and employees.
  • Dr. James Pogue, President/CEO of JP Enterprises, emphasized the importance of forging deep connections within teams to gain a competitive advantage and drive business success.
  • Jill Nowacki, CEO of Humanidei, shared how credit union boards achieve greater success through intentional actions in board meetings, strategic planning, and volunteer recruitment and development.
  • Renée Sattiewhite, President/CEO of the African-America Credit Union Coalition, discussed the critical elements that drive workplace success and cohesion.
  • Michael Brown, Principal Economist for Visa, addressed economic trends and their implications for consumer credit and debit markets using Visa’s proprietary data.
  • Curt Long, Head of Emerging Issues and Deputy Chief Economist for America’s Credit Unions, explored how credit unions remain the best option among financial service providers, utilizing proprietary data.

Awards and Recognition

CONNECT 2024 celebrated excellence in the credit union community with the following awards:

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