The Alabama Advocacy Conference concluded yesterday in Montgomery, AL. The day began with a continental breakfast sponsored by FHL Bank, Atlanta, followed by a briefing from Ryan Donovan, chief advocacy officer for CUNA. Donovan spoke on the new energy and sense of urgency Jim Nussle brings to the association and the prospects for change to benefit credit unions with pending legislation in Washington.

Presenting the keynote address was Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, who shared his impressions for this year’s Legislative Session, his priorities for the year, and the Republican Agenda for the Legislature.

Excitement continued as the advocacy conference concluded. In the inaugural LSCU Think Tank for Alabama YPs, more than 50 young professionals gathered to share ideas about the future of the industry. SECUF director Juli Lewis gave a warm welcome to attendees, saying networking is essential in “spreading the credit union philosophy” and received an enthusiastic response when speaking of the scholarships available to YPs.

Brooke Morris, VP of credit union relations with the LSCU, encouraged YPs to take advantage of such opportunities as Hike the Hill and Crash the GAC, and Jo Anne Funk, LSCU member relations consultant, explained the League’s work.

Toby Thomas, VP of correspondent sales services for Corporate One FCU, advised members to constantly give input to their CEOs and others. “Keep moving ahead and keep coming up with ideas,” he said. “Even if an idea doesn’t work, you should come up with another one, and you will be valuable to your credit union.”

Blake Westbrook of the LSCU addressed the YPs on the importance of infusing credit unions with the enthusiasm they bring to the movement.

Dawn Parrish, sales executive at CUNA Mutual Group, invigorated the group with an exercise in the importance of having an elevator pitch, a capsule personal history to pitch quickly and effectively when meeting people in all walks of life. Linda Walker, CEO of Riverdale Credit Union, spoke on leadership and motivation.