Since 2010, members of Filene Research Institute’s Cooperative Trust have descended upon the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) to participate in conversations on the future and sustainability of the credit union industry.

On Feb. 25, 78 Crashers will join thousands of industry leaders in Washington, D.C., to Crash the GAC, including Thomas Langer, Financial Advisor at Jax Federal Credit Union. Crash the GAC is a non-stop, career-changing program for credit union young professionals that allows them to experience the industry’s largest advocacy conference with a complimentary registration. The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation will give the two YPS selected a $1000 scholarship to help cover any additional expenses not covered by the Crashers.

Crashers will experience the conference in a dynamic way with exclusive networking opportunities and mentoring sessions with industry leaders, previously from organizations such as Filene Research Institute, National Credit Union Foundation, and Credit Union National Association. The Crashers will leave with contacts and mentors to help advance their careers and action steps for helping to increase the relevancy of credit unions among younger generations.

“As we continue to grow The Cooperative Trust and Crash opportunities, we’re always challenging ourselves to elevate and advance the program to provide the most impact for young professionals and the credit union system,” said Lauren Culp, Manager of The Cooperative Trust. “We know that it’s more important than ever that young people have a voice and are included in the conversation as we look to the future of our industry.”

“The Crashers program is great for young credit union professionals, for GAC, and for the entire movement,” said CUNA CEO and President Jim Nussle. “The Crashers get to network and participate in the premier event of the credit union industry, the GAC benefits from their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives, and the movement is invigorated by a new generation of fired-up advocates who have learned how to reach out to legislators to effect change.”

This year, 10 credit unions have chosen to pay their Crasher’s registration fee to allow for ten other young professionals to attend with the complimentary registration. Further, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BECU, Coastal Credit Union, and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union have chosen to pay for their Crashers’ registration fees and have also collectively donated an additional eight crasher spots to the program. This allows us to give the Crash the GAC opportunity to a record number of young professionals.

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 are sent home hungry to help their communities and organizations. Crash the GAC 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.

Crash the GAC is brought to you by The Cooperative Trust and Filene Research Institute, and is made possible with the generous support of Credit Union National Association, and with help from Credit Union Leagues/Associations.