During his presentation at the CUNA National Young Professionals Conference in Madison, Wis., Chad Helminak displayed a 1935 photo of a parade celebrating credit unions in Racine, WI.

“We used to have parades,” says Helminak, director of credit union development and cooperative values engagement at the National Credit Union Foundation. “I think we can get back to that, or at least that ideal. The concept of having people celebrate being members of credit unions is something we should strive to get back to. Young professionals are key to bringing that energy back to credit unions.”

Helminak offers four ways to generate excitement about credit unions:

  1. Become an expert on the credit union difference.
  2. Develop your credit union elevator pitch/story.
  3. Help others at your credit union learn about the credit union difference.
  4. Look for new ways to leverage the credit union difference within your organization and community.

With the opportunity to help others, working in a credit union can easily turn a job into a career for young professionals, Helminak says. “You really do have the ability to change lives. We can’t lose sight of that. It truly is the reason we’re in business.”

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