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AACUL President Brad Miller (far right) and departing AACUL Board Member Diana Dykstra (second to right) pose with league presidents serving on a newly elected AACUL Board of Directors (L-R): CrossState Credit Union Association President Patrick Conway; Dakota Credit Union Association President Jeff Olson; Michigan Credit Union League President Patty Corkery; MD-DC Credit Union Association President John Bratsakis; Cornerstone League President Caroline Willard; Carolinas Credit Union League President Dan Schline; Dykstra and Miller.
AACUL President Brad Miller (far right) and departing AACUL Board Member Diana Dykstra (second to right) pose with league presidents serving on a newly elected AACUL Board of Directors (L-R): CrossState Credit Union Association President Patrick Conway; Dakota Credit Union Association President Jeff Olson; Michigan Credit Union League President Patty Corkery; MD-DC Credit Union Association President John Bratsakis; Cornerstone League President Caroline Willard; Carolinas Credit Union League President Dan Schline; Dykstra and Miller.

AACUL Winter Conference Deepens State Leagues’ Collaboration

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 Dana Point, CA earlier this month for the 2023 AACUL Winter Conference — where more than 200 attendees from across the state credit union league system participated.

Also in attendance were the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Board of Directors, federal and state regulators, and key industry business partners. The conference celebrated a renewed energy across state leagues, with a sharp focus on legislative and regulatory advocacy and deepened collaboration throughout the system, all undergirded by their intentional and strategic movement toward the new America’s Credit Unions organization (official merger between CUNA and the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions in early 2024).

Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, was recognized with a special “thank you” for her years of service and leadership as an AACUL board member. Dykstra also participated in one of three key discussion panels where league presidents and other industry leaders shared their industry insights.

This year’s theme — Connecting Ideas, Vision and Impact — was inspired by AACUL’s recently updated mission: to leverage the collective power of state leagues to create advocacy wins for credit unions, and to build a strong network of credit union associations. League attendees joined their colleagues in one of five peer-focused collaboration tracks designed for league presidents and chairs, league advocacy professionals, league communicators, league foundation executives, and league service corporation executives. 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:

  • Jennifer Golbeck, director of the Social Intelligence Lab at the University of Maryland, talked about levering artificial intelligence safely and strategically.
  • Tanya Meck, partner and managing director of Global Strategy Group, stressed the importance of using impactful communications to own your brand in times of change.
  • Jeff Olson, president and CEO of the 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 and CEO Renee Sattiewhite led an inspirational discussion detailing ways that collaboration between leagues and other industry organizations have helped propel DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives in the credit union space.

Key industry updates were provided by a variety of business partners:

  • Sarah Bang, senior advisor to National Credit Union Administration Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman, shared the agency’s top priorities for 2024.
  • Brian Knight, president and CEO of the 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 and CEO of the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks, discussed how the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) new report will impact credit unions.
  • Future PSCU and Co-op Solutions (combined) president and 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 and CEO Lauren Whaley highlighted some of the major accomplishments and resulting impacts of league foundations this past year.

AACUL also held its annual meeting in conjunction with the conference, where a new AACUL Board of Directors took effect (and 2024 AACUL board officers were elected) — including:

  • AACUL Chair — Patrick Conway, president and CEO of CrossState Credit Union Association.
  • AACUL Vice Chair — John Bratsakis, president and CEO of MD-DC Credit Union Association.
  • AACUL Secretary/Treasurer — Dan Schline, president and CEO of the Carolinas Credit Union League.

Other AACUL board members include Director Patty Corkery (president and CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League) and Director Caroline Willard (president and CEO of the Cornerstone League). Ex-officio members of the AACUL board include Jeff Olson (immediate past chair), president and CEO of Dakota Credit Union Association; Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the CUNA (soon to be America’s Credit Unions); and Brad Miller, president of AACUL.

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