Why We Believe In Credit Unions – Highlights of CUNA GAC 2022

Michael Carter

March 15, 2022

Finalytics.ai was honored to sponsor at the 2022 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.  Below we offer a snapshot of some extraordinary aspects of the conference.  Fair warning, we are ardent supporters of the credit union mission and believe the difference made by them in each community is vital to keeping our country strong, as will be obvious.

Tweets That Tell a Story

This year’s CUNA GAC was not “business as usual.”  It was the first time since COVID-19 spread to the United States in early 2020, that the conference has been an in-person event.  The early indication was that only the vaccinated and masked would be allowed to attend.  For the 4500+ packing their bags to attend, the first bit of good news was that proof of vaccination would not be necessary.  After arriving in D.C., the news got better with the protocol for masking indoors being lifted.

There was also a considerable amount of tweeting.  And the tweets told a story.

  • There were tweets highlighting the fact that the new normal was the now normal: “If there’s a lesson we’ve learned from the challenges of this pandemic, it’s that this industry can’t rest on its laurels.” – @TheNCUA Board Member @Rodney_e_hood
  • Others took to social to remind attendees of how breadth and depth of the mission facing the industry: “Let’s use our financial wellness tools to build the financial prospects of many more Americans. Let’s advance economic equity and justice.” – @TheNCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper at #CUNAGAC
  • The second full day of the conference had a focus on diversity, equality and inclusiveness that kicked off with a discussion on how credit unions can expand their efforts around these themes:  All smiles at the Inclusiv/Juntos Avanzamos Breakfast Roundtable (w/ @NLCUP1 and @_Coopera) #CUNAGAC #GAC #DEITuesday
  • There were reminders by many that the mission of credit unions reached beyond local communities.  As evident in this tweet from World Council of Credit Unions President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde: “If we didn’t know what happens globally comes back to hit us locally, two years after a pandemic and what’s happening in Europe…we know it now.” @WOCCU #CUNAGAC
  • The reality of what is happening in Europe was so made real by Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova who spoke via Zoom saying, “Ukraine will fight. Ukraine will defend its home. And we need people who are willing stand with us, not with their words, but with their actions.’
  • Ambassador Markarova said credit unions have been “essential” in the fight for freedom underlining the importance of commitments such as those made by Ukrainian American credit unions who have raised and sent more than $700,000 to support those on the front lines through the Ukrainian American Credit Union Association.

Heroes and Sheroes

Held in conjunction with CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, the National Credit Union Foundation’s annual fundraising gala on February 28, the 33rd annual Herb Wegner Memorial Awards was attended by 950 leaders from the credit union industry.  Honored at the gathering were the following heroes and sheroes:

  • African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) received the Foundation’s Anchor Award in recognition of the organization’s leadership in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.  This is a rare accolade and apart from the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards and is given by the Foundation Board of Directors to individuals and organizations that have shown incredible leadership through moments of great adversity.
  • Lucy Ito, recently retired president, and CEO of NASCUS, received an Outstanding Individual Achievement award.  The scale of support for Lucy’s recognition equaled only by the scale of her achievements over 30+ years serving the credit union movement.
  • Chicago’s Faith Based Credit Union Alliance – a cooperative of ten micro-credit unions supporting some of the city’s most underserved communities – received the Outstanding Organizational Achievement award.
  • Roger Heacock, received an award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, recognizing his decades-long support and leadership at a national level and within the South Dakota communities he served.

Some Awards of Our Own 

We are inaugurating our own award ceremony – The Unofficial Exhibitors Awards for CUNA GAC from Finalytics.ai.  There was no gala or even votes taken for these awards.  There is no monetary value and, trust us when we say, winning one of these awards is very unlikely to enhance your status.

  • Winner of the Best Cocktail Bar:  Fiserv (for their martini bar)
  • Winner of the Best Day Drinking Opportunity:  Fiserv (for their lunchtime Mimosas)
  • Winner of the Most Comfortable Looking Booth:  Alkami (all that was missing was video games)
  • Winner of “Do You Want A Revolution” Award:   Finalytics.ai. (C’mon, really? You have to ask?)

 

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