About two years ago now, Christopher Stevenson from the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) approached me with an idea, "What do you think about partnering on something like Young & Free for the credit union industry?" I immediately thought that marrying an Apprentice meets Idol competition with the premier credit union professional development organization made perfect sense. From that conversation was born the Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge.
In 2010, 41 bright minds entered the competition, six were short-listed and Tina Hall from Verity Credit Union in Seattle, Washington emerged as the winner. In a truly cooperative moment, Tina handed over half of her $20,000 educational package to runner-up Ronaldo Hardy from La Capitol Federal Credit Union in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There wasn't a dry eye in the house at the CEO/Executive Team Network in Dallas last November!
When I think back to that conversation with Christopher, I had no idea how transformational this competition would end up being. Both Tina and Ronaldo feel that being a part of the 2010 Next Top Credit Union Exec has transformed their careers. I am very proud of this program and it's wonderful to see that it has inspired many other industry organizations to look closely at the next generation of credit union leaders. It's about time!
If you are 35 or under, employed by a credit union and reading this, I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and enter this competition. You will not regret it. As an added bonus this year, CUES is giving everyone who enters a free one-year NextGen membership.
We've freshened up the website for year two.
And put together a brief launch video.
We are extremely proud of our association with CUES and the Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge. I urge you to get involved—you won't regret it.
Now get to work on your video entry! Entries are due by June 7.