Six Dakota CU Professionals Receive GAC Scholarships!
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer

CUAD, along with the South Dakota and North Dakota Government Affairs Committees, is very pleased to announce that six Dakota credit union professionals have each been awarded scholarships to attend the CUNA GAC being held March 10th – March 14th in Washington, DC.


Those receiving $1,000 scholarships from the South Dakota GAC include Jane Duerre, CEO Norstar FCU, and Gail Broer, CEO M-O FCU, and receiving a $500 scholarship is Lisa Snedeker, Branch Manager/Training Coordinator Dakotaland FCU. In North Dakota, Lacey TerWee, CEO University FCU, was selected to receive a $750 scholarship from the North Dakota GAC.


In addition, two weeks ago, we announced that Lacey TerWee, along with Joey Rotert, Sioux Falls FCU, and Rachel Lere, Black Hills FCU are this year’s Dakota GAC Crashers! Besides being chosen to represent the Dakotas in this select group, these Crashers will also receive a $500 scholarship from their respective state’s Government Affairs Committee. Each year the Filene Research Institute’s Cooperative Trust selects exceptional and upcoming young leaders in the credit union movement to appear as “Crashers” at the CUNA GAC, and we are delighted to have these fine young professionals representing us at this year’s event.


Applicants for the GAC Scholarships are judged individually on grassroots and political affairs participation, and scholarships are awarded based on need and credit union asset size with preference generally given to those who have never attended a CUNA GAC Conference. Funds for the GAC Scholarships are generated each year with the annual CUAD Irish Auction event held at the Annual Summit each year, and with support and donations provided by our CUAD members.


“The Crasher program, along with our GAC Scholarships, provide a great opportunity for those new to the credit union movement or those that have been around for years to experience credit union advocacy first hand in our nation’s capital,” says Jay Kruse, CUAD’s Chief Advocacy Officer. “It is a primary goal of our Governmental Affairs Committees in both states to get more people involved in our advocacy efforts, and scholarships like these help to make attending our industry’s premier conference a reality. The more constituents we can get in front of our lawmakers, the more effective our grassroots advocacy efforts become,” he added.


Jeff Olson, CUAD President/CEO agrees. “The scholarships that our Governmental Affairs Committees provide to the biggest credit union event of the year are one more way that our organization demonstrates to our members our sincere commitment to credit union advocacy,” he stated. “As an organization, CUAD’s advocacy efforts are first and foremost, and the ongoing commitment to providing these scholarships is evidence of the support that we have for those efforts throughout the Dakotas,” he added.


The GAC Scholarships were first initiated by both the South Dakota and North Dakota Governmental Affairs Committees in 2009 to cultivate, promote, and energize credit union professionals and members in the grassroots advocacy process. Since then, a total of $45,950 has been awarded to 64 affiliated credit union professionals. The scholarships are open to all CUAD affiliated credit union executives, staff, and volunteer members, and the award helps cover expenses to attend the largest annual credit union conference of the year.


During the GAC, more than 5,000 credit union people from all across the country come together to hear from influential legislators, policymakers, and credit union experts. Attendees from the Dakotas will have the opportunity to meet their elected representatives face-to-face during Hike-the-Hill visits, and to network with industry leaders and game-changers. It’s not too late to register and join your peers in attending this year’s CUNA GAC! Learn more about the upcoming CUNA GAC here.


If you have questions, concerns, or feedback regarding any advocacy issues, please do not hesitate to contact me


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