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Credit Unions Light it Up at GAC 2018!

A room of nearly 400 Filene members and supporters gathered on Monday at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference to help celebrate and honor the work that the credit union industry is doing to help light the path to a brighter financial future for millions of people. After a bit of Filene brain food, we heard from Andrea Sreshta, co-founder of LuminAID, with a filling of heart-warming inspiration about her company's work literally lighting up cities after disasters. 

"There is a lot going on in our industry and our world right now," said Mark Meyer, "and sometimes these can feel like dark times." (Cue lights-out in the room.)

"Luckily there’s still a lot we can do about it, and the work credit unions are doing IS a bright light in the lives of millions of people."

THANK YOU! Let’s keep doing this together

The purpose of the Chairman’s Breakfast is to thank our members and supporters for making the Filene Research Institute a relevant and impactful organization. Credit unions truly are the path to a better financial future and Filene is humbled and honored to be able to empower you to LIGHT IT UP!

In addition to our gratitude for all Filene members, we thank our Center of Excellence sponsors:

  • Center for War for Talent: Visa
  • Center for Consumer Decision Making: CUNA Mutual Group
  • Center for Organizational Entrepreneurship: PSCU, BCU, American Airlines CU
  • Center for Performance and Operational Excellence: Fiserv, Christian Financial CU, Alliant CU
  • Center for Emerging Tech: CO-OP Financial, BECU, Coastal CU, and our newest center sponsor, SchoolsFirst FCU!

Speaking of those last two centers on Operational Excellence and Emerging Tech – you won’t want to miss our 1-2 research punch coming to California this April. In fact, there’s a number of excellent research events coming to you throughout the year. We’ll be in Boston in June to talk about organizational entrepreneurship and in Austin in September for more about the War for Talent and our signature big.bright.minds event rounds out the year December 6-7 in San Diego.

A number of challenges but light ahead

Filene’s Chair, Angie Owens, President/CEO of American Airlines Federal Credit Union recognizes that there is no shortage of work to be done for credit unions today. She said thinking about these challenges keeps her awake at night:

  • Ensuring the right talent is in place
  • Keeping pace with emerging financial technologies
  • Growing new ideas and creating sustainable innovation to meet expanding consumer demands
  • Having resources to build and grow our organizations for sustainable futures in the ever changing political and economic landscape.

“But what gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that we can rise to these challenges together, " Angie continued. "Your support allows Filene to research, test and offer proven solutions that create meaningful impact for your organization and drive positive change for credit union members."

Last year, we asked you not to hit snooze on the financial struggles your members are facing, and you answered that call. Now we are here to empower you to--that’s right--LIGHT IT UP!

Empower people through platforms

After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Andrea and her co-founder Anna Stork, recognized the dangerous conditions in the tent cities at night and turned their attention to meeting a critical need: light. Their initial idea has grown to brighten the path for hikers in Yosemite, backpackers in Whistler and emergency workers in Nepal.

Andrea Sreshta, co-founder of LuminAID was our Breakfast speaker this year and shared her company’s story of scaling, innovation and social impact.

The idea was to shine light on the parallels between LuminAID’s work and that of credit unions by listening to their challenges and successes through scaling and the need for even stronger innovation. 

We believe we have done our work this week, and left attendees of our 2018 Chairman’s Breakfast inspired to light that path to a better financial future even brighter for those who need it most.

Those who were in attendance at the breakfast received a little light-up Filene asterisk pin. We want you to keep these be a reminder back home at your credit union how much you are contributing to a greater cause that is bigger and stronger because we are all in it together, to push forward, to light up the path for others to follow and to ensure people in our communities have opportunities to shine.