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Kansas young professionals meet with lawmakers
CUnext, the Kansas Credit Union Association's Young Professionals Council, met with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (middle) during the annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Topeka, Kan., last week.
TOPEKA, Kan. (2/16/12)--CUnext, the Kansas Credit Union Association's (KCUA) Young Professional Council, met with Kansas legislators on Feb. 7, during KCUA's annual Credit Union Day at the state Capitol.

Thirteen CUnext members met with Kansas Department of Credit Unions Administrator John Smith and House Speaker Pro Tem Representative Jene Vickrey. Members also learned the importance of advocacy and about the International Year of the Cooperatives, and met Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

CUnext member Farron Lynch attended the event, and encouraged other young professionals to consider joining CUnext.

"Since joining, I have been given excellent opportunities that I would not have had otherwise to meet and exchange ideas with my colleagues in the credit union world, " said Lynch, member services representative and Gen Y representative at Central Star CU in Wichita. "I was introduced to a passion for the credit union movement that was evident in all the executives, association staff, and the lobbyists that work extremely hard to ensure the future of all Kansas credit unions."

From left, CUnexter Jaclyn Lawson, of Quest CU in Topeka, Kan., joins advocates and fellow Quest colleagues Vickie Hurt and Valerie Taylor, in meeting with Kansas State Rep. Kay Wolf (R-21), second from right, at the Kansas Credit Union Association legislative reception. (Photos provided by the Kansas Credit Union Association)
CUnexters represented seven Kansas credit unions including Central Star CU; Golden Plains CU, Garden City; Mainstreet CU, Lenexa; Meritrust CU, Wichita; Mid American CU, Wichita; Quest CU, Topeka; and Wichita (Kan.) FCU.

"To actually see the immediate empowerment that seemed to take hold with our group was encouraging," said Lee Williams, president/CEO of Central Star CU. "Currently more than 35% of our staff is under the age of 30, and the CUnext program offers us the opportunity to expose, teach and include our young professionals so they are better prepared and more committed to taking the credit union movement to the next level."

The CUnext Council joined more than 125 credit union representatives statewide for the evening legislative reception and the morning leadership panel. They were accompanied by veteran credit union representatives on their legislator visits.

This is the second year for such an event, and each young professional event seems to grow in numbers, KCUA said.

"Last year was the first year we prepared a specific agenda for our young professionals," said Haley DaVee, KCUA vice president of governmental and public affairs, and the CUnext coordinator. "It was very well received, and since then, we've had several meetups including a special event at our annual meeting and convention."


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