ALBANY, N.Y. (9/15/11)--A mentorship program partnership between the Credit Union Association of New York's (CUANY) Young Professionals Commission (YPC) and the Filene Research Institute's Crash Network has proved so successful that CUANY announced it will return for a second round in the program. The partnership was launched earlier this year with New York being the first state to adopt the mentorship project as an association-sponsored program, said CUANY. The program paired 10 seasoned industry leaders and young protégés from various sized credit unions. The mentorship process was conducted through weekly e-mails and twice-monthly in-person meetings or phone calls for six months. "Mentoring is the most rewarding part of my job," said Michelle McCourt, executive vice president and chief financial officer of $72 million asset Bridgeway FCU, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. "The Crash mentor program caught my interest since it involved working with up-and-coming young credit union professionals who really want to develop the skills necessary to advance," she said. Both mentors and mentees benefitted from the partnership. Mentors gleaned insights needed to engage and cultivate tomorrow's credit union leaders. Young professionals gained insights as well as skills and tricks of the trade that otherwise would take years to obtain, said CUANY. "The mentorship program provided me the opportunity to see my career through a different set of eyes," said Jo-Anne Harvey, a junior financial analyst with $1.69 billion asset NEFCU, Westbury, N.Y. Harvey is a member of YPC and McCourt's mentee. "Having been paired with a successful mentor who worked her way through the ranks was inspiring. She was able to offer me an unbiased opinion of what I needed to do both professionally and personally to continue growing within the credit union family." CUANY created the program to respond to career development needs of the state's young credit union professionals. Filene's Crash Network facilitated the program by hosting the initial introductory webinar, supplying a timeline and offering support during the program. "The mentorship program has proven to be a great vehicle to promote learning, build knowledge and connect people within the credit union industry," said Allison Barna, CUANY's community development coordinator. "It's also a way for credit unions to look to the future." She said the program will start a second six-month round of mentorships shortly.