BEAVERTON, Ore. (10/9/08)--Hundreds of Oregon credit union professionals gathered this week in Portland, Ore., for the 72nd annual meeting and convention of the Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO). The theme, “Knowledge is Evergreen,” acknowledges that building sustainability pertains to the credit union movement just as much as it does the environment. The event featured 12 educational sessions ranging from “Going Green at Your Credit Union” to “The ‘Why’ Behind Generation Y's Financial Decisions.” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) spoke at the business meeting. During these turbulent times for the financial sector, Sen. Wyden addressed the latest activity on Capitol Hill. The general sessions Wednesday featured Ron Galloway, author and filmmaker of “Boxed In: Competitive Threats from Banks, Brokerages, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart,” and Frank Diekmann, publisher, The Credit Union Journal, who analyzed today’s news and explained why he believes credit unions are more relevant than ever. Thursday will spotlight John Mitchell, Ph.D. and economist, M&H Consultants, who will provide an economic outlook for 2009. Andrea Harris, director, Community Leadership, Vancity CU, will discuss corporate social responsibility and how it is both a duty and a privilege. On Friday, Josh Sundquist will share his stories about losing a leg to cancer, ski racing in the Paralympics, and playing practical jokes with the artificial leg to give motivation for overcoming adversity and appreciating the gift of being alive. CUAO worked with its hotel to minimize the environmental impact of the meeting by decreasing the amount of solid waste produced by the event, reducing energy and water consumption at the event, off-setting harmful emissions resulting from vehicular transportation and energy, disposing of solid and liquid waste in an environmentally responsible manner and eliminating the use of harmful chemicals at or for the event.