NextGen Leaders: Danielle Buscher

Danielle Buscher
Learning and Development Manager | $160 million West Community Credit Union O'Fallon, Mo.
Follow Danielle on Twitter 
Follow her on LinkedIn 
Watch Danielle’s CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec video

Give us the elevator speech about your project (as in how would you describe your project to someone you meet in an elevator?):
Not every engaged and motivated employee is a young professional or has leadership aspirations. So why have development programs that only target these segments of your organization? NeXt! 2.0 is an all-inclusive professional development program for any engaged and motivated employee of West Community CU who desires personal and professional growth. Through NeXt! 2.0, employees are able to take advantage of several group and individual development opportunities like crashing a board meeting, going to lunch with senior leaders to discuss topics of interest, job shadowing a different department, getting involved in a credit union project outside of their typical responsibilities, helping our marketing department with special endeavors, engaging in opportunities outside of our credit union, and so much more.   

What is your long-term career goal?
I love credit unions and I love developing others. My ultimate goal is to be a talent development leader in the credit union industry. In addition, I would love to consult with other credit unions to help them create or improve their talent development practices. 

Fill in the dots: The future of credit unions will be bright if ...
… we can continue to adapt without losing sight of our people helping people philosophy.

Online voters and a panel of past finalists narrowed the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec field from 20 to the Top 15 applicants. The challenge, held in conjunction with DDJ Myers and administered by Currency, searches for emerging leaders age 35 and under from within the credit union industry.

The Top 15 will blog about their project.  And to provide additional value to the competition experience, they’ll each receive an executive coaching session from DDJ Myers, a CUES Supplier member and strategic provider. A judging panel of two CUES members and Deedee Myers of DDJ Myers will then score the Top 15’s applications and blog posts, narrowing the competition to five finalists.

The five finalists will receive additional coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration to CUES’ CEO/Executive Team Network™, Nov. 8-11 in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they will give their final presentations. The 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec will receive further coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration for two CUES’ CEO Institutes, a total prize package valued at $20,000

What my generation brings to the credit union movement is …
… fresh ideas and a desire to be innovative. We are not afraid to disrupt the status quo. We want to make a positive impact on our industry.

People consider me a leader because …
… At the end of the day I truly care and strive to make a positive difference in others. I want to leave things better than how I found them. I am a lifelong learner with enough humility to realize I don’t have all the answers, but I have the drive and determination to either find them or create a new solution.

Who is your hero and why?
I have never really thought about this before. If I had to pick someone I would have to say my grandpa. He was an Army Ranger and sacrificed so much for his family and his country. He taught me how to work hard and how to not let life get you down. 

Who is a must-follow on Twitter?
NeXt! 2.0 (@Next2CU) of course! Actually, I really enjoy following weCU2 (@_wecu2). They post great content about Millennials and credit unions around the world. I love being able to gain a more global perspective of our industry, but especially love learning about what is impacting my age demographic.

Shawn Anchor (@shawnachor) is my other must-follow, because he is a positive psychology researcher who tweets about happiness and having a more positive life. 

Does your credit union have Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/Pinterest/LinkedIn/Instagram other social media accounts? Please provide links:
Yes, but we have a division with a separate brand which means there is two of everything! 

West Community Credit Union:

Tigers Credit Union:

What is your favorite CUES member benefit? Or, if you are a new CUES NextGen member, what benefit are you most looking forward to using?
I have been a CUES member for about 18 months and I honestly love the CUES Net listserv. It may sound silly, but I love seeing what others are discussing. It provides me with a more well-rounded knowledge of the industry, because it helps expose me to what I do not know. When credit union leaders are discussing a topic I am unfamiliar with, it makes me want to research it and have a high-level understanding of what the topic is all about and why it is important to credit unions.

CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec team