Take Your Networking Local

Being a part of the CUES Greater Southern Council has been one of the biggest blessings of my career to-date.  (Local CUES Councils are a benefit of CUES NextGen Membership, which all Next Top Credit Union Exec applicants receive for participating. Read more about CUES membership benefits in this post.)

The CUES Greater Southern Council was the first credit union peer group I had an opportunity to involve myself in.  I was invited by another member of our management team, and she was able to incorporate me into the group right away.  I started as a council officer after my first conference, and since that time I’ve had the opportunity to work in marketing and now sit as the chairman of our council.

I’ve learned about event planning, how to properly network with others in the industry, and I’ve also learned about the dynamic between credit union professionals and how to navigate those relationships.  Most of this learning has been a byproduct of working with more-seasoned professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and experience.  This cross-training is invaluable and the council has been a great format for the exchange.

CUES Councils are a sub-culture that helps you to take greater advantage of your CUES membership. One of the benefits of the council is its regional focus: You’re rubbing shoulders with other C-suite individuals from your locale, dealing with the same issues and working in a similar landscape. This is a value that an online forum or national conference simply can’t match.  Councils are also a great way to celebrate what makes us as credit unions unique. Our collaborative nature as cooperatives is what allows us to work in such close proximity to one another and share what works.

If you have the opportunity to interact with CUES, you will discover that education and resources are where they shine.

Speaking as a young professional, I can say that CUES Councils and the NTCUE competition are some of the finest resources in our industry. They have been a context for expanding my formal and informal knowledge base, for extending my professional network reach, and for discovering my place in the cooperative family.

I want to encourage all NTCUE nominees to apply by July 17—and then take advantage of the CUES NextGen Membership you’ll receive for applying*. Use this incredible resource to your advantage.

Josh McAfee

Josh McAfee is marketing manager for Leaders Credit Union, Jackson, Tenn., and a 2011 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec finalist.

*NTCUE applicants who are already CUES members will receive a $99 credit to use toward other CUES offerings by July 30, 2014.

Learn about additional CUES member benefits in “Apply by July 17 for a $99 Gift That Keeps Giving.

Look for a CUES Council in your area.