I wanted to take a moment to share with all of you the amazing opportunity I had Crashing the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C., it is safe to say my eyes are now fully open and I am looking at everything through a Credit Union lens. When I left my corporate bank job to join Boeing Employees Credit Union 5 months ago, I knew it was because I wanted to be part of this culture and this movement. However, until this trip I had no gauge as to just how big this movement really is.
During the Crash week I was exposed to speakers, presenters, CEO’s, politicians and other credit union staff and there were a few reoccurring themes. The top theme for me was Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the positive and lasting effects it has on a company and the communities which the company serves. I also really enjoyed the discussion around financial education and the ripple effect this could have on our communities, country and our world. I learned the importance of helping others for the sake of helping others and I am proud to say at BECU we actually walk the talk, we really are people helping people, with the best interest of the member at the center of everything we do, and we do this passionately.
Far and away my biggest take away is the importance of Credit Union Advocacy and how vital it will be to continue being relevant as the financial services landscape grows and evolves. Crashing the GAC is where I discovered my why and where the fire to inspire was ignited in me. As Credit Unions we serve the underserved, and it was then and there that I learned the credit union difference. The thought of Credit Unions not existing frightened me and I knew that I had to dedicate my career to ensuring that doesn’t happen! That is my why, and I am thrilled to be a catalyst for change through continued advocacy locally and nationally. I am excited for all of the personal development that comes along with it and the opportunity to help develop others!
I will leave you with my favorite quote from the conference, one that I believe captures the spirit of the cooperative model and what we are really all about. A quote that I feel clearly lays out the plan of attack for the ongoing survival of our movement:
“IF YOU WANT TO GO FAST, GO ALONE. IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, GO TOGETHER”
Angel Ibarra | Business Services Manager | Boeing Employees Credit Union