Field Notes: A Blog of the Worldwide Foundation


Champion Spotlight: Connexus Credit Union

When a Connexus employee makes the decision to work for the credit union, they may not realize it at the time, but they are becoming a part of something much bigger than themselves; they are becoming a part of the credit union movement. Often times, it’s the “People Helping People” philosophy that immediately draws people in, and other times it’s something our employees become passionate about over time as they learn of the great opportunity they have to make a positive impact in people’s lives. They learn about this opportunity through experience and through education, and also through the partnerships that Connexus cultivates with organizations such as the World Council of Credit Unions, which provides grassroots support where it’s needed the most.

Connexus is fortunate to be in a position where we can make an impact in the lives of those in need, and it’s at the core of what makes us successfulour ability to give back to members, employees, and the community. It’s the heart of who we are, and how we choose to live each day. It’s proof of how the success of the credit union movement is not solely based on financial performance or member satisfaction, but also how we pay it forward and give to others who are in need.

With that focus on paying it forward, Connexus Credit Union recently created Connexus Caresour philanthropic program that encompasses all community giveback through both monetary donations and volunteer work. Since the program’s start in January, we have been able to donate over $200,000 to non-profit organizations in the communities in which we operate, as well as the important industry organizations that support the credit union movementincluding WOCCU. By the end of 2019, we estimate exceeding $1 million in giveback across all community initiatives! Giving back to those in need goes beyond the boundaries of our communities and state lines, and Connexus recognizes the extensive need to financially empower people across the globe. This reality makes WOCCU a valuable partner in our effort to make a significant difference.

When I first learned about the great things that WOCCU does to help establish a financial structure in places where it doesn’t exist, all over the world, I was immediately drawn to the Women & Finance initiative and wanted to know more about how Connexus could help in this area of great need. We like to give back in ways that connect us to our roots, to our values, and to the people whom we serve. The Women & Finance initiative gives us an opportunity to contribute to a program that provides consistent support for women’s leadership, gender-sensitive services and products, and incentives to include women in the industry.

We continue to contribute to the women’s programs through WOCCU in hopes of maintaining support during times of unexpected needoften the times when need is at the most critical level. Giving back is truly where Connexus Credit Union shines, and we are fortunate to be able to partner with WOCCU to ensure our support is reaching those who need it most.

As WOCCU continues to blaze trails in the credit union industryfrom under-developed regions in Columbia to households in poverty in Haiti and remote agricultural areas in KenyaConnexus is proud to contribute to the Women & Finance initiatives that help to make the world a better, more financially secure place for women and their families. As new Connexus employees join our organization, we are committed to educating them on the importance of WOCCU and the programs it provides, while instilling a deep value of the “People Helping People” philosophy that drives us to succeed each and every day.

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About CEO J. David Christenson: As the leader of Connexus, Dave oversees a nationwide enterprise comprised of 300+ employees. He is focused on developing and delivering superior financial services to optimize member satisfaction, all while maintaining profitability of core operations. He was named to his current position in 1995, and continues the leadership role at Connexus.

About Connexus Credit Union: Serving more than 365,000 members across all 50 states, Connexus is a member-focused cooperative with over $2.54 billion in assets. Connexus is proud to provide high yields for checking accounts and deposit products, as well as an industry-leading Digital Banking experience and competitive rates for personal, home, and auto loans. The Wausau, WI-based credit union has been nationally recognized for excellence by Forbes, CNN Money, NerdWallet, Kiplinger, and Connexus is committed to helping members achieve their personal financial objectives by anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations with superior service and products.

Getting Ahead of the Storm: Project Storm Break

During July, ahead of the World Credit Union Conference, Field Notes, the official blog of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions focuses on a core component of its work: disaster relief.

The Power of Monthly You & Credit Unions

Next week, we'll be making an announcement that we hope will change a key pillar of our work for years to come by helping credit unions worldwide respond faster to challenges they cannot yet see.

I-CUDE: A Pathway to Changing the World

Keep Purpose Constant. Trust the Process. Be the Difference.

Universally Inclusive: Takeaways from the YP Summit in Brazil

Carmen Vigil, NWCUA Director of Cooperative Momentum, traveled to Curitiba, Brazil with a delegation from the World Council Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) Program and organized by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Global Classroom Program. She shares highlights and takeaways from her experience abroad, in her article, "Learning New Ways From the Brazilian Credit Union System to Grow Our Movement Here at Home"

Building a Cooperative Community: Teachers Credit Union

“We are heirs to the legacy of great pioneers who built a vibrant cooperative community that embodies People Helping People. As beneficiaries of their foresight, dedication and effort, we owe it to them to extend their vision into the future. Our work with WOCCU honors our past leaders and helps others across the globe to be financially empowered.”

— Paul Marsh, TCU President and CEO

3 Takeaways From Our New WF Video!

Lights, Camera, Action...the new Worldwide Foundation Video is here!

"Together We Fight"...Safety Brought to Busia Centre

The Busia Children's Compassionate Centre Motto Speaks Volumes

Sharing Solutions, Changing Perspectives: Financial Center First Credit Union

"Whether you live in Central Indiana or the borders of South America, your local credit union is doing whatever it takes to spread the cooperative principles that credit unions were built upon."

- Kevin Ryan, Financial Center First Credit Union's President & CEO

During May and June, Field Notes spotlights global champions who go into the field with us, sharing their time, talent and treasure, aiding World Council in its mission to grow cooperatives worldwide, which results in changing the daily lives of members everywhere. In doing this valuable work, they are sustaining and expanding the cooperative principles that make us credit unions.

Three Ways to Recharge Your Cooperative Spirit at WCUC Bahamas

The 2019 World Credit Union Conference will bring together international credit union leaders in The Bahamas, 28-31 July. Our attendees leave the conference with a renewed passion for the global credit union movement after four days of education and networking. Here are three ways you can make the most of your conference experience while reigniting your passion for the cooperative movement at 2019 WCUC.

Breaking the Barrier: Part 4 - Are You Financially Literate?

We want to conclude our Breaking the Barrier Series by engaging our readers with a simple question: 

Breaking the Barrier: Part 3

Breaking the Barrier is a four-part series during April detailing how credit unions provide financial literacy and inclusion to millions during times of instability and conflict.

Breaking the Barrier: Part 2

Breaking the Barrier is a four-part series during April detailing how credit unions provide financial literacy and inclusion to millions during times of instability and conflict.

Breaking the Barrier: Part 1

Breaking the Barrier is a four-part series during April detailing how credit unions provide financial literacy and inclusion to millions during times of stability and conflict.

How the Global Women's Leadership Network Scholarship Changed My Life

The adage is true. You don’t know what you don’t know. Having worked my way up through several credit unions over the last 20 years, I felt I had a strong grasp on the credit union movement.  However, like many others in the credit union industry, my perspective was limited by my exposure. While I attended conferences here and there across the state and regularly participated in local opportunities, there was a whole credit union world out there that I knew nothing about.

Accelerate & Scale Up Progress...

Access. Acceleration. Progress. All are key for the Global Women’s Leadership Network to be a catalyst for change advancing women in our industry.

What Does GWLN Mean To You?

The Global Women’s Leadership Network celebrated its 10th anniversary by announcing the launch of its new mobile app to members and supporters at the annual GWLN Breakfast in Washington, DC.  

International Women’s Day is every day for GWLN

With members from Australia to Nepal, from Jamaica to Ukraine, from the U.S. to Thailand, for the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) every day is International Women’s Day.

B.O.N.D. Community FCU "Thinks Global, Acts Local"

“Think global, act local”
is a mantra for those who strive to leave the world a better place than the one they were born into. No individual ever affected worldwide change without starting close to home.

Partnership Drives Peach State FCU

Peach State Federal Credit Union partnered with the Polish credit union system in 1996, beginning one of the most significant partnerships in our credit union’s history. Our initial credit union partnership agreement ended after 14 years and we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Polish partnership in 2011 by entering into a new credit union partnership agreement with SKOK St. Brother Albert, located in Szczytno, Poland. Through the 22-year Polish partnership many unique friendships have been developed. We found the international partnership so beneficial that in 2016 we entered into a relationship with National Health Service Credit Union in Glasgow, Scotland, a participant in the Association of British Credit Unions, Ltd. (ABCUL).

Two Weeks in the Global Classroom

The late, great Anthony Bourdain once said - “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you.”

The Road to 2025...

In 2014 one of the most common requests that we heard from members was for assistance in increasing membership growth and, in particular, growth of young adult members. In 2014, World Council launched Vision 2020. We took stock of membership levels as of then and projected what an increased membership growth could achieve. World Council launched several exchanges, publications and showcases of best practices in membership growth and in attracting young adults. Country members took on the challenge of membership growth as their own and applied their resources and their talent to the vision.

Five Things You Should Know About...

The Kenya Field Engagement: What We Saw, What We Learned