Thankful, Encouraged, Inspired, Powerful, Giddy, Connected, Honored and Proud

golden star hovering over a man's palm
Lisa Hochgraf Photo
Senior Editor

2 minutes

Meet the 2017 Next Top Credit Union Exec.

"I sit here, trying to put into words my experience with Next Top Credit Union Exec and the CEO/Executive Team Network conference," wrote Shannon Cahoon, the winner of last year's challenge, in a blog post shortly after the culminating event. "Even now, weeks after the final thank-yous and good-byes, I struggle to coherently explain how it makes me feel."

Community outreach coordinator at $1 billion Fibre Federal Credit Union, Longview, Wash., Cahoon goes on in the post to name eight key feelings she experienced: thankful, encouraged, inspired, powerful, giddy, connected, honored and proud.

For eight years running, the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge has been making a positive difference in the professional lives of the young credit union professionals (non-CEOs, age 35 and under) who take it on, boosting their enthusiasm for credit unions and their confidence in their ability to build careers in the CU industry.

Participants in the Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge blog with text and video about a project they're leading at their credit unions. Those who make it to the Final Five (like Cahoon did last year) also present live at CEO/Executive Team Network. The winner receives the prize of a professional development package worth $20,000, including support for attending CUES' CEO Institute. The Top 15 and the Final Five also receive professional development-related prizes.

"There are so many other words that I could use to express what this experience has meant to me, and what I’ve learned from it, but I think this gives you the right idea," Cahoon said in concluding her blog post. "I’m looking forward to the journey from here, both with my project at Fibre FCU and the experiences at the CEO Institutes and beyond."

Even rising stars who haven't yet been nominated can still apply by 3 p.m. eastern on June 26. And since each applicant receives a free CUES NextGen membership, it’s well worth the time.

Who at your credit union should you encourage to apply? Should you apply?

Lisa Hochgraf is CUES' senior editor.

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