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Tennessee Credit Union Leaders Advocate for Members in D.C. During GAC 2024

More than 70 Tennessee credit union leaders were in Washington, D.C., this week for America’s Credit Unions’ Governmental Affairs Conference. The national event features educational sessions, networking events and advocacy visits with state legislators.

The four-day conference allows attendees to highlight the credit union difference to lawmakers.

“As a small CDFI credit union, it is important we participate in advocacy efforts, such as GAC, to be a voice for our members,” said Vicki Gobble, chief financial officer at Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union. “We have important member stories to share with legislators illustrating the impacts CDFI credit unions make in our communities. I believe the attendance of smaller credit unions is additionally critical. The financial investment to attend GAC solidifies our commitment to making the voices of our members’ heard.”

The event helps showcase credit unions’ impact on the financial well-being of Tennesseans.

“We are always encouraged to share the credit union story, and I loved hearing so many examples of how credit unions make a difference in people’s lives,” said Terri Lyon, board treasurer at Alcoa Tenn Federal Credit Union. “And I was delighted to learn about the Global Women’s Leadership Network, whose mission is to empower female representation in credit union management and on boards. Tennessee has a group forming, and I hope to get involved. Credit unions are laser-focused on doing good.”

The enthusiasm at GAC is incredible, almost like a pep rally for the credit union movement.

“This was my first year attending GAC, and as someone who came not knowing much about the behind-the-scenes of the credit union industry, I’m leaving with butterflies in my stomach at how much our credit union leaders care about our members and want to fight for them,” said Sarah Rodgers, graphic designer at ORNL Federal Credit Union. “I love working for a credit union, and I see first-hand how we impact and care for the community. To see that EVERY credit union is like that… it blows my mind and makes me so happy for how we are each making the lives of our members and community better day-by-day, person-by-person. I learned how much we genuinely care, and the push to provide more financial education to our members and community so they can lead their best lives.”

Next Steps
If you are interested in learning more about how you can better advocate for the financial well-being of your members:

  • Share a member story on Advancing Tennessee Communities let our lawmakers know the impact credit unions are having on the lives of Tennesseans.
  • Attend the League’s Annual Convention and Expo to network and collaborate with Tennessee credit union professionals.
  • Contact the League with questions about how you can grow your advocacy efforts.

“For those who weren’t able to attend, keep pushing for your membership and your community,” said Rodgers. “Be there for them when they need the help. Connect with them on a personal level and show them the hospitality they won’t get at a big-bank.”

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