CUNA GAC helps ‘crasher’ Morgan Keith find her ‘why’


Morgan Keith, assistant branch manager at TCT Federal Credit Union in Ballston Spa, was selected to “Crash the GAC” in Washington, D.C. Feb. 23–27. The “Crash the GAC” initiative is facilitated by the Cooperative Trust. Event crashers are credit union young professionals or volunteers who are sponsored to attend the conference at a lower cost and with additional content designed especially for them. Crashers receive professional development tools, meet with industry leaders, network with peers and experience each event in a dynamic way.

By Morgan Keith

“In a world of algorithms, hashtags and followers, know the true importance of human connection,”

— Unknown

This quote can only partially sum up my experience of the 2020 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. This opportunity has truly strengthened my love for the credit union movement and the members that we serve. I was lucky enough to be chosen as the “crasher” for New York state, which began a journey that I will never forget.

I embarked on the journey of a lifetime with 59 fellow young professionals by my side. Bonding through our passion of credit unions, we dug deep into what being an employee and member of a credit union really means. We learned quickly that we are not alone and have an amazing network, from member service representatives to CEOs.

I am so extremely thankful for speakers such as Jim Nussle, Platon, Marcus Buckingham, Gigi Hyland and so many more. They have a real passion for our industry and know the importance of the human connection and the power in numbers. Through our week of speakers and networking, I found my “why.”

I am 10 years into my credit union journey and know exactly what I want to bring to the table. Throughout this conference (and others I have attended), so many of us spoke about our members not having enough education pertaining to finances.

Day after day we help our membership, some that are not struggling, but many that are. Through friends I have made within the credit union movement, I am now positive I will be able to help our membership gain access to more financial education and wellness material. I want to help the youth in our country be more prepared financially than I was when I set off on my own after high school.

I’ve always known to never give up — that comes naturally to me. At times, we all get down about not advancing at the pace we would like. The GAC showed me that anything is possible.

Being part of such a strong movement to help better each other, our neighbors and our communities is the most amazing thing I have ever felt. I can honestly say that this experience will help me grow each day, and I am ever so grateful to have been a part of it.

C.S. Lewis once said, “Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.” I am a better person, leader and friend for having the opportunity to attend the CUNA GAC. The experience has helped in building my human connections and bond with others who are as passionate as I am in the credit union movement.

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