Volunteer Leaders Conference

August 11-13, 2017  |  Dollywood DreamMore Resort  |  Pigeon Forge, TN1-DreamMore-Resort-Feature-Photo

As a volunteer, no one is better positioned to affect the future of your credit union than you are. You have accepted a major responsibility in guiding your credit union.  Ongoing education is important
to reach the next level of challenge and opportunity.

Whether you're just getting started at your credit union, or you're a seasoned veteran, our conference offers valuable learning opportunities to help sharpen your skills to make your leadership role more effective.

The conference is designed to help you understand changes in the credit union industry and recognize challenges facing your credit union. We'll discuss the issues that are most important to you. In addition, you'll have plenty of opportunities to "network" with other volunteers from across the region, ask the burning questions, and discover how you can more effectively serve your credit union and its members.

Special thanks to:

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Friday, August 11

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration Open

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Opening Reception

Saturday, August 12

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.


8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

  The Current Economy:
  More Like the Old Economy than you  Think

9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

This Thing Called Relevance: Critical Insights for a Quickly Changing Marketplace

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

BSA Update & Annual Training
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. –  2:15 p.m.

Board Strategies for Higher-Yielding Investments to Offset the Cost of Employee Benefits

2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Becoming a Servant Leader
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


5:30 p.m.  Dinner

6:45 p.m.  Board Bus for Smoky Mountain Opry
Sunday, August 13

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Closing Keynote: Living Your Legacy

10:30 a.m.

Conference Close

All times are on Eastern Time Zone


Session Descriptions

The Current Economy: More Like the Old Economy Than You Think | Elliot Eisenberg

Attend this entertaining and informative presentation on the economy and learn from Dr. Eisenberg how GDP growth will perform, what interest rates are likely to do, and more generally learn how all four parts of GDP including households, corporations, government spending and net exports will perform. Time will also be devoted to carefully examining how energy markets, labor markets and wages are performing, and why. Eisenberg will also spend time looking at auto sales, student loans and auto default rates consumer sentiment, small business sentiment and how net interest margins, ROE and ROA are faring. Dr. Eisenberg will then turn his attention to the housing market and discuss residential construction activity, remodeling activity, existing home sales activity, home prices, home sizes, credit availability, household formation, demographics, regulatory issues, inventory and much more.

This Thing Called Relevance: Critical Insights for a Quickly Changing Marketplace | Josh Allison

With the continued commoditization of business products services, the value offered by any organization to the consumer is changing at a rapid speed. Is your credit union relevant? Are you different? Do members care about your message and brand? Join Josh as he examines the topic of consumer relevance and the solution strategies available to engage, inspire and recruit new members.

BSA Update & Annual Training | Debbie Painter

Boards of Directors must have adequate BSA/AML training in order to understand the requirements, the risks and the ramifications of noncompliance. This session is intended to give Volunteers an overview of the general requirements and the most updated information regarding the “hot” buttons for examiners in 2017. This is an excellent opportunity for those Volunteers who have not had previous training, and for those who have, to be updated on the changes and new expectations.

Board Strategies for Higher-Yielding Investments to Offset the Cost of Employee Benefits| Eric Earle

Using an increased universe of investments to counteract continued low returns—and the rising costs of employee benefits. Hear how your credit union can strategically invest in funding solutions such as business-owned life insurance, annuities, and even stocks and bonds to substantially increase return on assets—as long as earnings are earmarked for an employee benefits program. Learn how to safely structure your program, so it's not subject to the investment limitations of parts 703 and 704, how to ensure your plan remains in compliance and performs as it was designed.

Becoming a Servant Leader | Janice Branch

The essence of servant leadership is to serve the employees first, and success with clients will follow. This might appear to be the antithesis of modern business but the roots of the philosophy are thousands of years old, with examples dating back to the 4th century B.C. in India and China. In contemporary practice, it means actively listening to employees, treating them as people with needs, interests, and failings, and respecting their roles in the company and the world. Unfortunately, the concept of servant leadership tends to evoke high-level philosophical meanderings with little practical application. However, advocates say, there are everyday habits leaders can incorporate into their management routines that can have powerful results. This workshop focuses on understanding Servant Leadership in practice on the job. It includes a feedback tool that participants complete prior to the workshop that profiles a personality profile summary. The summary provides insight on strengths, limitations, suggestions and techniques on how to elevate effectiveness as a leader.

Living Your Legacy | Crystal Jonas

Your work matters. Your selfless service inspires, empowers and elevates others.  In short, your volunteer work is all about others.  But, this session is all about YOU!

In this program, you will reconnect with ways to renew, revive and refresh your attitude and actions to keep your energy, excitement and enthusiasm for volunteer work going strong.


Josh AllisonJosh Allison is a workplace leadership and development expert, specializing in solutions for leaders and their teams for the 21st century marketplace. He has spoken and worked with organizations from Hawaii to New York and 25 states in between.

In the past, Josh partnered with an Emmy winning TV show to develop a financial literacy program for use by schools across the country. In 2013, he worked alongside international credit unions to study best practices in Gen Y engagement in partnership with the WOCCU. In 2014, Josh was recognized as the CUNA Business Development Professional of the Year for the credit union industry. In 2015, Josh was recognized as a top ten speaker for the 2015 World Credit Union Conference. Josh also serves as a Senior Consultant for FI-Strategies, a leading finance industry consulting firm serving a trillion dollar credit union industry.

He serves as a CUNA FUSE Institute faculty member, is a graduate of Leadership Spokane and certified as a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE). Josh lives with his beautiful wife and children in Spokane, Washington.

janice-branchJanice Branch has been a senior training consultant for InterAction Training for over twenty years. Prior to joining InterAction Training, Janice was the Senior Manager of Training for Consolidated Communications where she managed, designed, coordinated and presented training programs for this multi-state telecommunications company with over 1000 employees.

Janice is certified by the University of Houston in Leadership and Management. In addition, Janice has obtained trainer certifications from Achieve Global and Development Dimensions, Inc., and is a Certified Bank Training Professional.
earle eric-photoEric Earle is an executive benefits advisor for CUNA Mutual Group, a company that specializes in the design, implementation, financing and ongoing administrative support of supplemental executive benefit programs specifically tailored to credit unions. Eric is located in the Madison, Wis. home office of CUNA Mutual Group. He brings to CUNA Mutual Group his experience in the financial services industry since 2005.

Eric joined CUNA Mutual Group in 2008 as a retirement & investment specialist and was promoted in 2010. Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group, he worked as a financial advisor at AXA Advisors, from 2005-2008. Eric holds a BS in finance and a BA in economics from St. Cloud State University. He is FINRA securities registered and holds Life, Accident and Health Licenses.


Eisenberg Headshot 2017Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is a nationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making economics fun, relevant and educational. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Master and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg is the Chief Economist for GraphsandLaughs, LLC, an economic consultancy that serves a variety of clients across the United States. He writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at www.econ70.com.

Dr. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. He is the creator of the multifamily stock index (the first nationally recognized index to track the total return of public firms principally involved in the ownership and management of apartments), the author of more than eighty-five articles, serves on the Expert Advisory Board of Mortgage Market Guide and is a regular consultant to several large real estate professional associations, hedge funds and investment advisory groups.

DebbieDebbie Painter began her career with credit unions in 1979 at Fort Knox FCU. Almost twenty years later, she joined the Kentucky Credit Union League staff and serves as EVP. She currently serves on AACUL’s Political Involvement and Grassroots Committee. Debbie received a B.S. Degree from Sullivan University in Business Management and is a graduate of the Credit Union Management Institute (CUMI) and CUNA Management School (Madison, WI). Debbie is a certified BSA Compliance Specialist.

Closing Keynote

Jonas Crystal 2017 pictureCrystal Jonas, eight-time published author and international speaker, is the creator of "The Heart and Science of Success," an accelerated approach to swift and sustainable achievement.

Having served in the military for over 10 years, Crystal was the Executive Officer and only female officer in an F-16 squadron in Spain and a former Assistant Professor at the US Air Force Academy where she taught communication and leadership.

Crystal has been consulting since 2003, and travels the US and the world delivering programs to help people inspire themselves and others to elevate their attitudes and actions so they can do meaningful work and make the world a better place.

As a loyal and long-time credit union member, Crystal is a firm believer and supporter of financial democracy, and what credit unions can do for their members. That's why Crystal has a passion for helping credit unions and their employees be even more positive, productive and profitable.


Please register only ONE attendee (and their guests, if applicable) at a time.

NOTE: The Smoky Mountain Opry event is NOT INCLUDED in attendee and guest registration.  Please make sure to register all attendees and guests that plan to attend this event.


Hotel Information

Dollywood DreamMore ResortRoom collage
2525 DreamMore Way
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

You're invited to relax and play on Dolly's newest front porch – Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa®. 
Built around the rich traditions of storytelling, family and togetherness, this Smoky Mountain resort is just
minutes from all there is to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

Group rate: $189 per night for up to 4 guests.
This resort offers a variety of room types.
Reservation deadline: July 20. 

Reservation Link for Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa

Saturday Evening Entertainment

Smoky Mountain Opry oprysoontobe3

The area's largest musical variety show featuring music from Big Band Swing through today's country. See the most talented cast of singers, dancers, comedians, and musicians the Smokies has to offer! Marvel at our special effects, laser lights, pyro, giant video screens, dazzling costumes, and high flying musicians! Yes... HIGH FLYING MUSICIANS!

From Country hits old and new, yesterday's Disco, Jivin' Swing, Movie Favorites, and a little Motown! Songs from Frank Sinatra, Kenny Loggins, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, Etta James, George Jones, and many others! The Smoky Mountain Opry has it all!

General Information

Business casual.  Be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket, as personal comfort levels may vary.

Cancellation Policy
Refunds will be issued until 14 days prior to the conference less a $50 administration fee per person. Substitutions accepted anytime. All cancellations/substitutions must be submitted in writing.

Who Can Attend?
Affiliated credit union board members and volunteers.

Scholarships are available.  Click here for an application.

Questions or special needs, contact Laura Parrish at (502) 855-8203 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kentucky Credit Union League
3615 Newburg Rd.
Louisville, KY 40218

Call: 502-459-8026 or 800-333-5285
Fax: 502-459-0189
Email: kycul@kycul.org