Inside the Foundation  
Foundation Provides More than Just Dollar Benefits
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 8:00 AM

The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation exists to help credit unions by promoting financial education programs and providing access to professional development for credit union staff and volunteers. The money they award to those who need it reaps more than just a dollar benefit. One Source Federal Credit Union's CFO Daniel Levario can attest to that.

Levario requested funds from the Foundation so that he and a senior staff accountant, Paula Sanchez, could take advantage of the League's live ALM Workshop in El Paso, presented by Howard Bufe.

"The Foundation provided the means for One Source staff to develop professionally when it would have been difficult otherwise," Levario said. "Because of our limited resources, it's hard to include personnel outside of upper management in live continuing education where collaboration is invaluable."

Levario said that the natural dialogue that took place after the ALM workshop allowed him and Sanchez to discuss more in-depth ALM concepts and processes, including how daily transactions impact financial ratios. As a result, he was able to reinforce the learning that took place.

"Mr. Bufe's presentation was incredibly effective; he broke down concepts and details to their simplest forms," Levario said. "I’m brand new to the industry, so I’m still trying to decipher terminology, and [Bufe] did a great job of defining those basic terms and concepts."

Levario adds, "Every month my staff and I review financials and constantly reference the material we learned in the workshop." 

Levario said the process of obtaining the funds from the Foundation was fairly easy, and he would recommend that other small credit unions apply for assistance. In fact, Levario reports that he's already suggested it to a colleague, and he can see the benefits of the Foundation's grants in the long-term.  

"I've made an impact, thanks to the Foundation," Levario said, "in helping develop staff and empowering them to further their abilities and careers within the credit union."

Staci Zale, Associate Director of the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation, says, "Assisting credit unions with their grant requests is the best part of my job. The Foundation now requires a 50-word testimonial with all of the grants, and the testimonials we receive are so from the heart and make my job rewarding.  Hearing their feedback and knowing that a grant from the Cornerstone Foundation assisted a small credit with their audit this year, or allowed a young professional to attend their first conference is exactly why we are here for the Cornerstone Region.”