Making Credit Unions Relevant to Young Adults

Currency Marketing, our partners in the Sask CU Advance competition, have released this video that shows how to make credit unions relevant to young people. This video is a manifesto about what it’s like being young, thoughtful, hopeful and in control.

Feel free to share this on your credit union’s blog or website too! The link is at

Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee

Thank You

The Saskatchewan Young Leaders are immensely proud of the success we had with Sask CU Advance. When designing the competition, we feared how the CU system would respond to this new competition. The “what ifs” were quickly turned into “wow”! As a member of the SYL committee, thank you to my fellow SYL members for supporting and working alongside the Sask CU Advance competition to make it a huge success.

Congratulations and thank you to all our applicants who put forth an innovative idea. Your time, effort and engagement did not go unnoticed. The first step to continuing CU success is having employees who are enthusiastic and willing to go above and beyond. Thank you for stepping up and leading others. We encourage all applicants to continue to grow and foster their ideas. With a little work and motivation we’ll see those ideas benefiting the entire system and our members in no time.

Our finalists stole the show at the Peer Group meeting in Regina. Chelsea, Shaun and Ashley represented their respective credit unions and the young leaders of Saskatchewan with dignity, creativity and strength. Each of you are talented individuals and an asset to our Sask CU system. Congratulations on making it as our Top 3 finalists.

If Ashley hasn’t heard me say it enough…congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! Ashley was able to engage the public, the CU system and our CEOs. Ashley gave a glimpse into the future of what our next generation of senior leaders are capable of. Great job, Ashley!

Sask CU Advance would not have been successful without the help of the following companies and groups. THANK YOU to everyone who was involved in moving the Sask CU Advance competition forward. With your help, the young leaders in our system shone!

  • Currency Marketing – Five stars for excellence! Currency Marketing brought creativity, experience, knowledge and structure to our team. Thank you, this competition would not have been possible without your help.
  • Studio 10 – Thank you for working alongside the SYL to create a promotional video and recording our finalists’ presentations.
  • SaskCentral – Thank you for organizing the Peer Group meeting and allowing SYL to be a part of it. As well, thank you for supporting and providing feedback and suggestions about the competition.
  • Sask CU CEOs & Executive Management – Our goal is to bridge the communication gap between senior leaders and young leaders. Thank you for promoting and being involved in the Sask CU Advance competition. Without your support, the SYL would not be able to provide value to our young leaders in the CU system. Thank you for supporting the young leaders!
  • Sask CU Young Leaders – Thank you for tweeting, sharing on Facebook, engaging with a vote and supporting the SYL in our initiatives.

Lindsay Bertschi
Prairie Centre Credit Union
Vice Chair, Saskatchewan Young Leaders

Hamilton Named Sask CU Advance Winner

Ashley Hamilton, Member
Service Representative with
Prairie Centre Credit
in Eston,
SK, was named the winner of the Sask CU Advance competition today in Regina and won a $3,500 educational stipend.
Sask CU Advance competition is sponsored
by Saskatchewan Young Leaders (SYL), a group of young leaders working together
to empower youth to grow in and for the credit union system, and is powered by
Currency Marketing.

Hamilton’s credit union
project is to develop informative and fun financial literacy presentations for
high school students. It was chosen from a group of twenty original entries,
and was one of three voted into the finals by the public in October. Hamilton’s
entry provided the Saskatchewan credit union system with insight into the
project’s progress, and culminated with a final presentation Tuesday at Saskatchewan credit unions’ CEO Peer Group meeting. Hamilton emerged the winner
after a two-part scoring process that included Saskatchewan CEO audience voting along with an
online public vote.

Hamilton’s goal is to
teach young people about debt, credit and savings to empower them with the
knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions. The project is designed
to appeal to young people while educating them. In her presentation, Hamilton provided
suggestions for how credit unions of any size could implement similar programs
of their own.

Alyssa Siegel, Chair of Saskatchewan Young Leaders, said, “Through the Sask CU Advance competition, we were able to share ideas between emerging and established senior leaders in the credit union system – which directly focused on solving some of the challenges facing the system today. At the same time, the Sask CU Advance competition provided an unparalleled development opportunity for emerging leaders. Through our website, and social media links, Sask CU Advance provided a venue for sharing ideas and perspectives, while raising conversations throughout the entire credit union system. Many great ideas have been uncovered and shared by Saskatchewan’s young leaders.”



The other Finalists wee
Shaun Henry of Synergy Credit Union in Kindersley and Chelsey
Protz of Cornerstone Credit Union in Yorkton.

While this year’s Sask CU Advance competition has ended, the SYL will continue to develop new ideas to improve the credit union system in Saskatchewan.  Watch for further updates at, Like the SaskCUAdvance Facebook page, and follow the SYL on Twitter.

 Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee

Finalist Presentation: Shaun Henry

Watch Shaun’s final presentation video recording.

And Shaun’s slide deck.

Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee

Finalist Presentation: Chelsey Protz

Watch Chelsey final presentation video recording.

And, here’s Chelsey’s slide deck.

Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee

Finalist Presentation: Ashley Hamilton

Watch Ashley’s final presentation video recording.

And here’s Ashley’s slide deck.

Saskatchewan Young Leaders Committee

Finding Your Perfect Mentors

Since joining the Credit Union system in 2005 I have had the opportunity to meet and build relationships with many people who have had a positive influence on my career as well as life. Over time, I have developed a group of individuals that I turn to in order to gain insight on things happening within the financial industry, discuss the pros & cons of a potential decision with, look for guidance on a situation that I may not have encountered before, help build on areas that I or someone else have identified as opportunities for me to grow in or even proof read blogs and presentations.

I consider and call these individuals mentors. The dictionary definition of a mentor is: someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person. I would like to expand on that definition by adding in some additional details that I think are important to consider in the area of mentors.

  • When considering a potential mentor’s experience, a person should be looking for someone with experience or knowledge in the area(s) that you have identified you need to grow in.
  • Neither age nor title should factor heavily into selecting a mentor. Being a great leader or team member does not depend on having the word manager in your title or having reached a certain age. Some of the people I consider to be key mentors in my life and career are not managers. Some are around the same age as me and some aren’t even in the financial industry. The people that I consider I consider mentors all have in common the qualities or attributes that I want to emulate and learn or knowledge in areas that I feel I don’t have enough of.
  • One key word that is missing from that definition is trust. You must be able to trust the people that you are going to for guidance and advice. At times there will have to be open and frank conversations and in order to do that, there has to be trust that information will remain confidential and that both parties can freely give their opinions.
  • Most people in leadership roles that are mentoring others will also have their own mentors. People who are successful often are because they have been willing to seek out the advice of and learn from others. That doesn’t ever stop happening.
  • Don’t wait for someone to offer to mentor you. While sometimes we are lucky enough to cross paths with people who turn out to be a positive influence in our lives, it doesn’t always happen that way.  Take control of your career path and seek these people out. Before you do this though, know what specific areas or competencies you feel that you have the opportunity to improve in. Then together you can develop a plan to work on those.
  • Don’t limit your “inner circle”. Credit Unions in Saskatchewan and all across Canada employ successful and knowledgeable people from all different backgrounds with a variety of life experiences and things to teach.  Find ways to meet and learn from as many of these people as you can by attending conferences, joining committees or networking in any way possible.
  • Pass it on… I once asked someone who had agreed to provide me feedback and give me some guidance in certain areas, why they would do that. I knew given their role and personal life that they had very little if any free time, yet they were willing to provide me feedback during that free time. Further to that, this individual worked with another Credit Union that had nothing to gain by helping me. His response to my question was simple “I’m doing this for you because someone else did it for me, and my hope is that someday you will do it for someone else”.

Hopefully with this blog I have started that today…

Kris Babbings
Affinity Credit Union