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Project 2025- Young Professionals Impacting Future of Philanthropy


A new program from Credit Unions for Kids will bring young credit union professionals together to help envision what the future of credit union philanthropy might look like in 2025. Project 2025 launched in April with the selection of ten emerging leaders from across the country. In a year-long program, this team will bring fresh perspectives and ideas to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ CU4Kids program – and help to cultivate a new generation of community-focused leaders for the credit union movement.

“Credit unions and their community non-profit partners have enjoyed an incredible synergy over the years, and the mutual benefits go far beyond the millions of dollars raised,” says Nick Coleman, director of strategic partnerships for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “CU4Kids credit unions have provided valuable insights on how we can shape our programs to best serve credit unions and their members. And, in turn, the success credit unions have in partnering with CU4Kids serves as an inspiration for their staff and leadership.”

Working collaboratively, Project 2025 members will explore new technology, research innovative ways financial institutions are supporting their communities, and consider how these actions can align with credit union philanthropy. The group’s fundamental learning objectives are:

  • Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the business value it provides.
  • Learning how to use data to measure and analyze CSR impact.
  • Studying new financial technology trends and their relevance to credit union success.
  • Honing leadership and team-working skills.
  • Networking with influential credit union leaders and peers in the industry.

Project 2025 members will meet monthly by video conference and twice in person. The first meeting in conjunction with CUNA’s YP Conference and the final meeting to occur in March 2020 at the CMN Hospitals Children’s Hospitals Week in Orlando. There, Project 2025 teams will present their research and recommendations to the CU4Kids National Advisory and Activation Boards.

“I want to help ensure Credit Unions for Kids is well-positioned for the future,” says Project 2025 member Megan Balogh, director of corporate and legislative affairs for CUNA Mutual Group, noting that it’s critical to “[help] a growing number of sick kids and their families through some of the most difficult times imaginable.”

“I’m fortunate to work for a credit union that strives for innovation,” says Maricela Jauregui, chief experience officer at South Bay Credit Union in Redondo Beach, California. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to bring that to the table with a group of my CU peers.”

“Emerging leaders are the future,” Coleman says. “A Cone Communications survey found that 93% of Generation Z respondents believe a company’s impact on society would affect their decision to work there. We’re excited to embark on an initiative that will develop a new generation of leaders and help reinvigorate this important relationship between credit unions and charitable partners like CMN Hospitals.”


Participants in this program include:

  • Adam Freehling, PSCU, Program Manager of Events & Conferences
  • Aimee Berg, Unitus Credit Union, Community Development Officer
  • Christina Pontisso, CUNA, Social Media Administrator
  • Joey Griffith, Communications FCU, Compliance Officer
  • Kristin Ryan, CUNA, Director of Learning Events
  • Layna Officer, Blue FCU, Member Experience Trainer
  • Lorna Quinn, SchoolsFirst FCU, Manager of Member Care Team
  • Maricela Jauregui, South Bay Credit Union, Chief Experience Officer
  • Megan Balogh, CUNA Mutual Group, Director of Corporate & Legislative Affairs
  • Meghan Valley, First Tech FCU, Community Engagement Manager
  • Peter Rector, Maps Credit Union, Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Rachael Jernigan, Associated Credit Union, Public Relations Coordinator
  • Tom Slemp, SECU Maryland, Senior Community Outreach Specialist