Gary Plank (WYCUP) and Development Educator World Council Scholarship

Annual Gary Plank Scholarship Program

This scholarship is named in honor of retired Arizona League President, Gary Plank. Each year the Gary Plank Scholarship Program provides three $5,000 scholarships for young credit union professionals and volunteers (35 and younger) to attend the World Credit Union Conference sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions.

In 2017, the World Council will be holding its international meeting in Vienna Austria, at  the Austria Center Vienna, on July 23-26.  The Foundation and the Center for Credit Union Leadership has awarded 4 scholarships, 3 scholarships will be awarded to young professionals and 1 has been awarded to a Development Educator. This remarkable event provides young professionals and volunteers and Development Educators with a unique perspective of the international credit union movement through networking, breakout, and many other sessions and events.

The 2017 Gary Plank Scholars are:

Alex Pinuelas, a credit union young professional, has been with Pyramid Federal Credit Union for more than 4 years.  Alex has progressed in rank and responsibility quickly at the credit union and now holds a key position in indirect lending.  He is a good relationship builder and works hard so that local car dealerships keep Pyramid credit union and their members top of mind.  Alex participates in community fundraisers and volunteers to teach personal finance at the local high school.


Tara Roether, a credit union young professional, has only been with Landings Credit Union for a short time, but she has made a big impression.  Since she started as a graphic designer and a digital marketer, she has increased the credit union’s social media followers by 75%, created new ways to reformat the credit union’s newsletter, and created video aids for sales and promotions.  Tara has coordinated the credit union’s International Credit Union Day activities and was a ‘crasher’ at the 2017 Government Affairs Conference in Washington D.C.   Tara is a local school volunteer and a Credit Union Young Professionals participant


Tyler Valentine, a credit union young professional, is President/CEO of Laramie Plains Federal Credit Union and is responsible for day-to-day operations, strategic direction, board relations, and senior leadership development.  Tyler serves on several boards including the past chair of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Treasurer of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, and committee chair of the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Young Professionals Committee.  Tyler is also a champion of the cooperative business model and his commitment to the model, is demonstrated by ensuring that young credit union professionals are educated and immersed in the People helping People philosophy. Additionally, he has earned his Development Educator designation from the National Credit Union Foundation


This year’s DE Scholarship as been awarded to:

Karen Nadal the Development Educator Scholarship recipient.   Karen, a branch manager at Pyramid Federal Credit Union, has been with the credit union for 15 years.  Karen is a project leader at her credit union and has coordinated a Reality Fair designed to help young students learn about managing personal finance, leading Children’s Miracle Network fundraisers, and spear-heading a “Be Safe Saturday” event designed to promote children’s safety and wellness.  Karen is also a champion of the cooperative business model, always striving to ensure her team knows how credit unions work and how they are different from just another financial institution.   In addition to her work as a credit union professional, Karen is a grandmother, a gardener and cook.


Keep you eye on this page for the 2018 nomination forms!