Gary Plank (WYCUP) and Development Educator World Council Scholarship

Annual Gary Plank Scholarship Program

Suntec Singapore


What is the Gary Plank Scholarship? This annual scholarship is named in honor of the retired Arizona League President Gary Plank, who once served as the Chair of the World Council of Credit Unions. This year the program will provide three $6,500 scholarships for young professionals and directors OR Development Educators (no age requirement) to attend the World Credit Union Conference offered by the World Council of Credit Unions in Suntec City, Singapore, July 15-18, 2018.

How Many Scholarships will be Awarded? Three $6,500 Scholarships will be awarded in 2018

What is the Application Deadline? Deadline for application is March 9, 2018—The deadline for application has been scheduled earlier this year than in the past because the conference location, Suntec City,Singapore, requires two days of air travel and a good deal of advanced planning.

Who Should Apply and What are the Criteria? To be considered for a scholarship, one must be 35 or younger on January 1, 2018 OR a Development Educator (no age requirement), who is an active credit union employee or director with a credit union organization affiliated with the international credit union system, demonstrates personal commitment and influence in credit union development by working at the Association chapter level, or participating in statewide or national training events, or working at the local level within their own community, or serves as a project or committee leader in their own credit union, and demonstrates potential for further influence in the credit union movement.

What Should the Applicant Know? The Gary Plank Scholarship Program is an opportunity for three young credit union professionals, credit union directors, or Development Educators to attend the 2018 World Credit Union Conference. This year the conference will be held in Suntec City, Singapore on July 15-18, 2018.  Applicants and their CEOs/supervisors should know that hotel reservations will need to be made no later than early April and the early bird registration deadline for this year’s conference is April 13, 2018.

Before applying check out the event site to be sure you are aware of registration dates and requirements, hotel locations, and other important travel information. Click here to access the World Council Site.

This exciting event provides a unique perspective of the international credit union movement with highlights such as: World Council Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) networking sessions, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and much more.


Last Year’s Scholars (2017)

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.


2017 DE Scholarship was 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 spearheading 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 your eye on this page for the 2018 nomination forms!