NextGen Leaders: Aubrey Gallagher

August 2018: Vol 41 No 8
Meet the 2018 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec Top 10
Aubrey Gallagher of Heartland Credit Union

Aubrey Gallagher
Compliance Assistant
$318 million Heartland Credit Union
Hutchinson, Kan.
Follow Aubrey on Twitter: @AubreyG8747
Connect with her on LinkedIn
Watch Aubrey’s NTCUE video.

Give us the elevator speech about your project (as in how would you describe your project to someone you meet in an elevator?):
My project is focused on creating a culture of compliance and political advocacy in my credit union. I want to encourage my fellow employees to view compliance as a helpful resource instead of as a necessary evil. In addition, I am working to educate everyone about the benefits of political advocacy. By fostering a culture that is compliance-positive and mindful of advocacy, I am working to affect real change, such as what we saw with the recent passage of S.2155 – the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

I want to make compliance more fun, by illustrating regulations in ways that are easier to understand and remember, and also to highlight specific ways in which we can work together to lower our regulatory burden, by becoming involved in legislative issues. To achieve these goals, I will be incorporating modified games such as word searches and trivia into my branch visits in an effort to put a fun twist on what are generally seen as dull and oppressive compliance topics. Additionally, I will be emphasizing upcoming pro-credit union legislation and the bottom-line changes that could result from joining in on advocacy efforts.
What is your long-term career goal?
My long-term career goal is to become a BSA officer. In this role, I would be able to combine my passions for compliance and social justice and affect positive change in the lives of many people by helping prevent and detect money laundering and other criminal activity. More broadly, I want to become an effective and inspiring leader in the credit union movement.
Fill in the dots: The future of credit unions will be bright if ...
… we find ways to incorporate the innovative ideas of younger generations with our core credit union philosophy and cooperative principles.
What my generation brings to the credit union movement is …
… a lot of energy and enthusiasm for social change and working together to make our communities stronger. My generation loves social justice and philanthropy, and those are huge aspects of what the credit union movement was founded upon—people helping people!
People consider me a leader because …
… I help other people see their own value and succeed in their ambitions. I encourage those I lead and am willing to get my hands dirty and work alongside them. Listening to their concerns, empathizing with them, and putting in every effort to offer helpful solutions, I lead by elevating others.
Who is your hero and why?
My pastor is my hero. Andy Addis is the epitome of a servant-leader. He unapologetically lives for Jesus while being authentic and compassionate, and he has a great sense of humor, to boot!
Who is a must-follow on Twitter?
Jim Nussle—the man at the helm championing the credit union movement. Also, Ryan Donovan, the fearless leader of political advocacy efforts at CUNA.
What is your favorite CUES member benefit? Or, if you are a new CUES member, what benefit are you most looking forward to using?
The free webinars are certainly an awesome resource, and I look forward to utilizing them. I am also excited about the networking opportunities that the Heartland Council will afford me.

Online voters and a panel of past finalists narrowed the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec field from 23 to the Top 10 applicants. The challenge, held in conjunction with DDJ Myers and powered by Currency, searches for emerging leaders age 35 and under from within the credit union industry.

The Top 10 will blog about their project. And to provide additional value to the competition experience, they’ll each receive an executive coaching session from DDJ Myers, a CUESolutions provider for succession planning, executive recruitment and leadership coaching services. A judging panel of two CUES members and Deedee Myers of DDJ Myers will then score the Top 10’s applications and blog posts, narrowing the competition to five finalists.

The five finalists will receive additional coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration to CUES’ CEO/Executive Team Network™, November 5-7, in Nashville, Tenn., where they will give their final presentations. The 2018 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec will receive further coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration for two CUES’ CEO Institutes, a total prize package valued at $20,000.