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2023 Volunteer Leadership Conference

Friday, October 13, 2023, 12:00pm
Saturday, October 14, 2023, 1:15pm




The New York Credit Union Association’s Volunteer Leadership Conference is back! This year’s event will again include peer networking, and insightful presentations designed exclusively for credit union board directors and supervisory committee members.


Conference Agenda:

*Subject to change*

Friday, October 13

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Registration/Lunch (Cypress)

1:00pm - 2:00pm

The Future of Credit Unions...How to Remain Relevant for Growth
Celeste C. Cook, CEO/Founder, cuStrategies LLC
In today’s economic landscape, successful credit unions must find ways to become more relevant to consumers and their specific needs and wants as well as to businesses in the community. Creating a culture of creativity, innovation, and engagement is crucial to not only retain existing members but attract new members for long-term sustainability. Explore ways to become more relevant in today’s economic landscape to retain and attract more members!

  • Explore key leadership strategies for growth and profitability
  • Identify ways to strengthen your brand to create greater relevance
  • Determine the right approach to build a culture of creativity, innovation, and engagement
  • Learn what you can do to attract and retain top talent
  • Understand how the 7 P’s impact the member experience and growth
  • Determine the best approach to attract and retain Millennials and Gen Zs
  • Explore ways to market and communicate what is real, relevant, and relatable to attract new members for growth

2:00pm - 3:00pm

CEO Benefits in a Changing Landscape
Peter Sullivan, Executive Benefits Specialist, TruStage
This session focuses on the changing components of executive benefits being offered to CEOs today. This includes an overview of the top three emerging CEO retention challenges faced by credit unions, including increased risk of CEO turnover, economic uncertainty and promoting work/life balance. Based on your CEO benefits package, how can your organization continue to compete with potential poachers and keep your top executive motivated as they progress in their career.

3:00pm - 3:15pm


3:15pm - 4:15pm

Getting More Strategic About Lending
Celeste C. Cook, CEO/Founder, cuStrategies LLC
What can credit unions leaders do to build a solid, sustainable strategic plan to maximize loan growth and profitability in an uncertain economic landscape?
In this session we will:

  • Explore a strategic leadership perspective for long-term loan growth and profitability
  • Identify key lending strategies for increased loan growth, engagement, and retention
  • Discover ways to create win/win/win solutions to help you capture new members/new money, particularly Millennials and Gen Zs
  • Determine the best approach to build stronger relationships for loyalty and retention

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Reception (Cypress Foyer)

Saturday, October 14


8:00am - 9:00am


9:00am - 10:00am

Cybersecurity: What is it, and What Should We Be Doing?
Susan M. Landauer, CPA, Forensic Accounting Services Group, LLC
Cybersecurity - we hear about it every day in the news and publications. But why should credit unions be concerned? We will dive into the definition of cybersecurity and what your credit union should be doing. Then we will help you gain an understanding of what your role is in the fight against this threat!

10:00am - 11:00am

Breakout Sessions

Director Track
Board-Driven Leadership for Growth
Celeste C. Cook, CEO/Founder, cuStrategies LLC
Explore a holistic leadership approach that has proven to positively impact the growth of credit unions with a focus on membership growth, loan growth, and profitability for long-term sustainability.

Supervisory Committee Track
Advanced Supervisory Committee Duties
Susan M. Landauer, CPA, Forensic Accounting Services Group, LLC
Now that you have been on the Supervisory Committee for a while, let’s talk about the more complex issues you may have. This course is designed for the more tenured committee members.

11:00am - 11:15am


11:15am - 12:15pm

Breakout Sessions Continued

Director Track
Strategic Planning Best Practices
Celeste C. Cook, CEO/Founder, cuStrategies LLC
Explore the role of Credit Union Boards. What can you do to rethink, renew and revive your credit union?

  • Explore the leadership role of the Board in Strategic Planning
  • Discover innovative leadership strategies to encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking
  • Identify the 7P’s of strategic planning to renew and revive your credit union
  • Determine the best approach to engage an effective SWOT Analysis
  • Determine “Next Steps” for implementing and executing your Strategic Plan

Supervisory Committee Track
By the Numbers: Understanding Your Credit Union Financials
Susan M. Landauer, CPA, Forensic Accounting Services Group, LLC

Presented with your credit union financials, how do you know if your credit union is viable and strong? Balance sheets, income statements, net worth ratios? What should they look like, and how do you interpret these complicated and at times overwhelming packages of information? Stress no more; we will dive into the financials that every volunteer should be familiar with and assist you in the review and interpretation of the financial statements you are presented with.

12:15pm - 1:15pm



Conference Concludes
Travel Safely!

Location & Lodging:

Turning Stone Resort Casino
5218 Patrick Road
Verona, NY  13478


Tower King/Double Rooms: $229 per night


To Reserve Your Room:

  • Call (800) 771-7711 - Attendees should identify themselves with the New York Credit Union Association's room block to ensure that they receive the group rate.

All reservations will require a one night's room deposit (including applicable taxes and surcharges) or valid credit card to guarantee the reservation. 

Hotel Reservation Deadline: Friday, September 15, 2023



Educational Investment:

  • Credit Unions Up to $50 Million in Assets
    • Registrant - $275
    • Guest - $149 (Guest registration includes Friday's Luncheon and Reception, and Saturday's Breakfast and Luncheon.  Guests will not be permitted to enter these events without a name badge.)
  • Credit Unions Over $50 Million in Assets
    • Registrant - $549
    • Guest - $249 (Guest registration includes Friday's Luncheon and Reception, and Saturday's Breakfast and Luncheon.  Guests will not be permitted to enter these events without a name badge.)


The New York Credit Union Foundation is proud to support New York credit unions with up to $50 million in assets by underwriting this special rate on Association events. To learn more about the Foundation and its programs, click here.


Registration Deadline: September 29, 2023


Register to Attend


Cook1.jpgCeleste C. Cook, CEO/Founder, cuStrategies LLC
As a credit union industry strategist, Celeste provides strategic planning services, consulting services, and training programs to the credit union industry. She is a keynote and motivational speaker in addition to a consultant and trainer, and her dynamic and engaging speaking style have also made her a popular and sought-after speaker in the credit union industry.

Celeste has worked in the credit union industry for 20+ years and has been a professional speaker and trainer for more than 15 years. She brings to you he credit union expertise, experience and proven strategies, as well as her passion and dynamic speaking style that is engaging and filled with positive energy!!


Sullivan, Peter.jpgPeter Sullivan, Executive Benefits Specialist, TruStage
Peter is a registered representative of LPL Financial, offering products and services as part of the executive benefit plans at TruStage, a company that specializes in the design, implementation, financing and ongoing administrative support of supplemental executive benefit programs (SERPs) specifically tailored to credit unions. He is located in the eastern region and brings to TruStage his experience in the financial services industry since 1990.

Over the course of Peter's career, he has helped business owners with the adoption of qualified retirement plans and executive benefits programs. He is life insurance licensed in a number of states and holds FINRA Series 7, 26, 63, and 65 securities registrations with LPL Financial.

A graduate of the South Eastern Massachusetts University, Peter also received a Juris Doctor degree from the Massachusetts School of Law. Peter is also a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Peter is not a practicing attorney.


Landauer23.jpgSusan M. Landauer, CPA, Forensic Accounting Services Group, LLC
Susan Landauer is a certified public accountant, with over 35 years of experience in the accounting and financial services industry, most recently focusing for 20 years on forensic investigations. These forensic investigations include the tracing of hidden assets, net worth evaluations, embezzlements, and marriage and partnership dissolutions. Her client base has included various industries such as banking, manufacturing, medical practices, construction companies and others. She has qualified and testified as an expert witness in both federal and local courts.

Susan began her career with a big four accounting firm, where she specialized in brokerage, banking, manufacturing, credit union and healthcare clients. She then worked for seven years at one of the nation's top ten banking institutions, where she functioned as the Vice President and Financial Controller of the Trust subsidiaries and Private Banking department. Susan was then the Senior Vice President of the New York State Credit Union League, where she oversaw the Audit Services, Strategic Consulting, Education and Training, Foundation, Business Partners, Member Services and District Relations divisions. She has also functioned in a consultant capacity as the CFO of publicly traded companies, start-up companies, and not-for profits.

Susan is a presenter of numerous fraud topics, financial statement interpretation, risk management, internal controls, compliance and board of director/supervisory committee responsibilities for various organizations, including CUNA, the Association of Credit Union Internal Auditors (ACUIA), various state leagues, various chapters of the Institute of Internal Auditors and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and regional conferences for Board of Directors and Audit Committees. Most recently, she co-authored the curriculum and conducts a four-day course ad exam for participants to achieve a Certified Credit Union Internal Auditor certification, which has graduated more than 900 students.

Susan graduated from Siena College with honors, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. She is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Capital District chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She serves as a financial expert to the Audit Committee of the New York State Teacher's Retirement System. She just retired from the chairperson position of a $5 billion credit union's Supervisory Committee, which she served on for 18 years.


Thank you to our sponsor!

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Cancellation Policy:

A refund of the amount paid, less an $110 administrative fee per registrant, will be given for all cancellations submitted via email to events.training@nycua.org ten or more business days prior to the start of the session. No refunds will be granted if the cancellation is received after that time frame. Substitutes will be accepted any time prior to the start of the program at no additional cost. Simply email events.training@nycua.org, listing the new participant and who they will be replacing.


Event Code of Conduct and Protocols