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Eight professional fellows from Costa Rica gain expertise from Alabama and Florida credit unions

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates (LSCU) will be hosting eight emerging credit union leaders from Costa Rica over the next month. The participants are part of the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program which brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise.

The participants have been placed with credit unions in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Orlando, Tampa, Panama City, and Miami. One program participant will even spend time with the LSCU & Affiliates before heading to South Florida to complete her fellowship. The LSCU & Affiliates have had an international partnership with Costa Rica, through the World Council of Credit Unions, since 2005.

“This is an exciting program to be affiliated with,” said LSCU & Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “We’ve hosted Costa Rican credit unions in the past and we’ve also had our credit unions go to Costa Rica. However, this program will begin to give these Costa Rican credit union leaders real experiences in U.S. credit unions. The experiences will be invaluable as future credit union leaders.”

The Professional Fellows program supports international cooperation and builds networks of people and organizations working on critical issues worldwide. The LSCU & Affiliates program is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skill development, enhance cultural diversity, and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to credit union development and management. In addition, the program focuses on helping credit unions find new ways to attract younger members.

At the conclusion of their fellowships, participants will gather in Washington, D.C., to take part in the Professional Fellows Congress, May 8-10, 2013. The Congress provides a forum for participants to discuss best practices with other young leaders in their profession, and to develop concrete projects and networks that they can implement upon their return home. The LSCU & Affiliates is one of 17 U.S.-based non-profit organizations and universities chosen to host foreign professionals in 2011- 2013 from over 50 countries and territories worldwide.