‘Crashers’ Focus on Young Entrepreneurs

Young professionals’ week begins with ‘Design Thinking’ workshop.

February 13, 2013
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Crash the GAC, an initiative to involve young people in issues and events critical to the credit union system, is in its fourth year.

This year’s select group of 19 young credit union professionals has taken on an audacious goal: to research, design, and build a new tool to support credit unions as they serve young entrepreneurs.

The Crashers’ week begins with a half-day Design Thinking Workshop on Sunday.

Design Thinking is an innovation practice that uses human-centered research, storytelling, and rapid prototyping to solve problems. The group interviewed and observed local small-business owners and, based on the observed patterns, landed on one solution.

The Crashers will have one day following the GAC to bring their idea to life.

“Economic and technological changes have created new needs for young entrepreneurs,” says Crash the GAC Founder Brent Dixon. “To best assist small businesses, we must understand those needs.”

In addition to their small-business project, the GAC Crashers will spend the week meeting with credit union system leaders, hiking the hill, and entertaining attendees with their annual Thunderpunch party.

Crash the GAC is a project by The Cooperative Trust, a development network for young credit union professionals incubated by the Filene Research Institute. PSCU Financial Services sponsors the project, and CUNA Mutual Group funds The Cooperative Trust.

Learn more and get involved by visiting

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive