Alberta credit unions partner with the University of Calgary to help Big Brothers and Big Sisters address strategic challenges

    CALGARY, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - At the biennial Credit Union Management
Conference yesterday, credit union CEOs and senior managers put their
knowledge and skills to the test to help Big Brothers and Big Sisters of
Calgary and Area.
    Credit union executives demonstrated their teamwork and strategic problem
solving skills in the format of a business case competition. The task was to
develop a strategy to address Big Brothers and Big Sisters' current shortage
of volunteer mentors in the face of an increasing demand resulting from
Calgary and area's growing population.
    Participants were divided into teams of six and given an hour to develop
and present their solutions. The strategic challenge was facilitated by
Leo Donlevy, Area Chair and Senior Instructor in the Business and
Environment/Entrepreneurship and Innovation area at the Haskayne School of
Business and a seasoned case competition coach for Calgary MBA teams, who
donated his time to develop a case and run the competition. Solutions
generated by each team were presented to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of
Calgary and Area, and in place of a prize, the winning team was awarded with
donations made to the organization in each of their names.
    "We wanted to create a tangible benefit from the collective intelligence
and experience of the group, and to channel all this brain power to help a
local non-profit", says Liena Kano, Assistant Vice President Strategy and
Communication at Credit Union Central Alberta. "At our strategic management
conference, we have a room full of senior credit union executives looking to
gain new insights, share ideas, and make a difference. Why not put this energy
to good use while providing our delegates with an opportunity to network,
interact, create and have fun?"
    Adds Donlevy: "The Haskayne School of Business is thrilled to be a part
of this innovative exercise. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary is a very
important organization, and we are excited to work with the business community
to help them with more than just a donation. This is in the best spirit of
entrepreneurship and community connection, which is a cornerstone of our
School's philosophy."
    This exercise is organic to Alberta credit unions, who are known for
their community focus and outstanding corporate citizenship. It is also
fitting that Big Brothers and Big Sisters were chosen as a beneficiary of the
strategic challenge, as credit unions are no strangers to supporting youth
initiatives in their communities. Earlier this year, Alberta credit unions
launched their Agent4Change program to identify social causes important to
Alberta residents aged 18 to 24, and to select one young Albertan who would
partner with credit unions to impart change province-wide. Calgary's
Rob Aronson was hailed the Alberta credit unions' Agent4Change winner for his
Spread the Love program, which is dedicated to making sandwiches for the
hungry. Credit unions are now working with Rob to implement his ideas in
different parts of the province.

    The Alberta credit union system is comprised of 48 member-owned,
community-focused credit unions and the provincial support service
organization, Alberta Central. The system counts over $16 billion in assets,
employs over 3,300 Albertans and serves over 720,000 members through its
211 branches, a Canada-wide ATM network and online banking.

    The Haskayne School of Business is an innovative business school with an
international reputation for influencing the practice of management and
leadership through quality teaching and research. With students enrolled in
bachelor's, master's, PhD and executive education programs, the School boasts
nearly 16,000 alumni in 60 countries.

    Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary and Area is a non-profit
registered charity, founded by the Canadian Progress Clubs of Calgary in 1994.
By matching children and youth with caring volunteer mentors, the organization
impacts the lives of young people and volunteers through the power of
mentoring. In 2007 and 2008, nearly 1,100 young people and their families
benefitted from the mentorship programs and services.

For further information:

For further information: contact Liena Kano, Assistant Vice President
Strategy & Communication, Alberta Central, at (403) 258-5922

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Credit Union Central Alberta Limited

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