Insights from Catalyst

Welcome to Catalyst Corporate's blog, where thought leaders share their insights on news, trends and events. Have a blog idea? Contact the Communications Team

Forum 2022: A Young CU Professional Turned ‘Crasher’

October 24, 2022
By Alberto Tapia Diosdado, Forum 2022 YP Crasher 

Typically, when you see a “crasher” at an event, your first thought might be: “Why are they here and how do we get rid of them?” Not so in the credit union industry. Credit unions are a prime example of true collaboration. We encourage professionals to crash our events – especially those who are uniquely positioned to bring fresh perspective and new ideas to credit union discussions. This year, I was fortunate enough to be one of four Young Professionals (YPs) chosen to crash Catalyst Corporate’s 2022 Economic & Payments Forum.

This was the first time I had been invited to crash an event, and initially, I could not believe it. My first thought was, “Okay, okay, it’s happening! I’m crashing this event.” AsYP Jessica Wilson, Alberto Tapia Diosdado, Tuesday DerMargosian Operations Manager for the $7 million in assets California-based credit union, Comunidad Latina, planning around my absence took time and organization. I had to ensure the credit union was properly staffed during my time away at the conference. Thankfully, the YP crasher contest allowed me the opportunity to attend Forum 2022 by providing complimentary conference and hotel registration, something that might be difficult for a credit union our size to do otherwise.

Upon arrival, I was eager to gain new insights and knowledge. My plan was to take away as many ideas, opinions and procedures as possible from other credit unions. At only 28, I would be in a room full of well-established and tenured professionals, which was slightly intimidating. I had to step back and remind myself that I, too, was there with a purpose – I was meant to fill that space and offer my input. And sure enough, everyone was so welcoming and willing to hear me out. I knew I was meant for a career in the credit union industry, and I was in the right place, at the right time.

At Comunidad Latina FCU, our mission is to serve our community by offering unique, empowering and affordable financial services. By attending this conference, I’d be able to gather valuable information and better serve my community. I quickly recognized what a privilege it was to attend Forum 2022.

I am forever appreciative of the opportunity Catalyst Corporate gave me through the Young Professionals experience. I was able to build long-lasting connections with credit union colleagues.

In all, credit unions are, and forever will be, the definition of collaboration. A word to future crashers: know that your voice matters, your input makes a difference and you are meant to fill that space – so pull up a chair and find your seat at the big table.

Alberto Tapia Diosdado, Operations Manager from Comunidad Latina FCU in Santa Ana, California was one of four YP contestants selected to earn free registration and hotel to Catalyst Corporate’s annual Economic & Payments Forum.