Spiczenski: What to expect from the revamped GAC

Todd Spiczenski, Chief Association Services Officer at America's Credit Unions

America’s Credit Unions Chief Association Services Officer Todd Spiczenski is excited to welcome the credit union industry to Washington, D.C., to advocate with a unified voice for the first time as the new organization.

“It takes your breath away,” Spiczenski says of the premier advocacy event that brings nearly 6,000 advocates to the nation’s capital. “It’s like, ‘Wow, we’re kind of a big deal, aren’t we?’”

“Every year is unique, but this year feels like it’s taken on a bigger evolution,” Spiczenski says with the transformation to America’s Credit Unions. “We’re building on the foundation of what our members love about GAC. Whether you’re a savvy veteran or a newbie, you’re going to have an experience like no other. You’re going to see some new and different things.”

That includes Coastal Credit Union Chief Administrative Officer Mia Perez as emcee, a stronger advocacy theme that enhances attendees’ ability to connect directly with America’s Credit Unions’ advocacy team, leadership, and policymakers, a revamped welcome center, engagement areas, and more.

As always, a diverse set of speakers will take the stage to leave attendees with a variety of things to think about. Change Enthusiasm Global founder and CEO Cassandra Worthy will talk about dealing with change, actor Gary Sinise will discuss his veteran-focused foundation and the importance of servicing others, University of Maryland professor Jennifer Golbeck will examine artificial intelligence, and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White will share how to evolve with creativity. Not to mention industry leaders and policymakers who are set to share insights into the credit union landscape and opportunities on the horizon.

No matter who’s on the stage, Spiczenski expects the same atmosphere, camaraderie, and collaboration that has made GAC the credit union movement’s banner event.

“If this is your first time, you’re going to be blown away by the experience,” he says. “The energy is second to none. It’s like going back to your class or a large family reunion, but on steroids. It’s a large group of people from all over the country united in a common theme of people helping people. It creates this genuine, authentic experience where we lobby on behalf of the credit union system.”

The annual event is expected to break attendance records and showcase credit unions’ strength across the country with representation of dozens of leagues and all 50 states. While in Washington, industry advocates are set to hold 600-plus meetings with members of Congress and bring more than $8 million economic impact to the area.

“I’m excited that we’re tracking an even stronger registration rate,” Spiczenski says. “I think part of it is the power of two associations coming together to create America’s Credit Unions. There’s an energy and excitement around it. Our credit unions overwhelmingly supported that merger, and now they want to see the fruits of the labor: ‘OK, what do you have for us?’ We’re going to be ready to show them.”

Register now to attend GAC in-person or online, March 3-7. Use #GAC2024 on social media to engage with America’s Credit Unions and industry advocates throughout the event.

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