Hannah’s Credit Union Colorado Trip

Penny Post’s Customer Service Team Leader, Hannah Copson, has recently returned from a once in a lifetime trip to Colorado, USA, visiting credit unions! We catch up with Hannah to find out more about this amazing opportunity.

Back in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit, Hannah graduated from CU Futures. As part of the CU Futures programme, Hannah competed in a Team Project Challenge, which she and her colleagues won! Little did she know that the prize would have been a trip to Colorado!

Then the world went into lockdown, and nobody could leave the house, let alone travel to the USA. Although disheartened at the time, Hannah now feels it was a blessing in disguise. “Lockdown helped me develop both personally and professionally, and in a way, it prepared me for the trip” explains Hannah.

On 23rd April 2022, Hannah travelled on her own for over 10 hours to Denver, Colorado, her first experience of travelling solo. There she met up with Emily from Birmingham based Advance Credit Union, who was sharing the ‘prize trip’ with Hannah. “I now consider Emily a great friend” explains Hannah, “she helped me so much throughout the week” and together they embarked on the week-long trip.

“We visited two credit unions, Canvas Credit Union and Harrison Federal Credit Union (more information on both below), which were both completely different to how we operate at Penny Post” explains Hannah. “Canvas Credit Union really opened my eyes to how different USA credit unions are compared to those in the UK. Canvas have multiple branches, a ‘drive-through’ cash machine, a recording studio to create their own marketing advertisements and even their own scent which gets pumped around branches!”

“From visiting both credit unions, I really feel the next step of development for UK credit unions is to be able to offer a wider range of products and services, many of which will require legislative change. I’ve brought back numerous ideas which I will be sharing with the Penny Post senior leadership team and Board,” said Hannah.

From Tuesday onwards, Hannah attended the annual Mountain West Credit Union Association Convention which was held at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Guest Speaker Melanie Spring held a full day presenting at the Young Professionals Workshop. “This wasn’t your ordinary presentation” continues Hannah. “Melanie was so inspiring and motivational. Right from the get-go the whole room were engaged as to what she had to say (impressive considering I had jet lag!) and there were aspects of the workshop that I will take away and think about for the rest of my life. The main focus was manifesting – the belief that if you want something in life, get it stuck in your head, work for it and you will reach that end goal! Melanie has a book coming out later this year and I can’t wait to give it a read”.

On Wednesday Hannah volunteer at a credit union fundraising event on a golf course. “Participants had to launch marshmallows off a tee” laughs Hannah!

Hannah did manage a little downtime, during the week, including a visit to the ‘Garden of the Gods’ in Colorado Springs. “The picturesque rocks with the Rockies in the background were incredible and I feel so very lucky to have been able to visit.” Another highlight was tickets to see the Rockies baseball game. “Although, I had no clue what the game involved, the experience was fantastic”, says Hannah!

Garden of the Gods & other pictures from Hannah’s Colorado Trip

“I really could talk all day about how amazing the experience was. I feel so privileged to have been able to visit such an amazing part of the world. I’m forever thankful to ABCUL and Penny Post for this opportunity of a lifetime and their continued support in my career in the credit union sector. It’s clear to say I will definitely be revisiting in the near future” concludes Hannah.

Canvas Credit Union
Founded in 1938, Colorado based Canvas Credit Union have over $3.8 billion in assets and 284,000 members. A not-for-profit, state-chartered, member-owned financial cooperative, Canvas describe itself as “a people-over-profits, won’t-ever-apologize-for-it kind of place. We’re a transform-the-way-you-experience-financial-services-and-won’t-sleep-until-we-do kind of place. We’re committed to helping our members Live Well(er) in all facets of wellbeing, including physically, mentally, socially, and of course, financially.” Their members can access their accounts and conduct transactions at their 33 branches, as well as at over 200 CO-OP Shared Branches in Colorado.

Harrison Federal Credit Union
Harrison Federal Credit Union was established in 1957 and serves teachers, staff, students, and student’s family of Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs. With assets of more than $14 million, checking (current) accounts, , car loans, student loans and mortgage loans to their 1600 members.