MADISON, Wis.-The Crash Network, which gained notoriety in 2009 for "crashing" CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), is in the final stages of rebranding itself as The Cooperative Trust.

The Cooperative Trust will still focus on cultivating the next generation of credit union leaders, but Crash Network Community Manager Theresa Hilinski noted that some of the change comes from the group's significant growth. When the Crash Network debuted in early 2009 it had about 25 members; today, more than 270 are involved.

"We had the experiment before and did some events, but it has turned into a lot more than just going to crash a conference," said Hilinksi.

Fittingly, the current Crash Network website (crash.coop) notes that the group is "operating under the 'build first and refine as we go' philosophy."

The rebranding is set to be announced later this month, and Hilinski said that the change isn't about doing things differently as much as it is about refining what the group is known for. "Everybody knows it as The Crash Network, 'Oh, they crash conferences,' But there's a lot more that's involved and there's a lot more that we're doing," said Hilinski, pointing to meet-ups (both at the regional and national level) that the group has held, along with mentoring programs, online collaborations and more.

"Crash events have taken on slightly different forms from one to the next, and they've all been successful ... but it helps to have things that are a bit more formal," said Hilinski.

The group's new online home will be housed at trust.coop, which currently features a landing page and a video outlining the Crash Network's beginnings.

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