Four Individuals, 12 Credit Unions Honored for Advocacy

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) recognized two credit union professionals and two volunteers—one of each from Oregon and Washington—along with 12 northwest credit unions for contributions as advocates for the movement through the inaugural Advocacy Awards on the opening day of the NWCUA Convention and Annual Business Meeting.

Winning the Professional Advocate of the Year award from Oregon was Kevin Cole of Maps Credit Union. Under Cole’s advocacy leadership, 100 percent of the board of directors made CULAC contributions, and the credit union’s political advocacy goal was exceeded by 200 percent.

Washington’s Credit Union Professional Advocate of the Year is Lee Wojnar from O Bee. Credit Union Wojnar testified before the legislature during its consideration of prize-linked savings and was able to get several other community boards he sits on to support the legislation as well. He garnered television coverage from his credit union’s lobby, which featured a memorable plea of support from a grassroots O Bee member.

A thunderous round of applause joined the announcement of Rogue Federal Credit Union’s Liz Shelby as Oregon’s Volunteer Advocate of the Year. Shelby has been a volunteer board member since 2004 and is known for tirelessly lobbying Oregon legislators in support of the credit union movement. She is an active participant in the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) government affairs conferences.

Whatcom Educational Credit Union’s Terry Brennan was recognized as the Washington Volunteer Advocate of the Year. Brennan has been active as a member of the PAC committee for many years and was the first volunteer board member to serve on the Washington State GAC Committee. He is a regular participant in Hike the Hill events and CUNA government affairs conferences.

Thirty-seven credit unions won Capitol Advocacy honors for meeting high benchmarks for legislative and grassroots efforts. Twelve credit unions, meanwhile, were recognized with Top of the Hill honors for efforts exceeding the standards set for Capitol Advocacy honors. Those credit unions include: MaPS, Mid Oregon, Oregon Community, Pacific Crest, Rivermark Community and Valley in Oregon; and Fibre, North Coast, O Bee, Spokane Media, TwinStar and Whatcom in Washington.

Association CEO John Annaloro opened the event with an address to Convention attendees. He commented on the unsurpassed regulatory burden and thousands of pages of rules and regulations credit unions are coping with and noted the united advocacy of professionals, volunteers and the Association is critical.

“Advocacy is when tens of thousands of phone calls are placed promoting the credit union message, or when legislators are visited by hundreds who hike the hill, or when research is done to support legislation that benefits us and our members,” Association President Troy Stang said at the awards ceremony.

Stang was joined at the podium by CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney in presenting the awards.

Before the Convention is over, marketers will also be recognized with Spectrum Awards, and outstanding community service promoting financial education will be lauded at the CUNA Awards presentations. The week’s crowning recognition event will occur when four individuals are recognized for exemplary service to the credit union movement at the Summit Awards dinner Thursday evening.

Details on these awards events will appear in next week’s editions of Anthem.


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Posted in Advocacy News, Awards, CUNA, MAXX Annual Convention.