Foundation Update: NWCUF Continues Post-Merger Growth

For the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF), formed on Jan. 1 of this year through the merger of the Washington Credit Union Foundation and the Oregon Credit Union Foundation, 2012 has been a year of growth and change. That evolution has included new elected leadership, an ongoing process of creating new branding and imaging for the merged Foundation, plans for expanded outreach and deepening partnerships with Credit Unions for Kids, and the continued operation of scholarship and grant programs.

And the year, like the Foundation’s growth, is far from over. As the organization continues to press forward, here is a look at where the NWCUF stands today—and where it’s headed tomorrow.

NWCUF Governance Elections

Democracy is alive and well in the credit union community, as evidenced by the newly concluded NWCUF governance elections. Three of the eight elected seats on the board of trustees were filled after competitive challenges in July, while the remaining five seats were uncontested. The eight trustees will be formally seated during the NWCUF Reorganization Meeting held Oct. 2 in conjunction with the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) 2012 Convention and Annual Business Meeting.

Completing the contests for the eight elected seats marked the first step of the transitional governance strategy outlined last October by the merging boards of the Oregon and Washington Foundations. According to RoxAnne Kruger, the Foundation’s executive director, the intent of the NWCUF peer elections structure is to seek strong and effective representation from throughout the region to provide guidance in promoting the overall mission, vision, and goals of the Foundation.

A transitional executive committee, to serve through Dec. 31, 2012, will also be seated at the Reorganization Meeting. Once positioned on Oct. 2, the eight trustees will appoint three additional trustees—asset-based seats that align with the Association board asset categories. Once the full board of 11 trustees is seated, the group will seek out through a nomination process up to five qualified at-large candidates for consideration. These candidates will be presented by the NWCUF to the NWCUA chair for final approval.

New Branding and Imaging to Launch at Convention

After months of collaboration with Weber Marketing Group and the NWCUF Marketing & Branding Committee, the resulting work of that effort was revealed for to the full board of trustees during its May 31 Q2 board meeting. Kruger said that Mark Weber’s final presentation of the Foundation’s new look was met with much enthusiasm and unanimous approval.

The next step is implementation by staff of the brand ideas in the form of a new website, collateral materials, logo and booth presence. While it will remain a work in progress to some degree, the initial branding product will be launched during Convention. Over the next few months, the Foundation and the Association’s communications team will continue to work with Weber Marketing in developing a fully formed communications strategy and web presence for the Foundation.

Summit and CUNA Awards

The NWCUA Awards Committee issued a call for nominations in April for the four individual categories comprising the Summit Awards and the various credit union categories for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Awards, and nominations closed in mid-July for both programs.

As a next step, some Awards Committee members are interviewing Summit Award candidates as part of the judging and final selection process. The full committee convenes on Aug. 8 in Federal Way, Wash., to review the materials provided to determine final 2012 Summit Award winners.

Separate CUNA Awards judging committees also will meet Aug. 16 to review all entries and select winners for Washington and Oregon in each category. The top candidates will then be forwarded to CUNA for national judging. National awards are presented during a special ceremony held during the CUNA governmental affairs conference (GAC).

NWCUF at Convention

The NWCUF board of trustees will host its inaugural Donor Appreciation Breakfast during Convention on Wednesday, Oct. 3. In addition to revealing the new Foundation brand, trustees will share the organization’s new vision and direction moving forward as a merged Foundation. A representative from each of the 139 credit unions that contributed to the NWCUF in 2012 will be invited. As space allows, additional credit unions that are not currently donors will be invited as well.

Consumer Public Outreach Grant: Junior Achievement of Oregon and Southwest Washington

During its Q2 meeting, the NWCUF board of trustees entertained its first Consumer Public Education Grant request, which requires initial vetting and recommendation by the NWCUF Grants Committee. A multi-year, $75,000 grant was discussed following a project presentation by Junior Achievement (JA) of Oregon and Southwest Washington CEO John Hancock. The grant will help fund a mobile JA World, a program that teaches youth about financial literacy and savings. The five-year funding partnership will include opportunities for credit unions in the Oregon and Southwest Washington areas to volunteer their time and resources to educating students in their districts about the credit union difference.

NWCUF CU Development Awards

As always, the Foundation continues to provide scholarships and grants to its member credit unions for educational opportunities such as Western CUNA Management School, Convention and more.

  • 2012 Scholarship & Grant Award Totals to Date= $190,858
    • Cycle One Scholarship = $102,450
    • Cycle Two Scholarship Awards = $24, 258
    • Grant Award Totals to Date = $64,150


Questions? Contact Foundation Development Associate Josalyn Alston: 206.340.4814,

Posted in Awards, CUNA, MAXX Annual Convention, NWCUA.