Seven Northwest Credit Unions Honored with CUNA Awards

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA’s) Convention and Annual Business Meeting is an opportunity for the region’s credit union community to come together to not only work toward bettering the movement, but to celebrate it as well. True to form, Wednesday’s CUNA Awards Luncheon celebrated several credit unions for their impactful outreach efforts.

Those credit unions and individuals who have achieved a superior level of commitment in both programming and results are honored with one of three state-level awards administered annually by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Winners in all categories automatically move on to the national CUNA Awards competition, where they are judged alongside credit unions from around the country.

The Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring Awards get their names from two of the credit union movement’s most revered pioneers and are awarded to credit unions that demonstrate a deep commitment to community involvement and to member financial education. Winners automatically move to the national competition to be judged alongside other credit unions in their asset categories.

While there was no Louise Herring Award presented at this year’s Convention, the Dora Maxwell Award was presented to the following six credit unions for their outstanding social responsibility projects:

  • Kitsap Credit Union, Bremerton, Wash. (1st Place, $50-100 million)
    Kitsap was rewarded for its “Life on the Edge in Kitsap County” program, a day-long affair led by Cathy Brorson that sought to engage community partners, organizations and legislators in the fight against generational poverty.
    • Columbia Credit Union, Vancouver, Wash. (2nd Place, $50-100 million)
  • Linn-Co Federal Credit Union, Lebanon, Ore. (1st Place, $50-100 million)
    Linn-Co established a community-fund program called KidzShop that provided food, new clothing, backpacks filled with school supplies, and a one-year membership to the Boys & Girls Club to at-risk kids.
    • Valley Credit Union, Portland, Ore. (2nd Place, $50-100 million)CUNA Award Mid Oregon
  • Mid Oregon Credit Union, Bend, Ore. (1st Place, $100-200 million)
    Mid Oregon partnered with five other credit unions in the area to host the Great Drake Park Duck Race, a truly collaborative event that ultimately raised more than $100,000 to benefit local charities.
  • BECU, Seattle, Wash. (1st Place, Over $1 Billion)
    BECU revitalized an awards program that recognizes one individual member for outstanding volunteer activities throughout the year, tripling its new applications and gathering nearly 1,000 member votes while attracting publicity for its members, their charities of choice, and the cooperative structure of the credit union system.

Two credit unions also received Desjardins Awards Wednesday. This award is named after Alphonse Desjardins and emphasizes the moCUNA Award Linn-Covement’s long-time commitment to youth. Besides founding the first credit unions in Canada and the U.S., Desjardins pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school “banks,” known as caisses scolaires. Like credit unions’ financial education efforts, this award has expanded to now include both youth and adult financial education and was awarded to:

  • Linn-Co Federal Credit Union, Lebanon, Ore. (1st Place, Youth Financial Education, $50-150 million)
    Linn-Co hosted two educational kids carnivals with five booths representing core financial education practices and topics, including the importance of saving, ATM safety, cash counting and responsible check-writing.

  • Horizon Credit Union, Spokane, Wash. (1st Place, Youth Financial Education, $150-500 million)
    Horizon was honored for the Piggy Hunt, a scavenger hunt that sent local students on a scavenger hunt, using clues earned by completing financial education exercises to track down a blue piggy bank hidden somewhere in their school. The winner at each participating school earned a $250 prize as well as the right to donate $250 to the charity of their choice. The Piggy Hunt has already been picked up by the National Credit Union Foundation and re-branded for wider use by “Biz Kid$,” giving the program a national reach within months of its implementation.


    Questions? Contact Director of Outreach Programs Kasey Rockwell: 503.350.2217,

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