Summit Awards Dinner a Moving Tribute to Movement’s Leaders

Six key leaders in the Northwest credit union movement were honored Thursday night at the Summit Awards Dinner, the capstone event of the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA’s) 2012 Convention.

The Summit Awards are a time-honored tradition in the Northwest, and the name was inspired by former Washington League President Bruce Rouillard, who 28 years ago led a group of credit union professionals on a trek to the summit of Mt. Rainier.

Earning Young Credit Union Professional of the Year honors was Valley Credit Union’s Stephen Pagenstecher, a ubiquitous figure in the Northwest credit union community. The 2012 Volunteer of the Year was Rogue Federal Credit Union’s Jackson Jones, who has been a volunteer credit union director for 45 years and was inducted last year into the Volunteer Hall of Fame.

Unitus Community Credit Union’s Brian Irvine took home the Credit Union Professional of the Year distinction in recognition of his pioneering leadership in the field of information technology.

Verity Credit Union President and CEO Bill Hayes was presented with the Mark of Excellence Award, given annually to a credit union professional whose contributions to the movement have spanned at least 25 years and include demonstrated leadership in championing the credit union philosophy and enriching the lives of credit union members.

Hayes joined Northwest Federal Employees Federal Credit Union in 1980, and after 11 years as the CFO, he assumed the president and CEO post in 1991. He was also one of the credit union professionals who hiked to the summit of Mt. Rainier with Rouillard in 1984, prompting retired Blue Mountain Credit Union CEO and Summit Awards co-host Bob Schumacher to call Hayes “a Summit Award winner in the truest sense of the word.”

Following the presentation of the Summit Awards, the Association took one more opportunity to honor retiring CEO John Annaloro, rolling a tribute video that prompted a standing ovation before calling Annaloro to the stage for a few words.

The Foundation board of trustees also announced a $2,500 gift in Annaloro’s honor to the National Credit Union Development Educator program, along with a board commitment to sponsoring one new DE candidate from the Northwest every year with a full-tuition scholarship bearing Annaloro’s name.

“Through these gifts, a new generation of credit union leaders will be given the tools they need to carry on your work and carry out your vision,” said Horizon Credit Union’s Steve Wilder, chair of the Foundation board of trustees.

The evening gala began with remarks from NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang and the presentation of two Capitol Advocacy Awards, recognizing Northwest Community Credit Union’s Matt Purvis and Spokane Media Federal Credit Union’s Debie Keesee for outstanding advocacy efforts over the past year.

The Summit Award winners were selected by the Association’s awards committee:

  • Shirley Cate, chair, Providence Federal Credit Union
  • Doug Bennett, Northwest Plus Credit Union
  • Tom Berquist, BECU
  • Loreen Ervin, Laneco Federal Credit Union
  • Earlene Fantz, American Lake Credit Union
  • Bert Fisher, Our Community Credit Union
  • Kyle Frick, Mid Oregon Federal Credit Union
  • Debie Keesee, Spokane Media Federal Credit Union
  • Mark Morrison, MountainCrest Credit Union
  • Kathie Philp, Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union
  • Jeanne Pickens, Rogue Federal Credit Union
  • Will Rance, Washington State Employees Credit Union
  • Carlyn Roy, Tapco Credit Union
  • Connie Torgerson, Northwest Priority Credit Union


Questions? Contact the NWCUA Awards Program: 800.995.9064, ext. 106;

Posted in Around the NW, Awards, Community Impact, Federal, Financial Education.