Three Northwest Credit Unions Earn CUNA Council Awards

Three Northwest credit unions were honored with awards from Credit Union National Association (CUNA) councils last month.

OnPoint Community Credit Union and OSU Federal Credit Union were among four credit unions honored with Excellence in Technology Awards by the CUNA Technology Council, which recognize outstanding approaches to technology challenges with potential for universal application across the credit union movement.

Red Canoe Credit Union, meanwhile, was one of two credit unions honored with an award from CUNA’s Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council, which recognizes innovative solutions optimizing credit union performance.

OnPoint won for developing its own in-house system to recognize threats to member data security and for creating a system to perform risk assessments based on the needs of each department while satisfying compliance requirements.

OSU Federal won the same award for its STOP (Security Training Operations Program) program, which has found imaginative ways to regularly reinforce the importance of personal and credit union data security with its employees.

The remaining winners were CASE Credit Union in Lansing, Mich., which was recognized for its innovative improvements to provide members access to information through a variety of methods, and to reach younger members who do their banking in less traditional channels. Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union in Charleston, W.V., was honored for using technology to help its human resources department work more proactively to resolve any issues with employees about their time and benefits and to better manage and minimize unscheduled time off.

A panel comprised of CUNA Technology Council members selected the winners, based on strategy, process, application, and results, without regard to credit union asset size.

Red Canoe was recognized in the Sales & Service Management category for its multiple sales programs, including Ahead of the Curve, Around the World in 80 Calls, Extreme Makeover: Financial Group Edition, QuestionSANDanswers, and the $25 pyramid.

Red Canoe also utilized its own communication tools BERT and ERNIE and a Member Solution Worksheet. As a result of these programs and the additional tools used, Red Canoe saw loan growth in 2012 of 43.6 percent from the same period in 2011, and the credit union made 6,824 outbound calls for the first half of 2012, more than double the previous year’s production.

Red Canoe also measures competitor buyouts, and through the first half of 2012, the credit union is on track for a 59-percent increase from 2011. Red Canoe is even exceeding its own goals by experiencing a Quality Service Rating of 95.09 percent.

Directions Credit Union in Sylvania, Ohio, won in the Miscellaneous category for a successful merger of equal credit unions. Directions is a unique blend of three credit unions and now represents one of the largest in the state of Ohio.

Individually, the three merged credit unions would have struggled through the recession, but by combining forces and utilizing economies of scale, they made difficult decisions to eliminate some branches that overlapped and even put a freeze on hiring and pay increases that have allowed them to not only survive, but to now excel in their marketplace.

Having survived multiple CEO retirements, name changes and other obstacles, Directions Credit Union is now moving forward with 250 employees at 18 member-access offices and two non-member operation centers serving more than 67,000 members.

The OpSS Council Excellence Awards were created to identify, recognize, and share new approaches and solutions with universal application in the credit union movement. Winners were chosen, without regard to credit union asset size, based on strategy, process, application, and results. The award winners were recognized during the council’s 15th annual conference, which took place October 14-17, in Las Vegas.

Established in 1995, the CUNA Technology Council is a member-led organization made up of more than 600 credit union technology experts across the United States. The Council’s goal is to shape the advancement of credit union technology by leveraging collective peer strength through the sharing of information and fostering of professional development. The CUNA Technology Council is one of the six organizations that make up the CUNA Councils, a network of more than 5,000 credit union professionals. For more information, visit or

The CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council is a member-led partnership of operations, sales, and service professionals dedicated to providing education, leadership, networking support, professional development tools, and expertise to its members in order to shape the enhancement of the role and diversity of operations in the credit union industry. The CUNA OpSS Council is one of the six organizations that make up the CUNA Councils, a network of more than 5,000 credit union professionals. For more information, visit or

Additional information about the awards and winning entries is available online.


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Posted in Around the NW, Awards, Community Impact, CUNA, Events.