Two NW Credit Unions Win National CUNA OpSS Awards

Two Northwest credit unions took home CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Awards this year, bringing two of the six national awards to the Northwest region. Oregon Community Credit Union won in the branch design category for their Salem Service Center, and Red Canoe Credit Union won in the Sales and Service Management category for their “Award Winning Referrals and Rock of Stages” entry.

Oregon Community’s Salem Service Center is the product of a branch relocation, from a leased space with a more traditional branch design to a new, permanent space with modern offerings. The space facilitates 24/7 member access with next-gen ATMs, the teller line has been replaced with pods, and all staff are now universal employees called Service Center Representatives, which has streamlined staffing while improving service to members.

“We set out with the goal to have technology that would allow members and shared branch members to self serve on basic teller transactions, freeing up the branch staff to spend more time with our members who really needed more detailed personal attention,” said Mandy Jones, CEO of Oregon Community. “We succeeded and are thrilled to not only win this award, but to be able to share the results with our peers so they, too, can enhance service by offering more self-serve options to the membership.”

Red Canoe’s winning entry was a process to break down the successful referral process into its basic components and then coach staff on how to execute them most effectively. The Red Canoe team identified eight stages: Making a Successful Referral; Knowing when to Refer a Sale; Confirming Referral Opportunities; Product Category Review; Benefit Statements; Possible Benefits; Emphasizing Benefits of Talking to a Specialist; and Successful Mystery Shop Reviews. The credit union then had employees use these new skills in their “Rock of Stages” campaign, a year long program designed to increase referrals to Red Canoe Financial Group, their investment services team. Both cleverly branded campaigns had contests that engaged the front line and led to improved results.

“Our Sales Training Team’s commitment to staff development through creative execution is commendable,” said Dave Spaulding, Red Canoe’s CEO. “They are a testament to our brand delivery and a large part of how we maintain our internal culture.”

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Awards, CUNA.