Pacific NW Federal Credit Union’s Judy Kennedy Wins Business Person of the Year

Judy Kennedy, business development specialist at Pacific NW Federal Credit Union, started volunteering with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon five years ago. This May she was honored by the Oregon FBLA as Business Person of the Year. And this month she travels to Chicago to receive the award of National Business Person of the Year.

“With all the school funding that’s been cut,” said Kennedy, “kids are not getting a financial education. It’s really important for us as the credit union community to step up and take that on, so our kids have solid financial literacy as they graduate.”

She began volunteering at the high school seven years ago, giving financial seminars covering topics like savings, checking accounts, and credit reports.

“It’s a requirement in Oregon that kids need financial or business education to graduate,” said Judy, “so I started doing financial reality fairs for the seniors.”

After meeting the teacher who facilitates the school’s FBLA chapter, Kennedy gave a reality fair for its members. Then she helped the chapter put on a reality fair for the freshman class.

Future Business Leaders of America gives students the opportunity to learn and practice the skills they will need to succeed in the business world. This includes group and individual business projects.

“One year they created a marketing plan for our credit union,” said Kennedy. “The kids ran the whole thing. I just sat back and let them do what they were doing.” Students also take on projects like building websites, doing 3D animation and writing business plans.

Kennedy said that PNWFCU gives her time to volunteer, which helps her pursue this passion.

“These kids are our future,” she said. “In order to make sure our communities continue to thrive, we all have to step up and play our part to advise kids on financial matters, and on how to be strong, influential leaders in our communities.”

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Awards, Federal.