Top Directors Contribute Combined 70 Years of Service to Credit Unions

Three of the region’s top credit union board members won top Advocate, Director and Distinguished Impact honors at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Directors’ Conference this month. They represent a combined 70 years of committee and board service.

Advocate of the Year

Dr. James Sork, Chair of the Board of Directors at Vancouver-based iQ Credit Union, has served his credit union for more than 20 years. He is well known in education circles in Southwest Washington, after a 42 year career as a teacher and administrator in the Vancouver School District.  Holding a Doctorate degree in education, Sork also led the Vancouver School District Foundation. 

Most recently, he led iQ Credit Union’s successful merger with Lacamas Community CU.

It’s his regular dedication to Credit Union Day at the Capitol that won him Advocate of the Year recognition.

“With his vast knowledge of credit unions, he is able to successfully engage with legislators and discuss upcoming bills and their potential impact on our industry,” said the credit union professional who nominated Sork. 

Sork was joined at the awards ceremony by fellow board members and by his CEO, Roger Michaelis.

Distinguished Impact

Lynn Calhoun (center) pictured with fellow Rogue Credit Union Board Member Jerry Hauck (right) and Rogue EVP and COO Matt Stephenson.

The Distinguished Impact honor recognizes the Director who most impacts the credit union movement by contributing to the development of innovative offerings to members, encouraging continuing education and committing to activities that further the success of the credit union and its members.

Lynn Calhoun, Vice Chair of Medford-based Rogue Credit Union’s Board, received the honors.

Denise Gabel, NWCUA Chief Operations Officer, was emcee of the awards ceremony and shared a long list of Calhoun’s accomplishments with attendees. They include:

  • 17 years of Board & Committee service;
  • Active support for financial education outreach at the elementary, high school and college levels;
  • Oversight of a CEO performance review process ensuring the credit union has effective long-term leadership; and
  • Management of credit union growth from $400 million in assets to nearly $1 billion, expansion from five to 14 branches, and from serving three counties to 29.

It is the second year in a row the award went to a Rogue CU Director, and in fact the 2014 winner, Jerry Hauck, presented Calhoun with her crystal trophy.

Director of the Year

Dan Strandy (center) pictured with last year’s winner Warren Kuwahara (left), and NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang.

Earning Director of the Year honors was Dan Strandy, who chairs the board at Seattle-based Verity Cu.

Strandy is credited with driving a comprehensive continuing education program for the credit union’s board members, requiring them to pass 31 of CUNA’s Volunteer Achievement Program courses.  During his 33 years of board service, Strandy helped to lead credit union growth from $30 million in assets to over $450 million.

As a former County Commissioner, Strandy understands how important it is for credit unions to maintain strong relationships with elected officials. He supported a requirement that all board members attend at least one state or federal advocacy event during their term in office.

The NWCUA Awards program recognizes individuals and credit unions for exemplary service to their members and communities. Nominations for the Summit Awards, CUNA Awards, and the Chapter Excellence Awards are currently being accepted online through June 30, 2015. Those awards will be presented at the Amplify Convention, October 6-8 in Portland.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Awards, Events.