Recognition Reflection: 2015 Award Winners Look Back

Update: You asked, and we listened. The deadline to submit award nominations has been extended to Wednesday, June 22. A few extra days to get your nominations in order!

The Northwest Credit Union Association awards program recognizes those professionals, volunteers, and credit unions that have made outstanding contributions to the development and growth of the credit union movement. The awards capture the daily commitment to the credit union difference in the Northwest, embodied by our 157 credit unions and the more than 15,000 employees.

Because of the enormity of that work, it can be quite the process to decide who to honor with such distinction. But what about the winners?

Trailhead CU CEO Jim McCarthy accepts Innovation & Impact Award at 2015 NWCUA Convention.

With the deadline to nominate for this year’s awards is fast-approaching, we talked to a few of our 2015 award winners.

“When I read the candidate description for the Innovation & Impact Award last year, my mind immediately went to Jim.  He’s one of the most humble individuals I know, but he has accomplished tremendous things since becoming CEO,” noted Rachel Pross, now-VP of Risk for Maps Credit Union, herself recognized as Young Credit Union Professional of the Year, on her nomination of Trailhead Credit Union CEO Jim McCarthy.

“Our industry is consolidating at an astonishing rate, and every credit union we lose is one less voice for credit union advocacy.  Jim’s vision and tireless dedication has turned Trailhead into a thriving organization, and I just felt that he deserved to be recognized for that effort,” she added.

Has it caused Trailhead to approach its programs or membership support any differently?

“No, it really hasn’t,” said McCarthy, Trailhead CEO. “We have an energetic team here that wants to do the best for our members and employees. We treat each idea on its own merits and work to implement it to the best of our abilities. We are a small group but everyone goes above and beyond to put out the best product and service possible.”

Of course, individual recognition is only part of the story. Chapter Excellence Awards recognize the collective work done by credit union chapters around the Northwest. Categories cover Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Philosophy in Action and LEAP, which covers all four categories.

The Spokane Chapter, led by Numerica Credit Union’s Wendie Ellis (Board President) and Kelly Matthews of Global Credit Union (Board Vice President) took home wins for Advocacy, Philosophy in Action and LEAP.

“We are fortunate to have an active chapter, along with a very generous group of credit union employees and industry related vendors who are making a difference,” Matthews said. “We are humbled by the awards we have received, and we have our leadership and membership to thank for the recognition.”

Often, just starting a nomination can be the hardest part. Gesa Credit Union (Richland, WA) kept the awards deadline in sight long before entry, detailing notes and gathering content to help lessen the impact of the nomination package.

“Making sure we captured everything was important, but so was keeping an eye on the calendar. I kept that end goal in mind when gathering content,” said Angie Brotherton, Community Relations Manager for Gesa. Angie’s colleague Brian Griffith, Gesa AVP of Marketing, added his experience as a judge for other award programs helped frame his experience.

“Though it wasn’t required, as a judge, it helped to have tangible results to point to,” he said, before finishing by urging all credit unions to participate. “It’s the best way for us to keep telling our stories,” he said.

It’s hard to argue with those results, either. Gesa also took home awards in the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility and Community Service, Dejardins Youth and Adult Financial Education categories.

The 2016 awards will be presented during the Awards Dinner at the MAXX Convention in October. If you haven’t already, please consider submitting a nomination in one of the many categories available. This is one of the best platforms for your credit union to share your story and the credit union difference here in the Northwest.

Want more information on how to submit your nomination? Visit nwcua.org/awards.

The NWCUA awards are the Northwest’s highest honor for credit union professionals, honoring outstanding credit union leaders, chapters and advocates.

CUNA Awards honor credit unions for social responsibility, philosophy-in-action, and financial education. Regional CUNA Award winners are then entered in the national contest.

Winners will be celebrated at the 2016 Awards Dinner at the conclusion of the Convention

– See more at: http://nwcua.org/member-resources/anthem/nominate-the-best-northwest-credit-unions-for-2016-summit-chapter-advocacy-cuna-awards-deadline-is-june-17#sthash.tW4tBjsg.dpuf

The NWCUA awards are the Northwest’s highest honor for credit union professionals, honoring outstanding credit union leaders, chapters and advocates.

CUNA Awards honor credit unions for social responsibility, philosophy-in-action, and financial education. Regional CUNA Award winners are then entered in the national contest.

Winners will be celebrated at the 2016 Awards Dinner at the conclusion of the Convention

– See more at: http://nwcua.org/member-resources/anthem/nominate-the-best-northwest-credit-unions-for-2016-summit-chapter-advocacy-cuna-awards-deadline-is-june-17#sthash.tW4tBjsg.dpuf

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222, ehorvath@nwcua.org.

Posted in Awards, MAXX Annual Convention, NWCUA.