Northwest Credit Union Association Honors Top Regional Movement Leaders; CUNA-Award Winning Credit Unions

The Northwest Credit Union Association honored its member credit unions at Thursday night’s gala awards banquet, closing out the Association’s annual MAXX Convention.

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Northwest Credit Union Association Honors Top Regional Movement Leaders; CUNA-Award Winning Credit Unions

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SEATAC, WA —The Northwest Credit Union Association honored its member credit unions at Thursday night’s gala awards banquet, closing out the Association’s annual MAXX Convention. The program honored the region’s top leaders, advocates, chapters, and CUNA-Award winning credit unions.

The credit union movement paid an emotional tribute to the late Terry Belcoe, former President/ CEO of Bellingham, Washington based North Coast Credit Union. Belcoe was selected as the Washington Credit Union Advocate of the Year, but passed away from cancer September 23—less than three weeks before the honor could be presented.

Belcoe lived his entire life in the Bellingham area and had close ties to community organizations. He was known for forging partnerships to improve the community and raise credit union movement awareness. For decades he mentored credit union employees to understand and overcome their fears of advocacy.

Honored as the Oregon Credit Union Advocate of the Year was Scott Burgess, President/CEO of Rivermark Community Credit Union in Beaverton.  Continuing an NWCUA tradition, award winners were surprised to learn of their honors as family members swept out from back stage. Burgess was moved when his daughter, Sadie, and his Board Chair appeared on stage as his name was announced.

Burgess is ever-present at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference and advocacy days in Salem, Oregon.  He maintains a good relationship with his area’s elected officials, and has successfully called his membership to action, generating thousands of signatures in support of credit union initiatives.

For lifelong service to credit unions and the credit union movement, NWCUA honored Larry Hoff, CEO of Fibre Federal Credit Union in Longview, Wash., with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Before joining Fibre, Hoff worked at Columbia Community Credit Union and Electra Credit Union, now Advantis in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. He is also known for his tireless advocacy work, and for being an early and constant supporter of Credit Unions for Kids since it was founded in the Northwest in 1986.

Hoff was nominated for the honors by dozens of industry colleagues.  He was surprised when his wife, Renee and son Tracy appeared on stage to help announce the honor. He called his family, “the heart and soul of me.”

“I learned a long time ago that you don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room, but you do have to hire them,” said a humbled Hoff.

“Larry Hoff’s business success and long tenure serving credit unions and their members in the Northwest is only part of the reason he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Troy Stang, NWCUA President and CEO. “Larry’s dedication to the community, in particular Credit Unions for Kids and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, have been a hallmark of his career.”

Amy Nelson, CEO of Portland-based Point West Credit Union, received the Innovation & Impact Award for her work guiding the credit union through harsh economic times and helping it serve its diverse and underserved population. The credit union recently received Juntos Avanzamos designation for service to Hispanic and immigrant consumers. Nelson was recently appointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s national Credit Union Advisory Council.

Her honor was also a surprise that brought her to tears.

“I’m so glad I wore water-proof mascara,” she told the audience of 300 northwest credit union professionals. “My babies are here—all three of them,” she said referring to her surprise delegation of her husband and two children.

“I tell my kids to use your powers for good,” she said, noting the credit union movement “has incredible powers” to change communities.

Michael Murdoch, marketing specialist at NW Priority Credit Union, was named 2016’s Young Credit Union Professional. Murdoch has increased his credit union’s involvement with Credit Unions for Kids, managed social media for the credit union, and represented the credit union in community service with a diverse group of local nonprofits.

NWCUA also presented the following credit unions with regional CUNA awards:

  • Desjardins Financial Education Awards
    • SnoCope Credit Union—Everett, Washington, Financial Wellness Program
    • Maps Credit Union—Salem, Oregon, financial education workshops
    • BECU—Tukwila, Washington, Junior Achievement Community Day
  • Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Awards
    • SnoCope Credit Union–Everett, Washington, Wenatchee Fire Relief Fund & The Snohomish County Employees’ Fire Relief Fund
    • Mid Oregon Credit Union—Bend, Oregon, partnership with Junior Achievement Central Oregon
    • Maps Credit Union—Salem, Oregon, partnership with HOME Youth & Resource Center
    • Solarity Credit Union—Yakima, Washington, Employee Community Partner
    • Oregon Community Credit Union—Eugene, Oregon, Volunteer Day
    • BECU—Tukwila, Washington, Closing for Good
  • Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Awards
    • Point West Credit Union—Portland, Oregon, non-citizen lending program
    • Solarity Credit Union—Yakima, Washington, Member Experience Surveys
    • BECU—Tukwila, Washington, Member Summit

All Northwest CUNA Awards have progressed to the National CUNA Awards program for judging.

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The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing 154 of Oregon and Washington’s credit unions. Northwest credit unions returned $352 million in direct financial benefits to their 5.2 million members last year. The NWCUA is the voice of the Northwest credit union movement, providing legislative, regulatory and public advocacy in addition to education, compliance, networking support and business solutions to credit unions. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit http://www.asmarterchoice.org.

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