Northwest Credit Union Association Announces Regional CUNA Awards


Central Willamette Credit Union is receiving a CUNA award for outstanding financial education efforts that helped 1,500 students prepare for brighter financial futures.

As not-for-profit cooperatives, Northwest credit unions take their social responsibility as seriously as they take their responsibility to be financial service partners to 7.3 million members. Thirteen credit unions will be presented with regional Credit Union National Association (CUNA) awards for outstanding efforts demonstrating their “People Helping People” philosophy through financial education and community impact. The awards are named in honor of Credit Union Movement pioneers, Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring, and Alphonse Desjardins.  

Your Association will honor the credit unions at the annual MAXX Convention in Spokane, Oct. 15-17. Having won Northwest awards, each credit union will also be considered for a national CUNA Award. 

“The credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington provide world-class financial services to more than 7.3 million people. Social responsibility is in their DNA because of their not-for-profit, cooperative structure,” said Christine Ruzzi, NWCUA Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Engagement Resources. “Their commitment stands out through thousands of hours of volunteerism, financial education outreach to young students and adults, and through millions of dollars contributed to charities in their communities.” 

Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Awards 

Dora Maxwell organized hundreds of credit unions and volunteer credit union organizations to help improve living conditions for the poor and needy. Her namesake award honors credit unions for community outreach programs. Northwest credit unions receiving 2019 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Awards include: 

  • CapEd Credit Union, Meridian, Idaho – Read to Rise program, which encouraged 500 elementary school children to invest 310,000 minutes of reading and supported the city’s Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic. 
  • Horizon Credit Union, Spokane Valley, Washington – Go.Give.Grow.Day, during which Horizon staff gave up a holiday off to work for 13 charitable organizations. The team volunteered more than 1,000 hours.
  • InRoads Credit Union, St. Helens, Oregon – Team Up for Schools, which raised nearly $73,000 for cash-strapped local schools, and its 80th Anniversary Random Acts of Kindness, which raised $30,000 for local charities.
  • PrimeSource Credit Union, Spokane, Washington – Volunteerism resulting in 340 hours of retirement planning financial education, and volunteerism supporting more than 20 local organizations.
  • Red Canoe Credit Union, Longview, Washington – For contributing nearly 700 hours of volunteer labor and more than $30,000 to benefit 15 important local causes. 
Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Awards 

Louise Herring is often referred to as the “Mother of Credit Unions.” She believed their role was to help achieve economic justice for all. The Louise Herring Award recognizes credit union efforts to improve members’ lives through outreach programs. Winning credit unions include: 

  • BECU, Tukwila, Washington – For returning $312 million to its members last year, through a program that lowered the interest rates on 49,000 loans for members with good credit practices and $5.1 million in ATM refund fees, and for its FirstTime Homebuyer grants totaling $772,241. 
  • Providence Federal Credit Union, Milwaukie, Oregon – Caregiver Loan programwhich both offered lower wage healthcare workers a low interest alternative to payday loans, and incentivized savings habits. 
Alphonse Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards 

Alphonse Desjardins founded the first credit unions in the U.S. and Canada, and pioneered youth savings clubs and credit union branches in schools. Northwest credit unions receiving these prestigious honors include: 

BECU is receiving two CUNA awards for outstanding service. Seen here are some of the 2,000 BECU employees who volunteered to teach financial education on the Annual Day of Service last year.

  • BECU, Tukwila, Washington – The Next Big Talk, which gives parents and teachers the tools they need to have difficult conversations with young people about money. Financial Reality Fairs that were presented by 2,000 BECU staffers to students in 16 schools, and the Financial Health Check program, which offered personalized outreach to 1,000 adult members, helping them make better savings, budgeting, and debt-management decisions.
  • Central Willamette Credit Union, Albany, Oregon – For financial education outreach that helped 1,500 middle school, high school, and college students to prepare for brighter financial futures.
  • Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Milwaukie, Oregon – For partnerships with community organizations resulting in financial education outreach to underserved adults. Classes on budgeting, investing, identity theft prevention, home buying, and financial planning were taught in English and Spanish. 
  • Rogue Credit Union, Medford, Oregon – For convenient email and online financial education courses designed to provide financial education to members who are unable to attend the credit union’s in-person classes.
  • SnoCope Credit Union, Everett, Washington – For its Adult Financial Wellness program presented in collaboration with local employers to adults who wanted to learn more about retirement planning, managing social security benefits, and navigating healthcare needs in retirement.
  • Wauna Federal Credit Union, Clatskanie, Oregon – We Wauna Youth Financial Literacy Campaign, which helped more than 1,500 students learn how to manage money through classroom trainings, online learning opportunities, and Financial Reality Fairs.
  • Westmark Credit Union, Idaho Falls, Idaho – For committing 2,000 staff hours to provide financial education to 3,000 students in elementary, junior high, and high schools.  

NWCUA will also present the Summit Awards and celebrate the Micro-Communities in Action award winners during the MAXX Convention. The Summit awards recognize credit unions and individuals whose impact reaches the highest levels of service to the Credit Union Movement.

Posted in Awards, MAXX Annual Convention.