SW Washington Chapter of Credit Unions Named a 2019 LEAP Award Winner 

The Chapter is recognized for its efforts to further credit union education and awareness among credit union professionals and beyond.

9/17/2019

Southwest Washington Chapter Board Members attend a legislative event in October 2018.

Editor’s note: This is the second story in a series of five stories announcing the 2019 Micro-Communities in Action 2019 LEAP winners. Last week, NWCUA was pleased to announce the Young Credit Union Professionals of Oregon and SW Washington as the winner of the LEAP Leadership award. Look for three more stories in the coming weeks announcing our other winners! 

The SW Washington Chapter of Credit Unions demonstrated dedication to education throughout the year, earning it a spot as a 2019 Micro-Communities in Action LEAP winner. LEAP Awards celebrate four pillars: Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Philosophy–in–Action. The SW Washington Chapter is this year’s LEAP Education winner.

In 2018 and 2019, the Chapter stayed true to its philosophy that strong employees make strong credit unions by hosting two roundtables, providing online micro-courses, and re-introducing its professional development scholarship program. 

“There are a lot of opportunities for education and networking in the credit union space,” said Hillery Losli, the Chapter’s President and VP of Project Management and eServices for Vancouver, Washington-based iQ Credit Union. We feel it is important to promote these events and the knowledge obtained at them. I speak on behalf of our board and chapter guestthat without the support of the member credit unions with both dues, time, and people, we could not be as successful as we are. We appreciate all the executives that support the chapter and our events as well as the Association.”

The Chapter’s recent roundtables focused on management and networking. The board selected topics that it considered universally useful and could be passed on from participants to their credit union peers. Each roundtable saw approximately 20 to 30 participants from up to six credit unions.

The Chapter’s micro-courses also were very popular, with more than 500 completed in 2018. They included: 

  • A Hike through Credit
  • CU History
  • CU Difference
  • The Budget Game

The fun training tools were rolled out internally at participating credit unions and upon completion, employees were entered to win a quarterly drawing for $50.

“We get a lot of feedback around the relevance of the courses on day-to-day life, both inside and outside of work,” Losli said. “The program also brings awareness to credit unions about the Chapter.” 

The Chapter’s scholarship program focuses on leadership and training, advocacy, and community impact opportunities. It provides credit union employees with the funds they need to register for an educational event, travel, or secure lodging. To ensure the training or coursework is relevant, each applicant is required to identify how the scholarship funds will be used to advance the industry’s primary LEAP pillars.

“More micro-courses are being built, and will come out at the end of 2019 and first part of 2020,” said Losli. “With the attendance continuing to grow at the roundtables, those too will be on the calendar for next year.”

Carmen Vigil, Northwest Credit Union Association Director of Cooperative Momentum, reinforced the Chapter’s mission, noting that providing education to credit union professionals is a key component of Chapter leadership, and an area that the SW Washington Chapter has brought to the next level.

By utilizing both in-person and online formats, the Chapter has expanded its reach, which serves to then bolster overall engagement with the group,” Vigil said. “The SW Washington Chapter is an excellent example for any micro-community looking to reinvent its educational offerings.”

LEAP award winners were judged by the  NWCUA Awards Committee, a volunteer group of credit union leaders responsible for connecting, recognizing, and honoring the Northwest credit union community.

Micro-Communities  are groups of credit union employees, advocates, and champions that work together to build a brighter future for credit unions. They consist of Credit Union Chapters, Young Professional Networking Groups, Sister Societies of the Global Women’s Leadership Network, Credit Union Development Educator Networks, and others. 

Next week, look for a story in Anthem about the 2019 LEAP Advocacy winner. Winners of the Micro-Communities in Action awards will be further recognized at MAXX 2019, to be held in Spokane Oct. 15-17. There will be special recognition for LEAP winners, as well as  all CUNA and Summit award winners at the Awards Gala, to be held Oct. 17, on the final night of MAXX. Make sure to  register today and don’t miss the celebration!