Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions Named 2019 LEAP Advocacy Winner


Members of the Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions pose for a photo after an event with keynote speaker, Rachel Strawther, Director of Leadership Training and Development at Gonzaga University. From left to right: Adrianne Franklin, Board Event Coordinator, Wendie Ellis, Board President, Strawther, Kristy Pelle, Board Treasurer, and Nicole Gunning-Butler, Board Vice-President.

Editor’s note: This is the third story in a series of five announcing the 2019 Micro-Communities in Action 2019 LEAP winners. Last week, NWCUA was pleased to announce the SW Washington Chapter of Credit Unions as winner of the LEAP Education award. Look for more stories in the coming weeks announcing our other winners! 

Because of their outstanding efforts in credit union advocacy, the Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions has been named the 2019 LEAP Advocacy award winner. The Chapter engaged its members in credit union advocacy throughout 2018 and 2019.

“The Spokane Chapter continues to support credit union advocacy, as we know how important it is to the Credit Union Movement,” said Nicole Gunning-Butler, STCU Newport Branch Manager and Chapter Vice President. “We feel it’s important to educate our credit union team members and board members to grow and be a voice in the financial sector.”

The Chapter works to reach credit union staff members throughout the region with timely, engaging events, and its board of seven credit union professionals consider the work “a calling.”

In 2018, the Chapter invited local lawmakers, including Representative Mike Volz (R-Spokane), Senator Jeff Holy (R-WA), and Spokane City Council Member, Karen Stratton, to a legislative roundtable. The event saw a lively question-and-answer session and participants had the opportunity to further educate the lawmakers on the Credit Union Difference.

This past spring, the Chapter hosted the Advocates in Action Forum, where credit unions of all sizes showcased how they promote advocacy in their workplaces. Credit union leaders from STCU, Spokane Media FCU, Global Credit Union, and Horizon Credit Union shared political action committee fundraising and advocacy strategies during the event.

“Sharing this information with each other and collaborating with other credit unions is what the cooperative spirit is about and what keeps the Credit Union Movement moving forward. Without collaboration amongst our credit unions we would not be able to have a successful event that directly contributes to our advocacy efforts and gives us a voice in Congress,” Gunning-Butler said.

The Chapter has plans to further its advocacy efforts in 2020, as well as its involvement in the other LEAP pillars of Leadership, Education, and Philosophy in Action.

“The Spokane Chapter is actively involved in credit union advocacy, furthering awareness among local, as well as regional, lawmakers,” said Northwest Credit Union Vice President of Advocacy, Samantha Beeler. “Their voice makes a difference, and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Their LEAP Advocacy award is well deserved.

“We are ecstatic about receiving the Advocacy award,” said Gunning-Butler. “Each year we try to come up with something new and different to bring advocacy to the forefront and we appreciate the opportunity to share our stories with other Micro-Communities and the Credit Union Movement.”

Next week, look for a story in Anthem about the 2019 LEAP Philosophy in Action 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!

Posted in Awards, MAXX Annual Convention.