Willamette Chapter of Credit Unions Awarded the 2019 LEAP Award


Members of the Willamette Chapter of Credit Unions pose for a group selfie at Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Salem on Feb. 20.

Editor’s note: This is the final story in a series of five announcing the 2019 Micro-Communities in Action 2019 LEAP winners. Last week, NWCUA was pleased to announce the Cascadia Chapter of Credit Unions as winner of the LEAP Philosophy-in-Action award. The Northwest Credit Union Association looks forward to celebrating all winners at the 2019 MAXX Awards Gala in Spokane on Oct. 17! 

The Northwest Credit Union Association is excited to announce the Willamette Chapter of Credit Unions as this year’s overall Micro-Communities in Action LEAP Award winner.

Each year, NWCUA recognizes Micro-Communities’ efforts in the four LEAP pillars – Leadership, Education, Advocacy, and Philosophy-in-Action. The Association awards one Micro-Community for achievements in each pillar, and celebrates a fifth Micro-Community for making an impact in all four pillars. Over the past his year, the Willamette Chapter was successful in driving engagement among local credit unions, hosting events focused on each pillar.

“Micro-Communities are an essential part of the Credit Union Movement. In addition, they embody the credit union cooperative spirit by bringing multiple credit unions together under one roof to make a difference,” said Troy Stang, President and CEO of NWCUA. “The Willamette Chapter of Credit Unions did amazing work in 2018 and 2019. Their award is well deserved!”

The Willamette Chapter, located in western Oregon, has nine board members representing three credit unions, including Northwest Community Credit Union, Oregon Community Credit Union, and SELCO Community Credit Union.

“The LEAP Pillars really helped us to achieve our mission and purpose – to promote unity among credit unions through professional development, networking, and community involvement,” said Rachel Farrell, the Chapter’s President and Industrial Hemp Program Analyst at Northwest Community Credit Union.

In 2018, the Chapter hosted its fourth annual BSA & Bacon Dinner, where more than 75 credit union employees attended, receiving important training on the Bank Secrecy Act.

“Employees were encouraged to ask questions and were able to expand their knowledge of just how important of a role we all play in preventing money laundering,” Farrell said.

The Chapter kicked off 2019 with its Tap into Advocacy event, where more than 80 credit union professionals gathered in a casual setting, learning about the importance of advocacy and how they each can get involved. The turnout was high, and response to the event was very positive.

“Moving away from formal dinners to more dynamic events also provided a better balance of engagement and professional development experience while promoting our mission,” Farrell said.

In September, the Chapter hosted its second CEO Roundtable, partnering with a Young Professionals network from Eugene, Oregon. The event provided attendees – many who don’t work in the credit union industry – with the opportunity to learn about the Credit Union Movement, to network, and collaborate on ways to make a difference in social responsibility and economic growth.

The Chapter also partnered with Oakshire Brewing to host the Community Inspire event, which brought in more than 200 attendees and raised over $1,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network and chapter programs.

And in July, it hosted a Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) bingo night, where attendees networked and learned about CULAC, the federal PAC of the Credit Union National Association.

“We fulfilled the LEAP purpose by promoting, attending, and hosting events that would build skills, connect local groups, and increase knowledge of how credit unions originated and developed into the best financial institutions,” said Farrell. “In an environment of ever-changing regulations and increasing consumer needs, we strongly believe credit unions make a difference.”

The Northwest Credit Union Association will celebrate all LEAP winners, as well as the 2019 CUNA and Summit award winners at MAXX on Oct. 17 in Spokane.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized!” said Farrell. “We hope to continue fostering the Credit Union Difference by opening up events with increased cross-collaboration to expand event participation that’s in line with our mission.”

NWCUA congratulates all the 2019 LEAP winners! Please read more about them here:

Leadership – Young Credit Union Professionals of Oregon and SW Washington
Education – SW Washington Chapter of Credit Unions
Advocacy – Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions
Philosophy-in-Action – Cascadia Chapter of Credit Unions

Editor’s Note: If you would like to find out more about getting involved with a credit union Micro-Community, visit NWCUA online. For further information, contact NWCUA Director of Cooperative Momentum, Carmen Vigil.

Posted in Awards, Micro-Communities.