NWCUA Honors the Northwest Credit Union Movement’s Greatest Credit Unions and Leaders

The Association’s Summit Awards were presented to 10 credit unions and four industry luminaries.

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Lynn Heider
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SEATAC, Washington (Oct. 18, 2019) — The Northwest Credit Union Association presented its highest honors – the Summit Awards – to credit union teams and individuals who’ve demonstrated outstanding service to the Credit Union Movement and its millions of consumer members. The awards were presented at the Association’s annual MAXX Convention in Spokane, Washington.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Debie Keesee, CEO of Spokane Media Federal Credit Union. While serving as the credit union’s CEO for 22 years, Keesee also has successfully advocated for state and federal legislation. She was an early champion of legislation, allowing municipal governments in Washington state to deposit public funds in credit unions, resulting in choice and better returns on taxpayer deposits. She was also a leading Northwest advocate for the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act last year. Keesee serves on the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Board of Directors, where part of her mission is to give voice to 361 small credit unions across the western U.S.

“Debie has personally helped to make the Credit Union Movement what it is today,” said NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang. “All credit unions deeply appreciate her collaboration and unwavering dedication to the Credit Union Movement.”

A large delegation of family, friends, mentors, and credit union colleagues hid backstage until the award was announced. They surprised Keesee for the presentation.

“I am blown away,” said Keesee. “How blessed I am that I found my passion a long time ago. I found my passion in credit unions. How blessed I am to have a family that supported me.”

Other credit union leaders honored with Summit Awards include:

  • Mary Vasquez, Community Advocate at Portland, Oregon-based Point West Credit Union. Vasquez received the Young Credit Union Leader Award for deepening relationships in the city’s Latinix community, and for committing 400 hours of service to more than 30 community organizations last year.
  • John Moore, Chief Experience Officer at Clatskanie, Oregon-based Wauna Credit Union. Moore received the Impact Award for creating programs to train the credit union’s future leaders. He also created a program to help the staff better understand each member’s specific financial circumstances, resulting in relevant, customized service to members.
  • Tim George, Director at Medford, Oregon-based Rogue Credit Union. George was honored as the Northwest’s Distinguished Director for 27 years of staff and member-focused service to the board.

NWCUA also honored 10 credit unions for outstanding community service and impact.

Nine credit unions serving the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area received the Cooperation in Action Award for jointly holding a job fair to raise awareness about the benefits of working in not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions. The honored credit unions included Unitus Community, Advantis, Clackamas Federal, First Tech Federal, iQ, Point West, Rivermark Community, SELCO Community, and Trailhead.

Meridian, Idaho-based CapEd Credit Union received the Members on Main Street Award for its Get $100 and Give $100program, resulting in more than $80,000 in contributions benefitting 243 local schools. CapEd deposited $100 in each new member’s High Yield Checking Account, which members were then able to direct to the school of their choice. The funds supported school projects such as reading programs, study toolkits, classroom organization tools, and computer technology.

“Every credit union and every individual honored has made a positive difference in the lives of credit union members and their communities,” Stang said. “The People Helping People philosophy isn’t just an idea; it’s a way of life and Northwest credit unions and their teams are living it.”

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The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing more than 175 not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 7.3  million consumer members. Those members are served by a professional workforce of 18,700 professionals. According to an independent analysis by economists at ECONorthwest, Northwest credit unions drove a positive economic impact of $7.8 billion last year. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit:https://yourmoneyfurther.com.