Northwest Credit Unions Win Regional CUNA Awards


As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions are so much more than financial service providers; they’re dedicated community partners that provide critical member and community support and are beacons of light through good as well as challenging times, alike.

Eight credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington will receive regional Credit Union National Association awards for outstanding demonstrations of the “People Helping People” philosophy through their steadfast commitment to community impact, member service, and financial education. In December, regional award winners will be recognized at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s virtual awards celebration, “Celebrating U,” An Online Gala Recognizing Credit Unions’ Extraordinary Service. The event will be held Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 3:30 p.m. PST (4:30 p.m. MST). Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details coming soon! Regional winners also will be considered for a national CUNA award.

Health care workers pose with their “Hero Lunches” — pizzas delivered by Horizon Credit Union to support those working on the frontlines of COVID-19.

“Every day, credit unions continue to shine through their undeniable dedication to their members,” said Christine Ruzzi, NWCUA’s AVP, Enterprise Engagement Resources. “I’m humbled by the efforts displayed by our Northwest credit unions over the last year-and-a-half to further financial education, support nonprofits with millions in donations, and offer members special services and support during their hour of need.”

Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Awards 

These awards honor credit unions for community outreach programs. Northwest credit union 2020 winners include:

  • Horizon Credit Union, Spokane Valley, Washington — For purchasing $4,000 in food and beverages from local businesses to support 15 groups of first responders working on the COVID-19 frontlines, including hospital staff, police officers, firefighters, and 911 operators.
  • Westmark Credit Union, Idaho Falls, Idaho — For greatly surpassing its original goal of $36,001 and raising an impressive $51,500 for CU4Kids at its 2019 Annual Golf Tournament, including $640 donated by Westmark employees and a $10,000 Miracle Match.
Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Awards 

The Louise Herring Award recognizes credit union efforts to improve members’ lives through outreach programs. Winners of this award include:

Clackamas staff distribute fresh produce and groceries to families in need through deliveries and pickup stations in the area during COVID-19.

  • Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Milwaukie, Oregon — For committing 152 volunteer hours and $10,000 in financial contributions to local nonprofits at the height of COVID-19, as well as reducing fees, increasing skip-a-pay availability, offering low-rate loan options, and processing and funding $16 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.
  • Providence Federal Credit Union, Milwaukie, Oregon — For processing 87 (and counting) Caregiver Loans throughout 2019 and 2020, which offer lower-wage health care workers a low interest alternative to payday loans, and incentivize savings habits.
Alphonse Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards 

This award honors leadership within the Credit Union Movement on behalf of youth and adult financial literacy. Northwest credit unions receiving these prestigious honors include:

  • Gesa Credit Union, Richland, Washington — For providing 13,000 members, including 11,454 youth and 1,500 adults, with over 200 financial education courses designed to educate community members, set them up for financial success, and support them during all of life’s milestones.

    Students participate in Gesa Credit Union’s Campus Branch Challenge (2019).

  • Mid Oregon Credit Union, Bend, Oregon — For hosting three Bite of Reality events for students in 2019 that included 120 students and 45 volunteers at three separate high schools, and for facilitating Free Financial Workshops, year-round, that provided more than 170 adults with topics that help them achieve success in the financial world.
  • Oregon State Credit Union, Corvallis, Oregon — For providing an estimated 6,100 youth with financial education and for partnering with a variety of organizations and schools to expand its Train the Trainer program.
  • SnoCope Credit Union, Everett, Washington — For offering free financial education seminars to 211 community members in Snohomish County as part of its Adult Financial Wellness program, presented in collaboration with local employers to adults who wanted to learn more about retirement planning.

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Posted in Around the NW, Awards.