Clackamas and SnoCope Credit Unions Win National CUNA Awards

Last week, the Credit Union National Association revealed the 44 credit unions across the country that received national CUNA Awards, including two from the Northwest.

The CUNA Awards recognize credit unions demonstrating excellence in the areas of member service, community impact, and youth and adult financial education.

Clackamas Federal Credit Union won first place in its assets category for the Alphonse Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award.

In 2020, the Milwaukee, Oregon-based cooperative spent nearly 100 hours teaching 53 financial education classes to 1,264 students. Leveraging partnerships with financial literacy organizations in the area, Clackamas adapted its regular classes to a virtual format. It also teamed up with the local school district to start an after-school program for Kindergarten, first, and second-grade students, teaching them smart money habits at an early age. Other successful partnerships included joining forces with a local nonprofit to offer money management programming to at-risk youth, and working with a community college to provide financial education to low-income high schoolers.

“We are proud to be recognized for our financial literacy for the youth in our community,” said Aaron Goff, Clackamas President and CEO. “It reflects our team’s passion and commitment to improving lives even during the challenges of a global pandemic.”

SnoCope Credit Union, based in Everett, Washington, received an Alphonse Desjardins Honorable Mention for its adult Financial Wellness Program.

Working hand-in-hand with local employer groups in and around Snohomish County to identify the specific needs of its community, SnoCope was able to offer free financial wellness seminars to 330 adults in 2020. A change from previous years, the seminars were largely held virtually and covered top-of-mind issues such as preparing for retirement and Social Security planning.

“SnoCope is extremely proud to receive the National CUNA Alphonse Desjardins Honorable Mention for our Adult Financial Literacy Program,” said Steve Ellis, President and CEO of SnoCope. “Since early 2014, we have worked diligently to make our members, our community and our employer groups aware of the value-added benefits that derive from SnoCope Credit Union membership and the credit union industry.”

Ellis said this award marks a seven-year milestone in the credit union’s mission to foster financial wellness in its community and further encourages SnoCope to keep improving the program.

“When we help empower people to understand money, their quality of life improves. When people learn how to budget, plan, and save they feel hopeful. They can aspire to do more, achieve more, be more and have more,” he explained. “They can share and they can dream. What’s unique about the credit union industry’s financial literacy mission and our daily work is that we all understand the intangible goodness that comes from helping each other understand money, one member at a time.”

Both credit unions were honored as regional winners during NWCUA’s 2021 Summit Awards Gala and will receive their national honors from CUNA early next year.

“Providing quality financial education is a critical component of helping members achieve success, and it’s inspiring to see the level of commitment Northwest credit unions have for this mission, year after year,” said Christine Ruzzi, NWCUA’s AVP, Enterprise Engagement. “We’re so proud of these winners and can’t wait to see what they achieve next year.”

Have a question or comment about this story? Email us!

Posted in Around the NW, CU Difference.