Northwest Micro-Communities Join Forces to Amplify Impact
December 7, 2021
It’s been another impactful year for the Northwest Credit Union Movement, thanks in part to the unparalleled energy, commitment, and collaborative spirit brought by the region’s Micro-Communities.
These Credit Union Chapters, Global Women’s Leadership Network Sister Societies, Credit Union Development Educators, and Young Professional groups are integral in amplifying the great work credit unions do every day. Throughout 2020 and 2021, they leveraged the strength of their collective voices to make a difference, whether by fundraising for local nonprofits, amplifying advocacy calls to action, volunteering in their communities, or organizing timely events and programs.
“Watching our Micro-Communities tackle challenge after challenge while finding creative and meaningful ways to advance the Movement has been absolutely inspiring,” said Mark Gonzalez, Sr. Manager of Member Engagement at NWCUA. “It proves there truly is no limit to what they can accomplish when they collaborate with one another.”
In November, the spotlight shone brightly on those efforts at the Micro-Communities Impact Celebration & Awards. During the virtual event, the Cascadia Chapter of Credit Unions was recognized with both the Spirit of Micro-Communities and Spirit of Innovation awards for its purposeful events, partnerships with other Micro-Communities, professional development opportunities, and community impact.
Sarah Buck, Cascadia President and Director of Experiences at Forrit Credit Union, said the obstacles posed by the pandemic only further fueled the Chapter’s determination to make a difference.
“As COVID changed the way that we could connect with our peers we had to quickly change our approach. We accepted the challenge head-on and got creative to find fresh and new ways of bringing people together and uplifting the communities that we all serve,” explained Buck. “Even though we have never been more apart physically over the last 18 months, we were able to connect with more people on a more frequent basis in various other ways, and from places we would never have imagined — a nice silver lining to all the other challenges we have recently faced.”
Michael Murdoch, President of YCUP PDX and Marketing Manager at Wauna Credit Union, took home the 2021 Fearless Leader award — a testament to his commitment to inspire fellow young professionals, find opportunities to grow their development, and facilitate important discussions on complex issues.
“I have seen the extensive work that our PNW YPs have put in this year to improve this credit union system and the solutions and advancements from this work continues to blow my mind,” said Michael. “This award means the world to me because it recognizes not just me, one humble piece of that sprawling puzzle of amazingness, but also every YP out there who worked their tail off to make this year better than the last.”
Looking ahead to 2022, Micro-Communities are well-positioned to make an even greater impact in the Credit Union Movement. The key, notes Murdoch, is to dive headfirst into opportunities for change.
“There’s always great work to be done and as financial first responders, every single credit union-er can be an evangelist for progressive change. I’ve learned over my short tenure in the system that the more involved you are, the more your work is amplified — especially when practicing our philosophy, cooperative principles, and the identified goals and initiatives of our individual shops,” he said.
And, as Buck points out, the Movement’s “People Helping People” mission and cooperative spirit go even farther when credit unions continue working together.
“For other Micro-Communities that are looking to further amplify the great work they do throughout the year, my advice is to keep connecting with each other,” she said. “Now more than ever we can reach more of our peers and make more of an impact on a more frequent basis. The sky is the limit when we join forces for the greater good.”
To learn more about Micro-Communities, or to find ways to get involved, please contact Mark Gonzalez.