CUNA Board Vice Chair Maurice Smith was one of four individuals inducted to the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) Hall of Fame Tuesday at a networking event held in conjunction with CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
AACUC was conceived during a CUNA GAC several years ago and works to help increase diversity in the credit union movement.
Smith is the president/CEO of Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C., a financial cooperative serving the financial needs of employees, appointed officials, elected officeholders and volunteers of local governments in North Carolina.
“This work we do in the credit union movement is God’s work and I don’t mean that as an exaggeration. In our communities we have lots of people who are hurting from one thing or another and it’s our responsibility to help them live better lives,” he said. “When I talk to individuals about the difference [between credit unions and banks], I tell them ‘you’re part of a private institution, it’s a tug-of-war between you and the stockholders of that institution. With a credit union, you’re an owner.”
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle introduced Smith at the induction event.
“The contributions Maurice has made, certainly at the national level on behalf of all credit unions, is something he should be proud of,” Nussle said. “But what he has done locally his credit union is something that any credit union leader should hope to accomplish.”
AACUC Chair Tim Anderson, who also is president/CEO of Government Printing Office FCU, Washington, D.C., credited Smith and the other inductees as “titans of the credit union industry” and thanked them for serving as examples to follow.
Also inducted into the AACUC Hall of Fame were:
In addition, Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope CU, Jackson, Miss., was honored with the Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award for his three-plus decades of working to advance economic opportunities for disenfranchised populations.