For five years we’ve celebrated those who make our movement extraordinary; who inspire their colleagues to reach higher; and who dream of possibilities for their credit unions, members, and communities—and then make these dreams happen.
A few examples:
Brian Bone, CEO of High Desert Community Credit Union, never knew why his father drove past the bank branches in their neighborhood to conduct business with a credit union more than an hour away.
But 25 years later, he understands perfectly. “The credit union meant a lot to him because it actually helped him,” Bone says, explaining that a local bank turned down his father for a $500 loan to buy a truck.
Veronica Dangerfield, whose work as a financial literacy specialist for Patelco Credit Union compels her to see that “our humanity trumps our credit score by a billion. We are greater than our past and our financial missteps.”
Shayna Ferguson, manager of Lakota Federal Credit Union on the two-million-acre Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota Sioux, says “it brings me joy to tell other people exactly what a credit union is and what we can offer them as members.”
As someone who grew up on the reservation, Ferguson admits, “I didn’t realize the opportunities that were out there.”
Richard Hayden, data scientist for Virginia Credit Union, has a passion for precision that allows him to mine vast data sets to discover patterns and insights, creating a model to predict products or services members will most likely use next.
Vickie Schmitzer, CEO of Frankenmuth Credit Union, used a Community Development Financial Institutions grant to offer low-income and credit-challenged members two products: MIHome for mortgages and MIGrow for businesses that help improve people’s access to food.
“If you do something for the right reason, you don’t have to worry about being wrong,” she says. “Giving is living.”
We received more than 250 nominations this year—a record-breaking response.
Nominations are open for next year’s class at news.cuna.org/nominaterockstar.