MADISON, Wis. (8/21/14)--Three credit union development educators recently were honored by the U.S. Development Education (DE) Program for exemplifying what DE stands for through their individual or cooperative efforts to make a difference in their credit union, community or on a national/international basis.
Michael Ray, director of corporate relations, Congressional FCU, Washington, D.C., and board director for America's Credit Union Museum, left, receives the lifetime achievement award from the U.S. Development Education Program from Gigi Hyland, executive director, National Credit Union Foundation. (National Credit Union Foundation Photo)
Michael Ray, director of corporate relations for $810 million-asset Congressional FCU, Washington, D.C., received the lifetime achievement award for making a significant and lasting contribution to the credit union movement and the DE program. Ray is a director for America's Credit Union Museum, Manchester, N.H., and serves on the D.C. chapter board for the Maryland and D.C. Credit Union Association.
"He quietly goes about his work to raise awareness about credit unions, to facilitate connections within the system and to foster international credit union development," said Gigi Hyland, executive director, National Credit Union Foundation. "That quiet work has made a tremendous difference in so many people's lives, and we are thankful for his commitment to credit unions and credit union development education."
Ray, who completed DE training in 1996, said he learned about the movement's pioneers at a DE "Philosophy is Good Business" seminar. "It was a wonderful introduction to what I consider my calling in life--to help others help themselves," he said.
The individual achievement award for significant impact on a national or international basis went to Melvin Edwards, a credit union development educator who has made it his mission to set up a DE training program in the Caribbean.
Edwards, who was the first Caribbean representative to serve as chair of the World Council of Credit Unions, also helped start the St. Kitts Cooperative CU.
CU Aware, a council within the Carolinas Credit Union League, received the Cooperative Spirit Award, which honors two or more individuals for a project that has made a significant difference to a community, school, credit union or the greater credit union movement.
CU Aware promotes awareness of cooperatives and the credit union difference. It was founded in 2011 by Patrick Livingston, director of strategic projects, and Brandon McAdams, consumer lending product development manager, both from $2.2 billion-asset at Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C.