WASHINGTON (3/11/15)--Four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards, the highest honors in the credit union movement, were presented Monday by the National Credit Union Foundation at its annual Wegner Awards dinner in Washington, D.C.
The award recipients include:
|Winona Nava, vice chair, National Credit Union Foundation, and president/CEO, Guadalupe CU, left; Mike Mercer, president/CEO, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates; and Laida Garcia, foundation chair and president/CEO, floridacentral CU. (National Credit Union Foundation Photos)|
In accepting his award, Mercer noted that "Credit unions can exist for a long time if they aim for relevant. But, relevant has a habit of becoming ordinary. Credit unions could aspire to be vital ... indispensable. Our fortune is tied to the well-being of the great sea of Americans who hold middle class aspirations."
|Winona Nava, left; Bob Schumacher, retired president/CEO, MountainCrest CU, Arlington, Wash.; and Laida Garcia|
|Winona Nava, left; Clarence Hall Jr., CEO/chair, Issaquena County FCU, Mayersville, Miss.; and Laida Garcia.|
He also has championed the power of democratic control, helping members understand the impact of their participation in a financial cooperative. He chartered Issaquena FCU in 1969 after suing the state for denying African-Americans the right to obtain charters and set up nonprofit organizations. He worked 36 years without a paycheck for the credit union. At the age of 90, he still visits the credit union every day.
|Patrick Jury, president/CEO, Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL), left; Winona Nava; Dave Cale, board chair, ICUL, and president/CEO, Financial Plus CU; and Laida Garcia.|
The league received its award for its breadth and depth in reaching the Hispanic population and helping form Coopera to serve Hispanic members, savings initiatives such as Individual Development Accounts for low-income members, its partnership with the World Council of Credit Unions to help grow credit unions in developing countries, and its dedication to ensuring the prosperity of credit unions and members by nearly doubling its consumer advocacy database.
"The Iowa Credit Union League and Iowa's credit unions aspire to serve individuals and communities in much the same way as our fellow Wegner Award honorees have," said Dave Cale, president/CEO, Financial Plus CU, Des Moines, and ICUL board chair. "In the end, we believe we will best be measured on how we treat those who have the least."
Denise Gabel, chief operating officer of the Northwest Credit Union Association, emceed the event held at the new Marriott Marquis.
(See today's News Now for more stories of credit union champions: CUNA resolution honors Herring family legacy.)