NAPERVILLE, Ill. (9/16/14)--Clad in a "100 Million Memberships" T-shirt, Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) President/CEO Sean Hession delivered a stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Sunday's game between the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins.
Nearly 900 credit union advocates celebrated the movement's 100 million memberships milestone during Illinois Credit Union Day at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
"This was a great day for Illinois credit unions and the national credit union movement," said Hession, who also happens to be a former principal first tenor and tenor soloist for the National Men's Chorus in Washington, D.C.
"With 100 million members, credit unions are a very big deal, and we will continue telling our story about how credit unions make a difference every day in the lives of their members and consumers," he said.
Credit unions hit more than 100.1 million memberships, a number equating to one-third of the U.S. population, according to the Credit Union National Association's June survey of monthly credit union estimates.
Prior to the game, the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to longtime ICUL lobbyist Dick Lockhart as a "Hero of the Game" for his service in World War II in the U.S. Army, and for his experience as a prisoner of war. The 90-year-old Lockhart is still active lobbying Illinois state lawmakers. He has spent 38 years supporting the interests of Illinois credit unions.
He was instrumental in the formation of the Credit Union Political Action Council in 1976 and structuring the grassroots lobbying system for Illinois credit unions. Lockhart also assisted with the re-codification of the Illinois Credit Union Act in 1979 and field of membership expansion legislation for community-chartered credit unions in 1985.