At its recent Virtual Annual General Meeting, the World Council of Credit Unions presented the Indiana Credit Union League with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor paid to individuals and institutions by the worldwide credit union movement. The award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to international credit union development.
Indiana League President John McKenzie and League Chairman Kevin Ryan, who is also president/CEO of Financial Center First CU, accepted the award, with their acceptance including a video.
“This is humbling to receive, and a tribute to the credit unions in Indiana,” said McKenzie. “We are honored to have been selected by the World Council for this award. Since 2016, the League and Indiana’s credit unions have met with 43 credit union representatives from seven countries, both hosting them in Indiana and traveling to other countries for learning exchanges and to offer assistance.”
Countries that have been part of Indiana’s interaction worldwide include Ecuador, the Netherlands, Ireland, the island nation of Dominica and Latin American countries of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Additionally, the Indiana League and the Dominica Cooperative Societies League have signed a cooperation agreement to share best practices and strategic initiatives that benefit both organizations.
“We chose to put a lot of time and resources the past five years into numerous projects/exchanges with credit union representatives from other countries where WOCCU felt it could make a difference,” McKenzie explained. “The friendships and relationships gained from the experiences are inspiring, and you find that the people drawn to credit union development and leadership in their parts of the world are all very purpose driven. We are fortunate to have a credit union culture in Indiana and League Board that are very supportive of our emphasis on these projects and look forward to doing all we can to help the worldwide credit union cause going forward.”
Ryan, who has welcomed international credit union visitors to his Indianapolis-based credit union on many occasions, has also traveled to work with credit unions in two other countries. He was a presenter at the 2019 World Credit Union Conference in the Bahamas. He commented, “It is very rewarding to meet and interact with the individuals who are involved with credit unions in other countries. Everywhere you go, you find that credit unions are all about People Helping People.”