The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards, presented by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), will be held Feb. 25 in Washington, D.C during CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference. (Visit ncuf.coop for ticket information.)
NCUF is the credit union movement’s primary philanthropic pro-gram provider, fund-raiser, and grant-maker in the U.S.
The Wegner Awards are named in honor of late CUNA CEO Herb Wegner, whose dedication, innovative ideas, and deeds truly revolutionized the way credit unions serve their communities. Here’s a look at the latest crop of honorees.
A lifetime of achievement
Rick Craig, retired president/CEO of America First Federal Credit Union in Ogden, Utah, will receive the 2013 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Craig has been a leader, advocate, and teacher in the credit union movement for decades.
He joined America First Federal in 1977 and became president/CEO in 1997. The credit union grew to $5.4 billion in assets, 575,000 members, and 100 branches.
Craig is a leader in adopting new technologies to benefit members and make managing money easier. America First Federal also participates in the Member Loyalty Group, made up of credit unions across the country using the Net Promoter survey score. America First Federal consistently leads the group in the highest scores from their members.
Craig also is an effective advocate for credit unions in the political process. In Utah, Craig fought back against bankers who aggressively attacked the credit union tax exemption.
America First Federal supports candidates who support credit unions and encourages members to get involved. Craig gathered a group of member-advocates—a political group of “minutemen”—who rally on behalf of credit unions at a moment’s notice.
Craig has served on the faculty of Western CUNA Management School without interruption for 31years, benefiting more than 3,000 credit union professionals, until his retirement in July 2012.
Hubert H. Hoosman, Jr., president/CEO of $701 million asset Vantage Credit Union in Bridgeton, Mo., receives the Herb Wegner Award for Individual Achievement.
As a credit union leader, Hoosman has been a tireless advocate for credit union philosophy.
For more than 30 years, Hoosman has served as loan department manager; branch manager; vice president of operations; executive vice president; and, since 1994, president/CEO.
Among his accomplishments: He championed the building of a full-service credit union branch in the predominantly underserved city of East St. Louis.
And through financial education, job training, and internship programs, Hoosman consistently serves as a positive role model for many in his community.
He also led the charge to raise funds for a national memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Credit unions throughout the country contributed more than $1.3 million to the monument fund. Vantage donated the first $50,000.
A longtime supporter of America’s Credit Union Museum, Hoosman was instrumental in collecting and providing data about African-American involvement in the development of credit unions in the U.S.
Hoosman also worked with the World Council of Credit Unions in the Caribbean, Kenya, Australia, Rwanda, Gambia, and Swaziland. Vantage Credit Union hosts many groups from Africa in support of the World Council’s International Development Education Program.
Following the hosting, Hoosman often becomes a mentor for the individuals.
CU Miracle Day Is ‘Outstanding Program’
Credit Union Miracle Day, a collection of fund-raising running events throughout the country, receives the 2013 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Program.
Credit Union Miracle Day is the largest national credit union event for Credit Unions for Kids, a nonprofit collaboration of credit union organizations engaged in fund-raising activities to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“Credit Union Miracle Day is one of those rare and special events that seems to have grown into a level of influence and prominence in such a small amount of time that’s hard to comprehend,” says Bob Schumacher, National Credit Union Foundation awards and recognition committee chairman.
The event has increased the visibility of the credit union movement in communities and on Capitol Hill.
Many credit unions use the opportunity to create community events and to partner with their local hospitals to raise awareness about the needs of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
One race in Washington, D.C., provides credit unions with a great opportunity to convey to Congress the credit union difference.
To date, Credit Union Miracle Day has generated more than $5.5 million for 136 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.
“This nationwide collaborative effort showcases the cooperative nature of the credit union movement, the benefits of credit union membership, and a commitment to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” says John Lauck, president/CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
To learn more about Miracle Day, visit miracleday.org.