ELLy Awards 2015 - Michelle Trekas
Michelle Trekas (left) of Red Canoe CU accepts the WOW Award with her brother, Ken Kelly.

Top Trainers Take Home Trophies at the ELLys

Red Canoe CU’s brother-sister tandem claim WOW Award at CUNA's Experience Learning Live!

October 30, 2015

CUNA honored top credit union industry trainers this week for a variety of achievements at the ELLy Awards at the Experience Learning Live! conference in Las Vegas.

Siblings Michelle Trekas and Ken Kelly of Red Canoe Credit Union in Longview, Wash., claimed the WOW Award, presented to the credit union with the best overall training program or event—one that inspires learning, teaches skills that go beyond the classroom, and leaves participants empowered.


  • Slide 01

    Fox Communities CU claimed “Best Production Design.”

  • Slide 02

    Randolph-Brooks CU won the “eLearning Award.”

  • Slide 03

    Dan Desmond, CEO of TruWest CU, was named the event’s Training Champion.

  • Slide 04

    The WOW Award went to Red Canoe CU.

  • Slide 05

    ELLy Award co-presenters Angela Prestil (left) and Jayne Hitman share a humorous exchange during the ceremonies.

  • Slide 06

    Becky Ellis (speaking) and Renee Minlschmidt (right) of Fox Communities CU accept the Best Production Design honor, as emcees Angela Prestil (left) and Jayne Hitman of CUNA look on.

  • Slide 07

    Nathan Hickman of Randolph-Brooks CU accepts the eLearning Award.

  • Slide 08

    CUNA’s Angela Prestil (left) accepts from fellow emcee Jayne Hitman the Training Professional of the Year honor on behalf of Cale Yates of SAFE CU, who was unable to attend the ELLy Awards.

  • Slide 09

    Randi Brooke of Pacific Marine CU, along with Andrea Welch (left) and Sandra Spendlove (right) accepts a WOW Merit Award.

  • Slide 10

    Dan Desmond of TruWest CU accepts the Training Champion honor.

  • Slide 11

    Melissa Hanes speaks on behalf of the Warren FCU team, which accepts its WOW Merit Award honor. From left: Elon Christianson, Jessica Stambaugh, Melody Fenton, Hanes, and Stacy Maatman.

  • Slide 12

    Andrea Welch accepts the WOW Merit Award honor on behalf of Pacific Marine.

  • Slide 13

    Michelle Trekas of Red Canoe CU hugs CUNA’s Jayne Hitman while accepting the WOW Award.

  • Slide 14

    Desmond and team – The TruWest team celebrates its hardware at the ELLy Awards. Left to right: Leslie Bristol, Mary Galler-Sanchez, Training Champion Dan Desmond, Kami Engels, Alyssa Flores, and Gary Yost.

  • Slide 15

    Josh Caluza of Mission FCU, who won the eLearning Merit Award.

  • Slide 16

    Christopher Morris of CUNA (left) and Chad Helminak of Heritage CU—a.k.a. The Disclosures, a credit union rock band—perform during the ELLy Awards.



CEO Dan Desmond of TruWest Credit Union in Scottsdale, Ariz., was named Training Champion, an award given to senior management staff that go beyond the call of duty to support and develop their credit union’s training.

Cale Yates of SAFE Credit Union in Sumter, S.C., won the Training Professional of the Year, recognizing her exceptional achievements in performance and learning.

Fox Communities Credit Union in Appleton, Wis., won the Best Production Design Award, which showcases achievement in the visual, functional, and interactive graphic design of educational materials.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union in Universal City, Texas, claimed the eLearning Award for enhancing its training programs by incorporating technology.

Pacific Marine Credit Union in Oceanside, Calif., claimed Merit Awards for the WOW Award and Training Champion (chief operating officer Randi Brooke). Other Merit Awards went to Warren Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wyo. (WOW Award) and Mission Federal Credit Union in San Diego (eLearning).

“The CUNA ELLy Awards are a great opportunity to honor exemplary trainers and recognize the pivotal role that training plays in a credit union’s success,” says Courtney Cantwell, instructional design manager at CUNA. “These credit unions demonstrate how quality training develops talent, grows skills and creates better, more capable credit union professionals.”

Registration has opened for the 2016 CUNA Experience Learning Live!, scheduled for Oct. 23-26 in Nashville.

Click through the gallery to view photos from the event.