CUNA Honors Cheryl Deborde as Credit Union Hero of the Year

April 16, 2021

April 7, 2021
Madison, WI and Washington, DC


The winner of Credit Union Magazine’s 14th annual Credit Union Hero of the Year is Cheryl Deborde, president/CEO of Members Choice Credit Union, Ashland, Ky. The Credit Union Hero Award recognizes a future-focused credit union professional for exemplifying the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”

“Credit Union Heroes always reflect a commitment to the community beyond the doors of the credit union,” says Todd Spiczenski, CUNA chief products and services officer. “Members Choice President/CEO Cheryl Deborde is no exception, with her passion for helping people and not expecting anything in return. She’s the perfect example of what a Credit Union Hero should be.”

“Cheryl Deborde at Members Choice deserves to be recognized as a Credit Union Hero for her commitment to taking care of people through service and financial education,” said, Shanon McLachlan, president of Symitar®. “Leaders like Cheryl are why people choose credit unions; they appreciate the hands-on, people-first approach to banking and support for their community. The industry’s people-helping-people philosophy is not only about giving back but educating the community on how to make a real difference in their financial lives like Members Choice has.”

Other heroes are:

  • Nick Kessenich, retired president of Members First Credit Union, Madison, WI
  • Bill Lawton, president/CEO of Community Financial Credit Union, Plymouth, MI
  • Val Mindak, president/CEO of Park City Credit Union,  Merrill, WI

Read about the contributions of Deborde and the other heroes by visiting


About CUNA:           
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 120 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit

Lauren Williams
CUNA Communications