Video honors 2021 #CUHero of the Year

Video honors 2021 #CUHero of the Year

Cheryl Deborde reflects on winning the award and leading with integrity.

July 20, 2021

As Credit Union Magazine's 2021 Credit Union Hero of the Year, Cheryl Deborde embodies the community-focused philosophy that distinguishes credit unions from other financial providers.

In a video celebrating Deborde's approach to leadership and community service, the president/CEO at $279 million asset Members Choice Credit Union in Ashland, Ky., shares what winning the award means to her, reflects on the importance of community support, and recognizes the accomplishments of the credit union movement.

"There are so many credit union heroes," Deborde says. "I look at all the things that credit unions are doing in the area, and I am really impressed."

Deborde says her approach to taking care of members and her community is based on a straightforward principle. "Treat your members the same way you would like to be treated," she says. "To me, it's as simple as smiling when they walk through the front door, or maybe just reaching out to them—picking up the telephone and returning a phone call. But, more than that, it's helping them reach their financial goals."

Credit union leaders can truly make a impact in people's lives through caring and kindness, Deborde says. "Anything you do in life, do it with integrity. That will make all the difference in the world."

The video also features congratulatory messages from:

  • Shanon McLachlan, president of Symitar, the sponsor of the 2021 Credit Union Hero program.
  • Don Neikirk, board chair at Members Choice Credit Union.
  • Jenna Ramey, operations manager at Members Choice Credit Union.
  • Courtney Cox, member service representative at Members Choice Credit Union.
  • Debbie Painter, president/CEO at Kentucky Credit Union League.

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