Bill Merrick

A shortage of superlatives

Credit Union Heroes’ service to their communities is inspiring, heartwarming, and so much more.

February 18, 2022

Superlatives are in short supply when describing the credit union movement’s heroes and what they do for their communities: Inspiring. Heartwarming. Generous. Caring. Devoted.

Credit Union Magazine’s 2022 Credit Union Heroes are all this and more.

Our annual Credit Union Hero program, sponsored by Symitar, honors these unsung leaders who go above and beyond to promote credit union philosophy and make a difference in their communities.

Marshall Boutwell, for example, applied lessons in leadership from a storied military career to his credit union service. 

The president/CEO of $775 million asset Peach State Federal Credit Union in Lawrenceville, Ga., expanded lending to Bosnian refugees who settled in the area despite their lack of credit histories. 

Robyn Cousin, board vice chair at $3.5 billion asset Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul, Minn., relies on her voice to make a difference and advocate for those in need. 

“I can influence the direction and the vision of what we do from wherever I am with my voice,” she says.

Cheryl DeBoer understands the sacrifices members make to get ahead, having been there herself. As a single mother, the president/CEO of $2.6 billion asset Advia Credit Union in Kalamazoo, Mich., raised a daughter and earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees on nights and weekends. 

“Credit unions are about people helping people,” she says. “To us that means helping members achieve a better position tomorrow than they are in today.”

Mary Ann Pusateri, CEO at $362 million asset Partnership Financial Credit Union in Morton Grove, Ill., learned how collaboration and powerful partnerships benefit both members and her credit union colleagues. 

She’s learned many valuable lessons from forming groups that bring out the best in people.

Help us select the 2022 Credit Union Hero of the Year. Vote for your favorite hero by March 18 at We’ll announce and honor the winner on the CUNA News site.

BILL MERRICK is deputy editor for Credit Union National Association.

This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Credit Union Magazine. Subscribe here.