Council Honors Top Marketers

Best practices award winners also receive acclaim.

March 22, 2011
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Joye Cox, Amy McGraw, and Brynn Ammon took top individual honors for their achievements in credit union marketing and business development during the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference in Las Vegas.

Hall of Fame

Joye Cox
Joye Cox was named the 2011 Hall of Fame inductee.

Joye Cox, vice president of marketing for $671 million asset SAFE Federal Credit Union, Sumter, S.C., was the 2011 Hall of Fame inductee.

Cox joined SAFE Federal as marketing director in 1984, when it was a military credit union with $64.5 million in assets and 36,800 members. She was instrumental in adding underserved communities in eight counties, growing the credit union’s programs for members age 55 and older, and laying the groundwork for a student-run branch in a local high school.

Marketing Professional of the Year

Amy McGraw, marketing director for Public Service Credit Union, Romulus, Mich. (at top of page), won the Marketing Professional of the Year Award.

McGraw has helped her credit union grow from 19,000 members and $89.5 million in assets four years ago to more than 23,400 members and $126.3 million in assets today, despite the challenging economy.

She’s also active in her local credit union chapter, the Michigan Credit Union League, and on the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council conference committee.

Best in business development

Brynn Ammon, project manager for $1.1 billion asset Pen Air Federal Credit Union, Pensacola, Fla., received the Business Development Professional of the Year Award. She’s responsible for business development, community outreach, off-site loan events, business account development, and management of the Mobile Service Center.

Brynn Ammon
Brynn Ammon received the Business Development Professional of the Year Award.

In 2010, under Ammon’s leadership, Pen Air Federal opened more than 100 new business accounts and signed up 120 new select employee groups, surpassing its goals by 375% and 220%, respectively.

Ammon also is active in her local community and is a former member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Executive Committee.

Best Practices Award winners

The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Best Practices Awards recognize outstanding marketing and business development approaches that have the potential for universal application across the credit union movement.

A panel of judges selected winners based on strategy, process, application, and results. This year’s winners:

• Partners Federal Credit Union, Burbank, Calif., for its Synergy business development program.

As a single-sponsor credit union affiliated with The Walt Disney Companies, Partners Federal’s approach to Synergy drives everything from new memberships to member education to inclusion in Cast Member (employee) publications.

“Synergy” helped Partners Federal achieve positive net member growth (2%) for the first time in three years and generate dramatic increases in product and service referrals.

• Erie (Pa.) Federal Credit Union for its growing business account services program. Targeted business ads, partnerships, and a staff realignment helped the credit union drive more traffic to its business website, increase business membership, grow business deposits, and generate loan volume.

This new focus resulted in a 4.55% increase in business membership, a 7.37% increase in business deposits, and $1.05 million in new business loans.

• Pioneer WV Federal Credit Union, Charleston, W. Va., for brand development built around a compass that steers members in the right financial direction.

The credit union updated its print collateral and branches to reflect the new brand. It also created an auto lending campaign around the new brand which helped double the credit union’s loan volume.

Get more information about Best Practices Award winners here.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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