Community Service

CU Magazine Announces CU Hero of the Year

Ron Kase, CEO of Landmark CU, is proudest of helping community members improve their financial lives.

May 02, 2012
KEYWORDS community , hero , values
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Ron Kase, president/CEO of Landmark Credit Union in New Berlin, Wis., has been voted Credit Union Magazine’s 2012 CU Hero of the Year.

In a time when many consumers are rethinking their relationships with for-profit financial institutions and increasingly joining and doing business with credit unions, Landmark’s motto, “You’re worth more here,” seems especially appropriate.

When asked about his proudest accomplishments, Kase told Credit Union Magazine, “I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve been able to help many people help themselves at the start of their economic lives.” He’s also pleased that during his tenure, Landmark has created about 450 jobs for people in southeastern Wisconsin.

Credit Union Magazine readers also commended three other credit union leaders this year as CU Heroes:

 Rudy Hanley, president/CEO, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Santa Ana, Calif. His political involvement, work ethic, and integrity have benefited his own credit union and the credit union movement overall.

• Frank Matous Sr. (posthumous), former CEO of Tandem Federal Credit Union, Warren, Mich. A credit union pioneer, he encouraged his four sons to stay active in the credit union movement.

• Joe Robertson, retired president/CEO, Our Community Credit Union, Shelton, Wash. His credit union garnered a record $18 million increase in total deposits for 2009 (doubling the previous year's increase), during the slow recovery from the recession.

Voting took place on through April 30.

Kase will be honored at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference in San Diego, June 17-20.

The conference will offer dozens of preconference, keynote, discovery, thought-leader, and executive series sessions. And attendees will have numerous opportunities to network with heroes in the credit union movement who make daily differences in the lives of their members and communities.

Let others know

Rosa Maria Morrow
April 17, 2013 2:04 pm
I love and give a standing ovation to Ron Kase and to other caring people just as much as those who passed away on 2012 like Warren Morrow at Des Moines Iowa. He worked hard for those who are under-served an under-represented, but wasn't mentioned in your magazine. It may be beneficial for the entire world to know about his accomplishments no for his benefit, obviously, but to increase the number of positive and caring people and to add members the CU. Just ask Coopera Consulting at Des Moines Iowa about Warren Morrow's legacy.

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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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