2012 CUNA ELLy Training Award Winners Announced

Community First CU, Warren FCU earn ‘WOW’ Awards for best overall training.

November 01, 2012
KEYWORDS award , credit , staff , training
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CUNA recognized 12 credit unions for their outstanding training programs and training professionals at this year’s CUNA ELLy Training Awards, held at CUNA Experience Learning Live!, Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Denver.

The ELLy Training Awards are the only national awards presented to credit union trainers that recognize excellence in professional staff development.

Awards are presented to credit union professionals from two asset divisions: less than and greater than $250 million in assets. First place awards and awards of merit were presented in these categories:

Chi Phi Delta Award

This award represents the best development of a Credit Union University and its effect on staff learning and performance, using CUNA’s Center for Professional Development products as the foundation.

  • Terrance Shelton, The Golden 1 Credit Union, Sacramento, Calif.

eLearning Award

This award is presented to participants who demonstrate how their use of technology-based training has enhanced their credit union training initiatives.

  • First place: Summit Credit Union, Madison, Wis.
  • Award of Merit: Eastman Credit Union, Kingsport, Tenn.

Training Champion Award

This award recognizes senior management staff members who go beyond the call of duty to support and develop their credit union’s training program.

  • Award of Merit (more than $250 million in assets): Kevin Hartz, Community First Credit Union, Appleton, Wis.
  • Award of Merit (less than $250 million in assets): Senior leadership team (John Buckley, Lori Cregg, Phil Archer, Ken Craigie, Ellen Davis, and Jessica Broad), Gerber Federal Credit Union, Freemont, Mich.

Training Professional of the Year Award

This award honors exceptional achievements in performance and learning by a credit union training professional or department.

  • First place: GESA Credit Union, Richland, Wash.
  • Award of Merit: Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Rapid City, S.D.

WOW Award

This award is presented to the credit union with the best overall training curriculum or best training event that energizes, empowers, and excites participants.

  • First place (more than $250 million in assets): Community First Credit Union, Appleton, Wis., and  Warren Federal Credit Union, Cheyenne, Wy.
  • Award of Merit (more than $250 million in assets): Alisha McLaughlin and Sarah Fraley-Russell, Empower Federal Credit Union, Syracuse, N.Y., and Solarity Credit Union, Yakima, Wash.
  • Award of Merit (less than $250 million in assets): Susan Sierno, Plus4 Credit Union, Houston.

Click here for more information about the CUNA ELLy Training Awards.

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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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