Vote for a CU Hero

The CU movement is blessed with extraordinary leaders.

April 07, 2013
KEYWORDS CU Hero , leaders
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Every year at this time, we’re honored to present four exceptional leaders who you’ve nominated over the past year as Credit Union Heroes. These individuals exemplify the credit union philosophy of “people helping people,” and they’ve gone the extra mile to extend credit union service in their communities.

Now it’s time to choose one as the 2013 Credit Union Hero of the Year. Voting is open now through May 17.

Cast your vote for one of these heroes:

Warren Morrow (posthumous) founded Coopera—a full-service Hispanic market solutions company with the belief that Hispanics need credit unions as much as credit unions need Hispanics.

He believed deeply in helping underserved Hispanics receive dignified financial services. By bringing financial stability to a home, Warren believed, you could begin to address other social issues.

Lily Newfarmer, CEO of Tarrant County Credit Union in Fort Worth, Texas, has overseen tremendous growth at her credit union since becoming CEO in 2001. At that time, the credit union had $25 million in assets and 5,046 members. Today, it has $67 million in assets and nearly 10,000 members.

Newfarmer led an initiative to create payday loan alternatives for the 12% of Tarrant County members who were using payday lenders. The credit union developed innovative products designed to move members’ business back to the credit union, including direct deposit incentives, alternative payday loans, financial counseling, and free financial education.

Anabela Pereira, CEO of Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union, Springfield, Mass., joined the credit union as a teller when she was 19 years old. That’s when the institution operated out of space provided by its original sponsor—the U.S. Postal Service.

That was 28 years ago, and the credit union now has 20 employees, 6,200 members, and $40 million in assets. Since she was named CEO in 1998, she has been the credit union’s main visionary. She was only 32 years old when she took the helm of the nation’s second-oldest postal credit union.

Scott Prior, president/CEO of Connection Credit Union in Silverdale, Wash., has been an integral part of an initiative to start a “Bank On” program. This nationwide program negotiates with local financial institutions to increase access to financial services for the unbanked and under banked. Connection’s “Bank On Kitsap” program helps the county’s residents achieve financial stability and obtain financial education.

This year’s winner, or his/her representative, will be honored at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference in New York City, June 30 to July 3. Vote now.






Steve Rodgers is Credit Union Magazine's editor-in-chief.

CU Heroes Nominations

Michael Bateman
October 09, 2013 10:20 am
When is the deadline for submission of nominations for CU Heroes? Is there an official nomination form that will be available and when? Thanks.

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CU Hero nominations

October 14, 2013 2:36 pm
Michael, Our nomination process is continuous. You still have plenty of time to nominate a 2014 CU Hero at creditunionmagazine.com/nominate-hero Thanks!

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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 (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) 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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