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In recognition of his exceptional leadership and numerous contributions to the credit union movement, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) announces Jim McCormack, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA), as one of three winners of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
This is the first time in the foundation's history that it will present three awards for Lifetime Achievement during one year.
McCormack’s award will be one of four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special dinner hosted by NCUF at the Grand Hyatt Washington on February 24, 2014, which is during CUNA's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference. Online registration for dinner tickets will be available later this year on the NCUF website.
“Jim has done outstanding work at the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association throughout his career,” says John Gregoire, chair of NCUF Wegner Awards selection committee and president of The ProCon Group. “Countless credit union members have been positively affected by his work.”
A Pennsylvania CU leader
McCormack began his credit union career in 1971, holding various positions with CUNA Mutual Group before joining the association in 1981.
“The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association has become one of the leading credit union trade associations in the country because of Jim McCormack's leadership and talent,” says Raymond R. Brunner, PCUA director and president/CEO of WEST-AIRCOMM Federal Credit Union.
Under McCormack’s leadership, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Better Choice Program was created. This is a public/private partnership between the State Treasurer’s Office, State Credit Union Regulator, and 72 Pennsylvania credit unions.
The program offers an alternative to payday lending and encourages wealth-building through credit union membership. Since its inception, credit unions have made 65,000 Better Choice loans valued at $32 million, saving consumers $23 million.
“His commitment to assisting consumers attain a better quality of life is best demonstrated by his involvement in the creation of the Credit Union Better Choice program,” says Dick Ensweiler, CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.
Boosting awareness of CUs
McCormack helped develop the statewide public awareness/advocacy initiative, iBelong, which promotes credit union membership. Four other credit union leagues have adopted the campaign over the past five years.
“Probably the hardest, most challenging and most rewarding job that Jim did was the iBelong campaign,” says Bruce Foulke, president/CEO of American Heritage Federal Credit Union. “Because of the iBelong campaign, we have seen the awareness of credit unions grow exponentially. Members who were not aware of credit unions are now reaping the benefits of our products and services.”
McCormack has long demonstrated leadership in credit union advocacy.
For example, he cultivated a strong relationship with Congressman Paul Kanjorski, former senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and the main driver of H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act.
McCormack also led lobbying efforts for the modernization of the Pennsylvania State Credit Union Code, overcoming significant banker opposition.
“When I became a PCUA director I saw first-hand not only his advocacy on behalf of Pennsylvania credit unions, but to the entire credit union movement both nationally and globally,” Brunner says.
McCormack is a 2009 recipient of Eugene H. Farley League Leadership Award. In 2010, he received PCUA’s prestigious Keystone Award, which honors outstanding individuals or organizations that epitomize credit union philosophy.
“Jim McCormack not only understands the ‘People Helping People’ philosophy, he personally embodies that philosophy every single day,” says Maria LaVelle, PCUA board chair and president/CEO of Westmoreland Community Federal Credit Union. “Jim is more than a leader of Pennsylvania's credit union movement. He serves as a goodwill ambassador for credit unions with elected officials, credit union leaders, the press, credit union members, and anyone else he comes in contact with.”
The Herb Wegner awards are named in honor of the late CUNA CEO Herb Wegner, whose tireless dedication and innovative ideas revolutionized how credit unions serve their communities. View past award recipients here.