Filling Canoes for the Community

'We have canoes in city halls. We have canoes in local malls. We have canoes in the libraries...'

October 07, 2013
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For Amy Davis, success equals red canoes full of donated school supplies.
 
Davis, vice president of marketing for Red Canoe Credit Union in Longview, Wash., has garnered a number of marketing awards in her career. But she’s
more likely to beam about results from her team’s “Fill the Canoe” school supply drives.
 
“I am pretty proud of the work we’ve done in the community,” Davis says. “We try to stand for what the credit union difference is all about.”
 
The annual canoe-filling event, which encourages the public to drop off school supplies in canoes displayed at branches, has been a huge success. Since its
inception, the credit union has collected and matched more than 47,000 pounds of donated school supplies.

Plus, local business partners clamor to participate—65 joined the effort this year.
 
“We have canoes in city halls. We have canoes in local malls. We have them in the libraries. A couple of churches have come on board and brought in their own canoes,” Davis says.
 
The effort is a centerpiece for the credit union’s outreach efforts and builds on a brand pushed downstream by Davis and others in 2007. That’s when the institution changed its name from Weyerhaeuser Employees’ Credit Union.

“We definitely see return from Fill the Canoe even though that isn’t our intention. When you do right things, right things happen,” Davis says.
 
The event, originally pulled together in a matter of weeks, reinforces Davis’ ability to collaborate, not only with her team of “rock stars” but with the business community.
 
“Amy is a talented marketer with a world-class marketing mind. She brings innovation and creativity to a higher level. You only need to look at the growth of her credit union to see this,” says Sean McDonald, director of business development for Mid-State Federal Credit Union in Carteret, N.J. “I’m always impressed
with Amy’s input and contributions.”
 
McDonald and Davis both serve as members of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s executive committee. Participating on the council is
one way she gives back to those who helped her early in her career.
 
Back when she barely knew what a credit union was, Davis recalls receiving assistance from the council and an employee at another credit union that, technically, was a local competitor.

“I just remember being so touched by that,” Davis says.

The council is happy to have her intelligence and passion on the team, says Michelle Hunter, chair of the executive committee.
 
“She donates her time and talents graciously to advance our profession nationally,” says Hunter, senior vice president of marketing and development at Credit
Union of Southern California. “She is genuine, responsible, resourceful, and intellectually curious—characteristics that contribute to her being a ‘rock star’ in our profession.”

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