HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association's 72nd Annual Convention at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey served as the site to honor the credit union industry's brightest stars.
This year's Credit Union Youth Ambassador of Pennsylvania went to Samuel Wilson representing the Shortway Chapter of Credit Unions and Timberland Federal Credit Union marketing director. Wilson, 25, is the treasurer of his local Jaycees, is a member of the Penn State DuBois Alumni Board, and was selected to participate in the Greater DuBois Leadership Institute through his local Chamber of Commerce.
As the Youth Ambassador, Wilson will speak to credit union officials during PCUA events and meetings.
First Capital Federal Credit Union Lending Service Assistant Erinn Davis representing the York Chapter of Credit Unions was named first alternate, and Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Sales Assistant Christina Moore representing the Delaware County Chapter of Credit Unions was named second alternate.
The finalists won regional contests before advancing to the state finals. The finalists completed an essay and written exam before presenting speeches about credit union topics. A panel of five judges selected the winner, tallying scores from the test, personal interview, and speech.
PCUA conducts the contest to attract young people to credit unions and to prepare them for leadership roles. Credit union members between the ages of 17 and 25 compete and are sponsored by the association's chapters. The contestants are judged on their knowledge of credit unions and their ability to communicate that knowledge.
Several hundred young people have competed in the Credit Union Youth Ambassador Contest since the early 1970s. Many of the contestants have gone on to hold volunteer and professional positions within the credit union movement.
The five judges were Melissa Foulke, 1980 Youth Ambassador, full-time mother of three; Nancy Cunningham, 1993 Youth Ambassador, and partner, Proforma Cunningham & Associates; Aarin Seprinski, 2002 Youth Ambassador, staff accountant/auditor, Padden, Guerrini & Associates, P.C.; Paul Gentile, Editor-in-Chief, Credit Union Times; and Paul Butler, CCUE, Division Director, Relationship Management, CUNA Mutual Group. The master of ceremonies was Don Williams, host, Don Williams Morning Show, WOND Newstalk 1400 & NBC 40, Linwood, New Jersey.
Recognizing credit unions' commitment to financial literacy, a new award for 2006 is the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award. The inaugural winners by category include: Members 1st FCU (over $200 million in assets); AmeriChoice FCU ($80-$200 million in assets); LANCO FCU ($20-$80 million in assets) and Blackhawk FCU (under $20 million in assets).
Exemplary display of the credit union operating philosophy of People Helping People is the basis for the Louise Herring Awards for Philosophy in Action Award. The 2006 winners were SPE Federal Credit Union in the less than $100 million in assets category and Merck, Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union in the over $100 million in assets category.
The PCUA 2006 Dora Maxwell Awards for Social Responsibility were also presented and will be entered in the national Dora Maxwell Contest sponsored by CUNA. Winners by asset category include: American Heritage FCU (Over $500 million); Merck, Sharp & Dohme FCU ($200-$500 million); Cross Valley FCU ($100-$200 million); PALCO FCU ($20-$50 million); and CGH Federal Credit Union (under $5 million).