The Ohio Credit Union League unveiled this week what it called a distinctive and innovative fund-raising approach to its foundation–formation of the William A. Herring Society to recognize CU directors, CEOs and other employees.
Nine CU leaders including the society’s namesake—the president/CEO of Cincinnati Central CU and the son of a pioneering Ohio founder of the movement, the late Louise Herring–were inducted into the society at a moving and emotional ceremony held during the league’s annual convention last week in Columbus.
“I can’t think of a better way in launching the Herring Society than by honoring a credit union stalwart who brings so much pride to this industry and who has contributed so much to his own community in social responsibility,” Tom Furrey, chairman of the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and president/CEO of the $60 million Western CU of Columbus, said of Herring, a former chairman of the Ohio League and a former longtime CUNA board member.
Under the new society format, individual CUs through a $1,000 donation can honor deserving volunteers or CU employees both past and present who have contributed “their passion, integrity and leadership” in ways not previously recognized.
League officials explained that the Herring Society, which already has $50,000 in its treasury, provides the foundation a new source of revenue during a period when CU giving to the foundations and charities has declined as the industry grapples with higher assessments, corporate expenses and a struggling economy.
“We did fall $20,000 short of our foundation goal last year but we are hopeful that Ohio credit unions can find the society a unique way to honor those individuals who have contributed so much of their talent toward strengthening the industry,” said Becky Hart, executive director of the foundation.
Nominations to the society accompanied by the $1,000 check can be made by any Ohio CU or one of its leaders “that wishes to acknowledge a peer, employee, colleague or volunteer for his or her dedication to the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People,” the league said.
In addition to Herring, inaugural members of the society included Willard Hopkins, CEO, First Miami University Student & Alumni FCU; Tim Mislansky, senior vice president, Wright-Patt CU; Rose Bartolomucci, CEO of TeleCommunity CU, and Kathy Kanipe, CEO of Parish FCU.
Directors named were Richard English, MidWest Community CU; Bruce Campbell, Superior FCU; Robert Hallier, CSE FCU, and Howard Smith, Western CU.