Adopting a new method for fundraising for its foundation, the Ohio Credit Union League unveiled last week what it called an innovative vehicle, the William A. Herring Society, to recognize CU directors, CEOs and employees “who have truly inspired this industry” through service and commitment.
Nine CU leaders, including the society’s namesake–the president/CEO of Cincinnati Central CU and the son of the 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 in Columbus.
The society has set up an innovative way to interest individuals and CUs in gift-giving: it asks for $1,000 donations to 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 with a new source of revenue during a period when CU donations to the foundations and charities have declined.
“I can’t think of a better way in launching the Herring Society 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,” said Tom Furrey, chairman of the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and president/CEO of the $60 million Western CU of Columbus, referring to Herring, a former chairman of the Ohio League and a longtime and retired member of the CUNA board.
“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,” explained Becky Hart, executive director of the foundation.