The winners of Credit Union Central of Canada’s seventh annual National Credit Union Awards Program include a small business-focused credit union and five young credit union leaders, announced Credit Union Central of Canada, the national trade association for the Canadian credit union industry also known as Canadian Central.
Canadian Central revealed the latest National Credit Union Awards Program winners at the Canadian Conference for Credit Union Leaders on May 10 in Vancouver, British Columbia. David MacLean, the association’s board director, announced the winners as follows:
- National Community Economic Development Award: Alterna Savings and Credit Union of Ottawa, Ontario, which developed a micro finance program for small businesses that don’t meet most financial institutions’ criteria. The program provides loans as well as financial planning, networking and marketing resources for entrepreneurs. So far, Alterna Savings and Credit Union has made more than 400 loans totaling nearly $2 million through the program.
- National Credit Union Innovation Award: Synergy Credit Union of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, for its account opening tool that allows members to streamline the opening of personal and business accounts.
- National Young Leaders: Trevor Beaton, wealth services manager at Synergy CU; Jeff Knutson, branch manager at First West CU of Langley, British Columbia; Kirsty Reid, wealth management services manager at First Credit Union of Powell River, British Columbia (also the winner of the National Young Leaders Award and a $20,000 scholarship); Purdeep Sangha, CEO projects and initiatives director at FirstOntario Credit Union of Simcoe, Ontario and Lori Walsh, vice president of marketing and strategic solutions at Cornerstone Credit Union of Archerwill, Saskatchewan.
- Credit Union Hall of Fame Award: Edward Gebert, whose lifetime accomplishments include playing a lead role in introducing Canada’s first ATM and serving as president of Credit Union Electronic Transaction Services.
“This annual event enables us to identify individuals and credit unions that are dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians in ways that are truly meaningful,” MacLean said. “Recognizing these achievements not only inspires us to continue the positive work but drives us to make improvements that better our system overall.”