WASHINGTON — Credit Union Times held its eighth-annual Trailblazers awards reception on Tuesday night at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.
"Credit Union Times is proud to recognize the real Trailblazers of the industry each year at our awards reception. Each of our winners not only pushes his or her own credit union forward, but also moves the credit union community toward a brighter future," CU Times Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Sarah Snell Cooke said.
Make sure to go through the slide show, of course, and here are videos of the winners:
Catching up with old friends and industry goings-on was the business at hand before the awards ceremony got under way.
Chad Graves, left, of Ent FCU and Joe Brancucci of GTE Financial, exchange a few words before each received his Trailblazer award.
Dona Svehla of the $1.8 billion Grow Financial Credit Union could not make it from Tampa to receive her award as Lending Officer of the Year. Svehla’s leadership was cited in helping her Florida credit union sharply grow loan growth and increase collections while reducing delinquencies.
Marketer of the Year Kristen Mashburn of Alabama’s $601 million Listerhill Credit Union credits family, her employer and her members for her award. She was recognized for the passion she puts toward her philosophy of credit union marketing: It’s about solving problems for members.
From left, Dave Janoff of Credit Union Times, Caroline Willard of event sponsor CO-OP Financial Services, Mashburn, Jason Dias of Eloquent Online and Sarah Snell Cooke of Credit Union Times.
Chad Graves of the $3.7 billion Ent Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs, Colo., takes a holistic approach to his job as senior vice president of information technology. The IT Executive of the Year considers networking, among people as much as systems, to be the key to his organization’s success and that of the industry as a whole. Standing behind him is Ted Bilke, president of Symitar.
Scott Waite, is the CFO of the Year for the second time, this time around for his leadership not only in helping California’s $3.9 billion Patelco Credit Union record its most profitable year ever, but for his work in national organizations and directly with regulators in helping to make compliance more manageable for everyone.
Thomas Renz discusses his credit union’s experience in taking on the NCUA and what the credit union said was a harassing, vindictive examiner. The president/chief development officer of the $32 million Commodore Perry FCU in Ohio won the 2013 Political Action Trailblazer Award in recognition of his efforts and that of his colleagues.
From left are Cooke, the credit union’s vice president of finance, Timothy Collins, CEO Mike Barr and Renz.
Helen Godfrey Smith describes the help her credit union, the $90 million Shreveport FCU in Louisiana, provides by reaching out to former prison inmates to help them get back on their feet. Such service to the community has garnered Shreveport FCU the 2013 Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Service to the Underserved.
Asking management the tough questions was why the $1.3 billion Elevations Credit Union in Boulder, Colo., asked Carroll Beach to join its board. The veteran industry executive has chaired the panel since 2008 and this year is the Trailblazer Volunteer of the Year.
Joe Brancucci took a lot of heat for dropping “Credit Union” from the name when the $1.5 billion Tampa, Fla., institution was re-branded as GTE Financial. Brancucci said the decision was well-considered, brash, necessary and successful in helping to pull the credit union back from the brink of being conserved. And he’s the 2013 Trailblazer CEO of the Year.
Shown here, from left, are Janoff, Willard, Brancucci and Cooke.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney was among the hobnobbers helping to make the annual Trailblazer Awards ceremony a success again.