Jeff Schwalen, president/CEO of the $915 million Hiway Federal Credit Union in St, Paul, Minn., has been honored with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Credit Union Builder Award, which recognizes those who have been dedicated to building the credit union movement.
Schwalen, who will retire in October, led Hiway FCU to steady growth in membership and assets over his 10-year tenure, according to MnCUF. Under his leadership, the credit union also developed a reputation for offering innovative products and services to members, the league said.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Jeff throughout my entire time on the board and supervisory committee for Hiway,” said Pam Tschida, board chair for Hiway FCU. “He takes his job very seriously. Jeff is committed to the prosperity and well-being of the credit union, his staff and our members and has made a significant positive impact to the community and credit unions in general. I truly appreciate and admire his commitment.”
Active in the Minnesota credit union movement, Schwalen has served as a table officer and member of the Minnesota Credit Union Network board of directors from 2007-2013. He was also an active member and past chairman of MnCUN’s Political Involvement Committee and CENCOPAN Partnership Steering Committee, a group active in international credit union development in Paraguay.
On a community level, Schwalen has served as a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, as a member of the Minneapolis Builders Association, as a participant in the Junior Achievement financial education program, and as a member of the finance commission for his local church.
He also has been a longtime proponent of Credit Unions for Kids, serving on Minnesota’s steering committee and leading Hiway to becoming a fundraising force for Children’s Miracle Network and the local Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
“Jeff embodies the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people,’ as evidenced by his long resume of accomplishments and achievements,” said MnCUNF Board Chair Pat Brekken. “It is my distinct pleasure to acknowledge Jeff as a Credit Union Builder, and I wish him well in his retirement.”
Schwalen joins 20 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with the MnCUF's Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's lobby as a tribute to their accomplishments.