<p>Educational Community Credit Union, Jacksonville, Fla., has been selected as a finalist for the 2002 Excellence in Training and Employee Development awards. The credit union, with about 200 employees, made it into the finals in the category of companies with less than 300 workers. The awards, which recognize excellence in several training areas, are presented jointly by the University of North Florida, The Business Journal, the American Society for Training and Development, and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. ECCU opened a training center in a local community college in 1999 to offer continuous professional development classes for its employees. When its new headquarters building opens in June, it will house a state-of-the-art computer training classroom along with a traditional classroom. Illinois Credit Union System, Naperville, has presented several awards to deserving credit union recipients. Serving as the representative for the Aurora Chapter of Credit Unions, Debbie Hardtke was presented with the “Chapter Representative of the Year” award by the Illinois Credit Union Foundation. Hardtke was recognized for her enthusiastic service to the foundation, a not-for-profit charitable organization, which promotes the “people helping people” philosophy of credit unions through grants, scholarships and cooperative partnerships. Gas & Electric Credit Union CEO Daryl Empen was honored as the “Illinois Cooperative Reaches Everyone’s (I-CARE) Chapter Representative of the Year”. The purpose of I-CARE is to strengthen the image and public awareness of Illinois’ credit unions. Voluntarily supported by credit unions affiliated with the ICUL, I-CARE is also the vehicle that promotes the National Credit Union Brand Campaign. In its second year, the I-CARE Chapter Representative of the Year is an award to recognize one chapter representative who has shown exemplary volunteer commitment to I-CARE, the League’s cooperative advertising program, and the National Credit Union Brand Campaign. Michelle Huffine was honored as the “Illinois Youth Involvement Council’s Chapter Representative of the Year”. The mission of the IYIC is to ensure the future of the credit union movement by involving young people as members, employees and volunteers. The IYIC strives to reach out to young people and share information about credit unions as a financial service alternative. Huffine was honored for taking an active role in IYIC and at the chapter level.</p>

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