WASHINGTON - The National Credit Union Foundation has named Dennis Cutter, CEO of the $533 billion Numerica Credit Union headquartered in Spokane, Washington, to receive the Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award. "It's only fitting that during this time of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to Dennis Cutter for a lifetime of...
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WASHINGTON – The National Credit Union Foundation has named Dennis Cutter, CEO of the $533 billion Numerica Credit Union headquartered in Spokane, Washington, to receive the Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award. “It’s only fitting that during this time of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to Dennis Cutter for a lifetime of achievements,” remarked NCUF Chairwoman Mary Cunningham, CEO of the $683 million USA Federal Credit Union in San Diego. “Dennis has helped set the standards by which we define successful credit union development. His life’s work has enriched the lives of countless credit union members across America and throughout the world.” Over the past 35 years, Cutter has grown Numerica Credit Union from 3,000 members with $2 million in assets to more than 63,000 members with $560 million in assets. But Cutter’s impact has been felt much further. Cutter spent many nights and weekends away from home “doing the work that I love,” volunteering to help credit unions in different parts of the world. As a delegate and Executive Committee member of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Cutter visited 20 countries on six continents. “I find that wherever I go, our problems and challenges are similar. We all have common ground for discussion, whether in the Philippines, Africa, Poland, Ireland, Canada, or the U.S. We all are looking for better ways to add new members, market to existing members, and deal with legislation and regulation or the lack of it.” The Foundation noted that Cutter had visited the Philippines five times over his career to help credit unions in the island nation to improve their products and services, an effort which trickled down to credit union members. “The partnership provided opportunities for women to access affordable financial assistance to start small micro-enterprises,” Cutter explained. “The field staff not only taught these women how to run a business. They also taught life skills including parenting, health and nutrition. The 24,000 women who participated in the project developed skills that literally helped their families survive.” “My philosophy has always been that everyone should have access to credit union services,” Cutter reasoned. He began that effort in the U.S. while volunteering for NCUF and the Credit Union National Association as well as WOCCU. “Helping people help themselves is the cornerstone of the credit union movement, and I feel that the contributions of NCUF, CUNA and WOCCU provide example after example of how people’s lives have been altered by access to affordable financial services. I feel that by being part of these organizations, I have in some small way made a difference in the lives of the people that we touched, either through grants or through training and education.” “Wherever he goes, Dennis brings people together,” related Washington Credit Union League President John Annaloro, who nominated Cutter for the Wegner Award. “Dennis always shows evangelical enthusiasm for economic democracy, domestically and internationally. He is proving that financial self-sufficiency can lead to global advancement; that by achieving economic development, peace becomes more possible; and that everywhere, the philosophy of putting people before profit always works.” “There are still millions of people in this world who don’t have access to affordable financial services,” Cutter reminded. “This means that the work of the National Credit Union Foundation and World Council of Credit Unions needs to continue and be multiplied.” Cutter’s lifetime achievement is the final of three awards to be celebrated at the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner at the Hilton Washington on Feb. 26, 2006. -
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