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MADISON, Wis. — Dr. Robert Hoel, the former long-time executive director of the Filene Research Institute and this year’s winner of the Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award, said he fell in love with credit unions primarily by seeing the impact they made in the lives of their members.

“I was teaching business at Colorado State University in the late 1970s and the university had a credit union,” Hoel recalled during a break from skiing with friends on an annual trip back in his beloved Colorado. “And a lot of the people who worked there didn’t make a lot of money. They were custodians and cooks in the cafeteria. I got to know and appreciate the value of credit unions by observing how much of a difference our credit union made in their lives.”

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