NEW YORK — Two noted CDCU leaders have won the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions Annie Vamper Awards for 2008. The Federation also recognized long-time leader Maurice Calder??n of Arrowhead Credit Union with a friend of the federation award.

The two Vamper Award winners were Ed Jacob, CEO of the $7.2 million North Side Community Federal Credit Union in Chicago, and Dan Morrisey, manager of the $1.5 Queen of Peace Arlington FCU, in Arlington Va.

Jacob, has gained a national reputation for his pioneering work in developing alternatives to payday loans, as well as loans to aid immigrants, the federation noted, at the $9.5 million credit union that was founded in 1970.

Jacob began his acceptance by quoting a Robert F. Kennedy speech made in South Africa in 1966, according to an announcement of the award. “Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and in the total of all these acts will be written the history of this generation,” Jacob cited.

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current, which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance,” he quoted.

“Tiny ripples of hope are being sent out every day from ASI FCU in New Orleans to Northwest Baptist FCU in Seattle, from Alternatives FCU in upstate New York to Women’s Southwest FCU here in Dallas and West Texas CU in El Paso, from Latino Community CU in North Carolina and Queen of Peace Arlington FCU in Virginia across to Northeast Community CU in San Francisco, and everywhere in between,” said Jacob. “I am proud and honored to be part of a movement that does this work and to be able to send out a few of these tiny ripples of hope from Chicago.”

Morrisey has volunteered at Queen of Peace for more than three decades. While his credit union is based in a church, he believes that faith is particularly important for all credit unions, regardless of their origin.

“What we CDCUs, and really all credit unions, do day-in and day-out is to take a leap of faith in our members” Morrisey explained to the federation. “When we make loans we have faith that our members will repay that loan.” Morrisey provided one of the highlights of the event with a joke that tied Biblical inspiration to efforts of a credit union to collect from a delinquent borrower.

“Both Dan and Ed represent the best traditions of the credit union movement,” said Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “With limited resources, they have made it their mission to stretch further to reach people in need–immigrants, people with disabilities, people who have been victimized by payday lenders. They have strengthened not only to their communities, but the CDCU movement nationwide.”

The Annie Vamper Helping Hands awards were first given out in 1993 to honor the memory of Annie Wilma Vamper, credit union manager, NCUA official and associate director of the federation.

The federation recognized Calder??n for his work with the federation and the Hispanic community. The Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals shared the award.

“Maurice has been with us since the very first federation Latino credit union conference in San Antonio, Texas, back in 1999,” said Rosenthal.

“By bringing prominent leaders such as U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral and Representative Grace Napolitano to us, he has elevated our work at the national level.” Arrowhead CU is one of the charter members of the Federation’s Community Development Partner initiative.

Also receiving a friend of the federation Award was Ralph Paige, CEO of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, Atlanta, Ga. Paige, who is also a board member of the National Cooperative Business Association, “has been a constant advocate for CDCUs and cooperatives generally,” said Rosenthal, “especially in the Southeast but also nationally.”

–dmorrison@cutimes.com