The Network Awards Committee facilitates statewide and national awards programs and judges entries. On the national level, the committee coordinates Minnesota’s entries for CUNA’s Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring Awards and the Desjardins Award for Financial Education.
On the state level, the committee recognizes individuals and organizations through the Professional and Volunteer of the Year Awards and the Simon Hellermann Award for Credit Union Philanthropy.
Below are brief descriptions of the state and national awards programs offered by the Minnesota Credit Union Network. More information about the awards, along with nomination forms, will be available approximately three months before the awards deadlines.
Timeline: The call for nominations for the following awards typically takes place in January with a February deadline. The awards are presented at the MnCUN Annual Meeting in April.
Outstanding Professional of the Year Award
This award is given to recognize the noble service of one outstanding credit union professional who has selflessly given time, effort and talent to the support and promotion of the credit union ideal and the betterment of credit unions in Minnesota.
Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award
This award recognize the noble service of one outstanding credit union volunteer who best exemplifies the credit union spirit through dedication to, and belief in, the credit union movement.
Simon Hellermann Award for Credit Union Philanthropy
Given on a three-year cycle, this award was established to recognize demonstrated excellence in credit union philanthropy and contributions to the Minnesota credit union movement. This philanthropic award is a tribute to Minnesota credit union philanthropist Simon Hellermann for his dedication to the movement, and specifically to the Children’s Miracle Network-Credit Unions for Kids. Individuals, credit unions, chapters and affinity groups are eligible to win this award. (The next Hellermann Award recipient will be named in 2015.)
Timeline: The call for nominations for the following awards typically takes place in late May to early June, with a mid-July deadline. Statewide award winners are announced in August. Winning entries on the state level advance to compete nationally, with national results typically available in November. National award recipients are recognized at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference the following February.
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award: The Dora Maxwell Award recognizes credit unions that promote social responsibility. In particular, the focus of the award is to draw attention to external credit union projects and activities that benefit the community.
Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action: The Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action focuses on the internal programs and services of a credit union. Credit unions who received the award have demonstrated the practical application of the credit union philosophy within the actual operations of the credit union.
Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards: The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards formally recognizes the leadership of individual credit unions and chapters on behalf of youth and adult financial education. Activities eligible for consideration include those that raise awareness and marshal resources on behalf of financial literacy.
2014 Professional & Volunteer of the Year Award Winners
MnCUN's Outstanding Professional of the Year 2014: Barb Brown, Northwoods Credit Union
Barb has served with Northwoods since 1987, starting as a teller and working her way around the credit union and through several positions before becoming CEO in 2003. Throughout her career at Northwoods, Barb has made her employees, her credit union and her community top priorities. Since 1999, Northwoods’ assets have more than doubled – reaching $70 million – and membership has increased by more than 160%. She also led the way for Northwoods to become the first credit union of its size to sponsor its community ice arena, driving awareness of the credit union while providing the financial backing to provide this opportunity to area residents.
“Barb helps people day in and day out,” said Del Prevost, former President & CEO of Members Cooperative Credit Union. “Barb has outstanding core values and is well-respected and trusted in the community where she lives as well the credit union community as a whole.”
MnCUN's Outstanding Volunteer of the Year 2014, Leonard Luoma, Hermantown Federal Credit Union
Len has served as Hermantown's board chair for 41 years. During his time on the board, his leadership and progressive thinking have helped drive Hermantown’s growth from $1 million in assets to $116 million in assets. Len strongly believes in the credit union mission of giving back to his community and also volunteers with the Knights of Columbus, the Minnesota Senior Federation’s Northeast Coalition and is active in his church. Len has attended every MnCUN Annual Meeting since 1980.
“Len always places the best interests of the credit union’s members above everything else,” said Hermantown Federal Credit Union President & CEO Scott Lundgren. “He comes to meetings prepared, gets involved and brings his wealth of experience to everything he’s involved in with the credit union."
Sandra Wiederholt, Chair
Fulda Area CU
Associated Healthcare CU
Central Minnesota CU
West Financial CU
Two Harbors FCU
* Connie Kuhn