News & Press: Minnesota Credit Union Foundation News

Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Recognizes 9 Individuals as Credit Union Builders

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  
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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Credit Foundation is proud to recognize nine remarkable individuals as Credit Union Builders. Several of the recipients were recognized during an awards breakfast held during the Minnesota Credit Union Network Annual Conference on April 6 in Bloomington.


Created in 2008, the Credit Union Builder Award honors an individual’s dedication to the success, growth, and vitality of the not-for-profit financial movement in Minnesota. Dedications are typically made at a special time of significance to acknowledge an individual’s contributions to credit unions.


The nine individuals being named credit union builders include:


Barb Brown - honorarium made by Northwoods Credit Union - Barb lives the Credit Union philosophy of people helping people. It is apparent that every decision she makes is with her members and employees at heart. Barb is involved in the credit union movement through the local league by helping to plan meetings and attending all league events. Barb is also very involved with the Credit Union National Association. Barb has been able to keep the credit union philosophy strong while also recognizing the need to grow and keep up with technology and an ever-changing industry.


Larry Champeaux honorarium made by Northern Communities Credit Union - Larry Champeaux retired from Northern Communities Credit Union in 2016 as the President and CEO.  During Larry’s credit union career, he displayed true passion of the Credit Union Movement, respect to his peers, and provided exceptional leadership. Larry’s career in the credit union industry spanned a remarkable 30 years.


Kenneth R. Blazing - honorarium made by Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union -  Kenneth Blazing began a 30-year career at Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union on July 1, 1987. Ken served as a Vice President of Lending for many years, serving as Chief Financial Officer beginning in 2001 and is now retired.


Rich Gabrielson honorarium made by CliftonLarsonAllen - Rich Gabrielson was a CPA working with Minnesota credit union supervisory committees, boards of directors and management throughout his 36-year career at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP. Gabrielson retired in 2013. Dedicated to credit unions and his profession, Gabrielson and the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation established the Financial & Audit Professionals Grant Fund, which provides up to $2,000 in annual grant funding for Minnesota credit union staff and volunteers who have financial and audit-related responsibilities.


Lon Kruger - honorarium made by Accentra Credit Union - Lon Krueger started his career with Accentra {formerly known as Hormel Employees Credit Union) in March of 1977. He quickly moved up through the accounting department to become the CFO. In December of 1987 Lon was named the President/CEO and led the Credit Union through much success until his retirement in April 2008. Lon's vision and leadership saw the credit union grow from $44 million in total assets to $100 million during his time as President/CEO. Lon was active in the credit union industry on a state and national level and his passion for credit unions was evident in everything he did.


MaryJean Lidstone- honorarium made by CUNA Mutual Group – For more than 41 years, MaryJean started every day looking for ways to make credit unions more successful. Her dedication and focus forwarded credit unions in Minnesota and beyond as she connected the dots and marshaled resources to help credit unions better serve their members. Her passion and commitment will continue to have a lasting impact.


Scott Lundgren – honorarium made by Centricity Credit Union - Scott Lundgren retired from Centricity Credit Union (formerly Hermantown Federal Credit Union) at the end of March after three decades of service to the credit union movement. Scott began as a teller and worked his way up to the position of CEO leading two separate credit unions during his career, the last 16 years with Centricity Credit Union. Scott's relationship driven approach has led to financial and member satisfaction success.


Dolf Moon - honorarium made by Novation Credit Union - Dolf Moon has served on the Novation board of directors for 18 years and was a driving force behind the credit union’s outstanding growth in Hutchinson and McLeod County. He is passionate about the important role credit unions play in the lives of consumers, is well respected by his fellow board members, and consistently championed for the credit union management and staff.


Del Provost honorarium made by Members Cooperative Credit Union - Prevost begin his career as President & CEO of Members Cooperative Credit Union in 1991 until his retirement in 2007. Prevost served on the Network’s Board of Directors from 1998 to 2003, serving as Chairman from 2002 to 2003.  Additionally, Prevost served on the Network’s Political Involvement Committee and was instrumental in the passage of the modernization of the State Credit Union Act. He was recently inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders. Actively involved in the community, officiated football games at the high school and collegiate level for 25 years.


In total, 45 individuals have been designated as Credit Union Builders over the past nine years. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s lobby as a tribute to those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement.


Focused on financial education and professional development initiatives, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is dedicated to providing the resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive. MnCUF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1969 that serves as a charitable arm of the Minnesota credit union movement. For more information, visit

Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034