News & Press: Minnesota Credit Union Foundation News

Three Credit Union Builders Honored at MnCUN Annual Conference

Wednesday, May 8, 2019  
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During the 2019 Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) Annual Conference, two credit union professionals and one volunteer were recognized as Credit Union Builders through the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MnCUF). Joyce Kalbakdalen of Soo Select Credit Union, Bridget Peterson of SPIRE Credit Union and Leonard Luoma of Centricity Credit Union were each honored for their dedication to the credit union movement.


Wings Financial Credit Union honored Joyce Kalbakdalen with a CU Builder Award. Kalbakdalen, who is retiring, has served as CEO of Soo Select Credit Union for 27 years. In late 2018, Soo Select members voted to merge with Wings Financial.


Soo Select Credit Union was founded in 1953 to serve employees of the Soo Line Railroad in the Thief River Falls, Minnesota area. Soo Select grew to $15 million in assets and 2,800 members under her leadership.

“On behalf of the Board, staff and members of both Soo Select and Wings Financial Credit Unions, we thank Joyce for her years of dedicated service to the Minnesota credit union movement,” said Gregg Higgins, Senior Vice President of Wings Financial.

Bridget Petersen, Market VP of Community Outreach, joined SPIRE through a merger with Greater MN CU in 2015, where she held the position of VP of HR and Training.

In her current role, Petersen oversees SPIRE's philanthropy, public and media functions and financial literacy efforts upholding the credit union’s values and mission.

“Bridget’s career has truly been one of a Credit Union Builder. On behalf of the Board, staff and members of SPIRE Credit Union, we thank Bridget for her dedicated commitment to Minnesota’s Credit Unions,” said Dan Stoltz, President and CEO of SPIRE Credit Union.

Leonard Luoma served Centricity Credit Union on the Board of Directors for the past 43 years. Luoma recently stepped down as Board Chair and has now taken on an advisory role to the Board of Directors.

“On behalf of the board members, staff and members of Centricity Credit Union, we thank Leonard for his years of dedicated service and leadership,” said Doug Ralston of Centricity Credit Union.

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.

In total, 66 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.


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

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