Recently, four individuals were honored as Credit Union Builders in recognition of their service to the credit union movement in Minnesota.
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 time of significance to acknowledge an individual’s contributions to credit unions.
Keith Hauge was honored by Ideal Credit Union in recognition of his retirement from its Board of Directors. He has been a champion for Ideal Credit Union members for more than 40 years through his volunteer leadership on the Ideal Credit Union Board of Directors – including serving as board chair from 2014-2019.
Keith actively advocated for the credit union movement meeting with elected officials in Minnesota and Washington D.C. to educate and engage them in policies that benefit members.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union honored Debra Hurston, Association for Black Economic Power, as a Credit Union Builder for work leading the establishment of Minnesota's first Black-led community credit union dedicated to addressing the needs of the residents who live, work, or worship in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
Debra is tirelessly and patiently lead all aspects of building Arise Community Credit Union: raising seed funds, recruiting board members, setting up governance, securing advocacy, creating a charter and business plan, hiring a CEO, and more. She’s partnered with dozens of local and national industry and community leaders – including Affinity Plus. She’s an emerging and significant positive force for the credit union philosophy in Minnesota.
Tom Smith was honored by TopLine Financial Credit Union upon his retirement and President and CEO.
Tom Smith has worked in the financial services industry for over 38 years. He has been very active forging strategic direction and successfully leading various divisions of organizations within the financial services industry.
Tom joined TopLine Financial Credit Union as Chief Lending Officer in May 2008 and was appointed President and CEO in January 2014. Tom will be retiring on May 1, 2023. Tom has led the credit union with integrity, passion and vision, and over the last 9 years under his President and CEO leadership TopLine has experienced tremendous growth, fostered a culture of inclusion, kept pace with ever-evolving innovation and kept a keen eye on the betterment of our communities.
Mark Cummins, President and CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network was honored in recognition from his retirement.
Under Cummins’ leadership, several programs have been established in recent years for member credit unions including WINcentive prize-linked savings, the Minnesota Credit Union Employee Benefits Plan and CU Forward Day. Minnesota was also the first state to launch the national Credit Union Consumer Awareness Initiative in 2019 and since then, has seen both increased average membership growth and consumer familiarity of credit unions.
91 individuals have been designated as Credit Union Builders since the award's inception. 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.
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