header image

Credit Unions, Individuals Receive Prestigious Statewide New York Credit Union Association Recognition Awards

Several credit unions and individuals have been awarded the New York Credit Union Association’s prestigious statewide Recognition Awards. The credit unions and individuals formally received the awards during EXCEL 22, the NYCUA’s Annual Meeting and Convention June 16–19.


NYCUA recognized Mark Pfisterer, past president/CEO of AmeriCU Credit Union, as the 2022 Hall of Fame inductee, which honors individuals who devoted their lives to the philosophy and success of the credit union movement, and who have made a significant impact on credit unions at the local, state or national levels.


Pfisterer has been active on NYCUA’s board of directors, serving from 2009–2020, and as chairman from 2015–2017. He also served as chair of the Association’s Governmental Affairs Committee and as a trustee of the New York Credit Union Foundation. Additionally, Pfisterer served on the UsNet Shared Branching board for 23 years, serving as treasurer, vice chair and chairman from 2005 until his retirement in 2020.


“I congratulate Mark Pfisterer on his well-deserved induction into the New York Credit Union Hall of Fame this year,” said William J. Mellin, NYCUA president and CEO. “Not only is Mark Pfisterer an asset to NYCUA for all he does, during his tenure he grew AmeriCU’s assets exponentially while at the same time dedicating his career to the ‘people helping people’ philosophy of the credit union movement.”


NYCUA also recognized the two newest New York state members of the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders, which is located in the Credit Union House in Washington, DC., and recognizes champions of the credit union movement for their leadership and commitment to the philosophy of people helping people. 2022 inductees include Mike Vadala, past president/CEO of the Summit Federal Credit Union, and Paula Stopera, past president/CEO of CAP COM Federal Credit Union, who received the award posthumously.


Additional 2022 NYCUA Recognition Award recipients include the following:

  • Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award
    • Western New York Federal Credit Union, Sunmark Credit Union and CAP COM Federal Credit Union
    • Honorable mentions: SeaComm Federal Credit Union and Teachers Federal Credit Union
  • Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award
    • Teachers Federal Credit Union
  • Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award
    • Visions Federal Credit Union
  • Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award
    • Teachers Federal Credit Union
  • Outstanding Professional Award
    • Ed Butler, executive vice president/COO of Visions Federal Credit Union
  • Outstanding Young Professional Award
    • Cody Seward, manager of operations and virtual branch manager at The Summit Federal Credit Union
  • Outstanding Volunteer Award
    • Nancy Kappler-Foster, board chair at Hudson Valley Credit Union


Additional information on the awards and recipients is available below:

Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award, awarded annually to credit unions that strengthen local institutions and materially improves the lives of non-members through community outreach programs.

  • Western New York Federal Credit Union received the award in the $50 million – $250 million asset category for its “Wear Jeans With a Purpose” initiative, allowing staff to wear jeans on Fridays in exchange for a $75 donation to the charity of their choice. Western New York FCU contributed an additional $25, totaling $100 donation per participating employee to 15 local community organizations in need.
  • Sunmark Credit Union received the award in the $250 million – $1 billion asset category for its “Summer of Kindness” initiative. Sunmark Credit Union partnered with Beekman 1802, a national company founded by an act of kindness, and invited children up to age 12 to “deposit kindness” by submitting their ideas on how they would spread kindness in their local communities. The credit union’s Kindness Crew, comprised of Sunmark Credit Union, Foundation and Beekman employees worked with the children to bring these Kindness Projects to life, with a total of eight projects completed from July to early September.
  • CAP COM Federal Credit Union received the award in the more than $1 billion asset category for its CAP COM CARES Foundation Infrastructure Initiative Program, which allowed its community partners to build accessible bathrooms for constituents. The program was formed with the initial intention of giving 10 organizations gifts of $5,000, but after seeing more applications than anticipated, the total allocation for the program was increased to 20 organizations, which helped fund new roofs, building expansions, equipment to start a podcast, software upgrades and much more.
  • SeaComm Federal Credit Union and Teachers Federal Credit Union received honorable mentions for displaying exceptional commitment to their communities and the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”

Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award, awarded annually to a credit union for its practical application of credit union philosophy within the actual operation of the credit union. It is awarded for internal programs and services that benefit membership.

  • NYCUA recognized Teachers Federal Credit Union for its digital transformation initiative as part of a larger vision to become “America’s credit union” by using the latest technologies and reinventing how Teachers FCU associates conduct business to best serve member needs.

The Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award recognizes credit unions that demonstrate a significant commitment to adult financial education.

  • Visions Federal Credit Union was recognized with the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award for its “Wallet Wellness” program, which includes self-guided lessons, one-on-one certified financial counseling, curated presentations — available both virtually and in person — as well as outreach to schools and businesses throughout its communities. The initiative continues to expand and year over year growth of individuals impacted is a testament to Visions FCU’s hard work and commitment to community.

The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award recognizes credit unions that demonstrate a significant commitment to youth financial education.

  • NYCUA recognized Teachers Federal Credit Union with the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award for its “Teaching With TikTok” initiative to reach a younger demographic using the social media platform TikTok to provide financial education content nothing short of scroll stopping, eye-catching and entertaining. Teachers FCU aimed to educate the harder-to-reach Gen-Z demographic, and over the year, highlighted key financial content using videos and trending sounds to make continuous learning fun and easy.

Outstanding Professional Award, recognizing a professional who has a true passion for credit unions and who inspires others with their hard work, dedication and success.

  • Ed Butler has been employed with Visions Federal Credit Union since college and has worked as everything from a teller to the executive vice president during his 42-year employment. He has been predominantly focused on lending and serves to be a wealth of knowledge. Butler has provided oversight to the following departments: human resources, information technology, business performance, internal operations, governmental affairs and everything member-facing. He also has been instrumental in annual strategic planning exercises for the organization and has been attending the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference for over 10 years.

Outstanding Young Professional, recognizing an individual, 39 years-old or younger, whose commitment, hard work and achievements have enhanced their credit union and the entire New York credit union movement.

  • Cody Seward’s unique understanding of credit union initiatives allows him to look at the bigger picture: not just what is going to benefit The Summit Federal Credit Union, but what is going to benefit the movement both at the state and national levels. Since 2018, Seward has served as the treasurer for the NYCUA’s Young Professionals Commission. In addition to managing the financial affairs of the commission, he has developed and implemented initiatives specifically for credit union young professionals, and assisted the Association with its mission to engage, connect and empower the next generation of industry leaders.

Outstanding Volunteer Award, recognizing volunteers who exemplify commitment to their credit unions and consistently embody the “people helping people” philosophy.

  • Nancy Kappler-Foster has been a member of Hudson Valley Credit Union for over 30 years, and a committed volunteer for two-thirds of that time. She began her service to Hudson Valley Credit Union’s cooperative in 2002 as a member of the supervisory committee, eventually chairing the committee in 2010 and 2011. Since joining the board of directors in 2012, she has held positions including assistant treasurer (2013–2014), treasurer (2015–2019), and finally chairman of the board as of December 2019.

About the New York Credit Union Association
For more than 100 years, the New York Credit Union Association has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions, which collectively hold more than $83 billion in assets and serve 5.9 million members. NYCUA strives to advance the credit union movement by advocating, educating, uniting and supporting the interests of all credit unions statewide. To learn more about NYCUA, visit www.nycua.org. To find a credit union or learn more about the credit union movement, visit yourmoneyfurther.com.