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 received the awards during EXCEL 23, the NYCUA’s Annual Meeting and Convention June 15–18, held at the Sagamore Resort on Lake George, in Bolton Landing, N.Y.
NYCUA recognized Linda Bourgeois, past CEO of UFirst FCU, as its prestigious 2023 Hall of Fame inductee, which honors individuals who have 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.
Additional 2023 NYCUA Recognition Award recipients include the following:
- Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award
- Western New York FCU, SeaComm FCU and Teachers FCU
- Honorable mention: Cornerstone Community FCU
- Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award
- Alternatives FCU and GPO FCU.
- Honorable mention: Olean Area FCU
- Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award
- Visions FCU
- Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award
- Olean Area FCU and Visions FCU
- Outstanding Professional Award
- Constance Kelkenberg of Cornerstone Community FCU
- Outstanding Young Professional Award
- Staren Bielinski of Sunmark CU
- Outstanding Volunteer Award
- John A. Stevenson of AmeriCU Credit Union
Additional information on the awards and recipients is 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 FCU received the award for providing holiday gifts for 35 residents of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center. Funds, time and energy were donated to provide holiday gifts for patients who are often overlooked around the holidays, adding joy and warmth to their lives during a challenging season.
SeaComm FCU received the award for its Pay-It Forward program, which facilitated 26 community events and donations through the Pay-It Forward program. The numerous events made possible through the program helped to create a chain reaction of kindness throughout the communities it serves, and during each event, staff engaged with members and non-members alike, communicating the credit union philosophy of people helping people.
Teachers FCU was recognized for its Smart for a Cause project. More than 300 Teachers FCU employees participated in the Making Strides for Long Island Walk and helped fund-raise a total of over $124,000 for the fight against breast cancer. The event is the largest Making Strides Walk in the country, with over 65,000 people attending the 2022 event.
Cornerstone Community FCU received an honorable mention for identifying the need to champion culture, diversity, inclusion and community, and finding ways to engage the entire Cornerstone team to support the community it serves while enhancing the overall culture of the organization through a variety of initiatives.
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 Alternatives FCU for its Ultra Outreach initiative, which provided affordable financial services and business development assistance to minority communities throughout Chemung County.
GPO FCU received the award for “The GREAT Experience.” GREAT stands for Greet, Relate, Educate, Ask and Thank the member, and is an employee message outlining steps of the brand experience.
Olean Area FCU received an honorable mention for CD special implemented for a limited time to benefit membership with the goal of increasing their savings.
The Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award recognizes credit unions that demonstrate a significant commitment to adult financial education, while the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award recognizes credit unions that demonstrate a significant commitment to adult financial education.
Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award
Visions FCU received the award for its Financial Wellness Bootcamp program, which helps members increase savings and pay off debt through a tailored financial education curriculum.
Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award
Olean Area FCU was recognized for its Mad City Money initiative, a financial education program for local high schoolers that provided a hands-on approach to financial literacy.
Visions FCU received the award for its Vision's Business Academy, an onsite financial wellness program offered across ten local high school branches.
The Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes volunteers who exemplify commitment to their credit unions and consistently embody the “people helping people” philosophy.
John A. Stevenson is board chair of AmeriCU Credit Union and volunteers and holds leadership positions on several boards. Stevenson is passionate about the credit union movement, community and his family.
The Outstanding Young Professional Award recognizes 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.
Staren Bielinski is Sunmark Credit Union’s member relations manager in the Member Solution Center, where she calls on her over 10 years of credit union background and excellent member service and interpersonal skills to create a great experience for members and staff.
The Outstanding Professional Award recognizes a professional who has a true passion for credit unions and who inspires others with their hard work, dedication and success.
Since 1970, Constance Kelkenberg transitioned through many roles before becoming SVP and director of Auditing at Cornerstone Community FCU, and she demonstrates her passion and dedication daily, in addition to volunteering in the community.
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 $116 billion in assets and serve 6.5 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.