Richard Myles Johnson Foundation Receives Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Award

The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation, the Ontario, CA-based state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada was among those honored at this year’s California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH Conference.

The Foundation received the Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Award, which recognizes efforts that contribute to the success and future of “Shapiro Group” credit unions, which have less than $89 million in assets. The awards are named after the Leagues’ late vice president of credit union development and research and information. The organization and its executive director, Tena Lozano, were honored during the annual meeting and convention for the Ontario, CA-based trade association for the two states, held Nov. 5-8 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert, CA.

This year’s recipient in the organization category, the RMJ Foundation was recognized not only for being the premier credit union organization for youth financial education in the two states, but also for being a partner to the success of small asset-sized credit unions, such as Ridgecrest-based Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union, which nominated the Foundation for the award.

For nearly 60 years, the Foundation has supported credit unions throughout California and Nevada. During the past decade, the RMJ Foundation has transformed itself into a leader in youth financial education, particularly with its 2012 launch of its Bite of Reality youth financial education program.

The Bite of Reality program aims to teach young people the money management by having them take a “real world” test drive complete with a job, money, and the freedom to make their own financial decisions. During an event, participants "purchase" items such as housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, and daycare. When they overspend, they are directed to the "credit union" for much-needed assistance.

In 2016, the RMJ Foundation officially launched a new Bite of Reality app, believed to be the first of its kind for a credit union-sponsored reality fair program. The app streamlined and modernized the program for credit unions and the RMJ Foundation, making it more relatable to young people while still providing the same life lessons it always did.

In accepting the award, Executive Director Tena Lozano said “I am so pleased that the RMJ Foundation has been recognized for our Bite of Reality program and how it helps all credit unions make a difference in kids’ lives; it is so utterly rewarding.”

--CCUL--

Contact Information
Tina Ramos-Ingold
Media Relations Specialist
California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues
909.212.6050
tinar@ccul.org

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