REACH 2020: League, Kim Bannan, and Advocacy Awards Recipients Honored

Leo Shapiro Recipient Joe Schroeder
2020 Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Joe Schroeder, retired CEO of Ventura County CU with members of the credit union board and staff, including to his left, current CEO Linda Rossi.

Eighteen credit union leaders, volunteers, up-and-comers, as well as credit unions and organizations—including this year’s Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Joe Schroeder, retired CEO of Ventura County CU—were honored during the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ virtual REACH 2020.

The honorees of the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Service, Outstanding Volunteer, Tomorrow’s Star awards—as well as the Kim Bannan Eternal Flame and Advocacy awards—were recognized at a special ceremony during this year's virtual event.

These are this year's award recipients:

Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award:  Retired Ventura County CU CEO Joe Schroeder. This is the League’s highest honor, recognizing excellence in credit union philosophy and a lifetime of contributions to the California credit union movement. It is named after Leo H. Shapiro, father of the California credit union movement and founder of the League.  Schroeder was honored for his more than 30 years in the industry. His strong belief in the “People Helping People” philosophy is apparent everywhere at the credit union—including reaching out to serve modest means and underserved groups within the community. For more information on Schroeder's accomplishments, click here

Distinguished Service Award: WestStar CU CEO Rick Schmidt

Recipients of the League’s Distinguished Service Award are honored for service to the credit union community over the most recent three years. Schmidt was recognized for his involvement with advocacy efforts—representing the credit union movement not only before elected officials but also before regulatory agencies—and also his recent successful leadership and community outreach efforts.

J. Alvin George Outstanding Volunteer Award: Wesley Hall of Valley First CU and Terrance Tremelling of SAFE CU

This award honors significant contributions over the most recent three years by people who serve credit unions in a volunteer capacity. It was renamed in 2013 in honor of long-time credit union volunteer J. Alvin George, who passed away that same year. Wesley Hall was recognized for his more than 70 years of service on the Valley First CU board, including 35 years as chairman, while Terrance Tremelling—who joined the SAFE CU board in 2006 and served as chairman in 2017—was honored for his tireless advocacy of credit unions.

For more information on Hall's decades of service to Valley First, click here. For more on Tremelling's work with SAFE CU and his community, click here

Tomorrow’s Star Award: Tyrone Conde of Downey FCU and Aron Harrington of CalCom FCU/Mattel FCU/SCCUA

This award recognizes the achievements in the most recent three years by young credit union professionals age 35 and under. Both Conde and Harrington are new to the credit union movement but already have distinguished themselves in myriad ways, helping their respective credit unions thrive and volunteering within their communities.

For more on Conde, click here. For more on Harrington, click here

Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Awards: Santa Ana FCU CEO Jill Mahany (individual) and Richards and Associates, CPAs (organization)

These awards recognize efforts that contribute to the success and future of Shapiro Group credit unions and are named after the League’s late vice president of credit union development and research and information. Both Mahany and Richards and Associates, CPAs were honored for their outstanding work and support of Shapiro credit unions. 

For a look at what Mahany and Richards and Associates, CPAs have done for small credit unions, click here and hererespectively.

Advocacy Awards

These recipients are credit unions, individuals, and organizations that display extraordinary leadership in advocacy and political action. The 2020 recipients are:

Political Professional of the Year: Carina Hollis, Wescom CU.  Hollis was recognized for her commitment to advocacy. She went above and beyond to assist by reaching out to legislators, attending and hosting fundraisers, and leading lobbying discussions. 

Advocate Credit Union of the Year-California: Travis CU (CEO—Barry Nelson). The credit union and Nelson were honored demonstrating incredible leadership in advocacy this year.

Advocate Credit Union of the Year-Nevada: Great Basin FCU (CEO—Jennifer Denoo). The credit union has supported the League’s various advocacy efforts and it, along with Denoo, was recognizes for its outstanding work and commitment.

Advocate of the year-California: Dave Gunderson, Credit Union of Southern California. Gunderson was recognized for going above and beyond to assist with all of the League’s advocacy events this year.  

Advocate of the year-Nevada: Matt Kershaw, Clark County CU.  Kershaw was honored for his sacrifice of his valuable time to assist during an unexpected special session during a non-session year.

Shapiro (Credit Union) Advocate of the Year: Delta Schools FCU.  The credit union and its CEO Rob Greaff really stepped up its grassroots advocacy efforts this year especially during the battle against AB 2501 and AB 1436.

Volunteer of the year: Howard Welinsky, First Entertainment CU.  Welinsky went above and beyond to assist the Advocacy team by reaching out to legislators and leading critical lobbying discussions that helped the League achieve major victories this legislative session.

Supplier of the year: American Share Insurance (President and CEO—Dennis Adams).  Advocacy is a collaboration and partnership. When action is needed American Share Insurance (ASI) is always there to answer the call. ASI continues to ensure the Leagues has the resources needed to engage our membership and fight in the halls of Carson City, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.

California PAC Advocate of the Year-California: Josh Smith, SchoolsFirst FCU. Smith has gone above and beyond to assist the League’s PAC. He was honored for his hard work and leadership by leading lobbying discussions and attending every advocacy related event this year.

PAC Advocate of the Year-Nevada: Sue Longson, Boulder Dam Credit Union.  Longson was recognized for her countless hours dedicated to PAC. The Leagues wouldn’t have such a successful political program without her efforts.

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