US credit union leaders to be honoured at NCUF fundraiser next year

The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards recognise those who have made a lasting impact in the credit union movement

Four credit union industry leaders have been announced as recipients of The National Credit Union Foundation’s 34th annual Herb Wegner Memorial Awards—the U.S. credit union movement’s highest national honours. 

The Outstanding Individual Achievement Awards will be presented at the NCUF’s fundraising dinner in Washington DC  on February 27, 2023.

The award recipients are:

Brian Branch, former president and CEO of World Council of Credit Unions

Mr Branch retired from his role at the World Council, the global trade association and development platform for credit unions, last year, after 31 years working for the organisation. 

Bill Cheney, CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and chair of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions

Bill Cheney led a number of credit unions, and served as the president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association(CUNA), before becoming CEO of SchoolsFirst in 2014.

Mr Cheney said he was “honoured” to receive the award, and added “I share this achievement with colleagues who have mentored me throughout my career, as well as my friends and family who support me.”

Linda Bodie, CEO & innovator at Element Federal Credit Union

Ms Bodie has led Element Federal Credit Union (formerly West Virginia United Federal Credit Union) since 1998, as well as co-founding both ​​CU Pride, the LGBTQ+ association for credit unions, and the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance in 2020.

Winona Nava, president & CEO of Guadalupe Credit Union

Ms Nava joined Guadalupe Credit Union  in 1991 and has over 44 years of experience working in New Mexico credit unions. 

President/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, Juan E. Fernández Ceballos, commented on Ms Nava’s award: 

“Ms. Nava is the first New Mexican to win this award, and we could not be prouder or more excited about this selection. Her deeds have been noticed not only in the national credit union movement, but at the local level, helping to move the needle, reign in predatory lending, and provide safe and reliable services to our immigrant community.”

The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards began in 1988 to honour the memory of former president & CEO of CUNA,  Herbert G. Wegner, who is credited with bringing US co-ops into the mainstream.

“The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards are a symbol of human service,” said Gigi Hyland, executive director of the Foundation. “Collectively, these four individuals have dedicated almost 150 years to the credit union movement.

“Through their vision, leadership and commitment to the co-operative principles, they have had—and continue to have—an immeasurable impact on financial well-being at a global level. By celebrating their storied achievements, the Foundation seeks to catalyse all of us to do as much as we can to ensure everyone can achieve financial freedom through credit unions.”

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