Statewide Credit Union Award Winners Announced

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Georgia credit unions make a positive impact in their communities in a variety of creative ways, and Georgia Credit Union Affiliates recognizes those efforts with an annual statewide awards program.

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Award honors credit unions for their outstanding efforts in community projects and activities. The Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action commends credit unions for making exceptional efforts to include credit union philosophy in daily operations and member services. The Desjardins awards recognize leadership on behalf of youth and adult financial literacy initiatives.

This year's Dora Maxwell Award for the $1 billion+ asset category goes to Associated Credit Union for its support of the Wilderness Works program, an Atlanta-based youth development agency that provides experiential learning to homeless and disadvantaged youth.

"The ACU Foundation believes that every child deserves to have a safe haven - a place where they are greeted with hugs, positivity, and a warm meal," said Rachael Jernigan, Public Relations and Foundation Coordinator at Associated Credit Union. "Their blossoming minds are so open to new knowledge and experiences, and if we don't take the time to fill their thoughts with intellect, confidence, and the desire to move past their arduous living situations, we may quickly lose them to the world of negativity that has been trying to hold them back."

DOCO Credit Union was recognized with a Maxwell Award in the $50 - $250 million asset category for its "Memories and a Mustang" event as part of its year-round efforts to raise money for Alzheimer's care, support and research.
Associated Credit Union also won its second consecutive Louse Herring Award in the $1 billion+ category, this year for its "Pay to Save" checking account. For a small monthly account fee, members have access to significant benefits and discounts, so far saving more than $400,000 on goods and services.
Health Center Credit Union earned the Herring Award in the $50 - $250 million asset category for its Bridge Loan and Skip-a-Pay offerings to assist employees of Augusta University and AU Health in bridging the salary gap created by changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Roughly 600 employees were impacted by the FLSA changes. The timing of implementation meant a change in pay schedules and a decrease of $1000-$2000 in gross taxable income for the year, and Health Center Credit Union helped members adjust their budgets and payment schedules accordingly.
Credit unions have a reputation for championing financial wellness. DOCO Credit Union has been recognized in the past for its youth financial literacy programming, and this year it won the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award in its asset category for its customized all-age classroom curriculum offered to school districts within its field of membership.
"Credit unions are committed to service, at the member level and the community level," said Barry Heape, CEO of DOCO Credit Union. "It defines our culture here. It's an honor to be recognized for our efforts, but the real reward comes from knowing that we're making a difference and positively impacting the lives of our neighbors."
In the $1 billion+ asset category, Robins Financial Credit Union won the youth financial education award for providing "It's a Money Thing" in high school and college classrooms covering topics from basic budgeting to auto and home purchases, managing student loans and understanding credit.
Delta Community Credit Union won the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award in the $1 billion+ asset category for its Financial Education Center.
"Our Financial Education Center is unique among credit unions in metro Atlanta because it provides multiple, free on-site financial education programs to members of the public," said Delta Community CEO Hank Halter. "Our educational curriculum covers many topics, and we are delighted that it has been recognized by our peers in the credit union industry."
Launched in 2016, the FEC offers 14 courses in six categories at no cost to all members and prospective members in the 11-county Greater Atlanta Metropolitan area. In its first year, the FEC conducted 65 workshops, educating more than 1,100 people about how to reach their financial goals.
The award-winning submissions from Georgia have been entered in the national awards program administered by the Credit Union National Association, with those results to be announced in October.
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award
DOCO Credit Union ($50 - $250 million)
Memories and a Mustang
Associated Credit Union ($1 billion +)
Wilderness Works
Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award
Health Center Credit Union ($50 million - $250 million)
FSLA Bridge Loan & Skip-a-Pay
Associated Credit Union ($1 billion +)
"Pay to Save" Associated Checking Account
Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award
DOCO Credit Union ($50 million - $250 million)
All-age custom classroom curriculum
Robins Financial Credit Union ($1 billion +)
"It's a Money Thing" in-school classes
Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award
Delta Community Credit Union ($1 billion +)
Financial Education Center