Recognizing excellence: leadership, community involvement and innovation in the Canadian credit union system

TORONTO, July 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central) today honoured the winners of its annual National Credit Union Awards program during the 2013 World Credit Union Conference (WCUC) in Ottawa, Ontario. The awards program was developed as a way to recognize and celebrate the contributions of credit unions and credit union leaders for their positive impact on the communities in which they work and live.

Canadian Central presented a total of six awards to individuals and credit unions in four award categories: community economic development, innovation, leadership by young credit union professionals, and the lifetime contribution by a credit union system leader.

This year, the National Credit Union Community Economic Development Award was awarded to Vancity for their Resilient Capital Program™. Resilient Capital is dedicated to accelerating the growth of enterprises with proven business models that add to the social, economic and environmental well-being of their communities. To date, Resilient Capital has invested more than $4 million in eleven social enterprises focused on addressing social and environmental challenges, and building resilient communities.

The National Credit Union Innovation Award was presented to North Peace Savings & Credit Union for their Virtual Technology Connects the North technology program. Personal Teller Machines and video conferencing technology have redefined North Peace Savings branch model, allowing them to create a virtual office location to serve remote communities where a traditional branch is neither feasible nor practical. This use of technology enables members to access resident experts in all branch locations, for all services.

Leadership is also a significant component of the National Awards program.  This year's Hall of Fame award winners, formally recognized for their years of leadership and for their positive influence in the Canadian credit union system, are Joe Dierker and Jack Smit.

  • Mr. Dierker was named a Hall of Fame Award Honouree, for his lifelong dedication and service to the ideals and principles of co-operation, and because of his leadership, high professional standards and loyalty to the credit union movement. As a distinguished lawyer, Joe's noteworthy achievements have included the drafting of important legislation at the federal and provincial levels that has benefitted both the Canadian and international credit union system.
  • Mr. Smit's career within the credit union system also spans over five decades, and over that time as CEO of Libro Financial Group, and as Chair of the Board for Central 1 Credit Union, Credit Union Central of Canada and of the former Credit Union Central of Ontario, he led with courage, commitment, and passion - always with the ideals and principles of the co-operative spirit. He has worked tirelessly at both the provincial and national levels within the credit union system to improve efficiency, effectiveness and market relevance; but his peers say it is his deep commitment to the credit union system and the communities he served, that are his true legacy.

As for up-and-coming leaders, the five National Young Leader Award Finalists this year are:

From this group, Benjamin Janzen was selected as the National Young Leader's Scholarship Award recipient.  The award - which provides a $10,000 scholarship to cover tuition and travel costs to attend a leadership development program at a university in Canada - is part of Canadian Central's annual National Credit Union Awards program.  Benjamin was selected earlier today after a joint presentation from all five finalists, and individual, in-person interviews.

Detailed information about each award category and this year's winners can be found in the 'National Awards' section of Canadian Central's website at

About Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central)
Credit Union Central of Canada is the national trade association for the Canadian credit union system. Canada's credit union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry. Canadian Central represents five regional Centrals and one Federation representing 348 credit unions with more than $152.5 billion in assets and serving over 5.3 million members, outside of Quebec. For more information about Canada's credit union system and Canadian Central visit

For the eighth consecutive year, Canadians ranked credit unions first in overall Customer Service Excellence, among all financial institutions, surpassing all Canadian banks in Ipsos 2012 Best Banking Awards. Credit unions also took sole honours in Branch Service Excellence and Values My Business. Credit unions tied for first among all financial institutions for Financial Planning & Advice and Telephone Banking Excellence.

SOURCE: Credit Union Central of Canada

For further information:

Veronica Feldcamp
Director, Trade Association Services
Tel: (416) 232-3417
Cell: (416) 434-8777

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Credit Union Central of Canada

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