Awards recognize credit union excellence

    CALGARY, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - Credit Union Central of Canada presented its
annual National Credit Union Awards for outstanding achievement during a
ceremony today that was part of the 2007 World Credit Union Conference.
    Canadian Central's chairman Mike Tarr presented awards for community
economic development, innovation and leadership by young credit union
    The Community Economic Development Award was won by FirstSask Credit
Union of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The award highlights the exemplary efforts
of credit unions in the development of their communities.
    FirstSask Credit Union received the award for a program that provides
disadvantaged youth with tools and incentives to learn critical financial and
life skills, while saving for future goals.
    The judges said FirstSask leverages its contributions to attract
additional financial and human resources, while also securing policy changes
that remove barriers preventing low income youth from saving for their future.
The project exemplifies good community development by taking a longer term
approach that focuses on youth's potential - a most important and precious
community asset.
    The National Credit Union Innovation Award is presented to a credit union
that leads the way with innovations that strengthen the system.
    The 2007 award winner is Vancity Credit Union of Vancouver, which was
recognized for its Carbon Neutral Program, which will invest in Canadian
initiatives to address climate change.
    This program integrates product innovation through the Clean Air Auto
Loan, Cash-Back energy efficiency program, Climate Change Mortgage and
Circadian Mutual Funds. It extends into the community with the innovative
Green Building Grant, the Carbon Offset program and many "green" community
    The judges said the program also builds on and encourages member
enthusiasm to do their part, and kindles "green" lifestyle disciplines in
management and staff.
    Five credit union professionals were recognized as National Young Leaders
to mark their exceptional efforts:

    -   Lisa Bolton, Director of Small Business at Coast Capital Savings
        Credit Union, Surrey, B.C.
    -   George Greenwood, General Manager of Beaubear Credit Union,
        Miramichi, N.B.
    -   Cory Munden, General Manager of Codroy Valley Credit Union, Doyles,
    -   Beverly Somers, Human Resources Manager for OMISTA Credit Union,
        Moncton, N.B.
    -   Malcolm Stoffman, Manager of Marketing and Business Development,
        Healthcare and Municipal Employees Credit Union, Hamilton, ON.

    Somers also received the National Young Leaders Award, which provides a
$10,000 scholarship to cover tuition and travel costs to attend a leadership
development program at a university in Canada.

    Credit Union Central of Canada is the national trade association and
finance facility for Canada's 479 credit unions that serve 4.9 million
members, control $97 billion in assets and employ more than 22,000 people.

    About the credit union system:
    The credit union system is a three-tier structure of local, provincial
and national organizations. Local credit unions operate autonomously and are
controlled by their members. Credit unions are the primary shareholder members
of provincial Centrals. The provincial Centrals are in turn the primary
shareholder members of Credit Union Central of Canada, which functions as the
system's national trade association and services provider. For more
information about Canada's credit unions, check out

For further information:

For further information: Art Chamberlain, Manager, Media and Public
Relations, Credit Union Central of Canada, 300 The East Mall, Toronto, ON, M9B
6B7, (416) 232-3466,

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Credit Union Central of Canada

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