MCUL, MCUF Award Winners to be Honored at AC&E 

MCUL & Affiliates and the Michigan CU Foundation have announced the recipients of this league and the foundation’s annual awards.

“2012 was another banner year for credit unions and these winners truly represent the best that the Michigan credit union community has to offer in terms of ideals, philosophy, and service,” said MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams. “The inspiring accomplishments of these hard-working, dedicated individuals and credit unions are clear reminders of the credit union difference in action.”

The award winners are:

Credit Union Professional of the Year: Daniel Harp, vice president of lending, Dort FCU
Harp has undertaken impressive and noteworthy initiatives that culminated together in 2012 to help the credit union have its best financial year. Over the years, he has turned the mortgage department into a premier program in Genesee County. He has centralized the credit union’s underwriting for a more efficient and consistent approach for Dort’s seven branches. He has brought in business lending, student lending and in 2012, developed and designed e-Lending which has been a huge success.

Outstanding Credit Union of the Year: United FCU
United FCU became a trailblazer in 2012 when it made the historic purchase of the assets of Griffith Savings Bank, marking the first time a federally-chartered credit union purchased the assets of a state-chartered FDIC-insured mutual savings bank. UFCU faced many obstacles, concerns and risks in gaining the necessary regulatory approval, but the credit union’s perseverance paid off. UFCU also had a great year by the numbers, exceeding goals for loans and deposits, and continuing positive growth.

Distinguished Service Award: Catherine Roberts
Catherine Roberts served as president/CEO of Research FCU for 18 years, from 1991-2008. During her tenure as CEO, she was recognized with several community service awards including The Woman’s Economic Club’s Today’s Workplace of Tomorrow Award, The World Council of Credit Unions’ Silver Award and the MCUF’s International CU Development Award, and the MCUF Community Volunteer of the Year Award. She was named one of Detroit’s Most Influential Women and has been inducted into the Macomb County Hall of Fame. She has held numerous volunteer positions in her more than 30-year career in the credit union movement and was instrumental in the development of three CUSOs. In addition to her many awards she has achieved the designation of International CU Development Educator and has also received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Detroit College of Business.

Chapter Effectiveness Award: Metro West Chapter
In 2012, the Metro West Chapter had several functions and accomplishments designed to bring together employees of the credit unions, credit unions outside the chapter and the community at large. That includes two legislative breakfasts, an open house featuring David Adams, three employee appreciation gatherings, an annual golf outing, a successful showing at the Kidney Walk and a Holiday lunch/Toys for Tots event. The chapter is devoted to a social mission and believes strongly that this is a critical part of the credit union difference. They helped start up a food pantry, provide healthy alternatives to at-risk girls and women in Detroit, worked on boarding up abandoned homes, and helped with a center for troubled youth.

Young Professional of the Year: Kaye Chervenak, Parish and Education Coordinator, Alliance Catholic CU
As an advocate for education and professional development, Kaye completed the 2012 Financial Counseling Training Program, becoming a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. In 2012, she helped reached more than 284 youth and adults through seminars and workshops. She also hosted a Business Development Roundtable meeting with fellow professionals to share best practices, collaborate and gain valuable knowledge from others’ expertise. Chervenak is also deeply involved with initiating and organizing her credit union’s community involvement efforts. In 2012, she established the Parish Youth Group Grant Program, coordinated the Christmas giving efforts organized collection drives for Catholic charities and established ways to partner with parishes through volunteer efforts. 

Youth Advocate Award: Cindy Lardie, TBA CU
Lardie joined TBACU two years ago as a marketing representative and quickly found her niche in the school community through her work with the student-run credit union program. Under her leadership, the number of student-run branches has increased from four to 16. Cindy’s passion for financial literacy is demonstrated by her ongoing commitment and participation in youth development activities such as the MCUL Financial Literacy Legislative Challenge, the Youth Extravaganza conferences, NEFE training for educator seminars, TBACU Kids Day, and Junior Achievement.

Award for Excellence in Consumer Education: Jeremy Cybulski, Co-op Services CU
As the youth coordinator at Co-op Services CU, Cybulski oversees student-run branches at nine area schools where he recruits, trains and employs more than 100 students. He also organizes interactive financial lessons for classrooms, churches and other organizations. Since July of 2008, Cybulski has conducted 662 financial presentations, reaching 16,340 youth. While his primary focus is youth, Jeremy has also worked with many senior groups, PTA s and adult organizations. His knowledge and presentation style adapts well to suit all ages. He is regularly contacted by fellow industry professionals seeking to share, borrow or kick start ideas. As part of his ongoing personal and professional development, Cybulski has attended and presented at several youth conferences including the NYIB and Youth Extravaganza.

MCUF Community Volunteer of the Year Award: Janice Rose, President/CEO E&A CU
In addition to her busy day job, Rose devotes herself to numerous organizations and inspires others with her guidance, vision and leadership. She currently serves or has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, Economic Development Association, Community Action Agency, The Community Foundation, YMCA and the Blue Water Land Fund. Most recently, Rose was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Port Huron Hospital, where she is also a member of the Investment Committee. She is also active in local government, where she was nominated to the local development finance authority, whose purpose it is to diminish unemployment, underemployment and joblessness. 

MCUF International Credit Union Development Award: Communicating Arts CU
CACU has directly impacted credit unions and their members in more than 10 countries during the last nine years through its involvement with World Council of Credit Unions. Beginning in 2003 through a partnership with FULM Savings House in Macedonia, CACU worked on lobbying efforts to support the establishment of credit union law and development trainings for Macedonian staff. CACU has more recently become involved in World Council in Africa, supporting the Busia Compassionate Centre program in Kenya and Global Women’s Leadership Network initiatives. CACU has engaged in numerous international knowledge exchange activities by hosting visitors locally and traveling to other countries.

The winners will all be formally recognized at the Honors Awards Breakfast at the MCUL & Affiliates Annual Convention & Exposition, which is May 16-18 in Detroit.


Submissions to Monitor may be emailed. Bryan Laviolette is the editor of Monitor. Contact him by email or call (800) 262-6285, ext. 233. The newsletter of the Michigan Credit Union League is published Monday mornings or Tuesday mornings when Monday is a holiday. There is no Monitor the week after Christmas and the week after the Annual Convention and Exposition. The MCUL reserves the right to edit submissions for clarity and space.
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