“BECU exemplifies what the credit union movement is all about,” said Troy Stang, President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association. “As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions put service to their members and their communities first. Through financial education and outreach, BECU is helping its members reach their financial goals and make communities stronger.”
BECU received the Louise Herring award for its Member Summit, an upgrade to its annual meeting designed to provide better member engagement and show how members are involved in the governance of their credit union. Rather than the typical annual meeting where the board and leadership presents the credit union's financial performance information, the credit union held a more engaging event at the Museum of Flight in Tukwila, Wash., that included financial education breakout sessions, keynote speakers and a small business expo. Nearly 450 members and employees attended the event.
The Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Award is given to credit unions that show practical applications of the credit union “people helping people” philosophy. Herring is often called the “mother of credit unions” for her work helping establish 500 credit unions, and was a delegate to a 1934 conference which established the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the trade association for credit unions.
The Dora Maxwell award honored BECU's Closing for Good day, celebrated on Oct. 20, 2015. The credit union closed all 41 of its branches for half a day so employees could volunteer at financial reality fairs at 21 high schools throughout the Puget Sound area. Financial reality fairs are interactive events that teach financial concepts such as budgeting and responsible use of credit.
The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to credit unions for exemplary service to their local community. Maxwell helped many of the first credit unions in the United States get their charters and was also a delegate to the 1934 conference that established CUNA.
The credit union also received a Desjardins award for its work with Junior Achievement (JA) Washington. JA is a national organization focused on teaching students financial and business skills to help them achieve long-term economic success. BECU partnered with the Washington chapter to open up JA World Finance Park to BECU members for three separate community days. At these events, teens and their parents worked through simulations of real-world financial and budgeting situations.
The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award honors credit unions that provide exceptional financial education to youth. Desjardins founded some of the first credit unions in the United States and Canada and created youth savings clubs and in-school banks.
As the regional winner of these awards, BECU is advancing to the national competition judged by CUNA.
BECU is a not-for-profit credit union owned by the members. Earnings are returned to the members in the form of better rates and fewer fees. With more than 950,000 members and more than $15 billion in assets, BECU is the largest credit union in Washington and one of the top four financial cooperatives in the country. BECU currently operates more than 40 locations in the Puget Sound region. All Washington state residents, BECU employees and their families, and students attending Washington colleges and universities are eligible to join.