A Lifetime of Achievement: Q&A with Wegner Award-winner Rick Craig

By Craig Sauer

Rick Craig, retired president/CEO of America First Federal Credit Union (AFCU) in Ogden, Utah, will receive the 2013 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement later this month in ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Craig has been a leader, advocate, and teacher in the credit union movement for decades. He participated in a Q&A with Credit Union Magazine about the award and his career.

RELATED: Meet the 2013 Wegner Award Recipients

CU Mag: What does it mean to you to win the Wegner Award?

Craig: It is a wonderful recognition of the combined efforts of so many people over so many years.

Although it is an individual award, it wouldn’t have been possible without the significant contributions of the great team at AFCU, Western CUNA Management School, Credit Union Executive Society, Filene Research Institute, CO-OP, etc.

CU Mag: You’ve done a lot in your career in the credit union movement. What are you most proud of?

Craig: It was helping the individual members during the Great Recession. The easy thing would have been to write off the loans—and many we eventually had to. Each person who had financial difficulties had unique circumstances and, in most cases, desired to meet their financial obligations.

We established a department just to help those members restructure their loans. When they finished paying they had an increased sense of self-worth and the credit union was better off as well. Those will be loyal members in the future.

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