America First Credit Union CEO Rick Craig Wins National Award for Lifetime Achievement

Nicole Cypers

National Credit Union Foundation presents Utah’s largest credit union president with their highest honor

RIVERDALE, Utah – August 24, 2012 – The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) announced that Rick Craig, who retires as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of America First Credit Union on September 1, 2012 after 38 years of service, will be presented with its 2013 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award is considered to be the highest award in the credit union movement.

Linda Carver, Chair of the Board of Directors for America First, said, “Rick Craig has guided our credit union with tremendous innovation, insight, and expertise. That is certainly validated by this prestigious award. Rick is one of only two dozen credit union leaders in history to receive this honor and the only Utahn ever presented with such recognition.”

According to Bob Schumacher, NCUF Awards & Recognition Chairman, this award is for a lifetime of hands-on work in the credit union movement of people helping people. “No matter if it’s teaching at Western CUNA Management School, fighting for credit unions in the Utah State Legislature, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., or serving on countless local, state, or national organizations that make a difference, Rick is there in full force.”

Craig has held leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. He served many years on the Utah Credit Union Association Board of Directors and was appointed by Utah’s governor as a member of the Board of Credit Union Advisors. He has been a director of the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) and was Chairman in 1995. In 1996, he was inducted into the CUES Hall of Fame and was selected as the CUES Executive of the Year in 2004.

During Craig’s tenure as America First’s President, the credit union increased in assets from $1.2 billion to $5.5 billion and membership grew over 360,000. He was also instrumental in engaging credit unions in the political arena to protect members’ rights and benefits. Through his leadership, America First modeled a form of public and government advocacy that many in the industry would follow. America First was recognized in 2007 by the Credit Union Times as having the most Outstanding Political Action Program in the country.

“When I think of an individual who has dedicated his lifetime to not only his job, but also an ideal, I think of Rick Craig,” said Scott F. Simpson, President and CEO of the Utah Credit Union Association.

The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards are named in honor of the late Credit Union National Association CEO Herb Wegner, whose tireless dedication, innovative ideas and deeds truly revolutionized the ways that credit unions serve their communities. The awards that bear Wegner’s name recognize his spirit of innovative, creative, risk-taking leadership.

America First Credit Union was founded at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City on March 16, 1939 by a small group of people determined to form a cooperative to promote their collective economic well-being. In its 73-year history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 103 branches, is the 12th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $5.5 billion, and the 7th largest credit union in membership in America with more than 579,000 members. Visit

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