Firefighters First Credit Union sweeps Chili Challenge

SAN DIEGO, CA (August 7, 2017) — The Los Angeles-based Firefighters First Credit Union on Saturday dominated the fifth annual Xpress Data, Inc. 2017 Credit Union Chili Challenge, winning First Place and the People’s Choice award.

“Fire Watch smoked the competition at the Credit Union Chili Challenge,” said Firefighters First Senior Vice President of Marketing Kelly Ramsay. “Congratulations to our dedicated chili team: Tim and Noemi Watkins, Stacey Miller, Crystal Jauregui, Chantel Perez, Kimberly Tobias and Pedro Quintanilla. We are so proud, and that was some darn good chili!”

The $1.2 billion credit union brought home two trophies from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racetrack, $7,000 in prize money they will donate to the Fire Family Foundation and an entry to compete in the International Chili Society World Championships Oct. 20-22 in Reno, Nev.

“Congratulations to Firefighters First Credit Union for their strong showing this year,” XDI President Mike Cooper said. “Their teamwork and enthusiasm are an inspiration to the credit union community.”

Twenty-two credit union teams competed in the event. While most were credit unions located in Southern California, the Second Place winners, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union, traveled 2,000 miles to compete in the event. The $163 million credit union will donate its $3,500 prize to Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.

The $800 million Pacific Marine Credit Union of Oceanside, Calif., also won big, taking home $2,000 in prize money for Rady Children’s Hospital. Pacific Marine’s team won $1,000 for the Showmanship Award and another $1,000 with the Social Media Award for use of the #cuchili hashtag.

Third place was awarded to the $4 billion Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, Calif., which will donate its $1,500 prize to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The $1.4 billion First Entertainment Credit Union in Hollywood, Calif., won $1,000 in prize money for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for Best Booth.

“We were so pleased to host our largest XDI’s Credit Union Chili Challenge ever and donate $15,000 to charity,” Cooper said. “We look forward to welcoming even more credit unions next year and encourage everyone to consider hosting their own cookoff to increase employee engagement and foster teambuilding.”

The Credit Union Chili Challenge grows larger every year, thanks to the continued popularity of food trends and cooking competition shows. Credit unions that didn’t compete can still participate by downloading a free chili cookoff kit that includes step-by-step instructions and electronic versions of all the documents needed to make their own event a success. The kit can be downloaded by visiting XDI’s website at

The proud members of Firefighters First Credit Union accept their trophies and prize money at the Fifth Annual XDI Credit Union Chili Challenge.

Second place is awarded to New Orleans Firemen’s FCU, which traveled 2,000 miles to compete in the event.



About Xpress Data, Inc.

Based in San Diego and founded in 1995, Xpress Data, Inc. started as an all-purpose digital printing and mailing operation. In 1999, the company made a major strategic decision to focus entirely on the credit union industry. Today, XDI serves over 200 progressive credit unions, collectively serving more than 20 million members and representing $355 billion in assets. Additional information is available at


Xpress Data, Inc.


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