Four finalists for 2021 Credit Union Hero of the Year award announced

WASHINGTON, DC (February 8, 2021)

Credit Union Magazine today announced the four finalists for the 2021 Credit Union Hero of the Year, sponsored by Symitar. They are:

  • Cheryl Deborde, president/CEO, Members Choice Credit Union, $263 million, Ashland, Ky.
  • Nick Kessenich, retired president, Members First Credit Union, $28 million, Madison, Wis.
  • Bill Lawton, president/CEO, Community Financial Credit Union, $1.14 billion, Plymouth, Mich.
  • Val Mindak, president/CEO, Park City Credit Union, $271 million, Merrill, Wis.

“These Credit Union Heroes have served their members and communities for nearly their whole lives,” said Todd Spiczenski, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Products and Services Officer. “They are creating innovative programs at their credit unions, and they’re champions for the credit union movement.”

What makes a Credit Union Hero? Qualified individuals:

  • are credit union system employees or volunteers
  • are working or retired
  • are unsung heroes, going above and beyond to promote credit union philosophy
  • take a stand or demonstrate a strong belief in credit union philosophy
  • show dedication to credit union principles
  • make a difference in their community

Cast your Credit Union Hero award vote at by March 20, 2021.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


CUNA Communications


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