Illinois League’s Joni Senkpeil named CU Hero of the Year

NAPERVILLE, IL (May 5, 2014) — Joni Senkpeil, director of small credit union development for the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL), has won a nationally recognized competition and been named “CU Hero of the Year”.

Senkpeil was one of four finalists in the contest sponsored by Credit Union Magazine.  Each year, the publication “honors the credit union movement’s heroes – those individuals who go above and beyond to promote credit union philosophy, dedicate themselves to credit union principles, and make a difference in their communities.”  She was chosen as the final recipient after a two month online voting competition.

“I am so honored by this award,” said Senkpeil.  “Without the support of our small credit unions, I’d be without this opportunity.  I am so grateful for that.”

In her nomination, submitted by Karen Jurasek, CEO of Generations Credit Union, a $16 million operation in Rockford, Illinois, Senkpeil was recognized as initiating the Small Asset Size (SAS) Credit Union Advisory Group, launching several series of regional “lunch and learn” workshops, and developing a special Small Credit Union Center on the ICUL’s Web site.  The end goal in all of her efforts is to put forth a critical forum in which small credit unions can network and foster an environment to share resources for helping each other.

“Joni’s passion for credit unions, and particularly small credit unions, is evident in every aspect of her daily work,” said Jurasek, who is also a member of the SAS Advisory Group.  “Collaboration, innovation, and communication are the foundation from which she builds.”

Senkpeil will receive her award at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference, June 29 to July 3 in San Francisco.

“The entire Illinois Credit Union System family could not be more proud of Joni and the important work she does for our small credit union community,” said Sean Hession, ICUL president/chief executive officer.  “She is truly a credit union hero to us everyday.”


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