LAFCU wins coveted Brandon Hall Award for DEI communications program

Michigan credit union honored for staff education, promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion

LANSING, MI (February 28, 2023) — LAFCU has been recognized as a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) education leader and awarded the 2022 Brandon Hall Group HCN Excellence Bronze Award in the Best Learning Program that Supports and Promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion category.

The Excellence Awards honor the top organizations worldwide that have successfully implemented programs, strategies, systems and tools that produced measurable results. Google Cloud, Medtronic, Ameriprise Financial, Verizon, Wells Fargo and The Kroger Company were also recognized with the prestigious award in the Best Learning Program that Supports and Promotes DEI category.

The winning LAFCU DEI internal communications program was a comprehensive, engaging four-week educational effort that brought awareness to the credit union’s enhanced DEI program and its newly developed DEI mission, tagline and core principles. The communications program delivered key messages – inclusion, equity, diversity and DEI in Action – using different tactics, including weekly emails with videos and giveaways that reinforced the organization’s DEI tenets.

“This program has been critical for LAFCU staff to engage with and learn from, with the goal of introducing important, albeit difficult subject matter, in a creative and engaging way,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer. “It’s important to raise awareness about the work we’re doing as an organization to ensure that all LAFCU staff members feel included and seen. It’s incredible that this campaign was recognized alongside Fortune 50 and 500 companies, and it further confirms that LAFCU is on the right path when it comes to DEI initiatives and fostering an inclusive environment.”

Brandon Hall Group is a global research and analyst firm with over 10,000 clients. A panel of independent industry experts and the Brandon Hall Group executive team evaluated award submissions based on the following criteria: program design, functionality, innovation and overall measurable benefits. The Excellence Award winners were recognized at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference, which took place from Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 at the Hilton West Palm Beach in Florida. The winners are listed at

Kelli Ellsworth Etchison attended the 2023 HCM Excellence Conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., and accepted the Excellence Award on behalf of LAFCU for its DEI internal communications program.


LAFCU received the prestigious national Brandon Hall Group HCN Excellence Bronze Award in the Best Learning Program that Supports and Promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion category.

About LAFCU (MI)

Chartered in 1936, LAFCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative open for membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Michigan and to businesses and other entities located in Michigan. The credit union serves more than 74,000 members and holds over $1 billion in assets. It was named a Best Credit Union to Work For in 2020. LAFCU offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services as well as an expanding complement of financial technology solutions. Members enjoy benefits such as low fees, low-interest rates on loans, high yields on savings, discounts, knowledgeable employees and nationwide access to fee-free ATMs. A recipient of the national Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for credit unions, LAFCU enriches the communities it serves by supporting many organizations and causes. To learn more about LAFCU, call 800.748.0228 or visit


Ashley Sandborn
Vice President, Publicom Inc.

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