Madison-Area family takes home $10,000 in Summit Credit Union’s project money

10th-annual competition teaches financial smarts, money management

MADISON, WI (February 13, 2019) — By saving almost $24,000 and reducing their debt by nearly $16,000, Angie and Cris Nelson took home the grand prize of Summit Credit Union’s Project Money program. For the tenth consecutive year, the reality-based financial competition awarded a $10,000 cash prize to the winning team.

“Before Project Money, we didn’t feel like we had true accountability with our finances,” said Angie. “After all we’ve learned and achieved the past seven months, we’re excited to keep taking a thoughtful approach to our money management and meeting the goals we’ve set.”

Angie and Cris began their Project Money journey with the goal of improving their financial decision making, building up their savings and putting themselves in a position to build a new home. They also hoped to teach sound money habits for their two children, Blake (10) and Carly (7). Using lessons learned from their Summit financial coach, Melanie Ruelas, the family reduced their debt by $15,905 while growing their savings by $23,723.

“We’re always so proud to see the impactful lifestyle changes our Project Money teams are able to make each year,” said Kim Sponem, Summit’s 17-year CEO & President. “By having the courage to take on this unique challenge, they show their friends, families and communities that it’s possible to take control of your finances and achieve the life you want.”

For the duration of the competition, Project Money teams work individually with a Summit financial coach to set customized financial goals designed to reduce debt, increase savings and improve their daily lives. Along the way, each team encourages their communities to join in through blog posts, video blogs and social media posts.

The winning team is selected based on total debt reduced, overall savings and participation in program events, including live appearances on Madison’s NBC15 news. In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, each participating team receives $2,500.

Since the program began in 2009, Project Money contestants have collectively increased savings by $370,117 and reduced debt by $418,738. In 2018, the Project Money teams totaled $62,986 in savings and lowered debt by $64,484. Applications for this year’s Project Money program are available on Summit’s website until March 9 at

About Summit Credit Union (WI)

Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative. Summit holds $5 billion in assets and has more than 226,000 members and 799 employees across 49 locations throughout south-central and southeastern Wisconsin. Kim Sponem has been CEO & President of Summit Credit Union, and its predecessor organization, CUNA Credit Union/Great Wisconsin Credit Union, since 2002. Recognized for its excellence in employee engagement, Summit was named a Top Workplace in the USA in 2021 and 2022 by Top Workplaces USA and a Top Workplace in the Madison area for 2022 and 2021 by the Wisconsin State Journal. For more information, visit or call 608-243-5000 or 800-236-5560. For additional media information, visit or follow Summit on FacebookInstagram and Twitter


Media Contact:

Stephanie Tervort
(608) 243-5000

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