National CU Foundation Honors Dorety, Eckhardt & Invest in America

Josie Collins

Schumacher also Recognized with Special “Anchor Award” at 24th Annual Dinner

Washington, D.C. – The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) presented three Herb Wegner Memorial Awards at its annual dinner Monday night. A special Anchor Award was also awarded to Bob Schumacher, the night’s emcee and former CEO of MountainCrest CU, Arlington, Wash.

Over 900 credit union leaders and supporters attended The National Credit Union Foundation Dinner Presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards held in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

The awards ceremony celebrated the highest national honors in the credit union movement, specifically:

  • Lifetime Achievement: Bill Eckhardt, President/CEO of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Tom Dorety, President/CEO of Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.
  • Outstanding Organization: Invest in America

“Alaska USA’s success is the result of a long-standing and strong commitment to member service, as well as dedication and hard work on the part of the officials, executives and every employee, past and present,” said Eckhardt after accepting his award. “Accordingly, I accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of that entire Alaska USA team.”

In accepting his award, Dorety thanked many and noted, “Our board at Suncoast has shown a great deal of foresight and courage over the past four years in making decisions in the best long term interests of our members and not focusing solely on short term results or specific ratios that others have suggested. I am proud that, when dealing with the recent financial crisis, Suncoast followed the words of Horton the Elephant, ‘I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful 100%!’”  

The Anchor Award, which is a special award given from time to time at the discretion of NCUF’s board of directors, is given to an individual or organization that the board believes has demonstrated the Foundation’s mission of making financial freedom achievable through credit unions. At this year’s dinner, Bob Schumacher was surprised with the award by NCUF Board Chairman Gary Oakland, who cited Schumacher’s numerous contributions to the credit union industry and NCUF, in addition to Schumacher’s longtime support of programs such as Biz Kid$ and the Credit Union Development Education program. This was also Schumacher’s last year as emcee of NCUF’s Wegner Awards dinner.

“Tonight represents my 15th Wegner Awards program as your emcee and host,” said Schumacher at the end of the dinner. “As some of you know, it has always been the ‘best night of my credit union year’ and I have had the best seat in the house.  I have been so blessed to be here, but it is time for me to step aside and make room for another who will be able to enjoy this treasured spot.  On my way out, I want to thank the National Credit Union Foundation for allowing me this privilege, honor and exceptional experience. But most of all, I want to thank all of you out there in the audience, because, without you, there would be no Wegner Awards to share.  You see, it is from within you, this body, that we draw our honorees, our credit union Wegner heroes.  So I leave you with my father’s words, ‘let’s all make sure that we take good care of each other!’”  
This year’s winners will join an elite group of 47 individuals and 22 organizations whose efforts over the past 24 years have earned them the recognition of Herb Wegner Memorial Awards.

About the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards:
The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards are named in honor of late CUNA CEO Herb Wegner, whose innovative ideas and deeds revolutionized the ways that credit unions serve their communities.  The awards carry on Wegner’s spirit of “innovative, creative, risk-taking” leadership.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (
The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.

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