New Executive Committee member and 2020 Excellence Award winners announced at CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council membership meeting

WASHINGTON, DC (June 11, 2020) — At their June 9 membership meeting, CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council announced results of their recent elections. Marella Nardotti, VP of marketing at NextMark CU in Fairfax, VA, was newly elected to the executive committee filling the seat of Mia Perez, CAO, Louisiana FCU, La Place, LA, who termed out from the committee.

Incumbents who were re-elected to the executive committee include: Madeline Anderson-Balmer, Marketing Manager, MIT Federal Credit Union, Cambridge, MA; Paris Chevalier, Chief Experience Officer at USE Credit Union, San Diego, CA; Amy McGraw, VP Marking/Chief Experience Officer, Tropical Financial Credit Union, Miramar, FL; and Michelle Shelton, Chief Experience Officer SCE Federal Credit Union, Irwindale, CA.

Jason Lindstrom, President & CEO of Evergreen CU in Portland Main continues as chair of the executive committee; Brian Grytdal, VP-Marketing at Horizon CU in Spokane Valley, WA, the group’s voce chair and Michelle Shelton, the group’s second vice chair.

At the membership meeting, the Council recognized both credit unions and individuals with significant awards. Excellence in Marketing & Business Development Awards recognize outstanding new marketing and business development programs with potential for application across the industry. This year’s winners in four categories included:

Business Development:

  • First Heritage FCU in Painted Post, New York, for their “Business Development from the Inside Out” entry (assets < $500 million)
  • Educators CU in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, for their “Concierge Service” entry (assets ≥ $500 million)

Community Outreach and/or Political Advocacy:

  • Community CU in Lewiston, Maine, for their “Bridging the Financial Gap for our Neighbors | Outreach to Immigrants and those in Poverty” entry (assets < $500 million)
  • SPIRE CU in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for their “SPIRE – New Freedom Partnership” entry (assets ≥ $500 million)

Excellence for Strategic Planning:

  • Louisiana FCU in LaPlace, Louisiana, for their “Louisiana FCU 3-year Strategic Plan” entry (assets < $500 million)
  • Tropical Financial CU in Miramar, Florida, for their “Get Beyond Money” entry (assets ≥ $500 million)


  • Strata CU in Bakersfield, California, for their “Re-brand and Corporate Identity Roll Out” entry (assets < $500 million)
  • SAFE CU in Folsom, California, for their “SAFE Credit YOUnion” entry (assets  ≥ $500 million)

The professionals that were recognized with awards for their individual contributions included:

  • 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award: Jon Reske, vice president of marketing, UMassFive College FCU in Hadley, Massachusetts
  • 2020 Marketing Professional of the Year Award: Marella Nardotti, vice president of marketing, Next Mark CU in Fairfax, Virginia
  • 2020 Rising Star Award: Kassandra Martin, brand & digital marketing manager, Direct FCU, in Needham, Massachusetts
  • 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award: Tansley Stearns, chief marketing & strategy officer, Canvas CU in Lone Tree, Colorado
  • 2020 Top Community Contributor Award: Deborah Wright, product & service strategist, FedChoice FCU in Lanham, Maryland

For additional information on this year’s Excellence Award winners and Individual Recognition award winners, click here.

Chair Jason Lindstrom noted that while this year’s conference was postponed, the Council will be offering selected sessions virtually as part of CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference Collection. Details on great speakers, valued sponsor partners and peer interaction coming soon.

Lindstrom also reminded members to save the date for 2021 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference, March 21-24, in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.

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

About CUNA Councils 

CUNA Councils is a member-led, collaborative community of credit union leaders providing vibrant peer interaction, new ideas and innovation to foster professional development for our members while advocating for the overall success of the credit union movement. There are seven CUNA Councils with a network of more than 7,300 credit union professionals. For more information, visit


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