Second annual $10,000 XDI CU Chili Challenge heats up again

Eagle Community Credit Union wins 2nd Annual XDI CU Chili Challenge and Children’s Hospital of Orange County to receive $5,000 donation from the $10,000 purse raised for credit union charities.

SAN DIEGO, CA (September 9, 2014) — A rare, rainy San Diego summer afternoon didn’t dampen the spirits of the 2nd Annual XDI Credit Union Chili Challenge participants. Once again, 10 credit unions competed in Xpress Data, Inc.’s (XDI) highly unique chili cook off at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Racetrack on August 2, 2014. The International Chili Society sanctioned the event, as credit unions as far away as Pennsylvania traveled to compete for trophies, bragging rights, and $10,000 in prize money for charity. This year’s winner also qualified to compete in the Homestyle Division of the 48th Annual International Chili Society (ICS) World’s Championship Chili Cookoff® in Las Vegas October 24-26, 2014.

The ICS Homestyle Chili winners for XDI’s 2014 CU Chili Challenge are:

  • 1st place: Eagle Community Credit Union –The Eagaly team from Eagle Community, led by Chief Cook Barbara McRae, fried the completion and earned a $5,000 cash donation for their charity Children’s Hospital of Orange County. The Eagle Community crew is also looking forward to competing in the Homestyle Division of the ICS World’s Championship Chili Cookoff in Las Vegas this fall.
  • 2nd place: Pacific Marine Credit Union – Their Chilis a Blazin’ team, led by Chief Cook Lynette Chubb, earned a $3,500 cash donation for their charity Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego.
  • 3rd place: OE Federal Credit UnionOE Chili Bytes, led by Chief Cook Albert Leung, earned a $1,500 donation for their charity American Cancer Society.

The People’s Choice winners for XDI’s 2014 CU Chili Challenge are:

  • Chili: Pacific Marine Credit Union – In addition to this People’s Choice Chili win, their Chilis a Blazin’ team also won 2nd place in the ICS Homestyle chili competition.
  • Best Booth and Best Showmanship: Kinecta Federal Credit Union Hot Pink Chili Peppers, led by Chief Cook Sylvia Lenoir, with their colorful 50’s inspired booth and cheerful smiles won the awards in both of these categories.

Other competing teams included:

  • Foxy Cuisiners from Cabrillo Credit Union
  • 5 Alarm Chili from Firefighters First Credit Union
  • North County Jones and the Chili of Doom from North County Credit Union
  • POPA Red Hot Chilies from POPA Federal Credit Union
  • Sweet and Sassy Chili Queens from Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union
  • Spock’s Highly Illogical Chili from USE Credit Union

“Amazing! We went in with no expectations thinking our chili was tasty, but we knew we had some tough competitors. So when we won we were shocked!” exclaims Eagle Community Credit Union Marketing VP Erica Waetjen. “We had so much fun, and to get a check to give to CHOC was even more rewarding.”

Eagle Community’s $5,000 prize will be added to the money it is already raising for its annual CHOC Walk in October 2014.

Like many of the competing credit unions, Eagle Community held an internal chili cook off between seven teams to determine the winner and McRae’s recipe earned the top spot.

“It is a very cooperative and fun networking event,” she says. “We met a lot of new people from different credit unions across the country. It’s also open to the public, so we’re getting our names out there as we’re passing out chili and interacting with potential members, and they are witnessing the cooperative and fun nature of credit unions.”

XDI already has plans in the works to host next year’s CU Chili Challenge to an even bigger field of competitors for more fun and fierce chili cooking competition.

“Even though it was a little damp this year from the rain, it was still a very successful event,” states Mike Cooper, President/CEO of XDI. “It’s really unique to get this many credit unions together and network, compete, and eat some great food – all for the sake of their charities and to increase the exposure of credit unions in the region. It really is a great time for a great cause. Our sincere thanks go out to all the competitors, judges, and attendees. We look forward to next year!” 

About Xpress Data, Inc.

Xpress Data, Inc. is a service company focused exclusively on the customization, production and delivery of Credit Union Member correspondence. Since launching our flagship XpressNotice™ service in 1999, XDI has created an entire family of branded services including XpressStatement™, XpressTax™ and eXpressServices™ – a feature-rich electronic document presentment platform designed from the ground up by and for Credit Unions. Composing, producing and delivering statements, notices, letters and tax forms for Credit Unions is not just another service provided by XDI, it’s the company’s core competency. For more information, visit

About The International Chili Society

Founded in 1967, the International Chili Society sanctions more than 200 chili cookoffs every year. These events are worldwide and benefit charities or nonprofits. Over the past 46 years, the ICS has raised more than $90 million for these organizations. All winners of ICS sanctioned cookoffs qualify to compete for cash prizes and awards at the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff held each year in October. In addition to raising money for charity, ICS strives to promote, develop, and improve the preparation and appreciation of chili and further the camaraderie of chiliheads everywhere. For more information, visit

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