Recipients of the 26th Annual Wegner Awards
In recognition of his visionary approach to leadership and extraordinary commitment to the credit union movement, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is pleased to announce Gary Oakland, retired President/CEO of BECU in Seattle, Wash., as one of three winners of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
“Gary is a slam dunk as a choice to bestow the Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award,” said John Gregoire, Chair of NCUF Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group in Madison, Wis. “Gary’s contributions to the credit union movement were so obvious as everything he touches turns to success for the average American consumer. It’s evident in the growth of BECU, the state supervision system, dual credit union chartering, Biz Kid$, NCUF, and much more. It’s also an honor to see Gary receiving the award rather than giving one.”
Over the course of his career, Oakland has supported the credit union movement in a myriad of ways. Those include serving on the board of the Credit Union National Association and as board chair for the Washington Credit Union League, the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), Filene Advisory Council and Board, and the National Credit Union Foundation.
In his time as CEO of BECU, he guided the credit union to provide aid for more than a dozen low income credit unions across the country, often single-handedly locating the funds to keep his fellow members-first organizations afloat in times of hardship. With his leadership, BECU was also able to play key roles in the founding of two low-income designate credit unions: TULIP Credit Union and Express Credit Union. Oakland also oversaw BECU’s creation of Prime Alliance (now Mortgage Cadence), a Credit Union Service Organization that provides mortgage solutions to approximately 600 credit unions.
“Until his recent retirement, [Gary] ably served as an intellectual thought leader on every important issue facing credit unions,” said Mary Martha Fortney, President and CEO of NASCUS. “Of particular note and importance are his dedication and efforts to make supplemental capital a reality for all natural person credit unions. We are seeing the result of Gary’s work on this issue today as supplemental capital in being considered on Capitol Hill.”
Oakland is hailed for his unfaltering dedication to improving value for the credit union member. Exemplifying the effect of this commitment, BECU grew from 108,000 members when he took on the position of CEO in 1986 to over 775,000 members at the time of his retirement in 2012.
Pennsylvania Credit Union Association
In recognition of his exceptional leadership and numerous contributions to the credit union industry, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is pleased to announce Jim McCormack, retired President/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, as one of three winners of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.
“Jim has done outstanding work at the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association throughout his career,” said John Gregoire, Chair of NCUF Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group in Madison, Wis. “Countless credit union members have been positively affected by his work and is evidenced by the passion and commitment of his numerous supporters.”
McCormack began his credit union career in 1971. Before joining the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) in 1981, he held various positions with CUNA Mutual Group both in Pittsburgh and at its corporate headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin.
In addition to being President/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, which represents almost 500 member credit unions in the state, McCormack is also CEO of Pacul Services, Inc., the Association’s service corporation, and CEO of Pennsylvania Credit Union Service Centers, Inc., which administers the credit union shared branching network in Pennsylvania.
“The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association has become one of the leading credit union trade associations in the country because of Jim McCormack's leadership and talent,” said Raymond R. Brunner, PCUA Director and President CEO of WEST-AIRCOMM FCU.
Under McCormack’s leadership, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Better Choice Program was created, which is a public/private partnership between the State Treasurer’s Office, State Credit Union Regulator and 72 Pennsylvania credit unions with 215 branches statewide. The program offers an alternative to payday lending, with the goal of helping consumers transition from a predatory lending environment to a wealth-building environment through credit union membership. Since inception, credit unions have made 65,000 Better Choice loans valued at $32 million, saving consumers $23 million over traditional payday lenders.
In recognition of his outstanding leadership and selfless commitment to the credit union industry, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is pleased to announce Tim Haegelin, retired President/CEO of Generations FCU in San Antonio, Texas, as one of three winners of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement. This is the first time in NCUF’s history that three awards for Lifetime Achievement will be given.
“Tim’s list of achievements is outstanding,” said Gregoire. “He might not be a household name but his resume and body of work is so significant the Wegner Awards Selection Committee is proud to bring him forward as a Lifetime Achievement winner.”
Tim F. Haegelin joined Generations Federal Credit Union (then San Antonio City Employees Federal Credit Union) in 1980 as Associate Manager, taking the helm as President and CEO in 1984. Prior to joining Generations, Haegelin served as President/CEO of Central Texas Catholic Credit Union from 1967 to 1979 and worked with other credit unions prior to that time. When Haegelin retired in November of 2012, he had served the credit union industry for more than 49 years.
During his leadership and direction, Generations expanded from a credit union with one location with 14,000 members and $37 million in assets to fourteen locations, 49,000 members and more than $400 million in assets.
“Tim has served as President/CEO of two credit unions and without question he always puts his members first,” said Charlie Amato, Chairman of SWBC. “He has been a true asset to the credit union industry over the years and the quality of his service has never been compromised.”
Haegelin leveraged partnerships to enable Generations FCU to open co-located branches with the City of San Antonio at the airport and with Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, and one of the largest retailers in the community, H-E-B Grocery Stores.
Yet, throughout this growth and expansion, Generations FCU continued to receive a five-star rating from Bauer Financial for 22 years with Haegelin at the helm. Furthermore, staff members have voted Generations FCU year after year as one of the “best places to work in San Antonio” by the San Antonio Business Journal and San Antonio Express-News. On a state-wide and national level, Haegelin has also mentored countless individuals who have gone on to be leaders within the credit union industry.
Sarah Canepa Bang
CO-OP Shared Branching - FSCC, LLC
Chief Strategy Officer
CO-OP Shared Branching
In recognition of her leadership and tireless commitment to the credit union philosophy, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is pleased to announce Sarah Canepa Bang, President, CO-OP Shared Branching – FSCC, LLC and Chief Strategy Officer, CO-OP Shared Branching, as the winner of the 2014 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Individual Achievement.
“One word to describe Sarah is ‘dynamo,’” said John Gregoire, Chair of NCUF Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group in Madison, Wis. “Sarah is one of the most impressive, assertive, outgoing personalities in the entire credit union movement. Her energy knows no bounds, helping her become a major contributor to the success of the Credit Unions for Kids program and building shared branching in to a powerhouse delivery system.”
Canepa Bang started her career at the Credit Union National Association in 1983 in the trade association's newly developed Internet office. During the mid-eighties, she served as Education Director at the then Oregon Credit Union League and moved to the Massachusetts Credit Union League in the late eighties as Vice President of Human Resources. She returned to the Oregon Credit Union League as Executive Vice President in 1990 and launched a number of high visibility programs. During her tenure at the Oregon Credit Union League, she was also Chief Operating Officer of CU Access, an ATM and shared branching network which the league ran, and Automated Item Management, the Northwest's largest and most successful check processing operation.
In 1995, Canepa Bang established a two-year associate degree program in credit union management through Mt. Hood Community College. She recognized that credit unions were a promising place to build careers and found a way to meet the educational needs of credit union employees. She also initiated Loans Today, one of the first 24/7 lending call centers in the nation created to enhance a credit union's ability to process member loan requests via telephone.
Canepa Bang was named Chief Executive Officer of FSCC in 1999. During her tenure she made the fledgling organization one of the most successful credit union CUSOs in the nation and in the history of the credit union system. Under Canepa Bang’s leadership, FSCC more than quadrupled in the number of credit unions, branches, and states involved in shared branching resulting in thousands of financial access points for members. Today, shared branching is available in all 50 states, 2 US territories, and 3 foreign countries.