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United States Development Education (DE) Awards

The DE Awards provide an opportunity to honor those individuals who exemplify what DE stands for through their individual or cooperative efforts.

What are the awards?

The United States Development Education (DE) Program Awards provide U.S. trained Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) the opportunity to honor those individuals who exemplify the DE spirit through their individual or cooperative efforts to make a difference in the movement. Examples may include marketing and communications around the DE program to enhance participation, coordinating a project which benefits a local or national community, developing a fundraising strategy to benefit a local charity or credit union organization, promoting financial literacy and education to youth and adults, reaching decision makers through advocacy efforts, providing technical assistance to a credit union or related organization, or completing an international volunteer project.

Award Categories

These awards are given in the following three categories:

  • Individual Achievement

    Honors a single individual for accomplishments that have made a significant impact on the national or international basis. Nomination should cite a specific achievement.

  • Cooperative Spirit Award

    Honors a group of individuals for a project that has made a significant difference to a community, school, a credit union or the greater credit union movement.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award

    Honors an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the credit union movement and the DE program over several years of service.

2018 DE Award Winners

Congratulations to our three outstanding awardees from 2018:

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    Individual Achievement: George Ombado, Executive Director of ACCOSCA

    George started the first Africa DE (ADE) program with its first class in Kenya in 2014 and has since trained nearly 200 credit union professionals for Africa, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and the US. ADE has created excitement among credit union leaders across the continent and is helping to foster collaboration, empower women in leadership and help African credit unions develop new pathways to serving those in their communities.

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    Cooperative Spirit: WEOKIE Foundation’s Biz Kid$ Middle School Cooperative Entrepreneurship Competition

    A group of Oklahoma DEs started this competition to provide teachers with professional development, promote cooperative business knowledge, and recognize student achievement as they apply their knowledge in personal finance, entrepreneurship, and economics. The competition encourages students to start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs.

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    Lifetime Achievement: Lois Kitsch, Co-Founder of cu.difference

    Through her work with WOCCU, Lois has promoted credit union development and financial empowerment in more than 40 countries. She was instrumental in growing the US DE Program over her 13 years at the Foundation and helped to guide the success of DE Programs around the globe. Lois has also dedicated her heart and soul to personal projects such as international development tours, and her ongoing work continues to inspire others and leave a lasting impact.

Past DE Award Winners

2017 Award Winners

  • Lifetime Achievement: Marlene Shiels
  • Individual Achievement: Brandi Stankovic
  • Cooperative Spirit: Coastal Federal Credit Union CUDEs

Learn more about the 2017 winners

2016 Award Winners

  • Lifetime Achievement: Larry Blanchard
  • Individual Achievement: Kathy Chartier
  • Cooperative Spirit: Credit Unions Care spearheaded by Karen Hart

Learn more about the 2016 winners

2015 Award Winners

  • Lifetime Achievement: Joanne Todd
  • Individual Achievement: Carla Decker
  • Cooperative Spirit: The Disclosures (Chad Helminak and Christopher Morris)

2014 Award Winners

  • Lifetime Achievement: Michael Ray
  • Individual Achievement: Melvin Edwards
  • Cooperative Spirit: CU Aware (Patrick Livingston and Brandon McAdams)

2013 Award Winners

  • Lifetime Achievement: Bob Schumacher
  • Individual Achievement: Paul Thompson
  • Cooperative Spirit: North Carolina DEs

Learn More About the DE Program

Invest in your personal development and gain a deeper understanding of the credit union difference.

Learn about DEEmail [email protected] to join the notification list for upcoming trainings.