Honorees All Share Heart-Felt Messages, Advice

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WASHINGTON-Credit unions again presented their highest honors here last week, the Herb Wegner Awards. Below is a look at what each of the honorees had to say:

Outstanding Organization: National Youth Involvement Board
Accepting on behalf of the National Youth Involvement Board were NYIB Chairman Rebecca Isaacs and past chairman Brandon Pugh.

"Please allow me a moment to brag," said Isaacs. "The NYIB has been around for 39 years, there are 100 executive committee alumni. Hundreds of network members. And at least 2.5 million students have been reached in classrooms. These statistics are not possible without so many who have gone before us."

Individual Achievement: Former CUNA President Dan Mica
Mica, who led off his remarks with what he said would be a "last-time ever" recitation of his signature line, "Isn't it great to be in Washington, DC?," thanked his family and especially his wife of 45 years, Martha, and his brother, Rep. John Mica, of whom Mica said, "Now I have to switch to the political mode and play up to the Republicans."

"I thought I would say just a word about leadership," said Mica. "You all are the leaders of the credit union movement in this room. You did a magnificent job through some difficult times."

Mica also took a moment to honor Rich McBride, CUNA's EVP/COO and a long-time aide to Mica, who is also retiring soon. "He has put in 15 solid years of work on behalf of the credit union movement. I tell CEOs you need someone like Rich McBride, who will tell when something is a bad idea, and when you are right and wrong. You and this credit union movement made it through the Depression without bailouts. You made it the past 75 years without bailouts. You are survivors. You are leaders. You've done a great job. The best is ahead of us. Stick together. Don't let anyone divide you. Keep this movement together and there is nothing you can't do for our communities, for our members and for America.

Lifetime Achievement: SchoolsFirst FCU CEO Rudy Hanley
"This is the greatest honor I've ever had. And I know there is one person in heaven who really believes I deserve this. I am so grateful for what they have done for me and for our movement, and the honor of having been associated with them. I feel totally undeserving but extremely grateful. It is so easy to speak from the heart in this movement. I get credit for things I never have anything to do with.

One point I like to make is it really is not about me. It really isn't about any one of us in this room. I believe it's really about the power of our movement, of us working together, irrespective of asset size and other things people think are important; working together to make people lives better, especially those of modest means. If we can get beyond self-interest, our movement has no limit to what it can accomplish. We have that power. Our founders did not talk about capital ratios and ROA and asset size. They talked about people, and helping people and not for profit, not for charity but for service. America's CUs, where people are worth more than money. If we can remember that, we have a future unlike any other institutions."

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