True Believer Named Volunteer Of Year

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SPRINGFIELD, Va.-For more than a quarter-century, Patsy Koenig has donated her time and efforts to ensuring the health and growth of Washington Gas Light FCU in Springfield, Va.

Koenig has served in nearly every board capacity, including chairman from 2005 to 2009. In addition, she's also served on the marketing, planning, loan policy review, compensation and executive committees. Despite living in Pennsylvania today, Koenig still drives an hour and a half each way for board meetings and activities.

In its application to name Koenig NAFCU Volunteer of the Year, Washington Gas Light FCU stated, "perhaps no one has been more instrumental in the growth and success of our credit union." With her history of service for the CU, as well as the community as a whole as she's spent 15 years as board member and registration chairman for College Park Boys and Girls Club, Koenig was named Volunteer of the Year by NAFCU.

Credit Union Journal: Why did you feel it was so important that you were involved in the CU?
Patsy Koenig
: I believed in the credit union movement and its philosophy and had been a member of the credit union since I was hired at Washington Gas in the late 1960s. I grew up in a credit union-oriented family, and my parents instilled in us that credit unions were member-owned and not-for-profit. They told us many times how the credit union had helped our family and many of their fellow employees.

Years later, at Washington Gas, I reported to a man who served as treasurer of the credit union's board. I learned so much about the credit union from typing his reports and helping him with special projects. His passion for the credit union was genuine, and he encouraged me to consider running for the board. Sadly, he passed away after a short illness. In his honor I immediately contacted the board and got involved.

CUJ: Which position/committee did you find the most interesting and rewarding?
: While I learned from and enjoyed my many different roles on the board, I especially enjoyed helping with product development. Because I worked in the payroll department at Washington Gas, I was heavily involved in the planning, testing and implementation of the share draft and direct deposit programs. These were wonderful new services for our members, and it was very rewarding to be part of that.

CUJ: What do you feel you brought to the credit union and how did you help it succeed?
: In the early years, I listened and learned. As I gained more experience, I made suggestions, volunteered for committees and ultimately for an officer position. I work well in a team environment and encourage others to do the same. Being in the payroll department, and later managing that department, I developed exceptional attention to detail and accuracy, and I brought that skill set to the board as well. I have helped develop a very cohesive board, with excellent communication and vision.

CUJ: Are you ever going to "retire" from your volunteer work?
: I hope to always be a volunteer in some capacity. I will stay on the board as long as I feel I am contributing and am needed. We have a wonderful Associate Board Member program and are grooming several volunteers to take over as others retire.

CUJ: Finally, what was your reaction to winning the NAFCU award?
: I was very surprised and honored. I share this award with my fellow board members. I have always had a wonderful staff and board to work with, and that's why I have remained involved for so many years.

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