Program & Categories

You may submit your nominee for consideration in any of the applicable programs. Nominees may be individuals, credit unions, credit union-servicing organizations and individuals from those credit union-servicing organizations. Eligible organizations include the following:

  • Credit unions
  • CUSOs
  • Fintech firms
  • Payment organizations
  • Cybersecurity/Fraud organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Any third-party institution servicing credit unions

Please keep in mind that each nomination must be unique to the specific segment. Within each submission, outline how the nominee exemplifies the relevant characteristics and accomplishments.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Open to those professionals leading diversity efforts that serve as role models of excellence. Ideal candidates have put into practice innovative, internal or external diversity practices, and they are uniting their own credit union, organization or the industry around DEI goals. At the same time, the nominee strives to share the strengths of these efforts more broadly with others through transparent educational and informative activities. Influential and supportive to many, these nominees relentlessly pursue gender and racial equality and powerfully cultivate change.

Applicable credit unions and organizations demonstrate how they go above and beyond in their efforts to ensure equality and unleash the untapped potential of all employees and executives. These organizations have a proven track-record of attracting and advancing individuals of different ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations, and with differences in education, personalities, skill sets, experiences and knowledge bases. At the same time, they strive to share the strengths of these efforts more broadly with others through transparent informative and educational activities.

This category is open to young professionals who’ve shown great potential and leadership qualities within the organization as it relates to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts inside and/or outside of the organization. This young professional has taken the initiative to learn and develop new skills and strengths around DEI goals. The nominee has shown enthusiasm and pride in taking on new responsibilities to better the organization.

Innovation in Technology

Open to leaders who take advantage of technology to transform and create a shared vision for how technology can meet the needs of the organization, employees’ workflow and improve and secure the financial lives of credit union members. These are the people who launch ideas beginning with the IT infrastructure, through engineering and development and through product management - all with the focus of creating digital competitive advantages over the competition and with a keen eye for business strategies that combine security and privacy with driving business value.

Open to those organizations that view technology enhancements, updates and rollouts as the core of what credit unions accomplish for its members every day. These technologies come into play in a variety of ways: Mobile and digital banking improvements, the time- and labor-intensive core conversion projects and creating new partnerships with fintech providers. The updates provide a digital-first focus for members to better connect them to the products and services, which translates into growth for the credit union and potentially industry.

This category applies to those young professionals that have helped create and develop digital services that solve financial problems for credit union members. This individual has shown leadership qualities to help members and small business owners through a seamless path through the organization’s digital/mobile lending experience. The young professional has a keen eye for bringing new ideas for products and services such as cryptocurrency and blockchain investment products to a broader audience. This person is focused on a digital-first approach and mindset that could lead them to be the next executive at your organization.

Product Innovation

Open to those professionals who plan, create and execute products and services in new and creative ways to serve members and/or the credit union itself. These are individuals who have discovered a true need to evolve products and services to meet new demands that encourage growth and support in emerging areas (solar lending, etc.). These nominees would be considered visionaries in their field, with an eye on long-term trends for revenue and membership growth.

Open to organizations that envision products which remove obstacles to lending and financial services. These products have the ability to find consumers and members in need of loan and banking products to help businesses grow, find solutions to environmental improvements or find a way to work through regulatory areas, such as cannabis banking, that have tremendous growth potential for the credit union. These organizations measure the risk levels of lending in new ways that bring more members into the credit union for life.

This is open to young professionals who’ve demonstrated ways to leverage new ideas and technologies, such as AI and fraud prevention, to a wider audience. This individual pays attention to local and/or global shifts in consumer behavior to find answers to new problems. The young professional brings an enthusiasm to help the organization become better stewards for members, the environment, small businesses, and/or as well as the under- or un-banked population.

Executive Leadership

Economic, regulatory, technological and other issues are influencing the industry landscape as never before, making leadership and its responsiveness critical. This category acknowledges those leading and guiding key decisions, including strategy, product development, hiring, the use of technology and more, in successful, innovative and dynamic ways. It will recognize those making the decisions that matter most in this fast-changing environment and that support bold strategies producing both quantitative and qualitative results for their organization and the broader financial-services community.

This category focuses on those organizations that have leaders who have taken on and solved great challenges and threats to the organization. Growth is a key metric for executive leadership and those leaders see a broader picture of the future with an eye toward sustainability, the organization’s culture and responding to crises in a way that protects the entire business. This award applies to executive teams that have worked together to find creative solutions to expanding its footprint, bringing services to more people and creating an environment where employees thrive.

This category is open to young professionals who have produced forward-facing and competitive responses to credit union industry trends and developments. These efforts from this individual can include leadership qualities that positively influence the executive teams to include new strategies and product development in innovative and dynamic ways. This young professional has been recognized internally with the potential of becoming a leader within the organization and/or the credit union industry.