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Award-Winning CUs at CUNA GAC: Tinker and RGV
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:00 AM

Along with advocacy and legislative briefings, the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, DC, this week features awards for the most deserving credit unions for their efforts in the community.

CUNA highlighted the Dora Maxwell Award winners (social responsibility) and Louise Herring Award winners (philosophy in action) in video presentations during the Tuesday morning general session, and GAC attendees received a 24-page commemorative program featuring those recipients as well as Alphonse Desjardins Award winners (adult and youth financial education).

Tinker Federal Credit Union, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

First place in the Louise Herring Philosophy in Action award was Oklahoma's Tinker FCU, in the category of more than $1 billion in assets.

Tinker also won Honorable Mention for the Alphonse Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award in the category of more than $500 million. The credit was showcased in the commemorative program with the following story:

To relieve some of the stress of buying a vehicle, Tinker Federal Credit Union created an auto-buying education program to provide an in-depth understanding of the process, including preparation and planning for a long-term relationship with a vehicle. The credit union rolled out its First-Time Car-Buying Loan Program in tandem with the auto-buying workshop.

Approximately 300 members attended one of Tinker's five car-buying workshops. The program features "Car-Ma," a worksheet that introduces members to the expenses many people don't consider when purchasing the vehicle—such as tax, title, and maintenance—and encourages saving for these expenses to avoid undue hardships.

Members with first-time buyer loans had lower delinquency rates and averaged a 10 percent greater retention ratio than a control group.

Rio Grande Valley Credit Union

RGV Credit Union in Harlingen won Honorable Mention in the $50 million to $100 million asset category of the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Recognition award. Their story was showcased in CUNA's commemorative program:

RGV sponsored Project Prom, a four-hour event geared toward providing prom attire and essentials to worthy high school seniors in need.

Throughout the year, members and nonmembers donate dresses I response to RGV's requests or because they or a friend have benefited from the event. Seniors are encouraged to return the dresses for others to use. Cash donations and gift cards go toward tuxedo rentals or shoes.

A major department store hosts the event and donates free makeup sessions. RGV provides information about its products and services and the importance of saving.

Cornerstone offers its congratulations to Tinker FCU and RGV CU for earning these prestigious awards and for being exemplary credit unions in their communities.