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Bill Hampel Recognized for Dedication to Cooperation and Education with 2018 Herb Wegner Memorial Award
Friday, November 3, 2017 6:30 AM

Bill Hampel

Foundation Recognizing Hampel with Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement

In recognition of his decades of service as a dedicated advocate of the credit union movement and a mentor and inspiration to industry luminaries, the National Credit Union Foundation announced Bill Hampel, retired chief policy officer and economist at Credit Union National Association, as the recipient of a 2018 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.

Hampel’s award will be one of four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at special fundraising event hosted by the Foundation at the Marriott Marquis Washington on February 26th, 2018 in conjunction with the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Registration for dinner tickets and sponsorships will be available on the Foundation website (ncuf.coop) later this year. 

"I've had the honor and pleasure of working with Bill for a number of years and his dedication and integrity to the credit union movement is unparalleled," said John Gregoire, chair of the Foundation's Wegner Awards Selection Committee and president of The ProCon Group. "Many times, Bill has been a guiding light, challenging discussion and moving issues forward facing the credit union system. His wit and wisdom has served the movement wonderfully, and he's become a great spokesperson for credit unions nationwide."

Bringing People Together
Throughout his career, Hampel “clearly understood and could articulate to others why the credit union philosophy is not simply a ‘feel good’ slogan but rather the most practical and effective economic vehicle for aligning the interests of both the owners and customers of a financial provider since those two groups are one and the same,” said Ralph Swoboda, former CUNA president/CEO.

Hampel is a reliable, expert source of credit union information, regularly appearing on network television programs and often quoted by the national news media, bringing the message of the credit union movement to a national audience.

“As an economist and mathematician, Bill has long championed the equation that states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO. “When the ‘whole’ of our movement comes together—its leaders, professionals, members, associations, and system partners—to chart a course together, there is nothing more powerful, effective, or enviable. Over the course of his career, Bill has provided the leadership, data, and technical analysis for many examples of the credit union system coming together.”

A Teacher at Heart
“Bill Hampel has trained, mentored, and inspired literally thousands of CUNA colleagues throughout his long and illustrious career,” added Nussle.

Hampel has made the ins and outs of complex economic or regulatory consequences clear and understandable to credit unions and associations alike. His close connection to credit union staff and leadership helped CUNA “remove barriers” and work in conjunction with America’s more than 7,000 credit unions. He has identified and empathized with the people he represents and makes it easier for credit unions to serve their members by keeping them informed.

His work culminated in the ideal of providing education, training, and information to member credit unions, leagues, system partners, credit union members, the public, the media, and policy makers. Whether he provided them with good news or bad, he and his team identified key strengths as well as weakness in the sector to help CUNA develop products, services, and public affairs policies to face them head on.

The experience that Hampel brings to the table makes his advice a well-respected resource for credit unions and their leagues and associations. He has acted as an advisor, mentor, and guide to many, including former and current CUNA presidents and CEOs, and his knowledge and expertise have been relied upon by CUNA and credit unions nationwide for almost four decades.

“Bill is consistently called to advise credit unions on financial matters, CEO searches, internal reviews, and for Board advice and counsel,” said Dan Mica, former CUNA president/CEO. “When I arrived at CUNA, I knew almost nothing about credit unions. Bill served as my mentor and guide when I served as CUNA CEO.”

Fighting for the Movement
Hampel’s leadership has been a constant force through some of the most trying times for the credit union movement. His unwavering dedication to the credit union movement and its members has been well documented over the years as crises were continually avoided, in part because of his guidance and advocacy.

In 1996, Hampel moved with his family from Madison to Washington to better represent credit unions on a national level. When the credit union movement was in its time of need, he was there to help.

Hampel and his team provided crucial economic data to support the passage of H.R. 1151, The Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1997, permanently changing and strengthening the way credit unions serve their members and communities. His leadership and professionalism as part of CUNA’s mission to be the premier champion for credit unions paved the way for its successful implementation.

Proving that H.R. 1151 was just the beginning of his advocacy for credit unions in Washington, Hampel has also been instrumental in documenting the benefits of the credit union not-for-profit status to stave off bank attacks and protect the credit union movement.

Hampel also acted as interim CUNA CEO for several months in 2014, steadying the ship and maintaining its effectiveness.

“Without Bill’s expertise and constant involvement with congressional technical staff, it is doubtful the credit union system would have been successful," said Mica. "And without that success, there would not be anything like the credit union movement we know today."

About the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards:
Herb Wegner AwardThe awards are named in honor of the late Credit Union National Association CEO Herb Wegner, whose tireless dedication, innovative ideas and deeds truly revolutionized the ways that credit unions serve their communities. The awards that bear Wegner’s name recognize his spirit of “innovative, creative, risk-taking” leadership. View past award recipients here.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through grants and programs, the Foundation is strengthening financial well-being, igniting passion and instilling knowledge about the credit union difference, and uniting resources to help credit union people during disaster. Donations to the Foundation ultimately enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.