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Louise McCarren Herring 'Mother of CUs’; Entries Now Being Accepted for Award Named in Her Honor
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 7:25 AM

In August 1934, a particular train ride from Chicago to Estes Park, Colo., was a trip of a lifetime. Among the passengers was Louise McCarren Herring from the East Coast delegates. The delegates were heading to a conference that would soon kick-start the national development of credit unions by founding a related trade association. Louise McCarren Herring was the youngest delegate attending the historic conference. She ended up serving as secretary for the Estes Park conference, the delegates of which soon founded the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and signed its constitution. Later, Herring would represent Ohio on the new CUNA board.

During the next 50 years, Louise McCarren Herring's commitment to credit unions steadily grew. Her achievements include the following:

  • Founding the Ohio Credit Union League and working as its first managing director
  • Serving as the state’s first credit-union supervisor
  • Founding the National Deposit Guaranty Corp. and serving as its director
  • Setting up 13 small credit unions for Kroger employees
  • Personally organizing more than 500 credit unions all over Ohio
  • Assisting Bergengren in organizing the Michigan and Kentucky credit-union leagues

In 2003, CUNA established the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action, which is awarded to credit unions that exceptionally demonstrate Herring's philosophy that credit unions reflect "people helping people.

The Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award recognizes model credit union efforts to improve members’ lives through   programs (other than personal finance education), such as special loan modification program, wealth-building or debt reduction incentive program.

The Cornerstone Credit Union League is accepting entries for the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award through Aug. 1, 2013. Additional information on the award can be found on the League’s web site, at