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Smart Financial Foundation Bestows Lifetime Achievement & Community Impact Awards
Monday, November 23, 2015 6:55 AM

Smart Financial Awards

Richard “Dick” Ensweiler and Dee Koch Honored at Inaugural Smart Financial Foundation Fall Luncheon

Community members, local businesses, and civic leaders gathered for the inaugural Smart Financial Foundation Fall Luncheon on Oct. 30 at the Junior League of Houston. The luncheon celebrated the achievements of two individuals who exemplify the Smart Foundation’s mission to change lives, improve communities, and achieve dreams: Dick Ensweiler, CEO of Cornerstone Credit Union League, and Dee Koch, director of engagement for the George Foundation. 

"On behalf of the Smart Financial Foundation, we are honored to recognize Mr. Ensweiler and Ms. Koch for their dedication to the community," said Virginia “Jenny” Smith, president of the Smart Financial Foundation. "We are inspired on a daily basis by their unwavering commitment to others."

In recognition of his dedication to the credit union movement, the Smart Financial Foundation’s first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Richard “Dick” Ensweiler. In addition to serving as the CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League (formerly Texas Credit Union League), Ensweiler is the chairman of CU Partner Link and Credit Union House and serves on several boards boards including the Credit Union Museum and his alma mater Lakeland College, among others. Well known throughout the credit union movement as a visionary leader, Ensweiler began his lifelong career serving as a teller for the State Central Credit Union in Milwaukee.

"The first annual Smart Financial CU Foundation recognition luncheon was a huge success, and I was thrilled to be an original honoree," said Ensweiler. "Serving the credit unions in our region and throughout the country during my career has been fulfilling every day and in every way. Then to have this impressive foundation recognize me for that service was most meaningful. I am humbled and thankful."

The Smart Financial Foundation also recognized Dee Koch with its first Community Impact Award. As director of community engagement for the George Foundation, Koch plays a pivotal role in directing the organization’s causes that enhance the lives of those in need in the Fort Bend Community and with scholarship opportunities for local students. Notably, she established the organization’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program, which promotes volunteerism among young adults, and the Leadership for Non-Profit Excellence, which is a year-long program aimed at enhancing the organizational governance and effectiveness of non-profit leaders. Koch’s impact on the community was further underscored when Texas State Rep. Rick Miller presented a special proclamation in honor of Koch’s 25 years of service to the community during the awards ceremony.

“In recognition of our honorees’ dedication and impact to the community," said Smith, "the Smart Financial Foundation has made donations in Ensweiler’s name to the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation and in Koch’s name to the Youth in Philanthropy program.”

More than 200 individuals were in attendance at the inaugural event. Lisa Foronda, senior director of investor communications at Legacy Community Health Services, served as mistress of ceremonies. Musical entertainment by The Champion Sisters preceded the awards ceremony. Notable event attendees included: Sugar Land Councilmember Himesh Ghandi and Texas State Rep. Rick Miller. 

The event was underwritten by Smart Financial Credit Union and Memorial Hermann Health System was the Maple Leaf sponsor. Oak Leaf-level sponsors included CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare; Classic Chevrolet of Sugar Land; Cornerstone Credit Union League; Credit Union Resources; Doeren Mayhew, CPA and Advisors; Houston Community College; MG Architects; PrimeWay Federal Credit Union; and Smart Financial Resources.

Dedicated to changing lives, improving communities and achieving dreams, the Smart Financial Foundation was formed in 2013. One of its biggest initiatives is providing funds for the Smart Financial Foundation Ruby Sue Clifton program along with other established local scholarship programs, which help further the education of our youth, adult students, and the medical community. The Smart Financial Foundation also supports charities that help children, indigent healthcare, and the educational community.

For more information regarding the Smart Financial Foundation, its work and how to become a donor, visit the website or connect with Smart Financial Foundation on Facebook.

About Smart Financial Foundation
Dedicated to giving back to communities the “Smart” way, the Smart Financial Foundation was formed in 2013 with the purpose of giving back to communities that Smart Financial Credit Union serves. The Smart Financial Foundation strives to change lives, improve communities and achieve dreams by donating time, money and other resources to not only individuals but also to organization that help raise credit union awareness. For more information, visit, call 713-407-1923.