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Stephens and Ensweiler Inducted into Cornerstone Hall of Fame
Thursday, April 13, 2017 7:00 AM

At Wednesday evening's Denim and Diamonds Dinner during the Cornerstone Credit Union League Annual Meeting, the Recognition Committee announced they'd made the unusual move of inducting not one, but two credit union legends into its Hall of Fame for 2017, to the delight of the inductees' many fans.

After a moving video by many credit union leaders in praise of this most worthy and beloved credit union legend, the Recognition Committee's Ayn Talley introduced Barbara Stephens this way:

"Attracted to the credit union movement by its motto, 'Not for profit, not for charity, but for service,' Barbara Stephens began her distinguished career in credit unions. When we talk about leaving a legacy, you can do no better than to emulate this unique trailblazer."

The World Council of Credit Unions' president and CEO Pete Crear has said of Barbara, "She has made many lasting contributions over the years, but none more important than the nurturing of the African-American Credit Union Coalition. Thanks to her efforts, today the work of the coalition is measured by the scholarships and mentoring it provides to young minority men and women who are interested in a career in credit unions." 

Talley added, "We all know that a person's resume cannot fully encompass or portray the scope of a person's contributions over a lifetime of passion and dedication. Barbara has provided a legacy that will live on through the many credit unions she's impacted and the thousands of lives she's touched."

Cornerstone's retiring president and CEO Dick Ensweiler was mightily surprised with the announcement of his induction into Cornerstone's Hall of Fame. After a moving video and introductions by Ayn Talley, Cornerstone Chairman Kenny Harrington took the stage.

"There's a reason Dick Ensweiler is known throughout the Credit Union Movement as a trailblazer," said Harrington. "We have only to read his robust list of accomplishments to understand the significance of his 50-year career in credit unions, including 22 years as the president and CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League, Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation, and Credit Union Resources."

For his dedication, Ensweiler earned many of the most prestigious awards one can earn in the industry, most notably the World Council of Credit Unions' 2015 Distinguished Service Award and 2008 Ambassador Award; National Credit Union Foundation's 2010 Herb Wegner Award for Individual Achievement; the 2002 AACUL Eagle award; the 2006 Gene Farley award; the Illinois Credit Union League Hall of Fame; and the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals' Leadership and Vision Award.

"At the end of this month, we'll send Dick off to his next big adventure in retirement with his beloved Judy at his side, and we know that once we set him free, he'll be hard to catch up with," Harrington said. "That's a man who doesn't let any grass grow under his feet. But we want to be sure that this trailblazer's influence in the Credit Union Movement is memorialized in our Hall of Fame, where we recognize only those we hold in the highest esteem."