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Tony Budet Wins Esteemed Buck Levins Award at GAC
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 7:00 AM

Tony Budet

The Buck Levins Credit Union Political Activist Award is one given only to those individuals viewed as exemplary pacesetters and leaders in credit union activism. The esteemed recipient of this year's award goes to Tony Budet, CEO of University Federal Credit Union in Austin, Texas.

The award was presented during this week's Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference.

"I was quite surprised and am deeply grateful to have been awarded the Buck Levins Award, which honors efforts in the political arena that contribute to elevating the political presence of credit unions at the state or national levels," Budet said. "We in Texas are blessed with an exceptional League that makes advocacy meaningful, relatively easy, and effective. CUNA does likewise at the national level, positioning credit unions with one of the most enviable political frameworks in the country."

As an industry thought leader, Budet is not only a proactive advocate for political engagement, he urges other CEOs to get more involved and externally focused, noting that the leagues and CUNA can't do it all—advocacy starts with the CEO.

"The finest example of why we do what we do is on display each year at the Herb Wegner Awards ceremony," Budet said. "I encourage my CEO colleagues to include key executives in such GAC activities, especially those new to the credit union movement. The Wegner event alone can energize us to give advocacy our all, year after year!"

"I cannot think of a more deserving individual to receive the Buck Levins Award than Tony Budet," said Jim Phelps, SVP of Advocacy for the Cornerstone Credit Union League. "He has been an influential voice at the state and national level on the importance of political engagement, and he leads by example as demonstrated by his participation in major advocacy initiatives."

Cornerstone Credit Union League CEO Dick Ensweiler said, "Tony Budet is a man to be emulated in the world of credit unions. He sets the bar high for himself—and then higher—as a political activist nationally and a dynamic civic leader in his community. He has rightly earned the respect of his employees, his distinguished peers, and those who would judge his success as a measure of his deep commitment to credit unions. We congratulate him on earning the Buck Levins award."

A judging committee composed of the CUNA president, the CUNA chair, the CUNA GAC chair, the AACUL Political Involvement and Grassroots Committee chair, and the CULAC chair were the final decision makers for the winner of the award.