DES MOINES, Iowa (9/30/09)--More than 500 credit union representatives and vendors attended the Iowa Credit Union Annual Convention held Sept. 23-25 in Des Moines, according to the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL). Thursday’s opening keynote presenter Bill Hampel, senior vice president of research and policy analysis and chief economist for the Credit Union National Association, offered a perspective on the economic challenges facing the credit union industry. “Credit unions are collateral damage to the financial crisis and recession,” Hampel said. He pointed out that Iowa credit unions are faring far better than credit unions nationwide by maintaining lower delinquency rates and higher savings rates. Other educational sessions focused on compliance issues, social media, Hispanic outreach, share insurance and compensation. “As the financial environment evolves in Iowa, credit unions will continue modifying their services to help the next generation of working Iowans,” said Patrick S. Jury, league president/CEO. “The league and Iowa’s credit unions work together to ensure our industry remains vital and healthy for the benefit of all Iowans.” The league also honored three Iowa credit union representatives for their contributions to the industry. Kent Strawn, president/manager of First Class CU, West Des Moines, received the 2009 Heritage Award for lifetime achievement within the credit union industry. Strawn has been active in the credit union movement for more than 33 years. Prior to serving as president/manager of First Class CU, Strawn served as director of Central Iowa Chapter of Credit Unions, as past-president, and current chairman of ICUL’s Transfer System, and was the chairman of ICUL’s board of directors. Denny Skelton, senior vice president of strategic alliances for Veridian CU, Waterloo, received the 2009 Professional Cooperative Spirit Award. Skelton has worked in the credit union industry for more than 30 years. Iowa State Rep. (D-83) and Veridian CU board member Bob Kressig received the 2009 Volunteer Cooperative Spirit Award. This award recognizes an individual who has exceeded expectations of a credit union leader and who provides outstanding service, commitment and volunteer efforts to improve the Iowa credit union movement. A few of Kressig’s involvements include leading the legislative financial services sub-committee, the credit union’s policy/education committee and the strategic planning committee. The 2010 Iowa Credit Union Convention will be held Sept. 22-24 in Bettendorf.