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WOCCU awards distinguished service young CU people honors
HONG KONG (7/18/08)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to two individuals and a foundation during the closing ceremonies of the World Credit Union Conference in Hong Kong. WOCCU also recognized the achievements of five young credit union leaders participating in the WOCCU Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) program.
Click to view larger image Chris Baker, former president/CEO of WOCCU, accepted the Distinguished Service Award during the World Council of Credit Unions’ World Credit Union Conference in Hong Kong. (Photos provided by Patrick Leung)
Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Chris Baker, former president/CEO of WOCCU, and Karen Schwartz, former executive director for Americas Association of Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Societies. Both Baker and Schwartz were recognized for their lifetime commitment to global cooperative development. Schwartz stressed the importance of cultivating more effective relationships among cooperative organizations. “Cooperation among cooperatives can be very difficult if you've ever taken any major steps in that direction,” said Schwartz. “But we need to reach out together to give a helping hand to a lot more poor people.” WOCCU also presented a Distinguished Service Award to the Credit Union Foundation Australia (CUFA) for its leadership in domestic and international credit union development activities. CUFA's programs in Sri Lanka, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Timor, Tuvalu and Cambodia have helped create access to financial services for disadvantaged communities.
Click to view larger image Peter Mason accepted the Distinguished Service Award for the Credit Union Foundation Australia during the World Council of Credit Unions’ World Credit Union Conference in Hong Kong.
CUFA's executive director Peter Mason, who accepted the award, acknowledged the efforts of everyone working in the projects in his remarks. “It's the volunteers involved and the energy they commit that leads to success,” said Mason. “In many cases, they build the credit unions with nothing but determination, and I gratefully accept this award on their behalf.” Also honored at the ceremony were 19 WYCUP program participants from eight countries. Of those nominees, five were selected as the 2008 WYCUP awardees:
* Joe Argo, Credit Union Central of Ontario, Canada; * Anna Corona, AEA FCU; * Nicholas May, Community CPS Australia; * Rachel Milan, Credit Union Central of Ontario, sponsored by The Co-operators, Canada; and * Rafal Sokolowski, Copernicus CU, Poland.
The award winners earned an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2009 World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain. At the WOCCU Supporters reception earlier in the week, two participants were honored for their outstanding contributions. The WOCCU Ambassador Award was presented to Richard “Dick“ Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League and a long-time WOCCU Supporter who played a major role in WOCCU's recent “Keep China Mutual“ campaign. CUDA, an Irish credit union trade association, was honored for its $75,000 supporter contribution. At WOCCU's annual general meeting, the board of directors presented an award to Russian delegates on behalf of Dina Plakhotnaya, considered the “mother” of the Russian credit union movement. Plakhotnaya was unable to attend the conference to accept her award.
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