CUNA, AACUL Leaders on Death of Richard “Doc” Heins

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Patrick Keefe – CUNA Communications; (202) 508-6765;

MADISON, Wis. (05/06/2013) - “’Doc’ Heins was an icon for the credit union movement and for the CUNA/League system,” said CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney. “In a very real way, he charted the course for the partnership between CUNA and CUNA Mutual that serves all credit unions so well to this day. All of us will miss his visionary leadership and his consistent focus on supporting every aspect of our system.

“In his nearly four decades of association with CUNA Mutual, and more than 50 years within the cooperative movement overall, his influence was tremendous,” Cheney said. “When he was awarded the Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, it was noted that throughout his career that “he pushed us all to see beyond what is there and explore new possibilities.’ No more appropriate words have ever been said for such a vital man in the credit union movement.”

Susan Newton, executive director of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) noted Heins’ dedication to credit unions is exemplified through his many achievements and innovations on behalf of credit unions, including: creating a program allowing credit unions to write loans for as little as 5 percent down; expanding the delivery of direct-response products including life insurance, his pioneering application of applying age and health factors to insurance risk ratings, his unwavering support of an independent federal regulator and insurer for credit unions, his backing for creation of the Filene Research Institute (and later the i3 group), and his international work, including encouragement for rebuilding credit unions in Poland after the demise of the communist regime in that country. “Doc was ceaseless in his devotion to credit unions and cooperatives worldwide; his legacy is stronger credit unions here in America, and a surging cooperative movement around the globe.”

About CUNA

With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves America's 6,900 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by more than 96 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information about CUNA, visit or follow @CUNA on Twitter. For more information about credit unions, visit and follow @asmarterchoice on Twitter.

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