News & Press: Minnesota Credit Union Network News

Five Minn. credit unions receive national recognition for community involvement, financial edu...

Thursday, November 10, 2016  
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Minnesota Credit Union Network (November 10, 2016) - ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recently announced that five Minnesota credit unions received national recognition in 2016 through the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Awards and Desjardins Financial Education Awards programs. These awards recognize credit union excellence in community service and financial literacy initiatives.


Award entries from SPIRE Credit Union ( Falcon Heights), North Star Credit Union (Cook), Ideal Credit Union (Woodbury), United Educators Credit Union (Apple Valley), and Firefly Credit Union (Burnsville) received recognition for placing in the national awards program.


“Across the state, Minnesota’s credit unions are developing programs to support and improve their communities,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President & CEO Mark Cummins. “I am proud to see these credit unions recognized for their efforts.”


A summary of the award-winning entries follows:


Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award was created in 1987 and recognizes credit unions for the activities they coordinate that benefit the community or a specific charity. This award promotes social responsibility among credit unions by formally recognizing their achievements outside the credit union.


  • SPIRE Credit Union: second place, $250 million - $1 billion in assets category - The purpose of the SPIRE Give Back Team is to improve the overall well-being of communities served through community outreach activities and donations. Their mission is carried out by providing support to people who may not otherwise have access to such support. The team's goal is not to be the primary source of financial or other support for these organizations, but to rather fill the gap in support provided by other sources. The Give Back Team’s reach also has an educational role, raising awareness within our communities and encouraging others to support these organizations. 


Desjardins Financial Education Award

The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards formally recognize the leadership of individual credit unions in their efforts to educate youth and adults in financial literacy.


  • Firefly Credit Union: first place, adult education, more than $1 billion in assets category - The Firefly Learn at Work initiative was created in 2001 to bring financial education to the work place for the convenience of the typical everyday working adult. In 2015, the program received a comprehensive overhaul to address changing demographic and current day personal finance issues. Firefly partners with dozens of employer groups through the Learn at Work program including progressive companies like Shutterfly and Mall of America.
  • Ideal Credit Union: honorable mention, youth education, $250 million - $1 billion in assets category - The “Money Talks” educational series, developed in partnership with Tartan student and school leaders, is held several times throughout the school year. The peer-to-peer program, led by Ideal CU Student Credit Union employees, is designed to teach students the building blocks of personal finance. The overall objective is to provide valuable financial education to students via their peers so they have the knowledge to make informed and conscious money decisions through all stages of life - from youth through retirement. The series increases awareness of the student-credit union and credit unions in general, and provides the tools, assistance and education to help students build a strong financial future.
  • United Educators Credit Union: honorable mention, adult education, $50 - 250 million in assets category - UECU uncovered the great need for financial literacy in two vulnerable segments of the population - senior citizens and young adults with disabilities. To this effort, they collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Lutheran Social Services to hold an elder abuse seminar for our retired members. They also partnered with Minnesota Life College to bring a host of financial literacy topics to their post high school students aged 18 through 22 who are learning independent living skills.
  • North Star Credit Union: second place, youth education, Less than $50 million in assets category - Indian Education at North Woods School in Cook, Minn., asked the students in North Star Credit Union’s Bunch of Students Saving (B.O.S.S.) program to speak with students in Academic Journey about financial topics such as money management and saving. North Star Credit Union’s education coordinator worked with the B.O.S.S. students to develop a presentation that aligned with their mission and would best benefit students.


Award-winning entries will be on display at CUNA’s 2016 Governmental Affairs Conference, February 26 through March 2, in Washington, D.C., and award winners will be honored during a CUNA Awards Recognition Reception on Wednesday, March 1 .




The Minnesota Credit Union Network is the statewide trade association that works to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. With nearly $20 billion in assets, Minnesota credit unions are local, trusted financial cooperatives that serve more than 1.6 million members at almost 400 branch locations around the state. As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions give back to the communities they serve. For more information, visit

Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034