Leo Shapiro Awardee and Others Recognized at ‘REACH’

L-R: Xceed Financial FCU CEO Teresa Freeborn (left)—who was recognized with the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award—with California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra
L-R: Xceed Financial FCU CEO Teresa Freeborn (left)—who was recognized with the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award—with California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra

Teresa Freeborn, CEO of Xceed Financial CU in El Segundo, CA was recognized with the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award on stage—the California Credit Union League’s highest honor recognizing excellence in credit union philosophy and a lifetime of contributions to the California credit union movement.

Freeborn said she was humbled and honored, describing her “amazing” journey in the credit union industry, as well as touting her dedicated staff for all they have done to support her efforts in the movement.

The award is named after Leo H. Shapiro, father of the California credit union movement and founder of the League. Freeborn is being recognized for her more than 40 years of service, including serving as president and CEO of Xceed Financial since 2006, and for being such a strong advocate of the credit union movement.

One of her highest priorities has been building positive perceptions of credit unions. She has accomplished this many times, both in her native Canada and in the United States. She not only chaired the League’s credit union cooperative advertising initiative a few years ago—she is currently chairing the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) “creating awareness” advisory group. For her many accomplishments, Freeborn also received the League’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013 and was inducted into the Credit Union Executives Society’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

Other award winners included:

  • Distinguished Service Award: retired Mendo Lake CU CEO Richard Cooper and Great Basin FCU CEO Dennis Flannigan. They were honored for service to their credit unions’ community outside the usual scope of employment at a credit union, and beyond the scope of their chapter. Cooper is being recognized for his work within in the credit union industry for more than 40 years. In addition, he is being honored for being a passionate community advocate. Flannigan is being honored for his active involvement within the credit union industry and advocacy efforts.
  • J. Alvin George Outstanding Volunteer Award: UNCLE CU Board Member Chung Bothwell. She was honored for her significant contributions serving in volunteer capacities, such as a director or committee member. (This award was renamed in 2013 in honor of the long-time credit union volunteer J. Alvin George, who passed away that same year.) Bothwell exemplifies exceptional volunteerism, particularly her more than 30 years of service with UNCLE CU’s board of directors.
  • Tomorrow’s Star Award: Great Basin FCU Commercial Loan Officer Nina Hallock. She was recognized for her achievements as a young credit union professional age 35 and under. Hallock has a great passion for working directly with members to find solutions that help them succeed and take their business to the next level.
  • Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Awards: Western Health Care FCU CEO Diana Michaels (individual) and the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation (credit union/organization). This award recognizes efforts that contribute to the success and future of Shapiro Group credit unions and is named after the League’s late vice president of credit union development and research and information. Michaels was honored for her long-standing and strong support of Shapiro-sized (smaller) credit unions. The RMJ Foundation and its executive director, Tena Lozano, were recognized for not only the foundation being the premier organization for youth financial education in California and Nevada, but also for being a partner to the success of small credit unions.
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