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Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Among the Top Honors to be Presented in San Francisco in October
September 23, 2013

Six devoted credit union industry leaders and volunteers—including 2013 Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Vacaville, CA-based Travis Credit Union—will be honored at this year’s California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention.

The honorees of the Shapiro, Distinguished Service, Outstanding Volunteer, Tomorrow’s Star and Kim Bannan Eternal Flame awards are among those to be recognized during the event, to be held October 28-30 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

In addition to Van Ouwerkerk, this year’s recipients include:

  • Distinguished Service Award: Xceed Financial Federal Credit Union CEO Teresa Freeborn
  • Outstanding Volunteer Award: Ventura County Credit Union Board Chairman Roxanne Ostrem
  • Tomorrow’s Star Award: L.A. Healthcare Federal Credit Union CEO Annice Kim
  • Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Awards: Randy C Thompson, Ph.D., CEO of TCT, Inc. (individual), Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union (credit union/organization)

Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award: This is the League’s highest honor, recognizing excellence in credit union philosophy and a lifetime of contributions to the California credit union movement. It is named after Leo H. Shapiro, father of the California credit union movement and founder of the League.

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk is slated to receive the award October 28, the first day of the Annual Meeting and Convention. During her 38-year career, she has been involved with large and small credit unions—beginning at Coast Federal Credit Union in 1975. She didn’t know what credit unions were all about at the time. “It didn’t take me long to learn what credit unions stand for is consistent with my personal values and beliefs,” she said.

Van Ouwerkerk’s long list of credit union involvement includes serving on the boards of Western CUNA Management School (as vice chairman), CO-OP Financial Services, Richard Myles Johnson Foundation, and Filene Research Institute. She’s also a founder of the World Council of Credit Union’s Global Women’s Leadership Network and has chaired fundraising activities for Children’s Miracle Network. She has served on the California Credit Union League board of directors, including a year as chairman. She has been a strong advocate for credit unions, and was instrumental in establishing and developing the regional NorthBay Political Action Committee as well as establishing a board government affairs legislative/government relations committee at Travis to oversee the credit union’s advocacy activities.

She is heavily involved in the community, being an active Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow, on the advisory board for the Vacaville Boys and Girls Club, past chairman of the Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee, and past chairman for the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce. The recent Solano County’s Women of the Year also has received the League’s Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the CUES Hall of Fame in 1997.

Distinguished Service Award: Honors service to the credit union community outside the usual scope of employment at a credit union, and beyond the scope of their chapter.

Teresa Y. Freeborn, CEO of Xceed Financial Federal Credit Union, has enjoyed a long and productive career in the credit union movement since 1974 in both the United States and in her native Canada. In British Columbia, she spearheaded a ground-breaking, province-wide cooperative advertising program focused on dispelling common consumer myths about credit unions. She garnered similar successful results in the United States when she served as chairman of the Credit Cooperative Advertising Initiative in the Los Angeles area.

In addition to serving for the past seven years as CEO of Xceed Financial, Freeborn is currently a member of the board of directors of the Filene Research Institute’s Research Council and Western CUNA Management School, and is the incoming board chairman for the California League. She’s vice chairman/chairman-elect on the CUES board of directors and is on the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation board. She is also an inaugural member of the Global Women’s Leadership Network and past chairman of the Credit Union for Kids Advisory Board for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Under her leadership, and as result of her enthusiasm and advocacy, Credit Union for Kids continually increased its annual fundraising support for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She’s been very active with the Wine Auction Committee and the Credit Union Sactown 10 Mile Run, benefitting Credit Unions for Kids.

Outstanding Volunteer Award: Honors significant contributions by people who serve credit unions in volunteer capacities, such as a director or committee member. Roxanne Ostrem became a volunteer at Ventura County Credit Union in 1998, when she joined the Supervisory Committee. She became board chairman in 2011. But her “career” as a credit union advocate actually began many years prior—growing up as the daughter of a VCCU board member. Ostrem’s work extends beyond Ventura County, through her involvement with the Global Women’s Leadership Network—of which she is a founding member. After learning of WOCCU and GWLN’s work in providing financial services to those in rural Mexico, she spearheaded efforts to bring a similar outreach program to Ventura County’s underserved agricultural workers. Under her and CEO Joe Schroeder’s leadership, a program was instituted allowing VCCU to take the credit union “to the fields” to help local agricultural workers avoid predatory payday lenders and check-cashing agencies. To date, more than 150 members have joined VCCU as a result of this program.

Ostrem has been a speaker at numerous credit union conferences and is an active participant in GWLN’s Sister Societies—an international network of credit union executives, board members, and business partners who work to engage women, and provide opportunity and resources to make a difference in their lives, the lives of credit union members, and communities. In addition to serving on the VCCU board, Ostrem officiates weddings and funerals, and is a board member of the local yacht club.

Tomorrow’s Star Award: Recognizes the achievements by credit union professionals age 35 and under. Annice Kim has been president and CEO of LA Healthcare Federal Credit Union for six years. She started her credit union career at the City of Downey FCU as an intern from Downey High School’s ROP program. She eventually became the credit union’s operations and lending supervisor at age 22 (after graduating from Cal State Long Beach).

Kim has been successful in helping LA Healthcare weather the recent economic downturn and continue to meet members’ needs, despite working under NCUA’s Prompt Corrective Action since 2007. In addition, she has served the credit union movement through her involvement with WCMS (as Kappa Class president), the League’s Los Angeles Chapter, the League’s Awards Committee, and Credit Union Sactown 10 Mile Run.

Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Awards: These awards recognize efforts that contribute to the success and future of Shapiro Group credit unions, and are named after the League’s late vice president of credit union development and research and information. This year’s recipient in the individual category, Randy Thompson is being recognized for his long-time support to small credit unions. Thompson developed the CostPro Suite, a tool that helps credit unions analytically and effectively price their loans which has led several small credit unions to increase their operational efficiencies, such as Western Healthcare FCU. He's also conducted numerous strategic planning sessions for small credit unions and served as a speaker at Shapiro Summit. The award recipient in the company category, Catalyst Corporate FCU, is being honored for its support, including the donation of $10,000 to the Shapiro group to sponsor educational opportunities for small credit unions which included the 2013 Shapiro Summit and multiple sessions at the League's annual meeting and convention. Additionally, Catalyst provides a multitude of no-cost of education and training opportunities perfect for small credit unions.

Freeborn, Ostrem, Kim, Thompson, and Catalyst will be honored on October 29, the second day of the conference.

— CCUL —