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Diana Dykstra (left), President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, presents SchoolsFirst FCU CEO Rudy Hanley (middle) with the Buck Levins Award.

updated 02/25/14 09:27 AM
Hanley Honored With Buck Levins Award
Nearly 200 California and Nevada credit union executives attending the Credit Union National Association’s 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C. focused on three pressing issues as they prepared on Monday to visit members of Congress later in the week—data security, tax reform, and charter enhancements.

Click here to view Monday’s photo gallery of California and Nevada credit union leaders.

These and other top subjects of concern—such as raising the member business lending cap, access to supplemental capital, and requesting a government study of Regulation D—remained top of mind for leaders at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ legislative briefing. CEOs, board members, and executives were also reminded to tell their credit union’s personal story about the positive impact being made in local communities across both states.

Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra lauded member credit unions’ efforts toward the “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” campaign kicked off last year by CUNA and state credit union leagues. So far, 1.3 million individuals across the nation have sent letters to congressional lawmakers in support of the credit union movement’s federal tax exemption, with 300,000 coming from California and Nevada.

“We have taken the lead,” Dykstra said. “I can’t take the time to thank you enough on going to your members on this important issue for our movement.”

This year’s GAC comes as legislators begin the last half of the 113th congressional session. Congress’s work will lead up to the mid-term elections in November. The first half was contentious as lawmakers remained entrenched over government spending, the debt limit, and issues surrounding budgetary policy.

Credit union CEOs said CUNA’s annual event remains an immensely valuable touch point when it comes to meeting face to face with lawmakers.

Before the legislative briefing ended, the Kelly J. Purcell Credit Union Memorial Fund Scholarship was awarded to Ashley Rooney, a student at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management—and slated to graduate in 2016 with a master’s degree in political management. Rooney talked about her love of politics and said she was honored to receive the scholarship in memory of Purcell.

“This scholarship is very important,” she said. “It will help me make a difference like Kelly Purcell did.”

Later that day, SchoolsFirst FCU CEO Rudy Hanley—who is retiring this year after a lifetime of service to the credit union movement—was recognized with the Buck Levins Award on stage during the general session for defending the credit union philosophy through advocacy efforts during his 40-year plus career. His words to the audience were brief, but notable, as he thanked the industry for the honor of having the privilege to serve so many years, as well as be involved on the political advocacy front for credit unions.

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