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|Sarah Canepa Bang, President of CO-OP Shared Branching/FSCC LLC, and Chief Strategy Officer of CO-OP Shared Branching|
This will be one of four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special dinner hosted by NCUF at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Feb. 24, which is Monday night of the Credit Union National Association’s 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference. Online registration for dinner tickets will be available later this year on the NCUF website.
"One word to describe Sarah is ‘dynamo,'" said John Gregoire, chairman of the NCUF Wegner Awards Selection Committee and president The ProCon Group in Madison, WI. "Sarah is one of the most impressive, assertive, outgoing personalities in the entire credit union movement. Her energy knows no bounds, helping her become a major contributor to the success of the Credit Unions for Kids program and building shared branching in to a powerhouse delivery system."
Canepa Bang started her career at the Credit Union National Association in 1983 in the trade association's newly developed Internet office. During the mid-80s, she served as education director at the then Oregon Credit Union League and moved to the Massachusetts Credit Union League in the late 80s as vice president of human resources.
She returned to the Oregon Credit Union League as executive vice president in 1990 and launched a number of high visibility programs. During her tenure at the Oregon Credit Union League, she was also chief operating officer of CU Access, an ATM and shared branching network which the league ran, and Automated Item Management, the Northwest's largest and most successful check processing operation.
In 1995, Canepa Bang established a two-year associate degree program in credit union management through Mt. Hood Community College. She recognized that credit unions were a promising place to build careers and found a way to meet the educational needs of credit union employees. She also initiated Loans Today, one of the first 24-7 lending call centers in the nation created to enhance a credit union's ability to process member loan requests via telephone.
“Sarah’s career is indicative of not only her commitment to the credit union philosophy but also her willingness to utilize her business acumen to promote the best interests of credit unions, said Dan Egan, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Credit Union League, New Hampshire Credit Union League, and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island.
“Sarah has been the credit union system's most ardent ambassador for shared branching, as well as its staunchest task master,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
Canepa Bang was named CEO of FSCC in 1999. During her tenure she made the fledgling organization one of the most successful credit union CUSOs in the nation and in the history of the credit union system. Under Canepa Bang’s leadership, FSCC more than quadrupled in the number of credit unions, branches, and states involved in shared branching resulting in thousands of financial access points for members. Today, shared branching is available in all 50 states, 2 US territories, and 3 foreign countries.
FSCC was the first network to pioneer the outlet concept in shared branching. Through Canepa Bang’s tenure, they expanded the technology to include full-service kiosks, mobile banking, call centers, disaster recovery, and remote deposit capture. In 2007, FSCC hit another milestone and implemented shared branching services on over 2,200 Vcom® kiosks inside select 7-Eleven stores. In January 2012, she collaboratively worked with CO-OP Financial Services to unite the two shared branch networks in the credit union industry into “one” national network via a merger of the two organizations.
“Sarah is a visionary leader who is fearless in her pursuit of service and ‘access anywhere’ for credit union members,” said Patricia Smith, president and CEO of Unitus Community CU.
Canepa Bang is also a longtime supporter of the Credit Unions for Kids (CU4Kids) program and was one of the key founders of the program while at the Oregon Credit Union League. Additionally, she extends her commitment for credit unions to the global movement through her involvement with the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and DCUC (Defense Credit Union Council). Also, she is a firm believer in the mission of state credit union foundations.