REACH 2023

Catch the highlights from a power-packed week at REACH 2023​

PAC Contributors Reception attendees discuss the importance of credit union advocacy and celebrate another year of wins and victories.
PAC Contributors Reception attendees discuss the importance of credit union advocacy and celebrate another year of wins and victories.

2023 PAC Reception Celebrates Advocacy Contributors & Leaders

The credit union movement wouldn’t be where it is today without advocates who devoted their time and resources to fighting on behalf of their credit union’s members through 2023. This was the key theme of the PAC Contributors Reception on Wednesday evening during the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH 2023 conference.

(View and download event photos from the REACH 2023 Photo Galleries)

After three days of lively events, collaboration, and fostering a deeper perspective, those who are involved in advocacy at the state and federal political levels took a break from each day’s events to come together and be celebrated by the Leagues and the entire industry for their hard work and efforts.

Every year, a special group of credit union leaders and professionals make more of a difference than their members will ever know by attending annual political events hosted by the Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), visiting state and federal legislators, dialoging with regulators, and devoting their energies to similar initiatives that engage politicians and policymakers on the “credit union difference.”

The Leagues would like to thank the following League Advocacy Award honorees for their ongoing commitment to fighting on behalf of credit unions and their members, as well as displaying extraordinary leadership in advocacy, political action, and grassroots efforts:

California PAC Advocate of the Year: Jenna Lampson, President and CEO of Pacific Service CU.

  • Jenna Lampson is a fierce leader when it comes to supporting the California League’s PAC. When the League calls for support, Jenna is always the first one ready to lend a helping hand. Whether it is sending a corporate donation to our State PAC or personally donating to the Credit Union Legislative Action Council’s (CULAC) Federal PAC, Jenna does not stop there. She has been instrumental in helping the League nurture local relationships with elected officials through attending local meet-and-greets and fundraisers. Her faithful support of PAC and commitment to advocacy has inspired others to do the same, and the Leagues’ advocacy team sends its gratitude. Thank you, Jenna, for being a credit union champion!

Nevada PAC Advocate of the Year: Sue Longson, Advocacy Specialist for Boulder Dam CU.

  • Since joining the credit union world, Sue Longson has been a force to be reckoned with when it comes to advocacy. Saying that Sue is a role model for the cause would be an understatement. Sue has served as chair of the Nevada League’s political action committee (PAC) and generously donates to our State and Federal PACs, as well as successfully builds authentic relationships with elected officials! Sue, thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the credit union movement and for your tremendous support and leadership. We can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award!

Volunteer of the Year: Terrance Tremelling, Chair of the Board of Directors for SAFE CU.

  • Terrance Tremelling has been a tireless credit union advocate for years and is extremely deserving of this award! As the board chair of SAFE Credit Union, Terry has been a leader in the credit union movement and in credit union advocacy. Terry successfully advocates for credit unions through grassroots efforts and by donating to PAC. He always makes time to attend volunteer leadership events, credit union lobby days, and other advocacy meetings. Terry’s passion for credit unions as a volunteer is inspiring, and we are honored to recognize his achievements. Congratulations, Terry!

Shapiro Advocate of the Year: Sara Klein, President and CEO of Organized Labor CU.

  • Sara Klein is a dedicated advocacy leader, and we are honored to present her with this award. As CEO of Organized Labor Credit Union, Sara is a visionary leader who empowers those around her. A frequent flyer at the League’s lobby day events, Sara often shares insightful perspectives at legislator meetings. We are grateful for her work in the credit union movement. Congratulations to Sara for being awarded the Shapiro Advocate of the Year!

Nevada Advocate of the Year: Jennifer Denoo, President and CEO of Great Basin FCU.

  • Jennifer Denoo’s leadership in the credit union movement is the reason she is the Nevada Advocate of the Year. A tireless advocate, Jennifer is quick to make a phone call or send a message to an elected official on the impacts of a piece of legislation. In addition to those efforts during this past session, Jennifer also represented the Nevada League on the State Assembly floor to celebrate financial literacy.

California Advocate of the Year: Brett Martinez, President and CEO of Redwood CU.

  • Brett Martinez is the personification of an advocate for the credit union movement. Through his tenure as CEO of Redwood Credit Union, Brett has answered calls to action time and time again — and 2023 was no different. This year, Brett made numerous phone calls to legislators and informed them about the negative impacts of Senate Bill 278 (elder financial abuse) on credit unions. Some of these calls were to the bill’s author. Brett and his team were also top contributors for two main grassroots efforts for SB 278 and for the Credit Card Competition Act in the U.S. Congress. Congratulations to Brett Martinez for being this year’s California Advocate of the Year!

Political Professional of the Year: Flora Nafei, Executive Director of Credit Union Affairs for Patelco CU.

  • Flora Nafei is a dedicated credit union advocate, and we are proud to honor her with this award! Flora is a leader in advocacy within her credit union, the community, and the entire credit union movement. She encourages her team to act on legislative campaigns through Connect for the Cause, rallies her colleagues to donate to PAC, educates employees about the importance of advocacy, and more. In the community, Flora attends numerous events such as legislative town halls and meet-and-greets to build and maintain key relationships with elected leaders. Finally, Flora’s partnership with the California League is admirable. She works with the advocacy team to host fundraisers and district meetings, participates in events such as annual lobby days and advocacy workshops, and always accepts any call to action. Flora is a reliable advocate and an inspiring leader who embodies the credit union spirit! Congratulations, Flora — and thank you for your continuous commitment to credit union advocacy!

Nevada Advocate Credit Union of the Year: Clark County CU.

  • Clark County Credit Union has consistently demonstrated its unwavering dedication to the credit union movement, making it highly deserving of this year’s Nevada Credit Union Advocate of the Year award. Through active participation in advocacy efforts, including the annual State PAC donation, enrollment in the Credit Union Legislative Action Council’s (CULAC) payroll deduction program, and generous contributions to CULAC — the highest among all Nevada credit unions — Clark County Credit Union exemplifies above-and-beyond dedication and service in the community. Such unwavering commitment, combined with its member-centric approach and extensive community involvement, truly makes Clark County Credit Union a leading credit union advocate.

California Credit Union Advocate of the Year: SAFE CU.

  • We proudly acknowledge SAFE Credit Union for its exceptional representation of the credit union industry and extraordinary leadership in advocacy and political action. Its remarkable achievements for the State PAC — including generous contributions to the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), active participation in the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) GAC Sweepstakes, and successful June 30 x 30 fundraising campaign — further highlights SAFE Credit Union’s proactive efforts in raising awareness for crucial advocacy initiatives. Moreover, its invaluable contribution to fostering political engagement was exemplified by hosting a check-drop event for newly elected Nevada Assemblymember Josh Hoover, demonstrating the credit union’s commitment to building strong relationships with key policymakers. Additionally, SAFE Credit Union’s sponsorship of the League’s “Emerging Leaders in Advocacy” program showcases its commitment to nurturing future advocates who will shape the industry positively. Through its diverse and far-reaching efforts, we are honored to recognize SAFE Credit Union as this year’s California Credit Union Advocate of the Year!

Supplier of the Year: TruStage.

  • In recognition of its exceptional support and unwavering commitment, we proudly present the Supplier of the Year award to TruStage. TruStage’s invaluable contributions have played a pivotal role in empowering our initiatives and fostering community engagement. With heartfelt gratitude, we celebrate TruStage’s dedication to making a meaningful impact on the credit union movement.

Stay Engaged During REACH
Attendees and League staff will be sharing photos, comments, and memories through X (@CANVleagues) and LinkedIn (#CUatREACH).

REACH is one of the credit union industry’s premier annual events, attracting leaders and system partners from across California, Nevada and the United States. This year it’s held from October 22 – 26 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV!

 

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