October 15, 2020
International Credit Union Day (ICU Day) is an international event put on by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) each year on the third Thursday of October, which falls on October 15 this year, to raise awareness of what credit unions do to better the lives of Members as their financial partner. This year, the theme, “Inspiring Hope for a Global Community,” seemed very fitting.
To celebrate International Credit Union Day we asked people to nominate someone that has inspired hope within their community. We received many heartwarming stories and winners from all over Royal’s service area were chosen at random. A prize of $25 will be given to the nominators, $50 to the nominees, and $100 to the non-profit of the nominee’s choosing. Winners will be contacted via email or phone to inform them of their winnings and arrange for their awards.
Here are the stories of the winners and what they have done in their communities!
Marcie from Chippewa Falls nominated Mary
Mary cook's free meals to the public in Chippewa Falls and during the shutdown we started doing takeout and delivering to people that couldn't get out we were serving over 400 meals a week.
Zhia from Eau Claire nominated Kazua
Kazua is always there to pick me up especially in these hard times, when I'm stressed or really low. She inspires me to be a better person and is always giving me new perspectives. She really keeps me grounded and a great friend.
Olivia from Eau Claire nominated Katy
Katy is a constant advocate of positive change not only on UW Eau Claire’s campus, but in the entire community. She always thinks of the needs of students and faculty, and she is always working to make sure that she is doing her part to fight social injustice and make sure those around her feel safe and accepted. I one day hope to foster the growth of those around me as much as she does.
Tracy from Eau Claire nominated Inez
Inez heads King Closet in downtown Eau Claire. She puts in numerous hours to organize all the volunteers and clothing available the public for free. The hours are all volunteer. She goes above and beyond!!
Sandra from Eau Claire nominated Lynn
Lynn inspires me through her passion for addressing social justice issues in the community and the energy she brings to her work and to her family.
Kira from Menomonie nominated Mike
Mike is so community-oriented, and invests a lot of his time into serving and helping others. He has volunteered at Stepping Stones food pantry for the past few years, supporting their food rescue program by picking up and delivering unwanted food from grocery stores and gas stations. He has volunteered as a Miracle League coach for three summers, giving youth with disabilities an opportunity to play baseball in an organized baseball league. He is heading into his fourth year coaching hockey in Menomonie, being a leader for young boys and men through the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association and the Menomonie School District. In 2019 he single-handedly organized a “No-Drink November” fundraiser to raise money and awareness for mental health issues in our community. He raised over $1000 in his first year, and donated those proceeds to The Monarch House in Menomonie. He plans to organize the fundraiser again in 2020 with hopes to get more people involved and to make it even more successful. He does all this while working full time at a local family-owned business, and still makes time for his friends and family. He will be a new dad in November and there’s no doubt he’ll take on that role with such grace and will be a huge influence for his baby girl.
Jo from Menomonie nominated Jamie
Jamie is an awesome soul. Not only does she work full time at the Dunn County Humane Society. But she also volunteers at fundraisers for the Humane Society. She puts in extra hours that would burn anyone else out. Jamie gets called in for situations where people need to have their pets taken in and cared for. She goes in to some very sad situations and she rescues pets that need help. When Jamie is not volunteering at the shelter. She goes to local cemeteries and she brings her own tools and she cleans tombstones. She does this so that the memorials to these souls can be remembered. Jamie is an amazing human who deserves to be celebrated.
Michelle from New Richmond nominated Patsy
Patsy is constantly giving...working with the Women's group at St. Patrick's, working many a funeral to cook for those that are grieving, giving rides to people we know that have cancer to get treatment, she is the most giving person I know on this earth despite her own losses in life...I can only hope to be half the woman she is.
Ann from Inver Grove Heights nominated Caitlyn
Caitlyn is Cheerful, Consistent, Predictable, Reliable, and Dependable. I trust her with my Personal and Business account numbers! She is the best banker at the Apple Valley Minnesota Branch office, and is a true encouragement in my life! A woman of integrity!
Keith from Black River Falls nominated Mary
Steadily, we feel greater meaning and purpose when we can identify, imagine, and track even the smallest actions that affect other people in our lives and work like the actions that have been taken by Mary.
Kurt from Edina nominated Christine
She showed me that everyone needs to be involved in the community in order to change our community.
Georgea from Hudson nominated Taylor
He has been giving me words of encouragement and lobbying me to contribute to the community.
It is so great hearing about all the wonderful things happening in all the communities we serve; we also let our team members nominate fellow team members and wanted to share those stories with you as well!
Jesse from Eau Claire nominated Nick
Nick is a ball of positive energy. The care and consistency of service he provides to team members and Members alike is contagious. He remains flexible and adjusts to our business needs. He is also always willing to lend a hand (or an ear) to help others. He is truly a model citizen of our values and purpose and I appreciate working with him.
Holly from Eau Claire nominated Emily
Emily is always upbeat and positive no matter what is going on around her. I enjoy working with her because I know that I will be in a better mood! She is always there to listen to Members and team members and help if there is any way she possibly can.
Nevada from Eau Claire nominated Sam
She is always so positive and brings a ray of sunshine to work every day. She always has a nice thing to say about everyone.
Noel from Eau Claire nominated Jenna
Jenna is the most happy and positive person I know and she always puts the member before herself. It is always amazing working with her and I cannot think of someone else that deserves winning the ICU Day contest more than Jenna.
Melissa from Eau Claire nominated Scott
Scott's whole mission at the credit union is to inspire others and he is absolutely fantastic at what he does. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity receive mentoring from Scott through the Exploring Leadership Program. He has taught so many team members like myself how to identify our strengths and learn how to use them to more effectively. One of my favorite things about Scott he greets everyone with positive energy and a big smile and he always has a story to tell.
Beth from Eau Claire nominated Tony
Tony inspires hope for me because he has the biggest heart. He always is offering to help strangers, coworkers, and his family. I have seen him bring groceries to interns during rough times, purchase Easter baskets for children who wouldn't normally receive them, and gifts to children within his community. He even usually hosts a giant fall celebration from his driveway giving his neighborhood free hot dogs, candy, and apple cider. Though he decided to not have the event this year due to COVID-19, he still asked for names of people to donate Halloween candy in hope that kids wouldn't be left out if their parents couldn't afford it. I've never met someone who inspires me to be kind to everyone more than Tony. He deserves thousands of thank you's! The best thing about Tony is he doesn't want to be thanked, he just wants to help others without anything in return!
Ryann from Eau Claire nominated Crystal
Crystal is the most "Sunshiny" person that I know. No matter who she meets or talks to she treats them all the same. In the most caring and compassionate way, she truly cares for other people and wants to make their day better before they leave. She leaves such a positive mark on others and always makes their day. This gives me hope that the lives she touches will go and spread positivity just like she does. Creating a chain reaction of happiness and positivity.
Kelley from Eau Claire nominated Suzy
Suzy has worked at Royal for 20 years, and in that time, she has held many roles, most recently as a Mortgage Loan Specialist. In the years that I have known her, she has always been friendly, professional, and takes pride in giving great customer service both to team members and our Members. It is hard to juggle work and life in the best of circumstances, and Suzy manages to make it look easy with grace and poise. You would never suspect that she has fought cancer multiple times throughout her life. Suzy is a survivor, and when I think of someone at Royal who gives me hope and reminds me to cherish every day, I think of Suzy.
Jesse from Eau Claire nominated Kevin
Kevin joined Royal in 1984 and his drive and ownership remains fresh and focused. His positivity and leadership make our Collections team a wonderful resource for our Members. This team plays a vital role for our credit union and often fly under the radar. Kevin inspires me to stay engaged, focused, and learning. His example can remind all of us that no matter how many years’ experience you have, you can always learn and adjust to the needs of our industry and membership. Thank you Kevin!
Jen from Eau Claire nominated Betty
Betty is simply amazing! She was the recruiter for the position I was hired to fill almost 10 years ago. We quickly realized that in addition to working together, we were also neighbors. Yes, we live on the same street and have had fun over the years bringing to work personal mail that was accidentally delivered for her at my house, or me at her house. Betty inspires hope in me because of the kindness she shows to everyone. Betty and her team are the first people potential team members meet and play such an important role in our credit union's success. On a personal note, Betty helped me through a very difficult time a few years ago where I was struggling to meet my work obligations as a result of a personal loss in my family. I will never forget her willingness to help and the compassion she showed to me as we talked through my options. I know there are many team members at Royal who have a "Betty" story and our lives have been enriched as a result. Thank you, Betty, for inspiring hope at Royal Credit Union!
Mary from Eau Claire nominated Christopher
I have worked with Chris for almost 4 years now and each day is fun and exciting. He has an energy and zest for life that truly infects those around him. He inspires hope by always looking for the good and going for the great. Nothing is too big or too small for him to figure out!
Heather from Eau Claire nominated Sarah
I don't see Sarah every day - especially during this work-from-home time and since we are in different departments. But, when we happen to pass in the hallway, she is always a ray of sunshine. Her kindness and genuine nature shine through every time! When she asks how I'm doing, she really listens and offers thoughtful responses. I always walk away feeling lifted!
Marisa from Eau Claire nominated Kristen
Kristen has been someone I can trust with anything since day one. She is uplifting and shows support and understanding, always. She was a great supervisor to me, and consistently went out of her way to check in and make sure all was well. I cannot thank her enough for helping me learn and grow within RCU and in life!
Heather from Eau Claire nominated Diana
Diana always has a positive attitude and a calming vibe. She generously shares her talents as a yoga instructor with the community engagement team, hosting "yoga happy hours" and leading us through yoga moves and sharing positive and affirming thoughts. She has humor, grace, and kindness in all things and it is a joy to know her.
Theodore from Eau Claire nominated Kaylee
She reminds me that we still have motivated, bright and powerful young people like our YP'ers that will make a difference for us both within the organization and our society for years to come! Sometimes it is easy to see all the things going wrong in society and start to believe the future looks grim but every time I work with her I think there is hope for us yet!
Brenda from Eau Claire nominated Geoff
Geoff is always so positive, caring, and humble. He has a lot energy and inspires me to do my best. To Geoff it doesn't matter what your title is, he is thoughtful and puts your opinion into consideration to look at the whole picture not just a portion of it. In the short time he has been with Royal it is amazing at the strides he has taken to take the actions to make improvements within Royal!
Sue from Eau Claire nominated the Item Processing Team at Royal
My Team mates! If one of us gets in a bind the others pick up. We work together like a well-oiled machine. We are always helping each other. We can always count on Chris Koehler for help! I cannot and will not single out one of us. We are all needed and we all contribute to the team’s needs. We laugh together and support each other when needed. I am proud to be part of Item Processing.
Nicole from Eau Claire nominated Tim
Tim always hits the ground running, he is one of those leaders that is involved in everything. He is incredibly involved in his community and is the first to jump at any opportunity. He recently was given a tidbit of our employee partnership program and he was the first to land a EPP contract. He had little to no info on it and that didn't stop him from trying! He is always bouncing ideas off of other leaders and is just always has a super positive and impressive outlook on life!
Although the contest is over, the spreading of kindness and hope isn’t. Thank you all who participated and continue to spread hope for your global communities!