FUSE Wins a Wisconsin-Statewide Honor

Feb 10 2016 | Written By Jennifer McHugh, Director of Public Affairs and Financial Education

Eau Claire, WI – Royal Credit Union (Royal) was named a 2015 Wisconsin Governor’s Financial Literacy Award recipient. Governor Scott Walker presented the awards during a formal ceremony in the Governor’s Conference Room at the Capitol on February 10, 2016. Royal received the recognition for its innovative, Future U.S. Entrepreneurs (FUSE) program. Royal team members Mary Ginder, Community Financial Education Coordinator; Julie Frey, Business Operations Manager; Jennifer McHugh, Director of Public Affairs and Financial Education; and Amy Forcier-Pabst, Executive Vice President-Member Experience accepted the award in Madison.

A total of 15 individuals, businesses and organizations received a 2015 financial literacy award. Criteria used to determine award recipients included innovative implementation, demonstrated measurable results, collaboration with partners, and whether the effort was focused on needs-based groups. The awards were selected by the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Mary Ginder, Royal Credit Union Community Financial Education Coordinator. “Royal’s financial education team works every day to improve the financial capabilities of students. The FUSE program offers us the opportunity to introduce basic financial concepts as they relate to the economy and tap the creative spirit of the participants.”

Royal’s FUSE program is a competitive learning experience for middle school students. FUSE allows participants to draw from business, entrepreneurship and financial education classroom lessons to create and complete a business proposal. Following 5 weeks of instruction and mentoring from Royal team members, FUSE participants present their business plan to a panel of the credit union’s business loan professionals and executives. This original program was developed through collaboration between Royal’s financial education and business loan departments. A monetary prize is awarded to the top-performing FUSE participants to support further development of their business plan. Two groups of students at DeLong Middle School in Eau Claire, WI have completed the program. Royal is in the process of expanding the reach of the FUSE program.

“Today’s FUSE participant may be the next successful Wisconsin small business owner,” said Julie Frey, Royal Credit Union Business Operations Manager. “Royal developed the program to support the spirit of entrepreneurship and inspire the next generation of small business owners.”