2018 Call for Judges

Learn About Diamond Award Judges


The Diamond Awards is the most representative competition attracting 1,100+ entries every year. The mission of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Diamond Awards is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the credit union industry.

We need your HELP! Would you like to be a judge? Apply today and be on the panel to help decide the best of the credit union industry.


Why you should consider becoming a judge

Becoming a judge is a unique opportunity:

  • to be exposed to the very best and to experience the latest trends in credit union marketing and business development;
  • to network with top marketing and business development professionals;
  • to get recognition as an industry leader and promoter;
  • and, most importantly, to contribute to excellence in the marketing and business development field by helping select and celebrate the very best of the credit union industry.

Here are some testimonials from past judges:

“It’s a time commitment that gives a lot back in return. If you’ve wondered what others are doing, how CUs measure results, and what kind of results are possible, being a judge gives you a front row seat to our industry’s best. Judges have a chance to be a part of a team and really contribute to the industry by helping to recognize CUs of all sizes who are really pushing the envelope, celebrating themselves and their communities, and making a difference.”

— Madeline Anderson-Balmer, Marketing Manager, CU-CME, MIT Federal Credit Union

“I gained insight into what other CUs are doing and where I might improve my own processes. The talent other professionals have is amazing. It was truly a pleasure being a part of awarding their efforts with a Diamond Award.”

— Lesli Bishop, Director of Marketing, Family Savings Credit Union

“I was amazed at the level of exceptional skills that exist within the CU movement to not only create and develop outstanding programs, but then to support them through multiple marketing mediums. Many examples were provided that gave me some wonderful ideas for my CU.”

— Steven Bugg, Chief Marketing & Member Service Officer, Heritage Federal Credit Union

“I learned a great deal about all the creative and extraordinary marketing efforts CUs throughout the country are doing and the benefits their organizations are reaping. It’s a great inspiration to see all the wonderful marketing initiatives.”

— Delynn Byars, SVP Marketing, First South Financial

“What I gained most from the judging experience is a broader perspective. This wasn’t just an opportunity to see quality and award-winning work by individual CUs, but an even more valuable opportunity to see big picture trends among CUs around the kinds of messaging they feel is most effective.”

— Frank Diekmann, Cooperator in Chief, CUToday.info

“Don’t pass up the opportunity to give back and know you’ve made a difference in someone’s professional development or team’s professional development.”

— Domenic DiPillo, VP Marketing, Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union

“We all do amazing things as not-for-profit financial institutions and applying for these awards helps remind us of that. It was a wonderful opportunity to focus on what we have done and what more we can do in the credit union movement.”

— Janet Durnford, Communications/PR Manager, Global Credit Union

“I think it is worthwhile. If you have the experience needed to be a judge and are willing to dedicate time to reviewing the entries, it is a rewarding experience. It allows you to be a part of the process of recognizing the best of the best. It was also a great way to get more involved in the Council.”

— Tabetha Franklin, VP Marketing, Mobiloil Federal Credit Union

“The judging experience is an outstanding reminder of the relevance, creativity, and mission of our CU movement. Truly, campaigns and promotions are designed with benefit to our members and communities in mind. It’s a phenomenal way to “keep purpose constant.”

— Leah Friedenberg, CUDE, Director of Deposit Operations, Pima Federal Credit Union

“It gets the creative juices flowing. It humbles me to know what amazing things other CUs are doing and how successful they have been with their campaigns.”

— Steve Hildebrand, VP Marketing, Freedom First Credit Union

“Even though it will take a significant amount of time to fairly and accurately judge your category, the benefits of seeing what other CUs are doing far outweighs the time commitment. Besides it is fun and you get a really cool recognition award for your desk!”

— Ginny Hughes, CEO, CUCE, Changing Seasons Federal Credit Union

“I’ve had the honor of judging a few competitions. I’ve seen some stellar creativity and awesome execution of the different Diamond Award categories. If you have the time and qualifications to be a judge, I would say do it in a heartbeat! Awards encourage people to get excited about the work that they and their colleagues are doing. Being a judge, contributing to encouraging people to get involved and share their passion is an awesome contribution to the growth of the CU industry and sharing "people-helping-people". If you are reading this, you likely have thought about being a judge.”

— Nancy Hutchinson, CUBDP, Consultant, Nancy C. Hutchinson LLC

“Judging the Diamond Awards is an invaluable way of seeing the highest level of industry standard in marketing and design for CUs nationwide. Because I am a designer, it sparks my creativity and helps push all of us to the next level in promoting our products and services.”

— Becca Kaegi, Marketing Design Specialist, CoVantage Credit Union

“The judging experience was a great opportunity for me to apply my years of marketing knowledge, while also enhancing that knowledge by seeing what other creative marketing professionals are doing in our industry. I strongly encourage any marketing or business development professional to apply as a judge. You’ll gain great insight into what other professionals are doing within our industry and you’ll be challenged to improve your work as well.”

— Alyssa Karl, Director of Marketing, Heartland Credit Union

“If you are thinking about judging the awards, don’t hesitate! You will learn a lot about our industry and your peers. You will also meet some really fabulous CU people along the way who will inspire you to aim high in your marketing efforts.”

— Suzanne Kennedy, VP Marketing, Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union

“It was quite refreshing to see the progression of today's CU marketing efforts. It's impressive for sure. And for those CUs looking to "up their marketing game," the winners in each category are definitely the ones to emulate – which can only benefit the industry.”

— Mike Lawson, Host, CUbroadcast

“It's awesome to see the work done by my peers across the US. CUs have some very creative people working for them.”

— Travis Livingood, Director of Marketing, Glacier Hills Credit Union

“I’ve judged the Diamond Awards the past 2 years, once onsite and once remote, and the experience has been incredibly rewarding. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it! You can start small by choosing which categories you’d like to judge so it’s not too overwhelming the first year.”

— Kate Mason, Marketing Manager, Northwoods Credit Union

“Judging the Diamond Awards is a great way to give back to the CU community and to reenergize your creative minds by seeing what other CUs are doing. As a bonus, submitting your own Diamond Award applications doesn’t seem as daunting a task as you see what other CUs do!”

— Chris Miller, VP Communications & Branding, Chesterfield Federal Credit Union

“I got to see some tremendous pieces of work! It was fun to see what other CU marketers were doing in their market.”

— Lindsey Murphy, VP Marketing, Education Credit Union

“While it is a significant investment in time (and a project that should not be left to the last minute for those who are contemplating being a Remote Judge), it was well worth the time and effort that I put into the process. I also felt that it was a great way for our company to give something back to the community, after being a sponsor for the past 5 years.”

— Mark Nelson, SVP, Leadfusion

“If you want to see the best of the best in marketing; if you want to be inspired for your own marketing campaigns; and if you want to work with some of the greatest people that you will ever meet in the CU industry, then you need to apply to be a judge for the Diamond Awards. Being a 4-year veteran of judging, I can honestly say, it is an event and an opportunity I look forward to every single year.”

— Michael Rosmus, Director of Corporate Video & Digital Media, Synergent Corporate Marketing – Maine Credit Union League

“Judging the Diamond Awards gives me insight into how CUs across the country are using marketing to increase their visibility, grow their bottom line, and make a difference in the communities they serve. The online review system makes judging easy. Being able to judge remotely allowed me to work at my convenience and at my own pace. As a judge, you get to see how other CUs are addressing their marketing challenges and the behind the scene work involved in bringing a great campaign to life.”

— Kristine Tanzillo, President, Dux Public Relations

 Judges are needed for the following awards. If you are selected, you will be asked to review a certain number of entries and to rate them using the judging criteria, over a 1-2 week period, and through a private online platform.

Judges will be selected both in the credit union industry, and outside the industry but involved in the credit union movement. We would love for you to be a judge based on your own experience and involvement in the credit union industry. This is a great opportunity to get involved and share your expertise, meet other experts from around the country and see first-hand all the talent and creativity our fellow Council members have!

The deadline to apply is October 16, 2017, so don't delay!  APPLY NOW

Thank you!

Amber Scott
Diamond Awards Committee Chair

VP Marketing
1st MidAmerica Credit Union

Amy McGraw
Diamond Awards Committee Vice Chair

VP Marketing
Tropical Financial Credit Union

Lynn Heider
Recognition Awards Committee Chair

VP PR & Communications
Northwest Credit Union Association

Brian Grytdal
Recognition Awards Committee Vice Chair

VP Marketing
Horizon Credit Union