Entry Materials Deadline:  February 4, 2019
Entry deadline will be strictly followed – no entries will be accepted after the February 4, 2019 deadline date so please don’t wait until the last minute – applications take time to fill out and complete. Thank you!

As credit union marketing and business development professionals, we are frequently asked to develop innovative solutions to a variety of business problems. The purpose of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Excellence Award is to spotlight these new approaches and their application to credit unions nationwide.

Hear from the 2018 Winners:

Madeline Anderson-Balmer, Marketing Manager, CU-CME, MIT Federal Credit Union:
“The Excellence Award was our opportunity to have a new initiative reviewed and by winning the award, our efforts were validated. We felt it was a successful program, but by having it recognized by the CUNA Council it gave us a more concrete indicator that our work is innovative and valued by others. Additionally, I had a member of my marketing team who really stepped out of her “usual” to take charge of our program, assist and then eventually take over management of the program, and continues to do so. Being recognized in this way, with the prize of a free registration at conference was the perfect way to recognize her for a job well done. She hasn’t ever attended a conference like CUNA’s Marketing & Business Development Conference. Being able to attend, speak to peers, and hear the many challenges and successes other credit unions have, so very similar to our own, was an experience she really appreciated. Attending the awards ceremony, and seeing all the other winners’ work was eye opening, and has her considering Marketing Management School with CUNA. My team worked very hard to get our FEW Series of Seminars up and running successfully. Receiving recognition and a trophy gives them proof that hard work, and an innovative idea can make a difference.”

What does the Excellence Award mean to you and your credit union? “This is the second Excellence Award I have won (the previous one was at a different CU). For me, this award is confirmation that an idea is innovative, and stands above the norm. We work every day to do our best, serve our members, and provide support to our communities, but receiving an award, and going through the application process to recount steps taken, challenges, ideas, and results provides a chance to appreciate and celebrate the work we do. My current credit union had never submitted an Excellence Award entry before. But now that we have, and we’ve won, the team is on the lookout for the “next best thing” and in fact, gives consideration to whether an idea being discussed or a brainstorming session is supportive of a stand out result. It gives a benchmark and a confirmation for work as we move forward. Senior management sees it as evidence of an idea taken to its full potential!”

What would you say to others thinking about applying to the 2019 Excellence Awards? “Go for it! The process of applying is a value in and of itself. The chance to really assess work that has been done, review results, and express in writing what was accomplished is a valuable experience. Even if you don’t win, having a project or campaign or event worthy of nominating is something to celebrate within the department. And if you do win one of the awards, and have the opportunity to bring a person new to the conference in to experience it as part of the celebration of winning, it’s a valuable growth experience for them. We all love recognition, whether public or private, and the Excellence Awards are a prestigious way to recognize the amazing work your credit union is doing.”


Donna Gonyeau, Public Relations Manager, Local Government Federal Credit Union: 
“LGFCU has a strong partnership with the University of North Carolina’s, School of Government. Through this partnership, the Development Finance Initiative(DFI) was born. This initiative has been a change-agent in the state of North Carolina.”

What does the Excellence Award mean to you and your credit union? “Through the Excellence Award, we are given the opportunity to share the results of both the partnership and the initiative. Being able to highlight this initiative provides a roadmap for successful mission based partnerships as well as a strong sense of pride in the accomplishments of the DFI.”

What would you say to others thinking about applying to the 2018 Excellence Awards? “I encourage others to highlight their “Community Outreach and/or Political Advocacy” programs through the Excellence Awards. The recognition of an excellence award is exciting for our Credit Union’s staff and members. I received a complimentary registration to the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference where the awards were presented providing an excellent opportunity to network with other Credit Union professionals and also discover new and unique ideas in the industry. The conference recognition dinner is one of the highlights of the event!”


Entry Criteria

  • There is no entry fee.
  • Four awards will be presented in the following strategic categories:
         1. Business Development
         2. Community Outreach and/or Political Advocacy
         3. Excellence for Strategic Planning
         4. Multifaceted
  • Entrants must be a current member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council.
  • The practice must have been initiated in 2018.
  • Entries must be received by February 4, 2019.
  • The award winner or a representative must be in attendance at the conference to accept the award.
  • If applicable, the entrant may submit a similar entry to both the Excellence and Diamond Awards programs. However, the entrant must complete the appropriate entry forms for each respective program separately.


Four awards will be presented to credit unions achieving marketing and business development excellence in the following strategic categories:

1. Business Development: Beyond normal activities, what has your credit union done to further develop the relationship between credit union and sponsor company(s), their employees, or the community(s) you serve?

2. Community Outreach and/or Political Advocacy: Has your credit union developed a successful community relations program? Perhaps a politically-themed event or program that advocates a political candidate or the credit union movement? Maybe an event and/or program that combines both? What was your strategy? And most importantly, what were the results?

3. Excellence for Strategic Planning: This category highlights the work of the strategic marketer or business development professional. Planning is the core of all business. To outperform the competition requires solid marketing knowledge and precision in decision making. Your credit union’s positioning and the positioning of its products, services and/or marketing/business development programs depend on the formation and implementation of intelligent and well thought-out strategic plans. Share your plan in this Excellence category and demonstrate your role in creating your credit union’s competitive advantage.

4. Multifaceted: Open to any event, program, or initiative you feel is deserving! Did you undertake a name change or rebranding? Did your department drive the successful implementation of a sales culture? Through planning and preparation, did your credit union successfully navigate a natural disaster? Have you utilized your MCIF to leverage marketing results? Whatever your practice may be, this is your chance to tell your peers.

Winner Recognition

Excellence Award winners will be announced at the 26th Annual CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference, March 20-23, 2019 in Las Vegas. Winners are required to attend the conference to accept the award. Each winning credit union will receive one complimentary conference registration. Winning entries will be featured in a press release and in CUNA News Now in addition to being showcased on the CUNA Marketing & Business Development website.

How to Enter

Start by reviewing the details and entry process.

The entry form and worksheet pertaining to your category must be completed and submitted online. The steps below outline exactly how to enter.

  1. Register an Account
  2. Create Your Entry
  3. Upload Digital Files
  4. Submit Entry

LOGIN – to begin entry process

If you have questions about the entry process, please contact CUNA Councils at 800-356-9655, ext. 4018 or

If you have questions about the Excellence Award categories, please contact Lynn Heider, Recognition Committee Chair and VP Public Relations, Northwest Credit Union Association at 503-350-2225 or; Mia Perez, Recognition Committee Vice Chair and CAO, Louisiana Federal Credit Union at 985-653-1754 or