Excellence in Marketing & Business Development Award

Entry Materials Deadline:  January 31, 2020
Entry deadline will be strictly followed – no entries will be accepted after the January 31, 2020 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 2019 Winner

Todd Barduson, VP Marketing & Development, Richfield Bloomington Credit Union:
“RBCU poured its heart and soul into sponsoring and leading the Flags for Fort Snelling effort, with its goal of restoring the tradition of properly honoring all 200,000 veterans laid to rest at nearby Fort Snelling National Cemetery by placing a U.S. Flag at each headstone for Memorial Day. RBCU reached out to Mall of America and KARE 11 TV and that collaborative team raised $350,000, purchased 200,000 flags and recruited an army of 8,000 volunteers that showed up to get the job done. RBCU received over $500,000 worth of nearly free publicity and built some great relationships and credibility within the community by simply choosing to act and do the right thing. RBCU would have done the exact same thing though even if it generated $0 publicity because honoring our veterans will always be the right thing to do. At least for a credit union our size Flags for Fort Snelling represented a very atypical sponsorship. We chose and pursued them! They said they accepted our offer because we were a credit union and therefore, they trusted us! To be recognized by your peers for not just one, but three Excellence Awards was truly an honor not just for RBCU, but more so for the 200,000 heroes laid to rest a few miles away whose service and sacrifice will truly never be forgotten. Flags for Fort Snelling was a great example of credit union power in action!

I would encourage any marketer to apply for the Excellence Awards because: 1) provides another great platform to tell your story; and 2) challenges you to go the extra mile to make your event or promotion worthy of Excellence Awards consideration. And there is never anything wrong with being challenged to dig a little deeper! RBCU was fortunate because the Flags for Fort Snelling story was compelling and impactful on its own, so we enjoyed telling that story, but that story continued to create new opportunities for RBCU to consider as well. So a simple idea of placing 200,000 U.S. Flags for Memorial Day became a complex 8 month journey of fundraising, building marketing collateral and community engagement on behalf of Flags for Fort Snelling.”

Entry Criteria

  • There is no entry fee.
  • Up to eight awards will be presented in the following two asset groups and four categories:

    Asset Groups:

  1. Assets under $500M
  2. Assets $500M or greater


  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 2019.
  • Entries must be received by January 31, 2020.
  • 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.


Up to eight awards will be presented to credit unions achieving marketing and business development excellence in the following two asset groups and four categories:

Asset Groups:

  1. Assets under $500M
  2. Assets $500M or greater


  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 27th Annual CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference, March 15-18, 2020 in Orlando. 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 awards@cuna.coop.

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 lheider@nwcua.org; Jason Lindstrom, Recognition Committee Vice Chair and President/CEO, Evergreen Credit Union at 207-221-5000, ext. 350 or jlindstrom@egcu.org.