Georgia Credit Union Affiliates announces statewide award winners

Georgia Credit Union Affiliates announces statewide award winners

Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, the state trade association for credit unions, has announced the 2018 winners of several statewide awards recognizing outstanding contributions to Georgia credit unions and their members.

“These honorees have taken to heart the credit union mission to help people afford life,” said Terry Hardy, president and CEO of Members First Credit Union and chair of the Georgia Credit Union League board of directors.

The Moses C. Davis Lifetime Achievement Award honors credit union leaders who have devoted a major portion of their careers to creating identifiable and lasting improvements for credit unions. Winners demonstrate local accomplishments benefiting their credit union, its members and the community. They also create benefits among other area credit unions, within the state support organizations and within regional, national and/or international credit union organizations.

Lin Hodges

Lin Hodges, CEO of Associated Credit Union, has been named the winner of the 2018 Moses C.Davis Lifetime Achievement Award. Hodges has been an important part of Associated Credit Union for 39 years. He began his tenure there as CFO from 1980 until 2007. He has served as CEO for 11 years.

Hodges has also remained a key leader in the direction of the credit union movement both nationally and in Georgia over the years. He serves on the Credit Union National Association’s Consumer Protection Sub-Committee and previously served on the CUNA Examination and Supervision Sub-Committee and on the board for Cooperative Services, Inc., a service organization founded by Georgia credit unions to provide them leveraged influence in procuring operational services.  In addition, CSI foster and incubates collaboration among Georgia credit unions. Hodges is a past board chair for CSI.

Previously, Hodges was active in the state trade association by serving on the Georgia Credit Union League’s Progress Fund Advisory Council, the GCUL Finance Task Force and the Advocacy Policy Committee. Hodges also served on the board of the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates,as chairman and vice chair during his years of service.  In addition, Hodges used his expertise to serve Georgia credit unions on the Georgia Central Credit Unions Board (which later merged and became Catalyst Corporate Credit Union), serving on the GCCU Credit Committee and as the chairman. He currently serves as the Chairman of Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union.

The Eloise Woods Distinguished Service Award recognizes someone who has advanced cooperative finance for the benefit of Georgians, served as a thought leader among state credit union officials, projected the benefits of credit union membership to government officials and/or civic leaders, led collaborative initiatives among credit unions and generally made significant contributions to the credit union movement. 

Ron Ford 

Ron Ford, a former member of the board of directors of Associated Credit Union,was named the honoree of this year’s Eloise Woods Distinguished Service Awards shortly before he passed away on March 22. Ford had been a member of Associated Credit Union since 2005 and volunteered with the credit union beginning in 2006. He served as both vice chairman and president of the board.

During his time at Associated, Ford led the credit union through a branch network expansion and the introduction of new technologies to members.

Ford was active in the credit union industry for more than 40 years. He first came into contact with the industry in 1978, while working as a sales manager at Deluxe, a company offering products and services to small businesses and financial institutions to accelerate growth.Ford would ultimately become vice president for sales of the southeastern market for Deluxe.

In that role, Ford worked closely with industry leaders to provide top of the line checking products, which allowed credit unions to achieve significant savings and provide meaningful value to credit union members. In addition, he played an integral part in helping credit unions when they first introduced share drafts back in the 1980s.

Ford had been active in the advocacy efforts of the credit union system over the years. He participated in Hike the Hills in Washington, D.C., where he was instrumental in educating decision makers on credit union issues.

Professional of the Year normally honors one credit union professional who most embodied the credit union mission in the past year. These nominations are submitted by peers and chosen by GCUA’s board of directors.

This year, the board of directors chose two deserving credit union executives to name Professionals of the Year. They chose to honor Stacie Branch, CEO of Interstate Unlimited Federal Credit Union, as well as Doug Putnam, executive vice president at Kinetic Federal Credit Union.

Under Branch’s leadership, Interstate Unlimited Federal Credit Union has grown from$13 million to almost $175 million in assets. The credit union has also improved its technological offerings, adding services including home banking,audio response, e-statements and remote deposit capture.

Pam Leggett, senior vice president at Interstate Unlimited Federal Credit Union,nominated Branch for the Professional of the Year award based on her effective and involved leadership.

Stacie Branch 

“(Branch) is very hands-on and keeps abreast of all branches and departments,” Leggett wrote in her nomination. “You may find her on the phone calling delinquent accounts, approving loans or working the call center. Her goal is to see Interstate, its members and its employees succeed in all aspects.”

Putnam has been an employee at Kinetic Credit Union for 35 years and has served as executive vice president for the past 25 years. As EVP, Putnam has stood as a solid support for former CEO Janet Davis as well as current CEO Mark Littleton.

Doug Putnam

Putnam has also served as president of the Chattahoochee Valley Chapter of credit unions, spending his time organizing meetings for other credit union employees and members in the area. Through his leadership, the Chattahoochee Valley Chapter has consistently hosted local, state and national legislators.

Littleton nominated Putnam for the award based on his outstanding leadership.

“He often works in the background, but his contributions to our credit union and the Chattahoochee Valley Chapter are immeasurable,” Littleton wrote in his nomination. “He has mentored countless managers and employees during his tenure, always providing sound guidance on how to arrive at the best path forward. In summary, Doug embodies the spirit of the credit union motto ‘People Helping People.’”

Volunteer of the Year awards honor one outstanding credit union volunteer from each of three districts around the state. Volunteers were nominated by credit union professionals and chosen by GCUA’s board of directors.

Max Caylor

District 1 – Max Caylor is the vice chair of the board for United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union. He has served on the board for more than 30 years and also heads the credit union’s marketing committee and has been active in supporting the state’s credit unions by attending the GCUA Annual Convention and many Hike the Hills to spread the credit union message to elected officials. If you attend the credit unions annual meeting, you can’t miss Max – he is always promoting the credit union and reminding people that credit unions are here to help them afford life. Caylor dedicates his time to numerous community organizations in the Jasper area. He’s president of the Ministerial Association, director of Hope House, chair of service projects for the Rotary Club, a trustee on the Chattahoochee Technical College and a volunteer for both CASA and the Salvation Army. Caylor has also served on the Leadership Pickens Steering Committee as well as the Pickens County Workforce Assessment and Strategy Steering Committee. He writes articles for the Pickens County Progress and won first place in the Cornbread Cooking Contest this past year.

Harold Harbin

District 2 – Harold Harbin serves as vice chairman on the board for North Georgia Credit Union. Harbin has served on the board and on the credit unions Supervisory Committee since 2012 and has held a variety of leadership positions including chairman and treasurer. Harbin regularly attends CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C.,taking every opportunity to share the credit union message with our elected officials, especially Rep. Doug Collins. Harbin is also active on the state level and always attends the GCUA Annual Convention. He even seeks educational opportunities at the chapter level. Harbin has served many years on the city council in his hometown of Lavonia, Ga. He is also a member of the Georgia Municipal Association and serves as chairman of A Greater Lavonia, Inc., which promotes the arts locally.

Anthony Payton

District 3 – Anthony Payton has served on the board of directors for Southeastern Credit Union for more than 30 years. Payton has held several volunteer positions with the credit union,serving on the credit, supervisory, facilities, technology and asset and liability committees.  He’s also served as chairman of the credit union’s board. Payton is a strong supporter of credit union civic activities. He actively supports the credit union system through regular visits with state and federal legislators to talk about matters important to the industry and to share the benefits that credit unions provide to the citizens of Georgia. Payton has an outstanding history of advocacy on behalf of Southeastern CU as well as credit unions in general.

“Each of these winners are true leaders, helping their credit unions make a difference each day in communities across the state,” Hardy said. “Their efforts are well-deserving of recognition and so appreciated by myself as well as their peers.”

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