Welcome Thorold!

OCUF is proud to announce Thorold Community Credit Union is our newest member.

Thorold Community Credit Union was incorporated on September 21, 1948. Initially organized for the benefit of the members who reside or are employed with the Regional Municipality of Niagara. They are celebrating their 70th Annual General Meeting on December 11th.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Whalen said “We are a smaller credit union with a big heart. Our goal to give back to the community aligns with that of the Foundation.”

Thorold is located in the heart of the Niagara Region, just five minutes from St. Catharines and ten minutes from Niagara Falls. Located on the Niagara Escarpment, the Welland Canal passes through the the city, located close to downtown, attracts thousands of tourists annually.


Alterna Savings & Luminus Financial Are In!

The 2018 CU Succeed Youth Bursary campaign is months away, yet two credit unions, Alterna Savings and Luminus Financial, were quick to pledge their support.

The campaign will run in May 2018 and has two elements. Credit unions are invited to participate in the fundraising campaign for a week (or two) in May. Additionally, we hope all our member credit unions will promote the CU Succeed Youth Bursary to their members in May and June.

Over the past two years we provided $111,000 in bursaries to deserving post-secondary students from across Ontario. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,500. Our fundraising efforts from this year’s Golf Classic and CU Succeed Youth Bursary campaign allow us to offer $75,000 in bursaries in 2018.

Alterna Savings marketing spokesperson Tanya Hart proclaimed “Alterna is in! I already have an idea who we might challenge to see who raises the most funds.”

OCUF Board member, and Luminus Financial CEO, George De La Rosa commented, “Luminus was proud to have raised the most funds in the 2017 campaign. We look forward to having as much fun in May.”

The 2017 branch campaign raised $8,273, our goal is to double that in 2018.

For more information click here.

27th Annual Golf Classic Venue Announced

We are excited to announce the location of the 27th Annual Golf Classic being held June 11, 2018.

We are privileged to have Markland Wood Golf Club host our main fundraiser for the year.  Here is an excerpt from their website. “Visitors are pleasantly surprised to discover the quality, beauty and tranquility found hiding in the valleys bordering the Etobicoke Creek, a short drive from downtown Toronto. The course is a joy to walk as, similar to most traditional courses, each green leads to the next tee on almost every hole.Running north and south of Bloor Street, the layout features greens that are slightly elevated and fast, well guarded and moderately sloped. Generous landing areas are balanced with holes that place a premium on accuracy.”

A big shout out to Board member Kevin Connolly (Comtech Fire) who was instrumental in arranging this opportunity. Markland Wood is a unique, private facility which is very accessible from anywhere in the GTHA. Board Chair Dan Coldwell (PACE) commented, “This is a fabulous opportunity for us to host our event closer to Toronto. Our guests will marvel at this hidden gem of a course.”

The Golf Classic is our annual fundraiser the proceeds from which support the CU Succeed Youth Bursary. With the tremendous support of sponsors and guests over the past two years, $111,000 has been awarded to post-secondary students.  We look forward to seeing you in 2018!

2018 Sponsorship Information

Member Credit Unions

We are honoured to have so many member credit unions. Many have been with us since 1979.

Over the years there has been many changes. We have seen numerous credit unions merger resulting in new names. We have seen “updating” and renaming of credit unions to better reflect their purpose, community and brand.  Change is a constant.

One thing that has remained constant, is the practice and adherence to the seven cooperative principals that date back to 1844 in England.

Principle #1: Voluntary and Open Membership
Principle #2: Democratic Member Control 
Principle #3: Member’s Economic Participation 
Principle #4: Autonomy and Independence
Principle #5: Education, Training, and Information 
Principle #6: Cooperation Among Cooperatives 
Principle #7: Concern for Community

From the Foundation’s perspective we focus on Principle #6 – Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures, and Principle #7 – While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

Our strength is in our numbers. This enables us to action “concern for community” with our CU Succeed Youth Bursary Program.

We extend a warm welcome to our two newest members, Comtech Fire and Your Neighbourhood.

Thank you to all of our members, we are grateful for your continuing support. To those who are not yet members, it is easy to join this growing group. Give us a call!

Co-operative Identity Award

Michelle Christmann, Community Relations Officer at Quinte First Credit Union received the coveted Co-operative Identity Award at the 2017 Provincial Co-op Conference hosted at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Toronto September 28th. The award was presented by Claude Gauthier from Growmark Inc.

Quinte First Credit Union President & CEO Carrie Gregoire said, “I have been in the credit union system for eleven years. Until our recent merger, I can honestly say I have never met anyone who is as passionate, energetic and driven about the co-operative system as Michelle.”  She added, “Her enthusiasm is contagious.”

Clayton Shold, Executive Director of Ontario Credit Union Foundation, was on this years selection panel exclaimed “Michelle is clearly someone who exemplifies the co-operative spirit and takes her enthusiasm in to work, and in to her community every day!”

Michelle’s list of achievements is long, she is a certified Each One Teach One (EOTO) instructor and has delivered presentations to elementary and secondary schools, as well as a local college. Michelle partnered with Centre Hastings Secondary School in Madoc to open one of the first student-run co-operatives in Ontario. She applied for, and was successful in obtaining a $10,000 Community Empowerment grant from Concentra which will be partner with four new schools next year to start four new student-run co-operatives. Michelle has worked with different co-operatives to showcase them and enhance community offerings. She introduced a brand ambassador program at Quinte First so all staff can speak to the benefits of co-operatives. The next question you might ask is “who has a cloning machine we can walk Michelle through a few times?!”

Congratulations Michelle, a very deserving honour!

2017 marks the 17th year of the Co-operative Spirit Awards, which recognizes both individuals and organizations, that are making a significant impact on the Ontario co-operative movement. As of October 2015, 122 Spirit Awards have been awarded.

Jessica Plenzick is 2017 Leadership Niagara Bursary Recipient

In 2014, the Ontario Credit Union Foundation opened the Leadership Niagara Community Investment Fund and annually awards a full tuition bursary to a deserving Niagara credit union leader. This year will mark Leadership Niagara’s tenth year graduating 317 community leaders and the completion of 64 community projects. The program has been the highest enrolled Community Leadership program in Canada since 2012.

OCUF is pleased to announce this year’s bursary recipient is Jessica Plenzick from FirstOntario Credit Union. Jessica is the Member Experience Manager at the Scott Street branch in St. Catharines.

She has a strong background in the financial services industry and skills in banking, coaching, sales and retail.  Jessica demonstrates a passion for helping others and as a professional, she is focused on empowering her team to uncover financial solutions for their membership. In her current role, she oversees a team of seven who strive to provide the best Member experience, guidance and support for their Members.

She is truly passionate about her work and always eager to connect with others. Jessica told us “While I enjoy all aspects of my job, the best part is working with my team and our Members to learn and understand their financial goals and work together to achieve them. As we go through this collaborative process, we understand our membership a little bit more. I strive on continuous learning to empower and teach others how to bring out the best in themselves.” 

Jessica provides leadership throughout her community by being a part of several initiatives at FirstOntario, including their volunteer Blue Wave program and student nutrition program. She is also involved with Port Weller Public School where she helps serve students breakfast. Jessica also spends time assisting new leaders by being a volunteer Dale Carnegie coach alongside the Instructor. 

Jessica we wish you well over the next ten months on the Leadership Niagara program. You will then join a growing network dedicated to ensuring a stronger, healthier, more vibrant Niagara.

Meet 2017 CU Succeed Youth Bursary Recipients

And the CU Succeed Youth Bursary recipients are…

The 2017 CU Succeed Youth Bursary awards have been distribute to this year’s successful applicants.

We present a quick snap shot to the left of many of this year’s recipients. What an amazing group of young adults they are.  The future is bright!

The selection process was demanding as we adjudicated the submitted applications. Two key considerations were financial need and engagement in the community. We often hear of the negative news involving youth in the media, but it is clear there is no shortage of talented, smart, caring and enthusiastic individuals out there who are keen to set the world on fire!

As these students start to think about the new school year, because of the efforts of our many supporters, sponsors and credit union members, they will have their financial burden eased as they apply their bursary which ranged from $1,000 to $2,500.

Thank you to our many sponsors and supporters. Congratulations to this year’s CU Succeed Youth Bursary recipients!

The results are in!

Finally after a few weeks of chasing down invoices we are able to announce the results of this year’s fundraising efforts.

We had two events this year. The CU Succeed Youth Bursary campaign ran for the first time with five credit unions contributing; Alterna, Comtech Fire, Luminus, Your Neighbourhood, and Your Credit Union.  We were assisted by CUMark, credit union marketing experts, who created content and media support for the campaign. We learned a lot from feedback from participating credit unions and others we spoke to. A key learning is to provide much more lead time for the 2018 campaign.

Shelley, Sandra, Kelly & Michelle from CUMIS

The second event was our traditional 26th Golf Classic which attracted 130 golfers and 6 painters to Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Brampton on June 12th. It was almost too hot a day, but there weren’t many complaints about the weather. CUMIS was our title sponsor again this year which we were delighted to have their support not only financially, but the return of the CUMIS volunteers to manage the registration was great! Please visit our fundraiser page to see all of our sponsors.  The event featured breakfast, lunch and a buffet dinner, along with a happy hour to network with sponsors and peers. The raffle prize table this year featured awesome prizes thanks to the generosity of many of our sponsors and guests. A big thank you to all of you who participated or contributed.

These two events combined to record a total raised of $74,900 for the CU Succeed Youth Bursary program. We are so grateful to everyone who made this achievement possible. To our golfers, painters, sponsors, supporters, and all the branch staff who participated in this year’s campaign, we say thank you! Your efforts, generosity and contributions will allow us to grow the CU Succeed Youth Bursary program, benefiting deserving post-secondary youth in Ontario.


Bursary Students Thank OCUF

Two 2016 bursary award recipients came out to help with the 26th Golf Classic. Elgin and Naomi are both credit union members who are active in giving back to their communities. Arriving at Lionhead Golf & Country club at 7 am they immediately jumped in to help set up the registration area and arrange the drinks in to ice coolers. Once the tournament got going, they jumped in a golf cart and went around the course offering Gatorade, water or pop to thirsty golfers. With 35C weather it was important to keep hydrated.

Once the golf wound up,  Elgin and Naomi sold raffle tickets during Happy Hour. They did a great job. During dinner both got up to speak about their educational plans, appreciation for the bursary awards, and the impact it had. Take a few minutes to listen to their speeches in the video to the left.

You can read Elgin’s here. Naomi’s story can be found here.

Golf & Paint Photos are Up

DUCA foursome trying anything to score!

Photos from the 26th Golf Classic are now up!

It was an incredible day. Good weather, good cause, good people!

Net proceeds from the day will benefit the CU Succeed Bursary which helps deserving post-secondary Ontario

Shelley, Sandra, Kelly & Michelle from CUMIS

students who are active in their communities. We are anxious to share the result with you once we have our final expenses from the venue. Speaking of which, Lionhead Golf & Country Club did a tremendous job hosting us for the day.

We can’t say enough, how much we appreciate all the golfers, painters, and sponsors who came out to support the event. A special shout out to the volunteers from our title sponsor CUMIS who ran our registration table. Cheryl, Kelly, Sandra and Shelley did a great job! We also very much appreciated the assistance of Erin and Naomi, two of our 2016 bursary award recipients who helped throughout the day.

Event photos of golfers and painters are now uploaded on to the OCUF website. Click here to view photos.