Linda Treen, Administration Manager at Oshawa Community Credit Union does it up right in celebrating their three members who were recently announced as CU Succeed Youth Bursary award recipients.
Linda commented, “Our members are our family, and when we have good news we like to shout it from the tree tops. We thought it would be nice to have the bursary winners hold up signs saying thank you to OCUF. I know there are many sponsors and others who contribute to the bursary which is so appreciated by these students.”
Pictured below are Kaitlyn, Janae and Daniel who were all first time recipients of the CUSYB award. Kaitlyn is starting at the University of Guelph, Janae is returning for her third year at the University of Ottawa and Daniel is also returning for his third year at McMaster University.
We wish all three a great school year. We know Oshawa Community is cheering for you too!
Two time CU Succeed Youth Bursary award recipient Ben Johnson spoke at the 28th Classic to let everyone know the impact the bursary has had on his educational pursuits. Ben has received awards in 2018 and 2019. Here are his words:
Hello everybody, my name is Ben Johnson, I am a student currently attending Brock University – I am studying Neuroscience. I am grateful to be awarded the CU Succeed Bursary last year.
My background isn’t the most pleasant, but to sum it up I had to leave home at the age of 16 because of abuse, and moved in a youth shelter. But due to my circumstances, i was determined to build myself a better life where I could be successful and contribute to society. I didn’t drop out of school, but rather continued studying hard and ended up graduating with a 93% average. Coming from a shelter was not a pleasant experience, I had to deal with the stigma and over come barriers. The only way I was going to succeed was to find a job while attending school to support myself – this meant sacrificing study time to take shifts at work, and settling for outdated textbooks since I couldn’t afford the newest edition. I also had to rely on hefty student loans to supplement tuition fees. One day, I heard about the CU Succeed Bursary, and with a hopeful mindset, completed the application. After many weeks of building anxiety, I got an email with fantastic news. Not only did the Ontario Credit Union Foundation raise enough funds to support dozens of Ontario students, but I was selected as one of them! Looking back, I sincerely and profoundly appreciate the commitment you are all making here today. Every dollar furthers the ability for students like me to build a brighter future. I now have a chance to be successful and look forward to the opportunities I will have down the road to give back to my community. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I will now be able to fulfill my dreams of attending university and would like to continue my education obtaining a Master’s Degree and eventually a PhD. I strongly believe in ‘Paying it Forward’ and one day I will be able to help someone like myself to achieve their dreams just as you helped me.
As for now, I give back and volunteer in my community and participate in extra-curricular activities at my university. At Brock I participate in student government, and am the Chair of the Governance Committee. I won an award for ‘Student Council Member of the Year’ due to my contributions. I also won the ‘Community Volunteer Award’ from Brock University’s Student Life and Community Engagement for my contributions to Brock Cares Days where I volunteer in the community with local agencies.
Thank you again for your support. Your generosity shows that you believe in the success of the next generation of future leaders.
Three time CUSYB recipient Brielle helped out at our recent fundraiser throughout the day. We asked her to tell the audience of participants, supporters and sponsors what being awared the CU Succeed Youth Bursary meant to her. Brielle received an award in 2017, 2018 and 2019! Here is her speech.
Hello everyone, my name is Brielle Kaminsky. I’m a student at Brock University and I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of the CU Succeed Bursary last year. Growing up with a single mom, there were many barriers I faced, such as financial barriers, but because of her encouragement I have always valued community and education. She instilled in me to help others in need through volunteerism. I have volunteered at places like the local YMCA and Habitat for Humanity. Recently I have been helping organize charity events at Brock as well. I also teach free music lessons to children who may not normally be able to take or afford lessons. I have always been a hardworking student, but had worries about financing a university education. Thankfully, the Ontario Credit Union Foundation offers the CU Succeed Bursary. Because of your generous contributions, OCUF has been able to provide me financial assistance so that obtaining a university degree is becoming a reality. Thank you very much for spending your time today investing in the success of students like myself. I know that your fundraising today will be life-changing for many students, as I have experienced myself, and for that I am truly grateful. Thank you for your time.
The weather didn’t cooperate, but nevertheless, we had a great afternoon of golf and cooking.
The 16 cooks prepared a great meal, (with only two cuts requiring bandages) which was donated to a local shelter, Elisa House. Their manager, Laura was early and was able to share the story of Elisa House with the group.
Our golfer numbers were understandably down this year with the threat of rain, especially for those who were travelling a long distance to join us. Those that did make it enjoyed a great afternoon with the new 12-hole format. Most finished their round or were on their last hole when the rain did begin to fall at 4 pm.
Markland Wood Golf Course did a great job accommodating us for a BBQ lunch, our Happy Hour (sponsored by DUCA) and a wonderful carved roast beef buffet (sponsored by Alterna). Many were keen to get home, or to their favourite sports bar to watch the Raptors, so the staff accommodated us by moving dinner forward by 30 minutes.
It was another full table of great raffle prizes, although we have to find a way to ensure the top prize isn’t won by the person doing the draw, eh Joanne Battaglia?! I assure you it was all above board. It did get more unreal, when we called up Edwin Leung from our auditing firm, Jones & O’Connell to draw the 50/50 prize, only to pull his own number! Now what are the changes of that happening? Edwin was gracious enough to donate his winnings back to the CU Succeed Youth Bursary fund. Thank you Edwin!
A special thanks to our three bursary recipients who helped for the day, Ben, Brielle and Jameel. Ben and Brielle shared their story of how their bursary has helped them with this past school year. For those who attended our AGM would have heard Jameel speak there.
OCUF Board Chair Dan Coldwell after thanking our sponsors this year said “I want to give an extra big shout out to our Title Sponsor Fiserv. This is the second year as title sponsor, and we are very grateful.”
Doug Childerhose from Fiserv responded ” Fiserv is proud to support the Ontario Credit Union Foundation Golf Classic and Culinary Class event as the title sponsor. We are especially pleased that our contribution helps the Foundation to fund the CU Succeed Youth Bursaries. The $100,000 being awarded this year will make a huge and positive impact on the lives of many young students. ”
Thanks to the golfers, cooks, supporters, and all our sponsors we raised an extremely impressive $68,316 for the CU Succeed Youth Bursary program. We are sincerely grateful. Mark your calendars, we are on again next year Monday, June 8, 2020!
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Craig. Jack was a lifetime member of the Ontario Credit Union Foundation and served for years on our Board of Directors. Our condolences go out to Dianne and the family.
Born in Oakville, Manitoba, he began life as a farmer but soon went back to school, earning his PhD. Jack had a long and accomplished career as a Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, becoming an internationally recognized authority in the field of co-operatives. He served on the Board of Directors of Alterna Credit Union and The Co- operators Insurance Company.
Jack was awarded the prestigious Gary Gillam Award in 2001 and inducted into the Canadian Credit Union Hall of Fame in 2003.
Jack and his wife Dianne were dedicated global travellers and visited every continent during their 60 years of marriage. Jack’s profound goodness and decency, his respect for other people and cultures, and his dedication to the betterment of humanity, served as an example to all who knew him. Jack often expressed his amazement and gratitude for the wonderful life he had led.
Jack died peacefully on May 9, 2019 after a long struggle with cancer. Much loved husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his wife Dianne, sons Brad and Robert, sister Edna, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Rest in peace Jack.
For those wishing to make a donation in Jack’s memory, you can do so here.
Ontario Credit Union Foundation is very pleased to welcome L.I.U.N.A. Local 183 Credit Union as our newest member.
L.I.U.N.A. Local 183 Credit Union, was established in February 1978, proudly serving the members of L.I.U.N.A. Local 183 Labourers Industry. They operate in two locations, serving the Greater Toronto Area and Barrie communities. Offering a strong line up of products and services, they pride themselves on their personalized customer service offered in a variety of languages.
CEO Bea Pinto commented “We are happy to join the many other credit unions who are members of OCUF, it is great to be part of the bigger team. We are also pleased to promote the CU Succeed Youth Bursary program to our members and their children.” She continued, “The Labourers’ Local 183 also have a Scholarship Trust Fund that has been awarding scholarships to hardworking members, the children and the grandchildren of Local 183 Members and Retirees since 2006. Post-Secondary Education is an important asset to have and Local 183 is dedicated to helping our students. “
OCUF Board Chair Dan Coldwell said “We welcome L.I.U.N.A. Local 183. We believe your members, and the Foundation will see mutual benefit. Together we are stronger.”
At the 40th Annual General Meeting elections were held to fill two vacancies as a resulf of George De La Rosa and Dave Schurman having reached their maximum nine year term limit.
We are pleased to announce Joanne Battaglia was elected to a three-year term.
Joanne Battaglia is a strategic marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in retail, B2B and the financial services industry. She has held senior Marketing positions with such companies and Dylex, Diversy, Kodak, CUMIS and Canadian Tire Financial Services. She joined FirstOntario Credit Union in 2011 as Director of Marketing & Product Strategy and held this role for several years. In 2018, she was promoted to the role of Vice President Marketing, Communications & Community Partnerships. In this role, Joanne leverages her marketing expertise, passion for community social responsibility and innovative approach to business to create impact in the communities that FirstOntario serves.
Joanne is active in the community, and is regularly seen supporting FirstOntario’s corporate sponsorship at various community events. She also serves as Vice- President on the Stoney Creek Chamber board, Director on St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation board and Director on the Hamilton Bulldogs Foundation.
Joanne resides in Stoney Creek with her husband, and as two children off attending university and pursuing their dreams.
Adam Kirilo was also elected to a three-year term.
Adam Kirilo is the Vice President of Operations & Finance at Luminus Financial. He started in the Credit Union idustry in 2006, joining the Audit Committee for Food Family Credit Union. Adam became Chair of the Board and an instrumental voice to lead merger discussions as his vision and determination proved influential amongst the other Directors. Adam continued his leadership on the Board as FFCU joined Luminus Financial in 2011. As Luminus Financial grew, its development fostered interest from Adam to join the Senior Management Team; to which he stepped down from the Board in early 2014 to live the dream of working for his Credit Union on a daily basis.
Adam is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. He led the integration of an enterprise content management system, Laserfiche, and helped earn Luminus Financial a Run Smarter Award for Best Human Resources Initiative at the 2017 Laserfiche Empower Conference. He has governed a handful of minor sports organizations but currently enjoys watching his son play high level baseball and his daughter skate across the ice.
The OCUF Board is pleased to announce Frugina Ball, Region Head, Member Experience, Greater Toronto Area for Alterna Savings, was elected to the role of Vice Chair of the Board following the Annual General Meeting on March 28th.
Board Chair Dan Coldwell commented “Frugina joined our Board in 2017. She brings a commitment to strengthen the OCUF value proposition. Her enthusiasm is infectious! We welcome her experience and wisdom on the Executive Committee.”
Frugina joined Alterna in 2013. Prior to that she worked for two decades with one of Canada’s premier financial institutions fulfilling a District Vice President role, as well as Vice President and Market Lead for their Wealth Management division. Frugina holds a MBA from Queens University.
Alterna President & CEO Rob Paterson has this to say, “Frugina is a talented leader. She is able to connect well with her team and gains trust easily. She navigates the organization well, building strong relationships and getting the best out of everyone. She commits to achieving excellence in her role and achieves it.”
Fellow Board Director Elisabeth van der Pol from WFCU Credit Union was very pleased with the election of Frugina to Vice Chair. “Frugina brings a lot to our Board. Her common-sense approach to issues and the creative way she looks at opportunities inspires her fellow Directors.”
Joanne Battaglia, Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Community Partnerships at FirstOntario Credit Union and Adam Kirilo, Vice President of Operations & Finance at Luminus Financial were both elected to three-year terms.
Ontario Credit Union Foundation inducted three new “Friend of the Foundation” recipients to our hall of fame.
Over the years, OCUF has recognized individuals and organizations who have contributed significantly to our Foundation. An award is not necessarily given each year. The recipients join a list of very impressive contributors to the Foundation. Our first award was presented in 1992, and since then we have made 40 appointments. We have awarded 10 Friend of the Foundation awards to organizations, and 30 to individuals.
This year we recognized three individuals. Elisabeth van der Pol from WFCU Credit Union officiated the inductions.
Two of our inductees, Dave Schurman (FirstOntario) and George De La Rosa (Luminus Financial) are stepping down from the OCUF Board of Directors having reached their nine-year term limit. Dave and George have been active supporters, cheerleaders, and ambassadors of OCUF. They have steered the strategic direction of the Foundation while ensuring programs were efficiently implemented. Dave served for six years as Secretary/Treasurer, and the last three years as Vice Chair. Both have served on various Board committees either as a member or Chair. Three years ago, George was instrumental in the launch of the CU Succeed Youth Bursary, working closely with an external marketing agency and the Executive Director. We are going to miss them.
Our third inductee is someone who’s name was synonymous with OCUF. She was the face of the Foundation for a decade. Her smile, gregarious personality, and loud laugh enamoured her to anyone she encountered. She managed the affairs of the organization working closely with Tony Niessen for nine years, and for one year with Clayton. It seemed that she knew everyone in the Credit Union space in Ontario as well as major industry suppliers. She is now a key team player with PenFinancial. Of course, we are talking about the incredible Devon Rowan.
We are very grateful for the many years of service provided by Dave, George and Devon. Congratulations on formally being recognized as a Friend of the Foundation!
The Ontario Credit Union Foundation announces PenFinancial Credit Union was selected as the 2019 Outstanding Corporate Achievement Award recipient. The award is present annually to a member credit union in recognition of their contribution to the community.
OCUF Board Director Kevin Connolly stated, “Our intent is to recognize community impact, which can take many forms. Our review process involves assessing the submission in five key areas: Description of Community Investment, Community Impact, Recognition Received, Submission Presentation, and Power of “the story.” As in past years, the quality of our submissions was very high, making it a challenge to select a winner.”
Fellow adjudicator, Scott Windsor praised, “Congratulations on your Truly Local Commitment strategy and program. It clearly differentiates your brand and is grounded in “the difference of being local” that has come to define credit unions.”
CEO Ken Janzen accepted the award on behalf of PenFinancial, then introduced a short video he called their “Rally Cry” which outlined their commitments to their staff, members and market area.