Somethings are destined to get embedded in our memories. Who doesn’t know what you are referring to when you say nine eleven? Acronyms, letters and numbers combine to represent milestones in our history. WWII is such a marker. So too is COVID-19. The coronavirus a fortnight ago was a topic of concern and viewed by many as a problem some distance away. Others referred to it as a hoax or media embellishment. Not the case only a short number of days later. How quickly things can change!

People who didn’t understand the concept of exponential growth, now do. Each is now a variable in the equation. New terms sprang up, self-isolation and social distancing. Many are taking the pandemic seriously, others not so much.

Many companies have directed staff to work from home. Thankfully technology makes it an option for many. Some industries and sectors don’t have this luxury. Personal services, retail, bar and restaurant workers are being hit hard. Airline, hotel and related travel employees are nervous with layoffs pending. The stock market down 30 percent. The economy is getting squeezed. Hard.

Our healthcare professionals are our new superheroes. Front line staff are masking up and keeping hospital and clinic doors open. Researchers, virologists, chemists, infectious disease specialists are working overtime researching medical and social policy countermeasures.

This post started as a prelude to explain the cancellation of our Foundation’s AGM in April due to COVID-19 concerns. I digressed. A lot.

Wash your hands, don’t touch your face. Stay home if you can. Be smart. This is about you, your family, your neighbours, your co-workers, and everyone we share this planet with. Let’s look out for each other.

A final thought. When will toilet paper be back on the shelf? (Asking for a friend)

Recognizing Legacy Funds

The OCUF Board of Directors review our numerous donor funds on an annual basis to ensure we are administering the funds in the spirit in which they were established and to ensure compliance with CRA requirements.

As part of the annual review, three funds had fallen dormant and it was decided to amalgamate these funds into the CU Succeed Your Bursary Fund as the funds had encouraged educational support. The CU Succeed Youth Bursary Permanent Capital Fund was established in 2019 to recognize the foundation’s 40 years serving the credit unions of Ontario. The fund assists post-secondary students in pursuing their academic, vocational, or technical education.

We didn’t want to let these fund legacies go without recognition.

The Gary Gillam Memorial Fund was established in 1988 by the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES). In 1994, the name of the fund was changed in memory of Gary Gillam, CEO of Universities and Colleges Credit Union, who died in 1993.

The Norman Alexander Memorial Bursary Fund was established in 1987 with funds donated in the will of Eileen Taylor Alexander to honour her late husband, Norman Alexander, the fund’s initial purpose was to provide scholarships to aid young men who are without fathers to help further their education.

The George Currie Memorial Fund was established in 1997 by the Hamilton & District Credit Union in memory of George Currie, a strong supporter of the credit union for many years. We are always open to discussing the establishment of permanent capital or community investment funds for your credit union or cooperative.

2020 CU Succeed Youth Bursary Campaign

Spring may not yet be here, but it isn’t too early to be thinking about CU Succeed Youth Bursaries for your members! This year we will be awarding $75,000 to deserving post-secondary students. We fund these bursaries in two ways. The first is from the Golf Classic in June, the other is involvement by credit unions in the CUSYB Campaign.

Again this year, we are asking Credit Unions to join forces and have some fun raising funds for the bursaries. The details of the 2020 Campaign are now available. Over the past two years, credit unions contributed $23,383 to the campaign! We know Alterna is already talking it up with their branches!

This is a great opportunity to have some fun in your branches and head office departments, while supporting a great cause. The good news is, this is a campaign in a box. It is all set out for you. We can set up a dedicated donation page on our website for your members and staff to use. There is a branch guide you can download with different ideas to consider. Click here for more information on the campaign.

Mike Shepherd – Lifetime Achievement Award

We were excited to learn Mike Shepherd was recently announced as the Milton Chamber of Commerce 2019 Community Awards recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations Mike! This award is presented to a community leader who lives in and has participated in the progression and success of the Town of Milton for a minimum of 20 years. Further, “the individual has devoted themself continuously throughout their lifetime and has a resume full of contributions and achievements in a variety of different facets.”

Mike was born and raised in Milton. A lifetime credit union member, Mike Shepherd’s credit union leadership journey began 33 years ago when he was first appointed President and CEO of Prosperity ONE Credit Union.  

Mike was a recipient of the Alan Marentette Manager of the Year award in 2008 (by the Ontario Credit Union Managers Association). He was recognized as the Milton Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Business Person of the Year. In 2008 and 2011 he was a Top Ten Fundraiser for the MS Super Cities Walk. In 2012 Mike and Prosperity ONE Credit Union received the OCUF Outstanding Corporate Achievement Award. Mike was also a proud recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Mike believes in the values and principles of the credit union movement, one that is grounded in respect, appreciation and a mutually beneficial relationship with its members.  Mike is a Board Director with FirstOntario and a lifetime member of OCUF.

29th Golf Classic Announced

We are excited to announce the date and location of the 29th Golf Classic. It will be held on Monday June 8, 2020 at The Club at Bond Head.

The Club at Bond Head offers the ultimate golf experience just minutes west of Highway 400, a few kilometres north of Aurora, Ontario. Two magnificent courses, designed by the renowned firm of Hurdzan-Fry, are presided over by a palatial clubhouse.

We will be playing the South Course, a links-style track, with wide fairways, gaping bunkers and fescue roughs. You might want to bring your Scottish accent to feel at home here!

The past two years we have held the Golf Classic in Toronto to make it a bit more centralized. This year we have gone north of Toronto to make it easier to get to for those traveling the 401 coming in from the east or west. Anyone coming out of Toronto will be against the flow of rush hour.

The 12-hole format was well received last year and will be repeated at this year’s event.  More information will follow on sponsorship opportunities and registration.

Over the past four years, this event has helped fund the CU Succeed Youth Bursary which has awarded $286,000 to 191 students.

Shane Chipman Leader of the Year

PenFinancial Commercial Manager Shane Chipman was recognized with the Alan Marentette ‘Leader of the Year’ award at the annual CULA conference held in Niagara-On-The-Lake in September. Shane’s wife Terri was on hand for the presentation.

“Shane is a committed and hard-working member of the PenFinancial team who consistently demonstrates a high level of care for the membership and Credit Union. He truly leads by example, and is able to build and foster strong relationships both with the membership and his peers. Shane builds up those around him and is a great example of what it means to be a leader.” – Matt Price, Branch Manager, PenFinancial Credit Union

Recipients of the Alan Marentette Leader of the year Award demonstrate high standards of leadership within their Credit union, the Credit union system and their community. CULA’s mission statement, “To actively promote and work towards a strong and professional Credit Union system through education, communication and networking opportunities.”, the successful candidate is selected based on the contributions of the individual to serve those around them.

Along with the award, a $500 donation is made by CULA on their behalf to the Ontario Credit Union Foundation (for which we are very grateful).