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.