Sunmark Federal Credit Union’s program wins Herring Award from New York Credit Union Association

Speed Savings wins first place for embodiment of credit union philosophy

(Latham, N.Y.)  Sunmark Federal Credit Union’s unique event called “Speed Savings” was awarded  first place for the Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award, for credit unions (asset category $250million) in New York state from the NY Credit Union Association (NYCUA.)

Billed as similar to speed dating, both Sunmark members and non-members had an opportunity to sign up for a one-hour time slot in which they met with Sunmark experts or affiliates in four main areas: home loans, investments, insurance, and a loan officer.

“We are honored to be recognized for Speed Savings,” said Sunmark Interim CEO Frank DeGraw.   “The Louise Herring award is such a special honor that speaks to the creativity of our team and their desire to create an approachable and personalized financial literacy program for our members as well as the greater community.  The program was particularly appealing and successful because the time commitment was brief, the location was convenient, and even more importantly, participants walked away with an action plan.” 

Speed Savings, offered in the fall of 2014 and back by popular demand in the spring of 2015, helped attendees understand and improve their overall financial picture and explained financial services that Sunmark offers.

Moving forward, Speed Savings will be offered at least twice each year.

While Sunmark staff often review credit reports with members, at no cost, to help identify savings, this is normally a one-on-one activity that requires follow-ups in multiple areas. At Speed Savings, participants had an opportunity to meet directly with each of the staff members they would normally interact with through follow-ups and to hear from all of them at one time.
Speed Savings promotes ongoing education, social responsibility, and service to credit union members. With no obligation to take part in any of the savings plans proposed, this low-pressure setting allowed participants to gain a better understanding of their finances – and how to improve their financial situations.

In opening the event not just to its own members but the entire Capital Region, Sunmark focused on bettering the social and economic standing of the entire community, demonstrated their dedication to the credit union philosophy of people helping people, and confirmed their commitment to financial education.

The award was named for Louise Herring, who was an original signer of CUNA’s (Credit Union National Association) constitution when she was an Ohio delegate to the 1934 national credit union conference in Estes Park, CO. She saw credit unions as more than just financial institutions and believed they should work to better people’s lives.  The Herring Award is given to a credit union demonstrating the internal application of credit union philosophy to help better financial matters and to increase financial education for its members.  

Sunmark’s Speed Savings event is unique to North America and is only being done on a limited basis throughout the world and was featured in the October 2014 issue of Credit Union Magazine.


About Sunmark Federal Credit Union:
Since 1937, Sunmark Federal Credit Union ($470 million in assets; 48,000+ members) has been helping members in the greater Capital Region community improve their financial position by offering a full range of mortgages, insurance products, retirement accounts and of course, savings and checking.  Sunmark is committed to the financial health and well-being of each member by offering tools that educate and inform and products and services that make it easier to reach financial goals such as planning a budget, saving for a home, repairing  credit or getting out of debt. For more information, call 518-382-0605 or visit www.sunmarkfcu.org.

About the  New York Credit Union Association:
Founded in 1917, NYCUA provides credit unions with a full range of services including education and training, advocacy, community outreach, human resources and compliance. The charitable arm of the Association, the New York Credit Union Foundation, serves credit unions, schools and community organizations through financial education programs, grants and special projects. NYCUA has served as the trade association for New York State’s credit unions for 96 years. New York credit unions have assets of more than $65 billion and serve 4.9 million members.


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