The winner of Credit Union Magazine’s 14th annual Credit Union Hero of the Year is Cheryl Deborde, president/CEO of Members Choice Credit Union, Ashland, Ky. The Credit Union Hero Award recognizes a future-focused credit union professional for exemplifying the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”

“Credit Union Heroes always reflect a commitment to the community beyond the doors of the credit union,” says Todd Spiczenski, CUNA chief products and services officer. “Members Choice President/CEO Cheryl Deborde is no exception, with her passion for helping people and not expecting anything in return. She’s the perfect example of what a Credit Union Hero should be.”

“Cheryl Deborde at Members Choice deserves to be recognized as a Credit Union Hero for her commitment to taking care of people through service and financial education,” said, Shanon McLachlan, president of Symitar®. “Leaders like Cheryl are why people choose credit unions; they appreciate the hands-on, people-first approach to banking and support for their community. The industry’s people-helping-people philosophy is not only about giving back but educating the community on how to make a real difference in their financial lives like Members Choice has.”

Other heroes are:

  • Nick Kessenich, retired president of Members First Credit Union, Madison, WI
  • Bill Lawton, president/CEO of Community Financial Credit Union, Plymouth, MI
  • Val Mindak, president/CEO of Park City Credit Union,  Merrill, WI