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AACUC Hall of Fame ceremony shows the heart and dedication of credit union leaders

Thursday, August 8, 2019   (0 Comments)
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AACUC 2019 Hall of Fame inductees

The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) welcomed four more credit union leaders into its 2019 Hall of Fame during an induction program and reception at the organization’s 21st Annual Conference on August 7 in Charlotte, NC. The AACUC inducts honorees into its Hall of Fame twice a year. Once at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference and again at the AACUC Annual Conference.

This summer’s honorees include Sandra DeVoe Bland, Janet McDonald, Joan Nelson, and Ed Presnell.

CCUL President/CEO Dan Schline with the 2019 AACUC Hall of Fame honorees and Renée Sattiewhite, executive director of AACUC.

Schline with honorees Joan Nelson and Sandra DeVoe Bland at the awards ceremony.

SRP FCU showed up in droves to support their honoree Sandra DeVoe Bland.

Sandra DeVoe Bland is board chairman of SRP Federal Credit Union – one of the largest credit unions in South Carolina with assets of over $1 billion. She became the credit union’s first female and African-American chairman in March of 2018. A synonymous focus throughout her career is a dedication to empowering the local community by promoting economic growth, personal financial literacy, educational opportunities, and biblical financial principles.

For over 25 years, Joan Nelson has volunteered for and served on Coastal Credit Union’s Board of Directors which she has chaired since 2012. Her passion, dedication and leadership has guided Coastal through many innovative initiatives such as the development of Personal Teller Machines, the creation of the Coastal Credit Union Foundation and its award-winning Power of Sharing gala and, most recently, the launch of a new CUSO, Constellation Digital Partners.

“I was recruited by a board member who wanted to ensure that there was someone to continue his legacy of focus on diversity and inclusion. To be awarded by this organization is very fulfilling to me because I feel like I’m honoring the challenge that I was given,” Coastal CU Board Chair Joan Nelson shared in accepting her award. “You don’t do doing something for 25 years because you have to. You do it because you’re passionate about it and you believe in it.”

Janet McDonald, retired senior sales market manager for CUNA Mutual Group, has been instrumental to the AACUC over the years. Together with FAMU Federal Credit Union President/CEO Sheilah Montgomery, they created the AACUC’s Financial Reality Fair for teens – a program running seven years to date. McDonald also advocated for CUNA Mutual Group to be a key partner for the AACUC which paved the way for more major vendor support. Now in retirement, she looks forward to devoting more time to the AACUC.

As Peach State Federal Credit Union regional business executive, Ed Presnell oversees the credit union’s business development and market presence in Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC areas. An Asheboro, NC native, his career in the credit union movement spans over a decade. He has served the community in a variety of ways, holding leadership roles for several civic organizations including his current role as AACUC board treasurer. The AACUC is an organization he reveres passionately in his heart.

A special guest at the Hall of Fame ceremony, Carolinas Credit Union League President and CEO Dan Schline also shared remarks and accolades to this year’s inductees.

“Congratulations to Janet, Joan, Sandra, and Ed for this well-deserved recognition,” said Schline. “Each of you has a strong connection to the Carolinas and the Carolinas League, and your work has certainly made our credit union system stronger and our communities better places to live.”


About the AACUC Hall of Fame

On October 16, 2008, the AACUC unveiled an exhibit featuring African Americans in the credit union movement the first 100 years at the America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, N.H. Continuing with that effort, the Funding Development Committee created the African American Credit Union Hall of Fame. This virtual hall of fame was created to accomplish two goals: One, to honor and recognize African Americans who have and are contributing to the credit union movement--many who are unsung heroes and trailblazers. To be inducted you must have accomplished or achieved the following: provided in excess of 10 years of service in the credit union industry; worked to provide financial services for people in general; and identify at least four (4) significant accomplishments, which benefited African-Americans’ access to financial capital.

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