The Michigan Credit Union Foundation Announces Award Winners
The Michigan Credit Union Foundation has announced two award recipients. MCUF works cooperatively with donations to help credit unions thrive and serve Michigan communities through financial education, community reinvestment and professional development support.
Kathryn Greiner, Director of Credit Education at University of Michigan Credit Union was recognized with the Excellence in Consumer Education award. This award honors an individual or credit union for outstanding contributions and innovation in consumer financial education for both members and the community.
Greiner inspires stronger financial futures not only with UMCU’s membership and community, but also cooperatively statewide and nationwide through her instruction in the credit union’s financial counseling certification program.
Her extensive involvement and history in financial counseling and education includes 40 years in budget counseling and financial education, including tenure as president of the Credit Professionals International Organization District 5 in Ann Arbor.
Additionally, Greiner helped create the curriculum for CUNA’s Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor training and inspires many credit union professionals to help members by teaching a portion of this program nationwide. And, in 2009, she provided hope and budgeting advice to homeowners struggling with foreclosure in MCUL’s the award winning “Right At Home” video.
“Kathryn Greiner has been serving the Washtenaw community through budget counseling and financial education for more than 40 years. Her experience and sincere care for the success of others has helped UMCU develop our financial education and budget counseling services for our members and the community. She has lent her expertise to help develop more than 300 financial counselors, most in Michigan. She is a true example of the credit union spirit of ‘people helping people.’ Greiner does more than teach financial education; she helps members build a stronger financial future for them and their families,” said Harriet Hughes, Assistant Vice President of Community Relations and Education for UMCU.
Michael Balls, Wanigas Credit Union, Board Director received the Credit Union Community Volunteer Award. This award recognizes a credit union employee or member that possesses a history of exemplary volunteer service outside of the credit union system.
Balls’ extensive community involvement includes work with the Jesse Loomis Academy, a neighborhood school in their Mentoring One Student to Succeed program, One Week, One Street, a revitalization effort to improve the physical landscape, create a sense of hope and develop pride in neighborhoods, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, winner of the “Big Brother of the Year” award.
He also has 28 years of volunteer work with people that have substance abuse problems, has worked with the UAW Local 699 Civil & Human Rights Committee and the Saginaw Soup Kitchen.
Michael Balls has been a member of Wanigas CU for 38 years. Sharing in the philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ Michael began his volunteer service at Wanigas in 1997 serving on the Credit Committee for 9 years and then being elected to the board of directors.
Under his leadership, Wanigas CU helped coordinate the first annual Partners Forum on Revitalization for the City of Saginaw to provide awareness of affordable housing programs to the community. During 2012 through 2014, Wanigas CU helped 14 member families obtain $67,000 from the State of Michigan to bring their mortgages current and helped 78 member families obtain $617,000 for down payment assistance or home improvement. In 2013 Michael ran for and currently serves on the Saginaw City Council. Michael Balls gives of himself, advocates and volunteers because he’s committed to a stronger community, which is at the base of the credit union difference.
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