Vantage West Credit Union, southern Arizona’s largest credit union, won 1st Place in the 2017 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award and Louise Herring Philosophy-In-Action Member Service Award (Over $1B Asset Category). These awards recognize credit union initiatives showcasing involvement in the community and a commitment to helping  members.

The Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) sponsored the awards, which were presented on October 18, during the International Credit Union Day celebration held by the Southern Arizona Chapter of Credit Unions.

“Vantage West is committed to fostering thriving communities and serving the needs of our membership. We believe that when our members and the communities thrive, we thrive. It is in this spirit that we embark on collaborative efforts that benefit both our membership and the communities we serve,” said Robert D. Ramirez, Vantage West President and CEO.

The Dora Maxwell Award, inspired by credit union pioneer Dora Maxwell, is given to a credit union for performing noteworthy social responsibility projects within the community.

For its winning entry, Vantage West partnered with Children’s Clinics of Southern Arizona in holding a “Holiday Toy Drive to Remember.” The toy drive benefited children of families living below poverty level, who otherwise would not have had Christmas presents. As a result of the generosity of credit union employees and members, Vantage West collected toys for more than 2,000 children for the holidays.

The Louise Herring Award recognizes a credit union’s efforts to materially improve members’ lives through internal programs and services that mirror the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.” The award is given in honor of Louise Herring, an active supporter, organizer and champion of credit unions who believed credit unions should work in a practical manner to better peoples’ lives. 

Vantage West won the Louise Herring Award for its involvement in an Anti-Skimming Alliance with the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures Division and law enforcement. The Alliance was formed in response to the alarming number of card skimmers found last year in Arizona gas pumps. In the summer of 2016 alone, Vantage West helped identify 13 locations with more than 26 skimmers between Tucson, Casa Grande and Phoenix, and helped prevent nearly $200,000 in fraudulent activity.

As state-level winners of the Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring Awards, Vantage West’s entries will move forward to compete with other top entries for national recognition. National winners will be announced at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference in February 2018.

2017 has been a big year for Vantage West, as the credit union was recently named Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Credit Union of the Year and also won a record number of awards, including Best Bank/Credit Union in a local publication’s Readers’ Choice Awards poll.