Inaugural John G. Murphy Award Given to The County FCU’s Dustin Graham

From left to right: The County FCU CEO Ryan Ellsworth; The County FCU Branch Manager Dustin Graham; and Interim League President Cris Wescott.

The League’s annual convention, now known as Elevate, provides an opportunity for credit union professionals from across Maine to come together collaboratively to celebrate what our movement has accomplished. An exciting component of the event that we all look forward to is when exceptional credit union staff and volunteers are recognized during the League’s Awards Ceremony.  

This year was extra special as the League introduced a new award category with the hopes of celebrating one individual within the first eight years of their credit union career that is passionate about and dedicated to advancing Maine’s credit union movement.  

The award was inspired by former Maine Credit Union League and Synergent President/CEO, John G. Murphy, who started his career with MECUL Services Corp. in the Print & Supply division in 1973. With more than 40 years of service in the credit union industry, he became a visionary leader and dedicated credit union advocate. 

Graham receives his award from Julie Marquis, CEO at Five County CU.

At Elevate, Dustin Graham, Branch Manager of The County FCU’s Caribou branch, became the first-ever John G. Murphy Rising Star Award recipient! Graham, known lovingly as Dusty by those at The County FCU, was nominated by Dennis Rogeski, Retail Services Manager, for a multitude of reasons—largely because of his constant kindness towards others and drive to go the extra mile, even for those who do not directly report to him. 

In his nomination, Rogeski expressed that “Dustin is a valuable member of the team at the credit union, and he has a passion for the credit union motto of People Helping People.” 

Graham began his credit union career with The County FCU back in May 2019 as a Mortgage Loan Officer and Consumer Lender for the Caribou location. Rather quickly, he “gained the respect and admiration of his teammates as well as management and over a three-year period developed into a fine example for his peers.” He has held the Branch Manager title since August 2022. 

Rogeski had ample kind things to say about Graham in his nomination.  

“Dustin’s role at The County FCU isn’t just a banking role,” explained Rogeski. “Dustin embodies the philosophy of People Helping People every day. He takes special care that the community members in Caribou have access to the best service possible to assist them in their financial needs. Dustin is a shining example of the credit union movement and daily leads his team in pursuit of The County FCU’s mission statement and member promise. In his role, he is building lifelong relationships that support the success of our members and the community in which he serves. Dustin makes sure that he and his team offer solutions that simplify our members’ financial lives, he makes doing business with the credit union easy, and most of all he partners with our community members to achieve financial success while working in their best interests.” 

His award nomination detailed how Graham’s work “doesn’t stop at the office.” He is deeply committed to his team, his education, and his community and strives to better all three outside of business hours. He has a master’s degree in business administration—risk management and has attended and graduated from both The Young Professionals Institute and Leadership Aroostook (2022)—two programs that are based in Aroostook County and geared towards young professional growth.  

Additionally, Graham’s heavy involvement in the community stood out. He has given his time to the following: a three-year commitment as a Financial Fitness Fair Committee member, Momentum Aroostook as a steering committee member, a Board Member of the Wintergreen Art Center, and a 14-year commitment with Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp as an Advisory Board Co-Chair/Camp Co-Director. 

“Dusty has maintained his dedication to community and his career while also starting a family as well as operating an Aroostook County small business,” shared Rogeski. “Dustin is a ‘County’ native; a loving husband to his wife, Stephanie; and a fantastic father of two small children. Dustin and his wife purchased County Kettle Corn in 2018. He and his wife’s love for popcorn and community inspired them to purchase the existing company and as a result, kept it locally based here in Aroostook County, Maine. They currently ‘pop-up’ regularly at the farmer’s market in Presque Isle as well as at a variety of Aroostook County events (approximately 20 every year).” 

Congratulations, Dustin, and thank you for being such a dedicated, driven, kind-hearted role model for the credit union industry!