League Awards Program – A Winner and Nominator’s Perspective

With the League’s 85th Annual Convention right around the corner, we are getting closer to recognizing our wonderful credit union peers through our awards program. We look forward to this time every year when we get to celebrate the meaningful work our outstanding credit union community is doing across the state. It’s not too late to nominate someone you think is exceptional!

Please consider nominating your CEO, a colleague, or credit union volunteer who makes a difference in the Maine credit union movement. Nominations are being accepted for the following awards until March 17:

  • James M. Gratto Award – Outstanding Credit Union CEO
  • Alexander Ferguson Award – Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer
  • Jeannette G. Morin Award – Outstanding Credit Union Employee
  • Diane L. Oceretko Award – People Helping People

Casco FCU’s Patty Kenney with her award at the 2022 League Annual Convention.

These awards highlight our shared People Helping People philosophy in action by recognizing staff and volunteers who carry out this principle daily. After taking home the win for the Diane L. Oceretko Award at Convention last year, Patty Kenney from Casco FCU shared her perspective about being chosen as the recipient.

“To be nominated for this award meant so much,” reflected Kenney. “I live by the credit unions’ philosophy of People Helping People and to be honored for doing my job was overwhelmingly humbling. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey: my family, Casco’s members, and most of all my Casco family. I have had the honor of working for Casco FCU for 28 years and I feel blessed every day I get to come to work.”

Kenney was nominated to win this award by her coworker, Kelsey Gillespie, who understood the passion, commitment, and drive Patty continuously demonstrates with everything she does.

“We wanted to nominate Patty for the Diane L. Oceretko Award because she truly is one of the most caring and compassionate people in the Maine credit union industry,” explained Gillespie. “She has spent the last 28 years of her career here at Casco FCU working tirelessly to make our community a better place. This award was just one small way that we could give her the recognition she deserves and show her how much we appreciate everything she does.”

Kenney shares that winning the prestigious award was an extremely proud moment. She felt there were so many other deserving credit union employees around the state, and was truly surprised she was even nominated.

During the awards ceremony, her colleagues at Casco FCU could not wait for her reaction.

“We were ecstatic when we found out Patty won her award,” said Gillespie. “We kept it a secret that we even nominated her, so we knew it would be a huge surprise to her when she won. Our team couldn’t wait to see her reaction and it was so worth it. She couldn’t believe she won, even after watching a whole video of us talking about her.”

The annual awards are an extremely rewarding program to be a part of and engage in. Oftentimes, busy schedules and never-ending to-do lists keep us moving, but it’s important to take time to reflect on all the good being done by peers around the state—even around your own branches! Nominating someone is a great way to acknowledge their efforts and make them feel special when they continue to be remarkable at what they do.

“I would highly encourage others to nominate their peers for the great work they do,” exclaimed Gillespie. “The credit union movement is so special because we are made up of really hard-working, kind folks that truly care about the well-being of their staff, members, and communities. We all think there’s bigger, better people out there doing more important work than we are, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The work done at Maine’s credit unions each day is invaluable to those we serve. We should celebrate that!”

Nominating a peer for one of these awards requires only a small amount of time and is extremely worthwhile.  To submit your nomination(s), please complete the 2023 nomination form. Completed forms can be sent to Jordan Inkley by email at jinkley@mainecul.org. Please keep in mind, the deadline to submit a nomination is next Friday, March 17! When submitting your nomination, please include as much detail as possible.

“The nomination process was quick and easy,” said Gillespie. “We filled out an easy-to-follow form with questions about the work Patty does. Plus, the League was great about helping us with any questions we had.”

Award winners will be announced at the Convention’s evening program on Friday, May 19. If you have any questions regarding the annual awards, please email Jordan Inkley.