Excellence in Technology Awards

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Credit union technology professionals know that finding the right solution to a problem or situation often is determined by understanding and developing the best approach to accomplish those issues. While there may be no right way or wrong way to face a technology challenge, there is most certainly a BEST way!

Identifying these new approaches and recognizing their universal application to credit unions nationwide is the purpose of the CUNA Technology Council's Excellence Awards.

We invite you to submit your practices in the following strategic categories:

  • Technology Infrastructure – Describe the technical and procedural environment that allows the infrastructure to be safely accessed by authorized parties, how the system is monitoring this access, and the current/future storage management capabilities of the system.
  • Information Security/Privacy – Describe the technical and procedural environment that minimizes the possibility of unauthorized access to member information from both internal and external sources. Place emphasis upon the authentication, regulatory compliance, security, and privacy technologies employed.
  • Member Service/Convenience – Describe the technical environment and system integration technology(ies) that allow new/existing members to open accounts/loans or receive information on existing accounts/loans across all delivery channels. Operational improvements such as the implementation of online chat using text or video to improve member service may be considered. Place emphasis on how these technologies benefit both members externally and employees internally using the system.
  • Sales Management/Marketing Automation - Describe the automated system environment that manages member information and creates personalized product offers based upon member data and the use of business development software for sales lead planning and tracking, software to measure and monitor marketing return on investment, customer / member relationship strategies and accomplishments, and promotion via the use of electronic methods such as search engine optimization, email marketing, and ads via mobile banking. Document how the system manages the member information database and creates, delivers and fulfills the offers. Place emphasis on how these systems benefit both members externally and employees internally using the system.

  • Leadership - Describe excellence in leading, mentoring, or other aspects of leadership of an individual IT within the credit union; or using technology to provide leadership in another dept. within the credit union or the entire credit union toward some positive change and benefit; or providing leadership to other credit unions or the entire credit union industry. The entry can be for an individual or a group within the credit union.
  • Miscellaneous – This is the category for any technology success story you have that does not fit the other categories. It could involve an application, service to members or users, unique technology solutions, cost savings or anything else you feel qualifies as a best practice.

The Selection Process

A panel of CUNA Technology Council members and Executive Committee members will judge the entries and select an Excellence Award winners in the categories above. Selection will be based on candidates' strategy, process, application and results. Recipients will be selected without regard to credit union asset size.

Winner Recognition

Excellence Award winners will be recognized at the Annual CUNA Technology Council Conference, dates and location as announced each year.

Winners will receive one complimentary conference registration, and are expected to attend the conference to accept the Excellence Award. Winners will be featured in a press release, CUNA News Now and featured on the CUNA Technology Council website.

Entry Criteria

  • You must be a member of the CUNA Technology Council to submit an entry.
  • Credit unions cannot submit a project using a service or product of a CUSO that is owned by their credit union.
  • Project(s) must have occurred prior to the entry deadline of the current calendar year and have at least substantially, if not completely, occurred within the last 12 months and not in years prior to that 12 month period.
  • Entry(s) must be received no later than July 11 of the current calendar year.
  • The award winner or a representative must be in attendance at that calendar year’s CUNA Technology Council Conference to accept their Excellence Award.
  • If applicable, entrant may submit an entry in more than one category. However, the entrant must complete the appropriate entry forms for each category.

How to Enter

The entry form and worksheet pertaining to your category must be completed and submitted online. The steps below outline exactly how to enter.

  • Register an Account
  • Create Your Entry
  • Upload Digital Files
  • Submit Entry
To LOGIN use this link

Include the following information:

With your completed entry form, upload a minimum of three pages of text narrative and any supporting documentation that identifies the strategic challenge your credit union faced and details the solution you found. Describe the unique and/or challenging circumstances under which you were forced to perform and the results—both financial and otherwise—you were able to achieve. Specifically:

  1. Explain in detail a specific (or series of related) project/activity that provided extraordinary results for your credit union. List the specific goals and results of the project/activity.
  2. List three specific examples of how this practice contributed to the success of your credit union.
  3. Provide any additional relevant information to support your entry.

Your entry must be received no later than July 11 of the current calendar year to be considered.

If you have questions about the entry procedures, please contact CUNA Council Administration at 800-356-9655, ext. 4018 or

If you have questions about the Excellence Award categories, please contact Robert Reh at 516-240-1257 or


The Excellence Awards is highly valued as a measure of best practice among our peers. The award means we have been recognized as having made a positive contribution to our organization in a meaningful way that can be shared with others in our industry. I encourage credit unions to apply for the CUNA Technology Council Excellence Award. By applying you contribute to our collective industry knowledge, you will reap the knowledge shared by others in the process and you can gain insight into your current practices by benchmarking among your peers. It’s a great opportunity to share cost effective and impactful program developments that work in small and large credit unions.

Craig Cole
Executive Vice President/CIO
OSU Federal

The Best Practice Awards are important because they are a vehicle to something greater.  Credit Unions throughout the country are often dealing with the same, similar problems but because of our individual uniqueness, we often seek out solutions alone.  You have the opportunity to not only receive recognition and affirmation on how you, your team, and your credit union found the better path or solution, but ultimately may have found that elusive ‘thing’ that others are still seeking.  Best practices are just that, opportunities for others to take what you discovered and apply it to their environment and benefit their members.  The idea that the hard work of a few could so positively impact others is at the core of why I think everyone should submit their best practices.  Not only do you get the recognition by your peers that what you did is unique or innovative, but that by sharing it, you made everyone else that much better because they now know of it.

Cary Tonne
Vice President of Information Technology
Affinity Plus FCU

It's always nice to get a “pat on the back” for work well done.  The Best Practice Award represents validation from an unbiased third party panel of judges regarding “thought leadership” and effective implementation of credit union best practices.   The Best Practice Award reassures us that we are on the right track and are doing things well.

The accomplishments of many people may never get noticed due to the fact that best practice implementations are often done in the background and those responsible may not think of themselves as the inventor of a best practice. Take an inventory of your accomplishments and let the world know what you've done.

Dan McGowan
Envision CU

View Past Award Winners