In honor of 42 years of servant leadership and his longtime commitment to credit union advocacy and grass roots engagement, the Dakota Credit Union Association (DakCU) Board of Directors, in cooperation and support from the South Dakota and North Dakota Governmental Affairs Committees, have renamed the GAC Scholarship as the Roger Heacock GAC-HTH Scholarship.
The newly named scholarship fund will provide financial assistance for affiliated members to attend the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) or the DakCU Legislative-Regulatory Hike the Hill (HTH).
“I believe this is an appropriate tribute to Roger’s legacy here in the Dakotas and is well-deserved recognition of his ongoing passion for credit union advocacy,” said Jeff Olson, DakCU President/CEO. “Roger truly led by example and consistently motivated others to be engaged on all fronts. More than anyone I have known, Roger understood that public opinion, policy shifts, and regulations affect how we serve our members, and that it is important and necessary for our movement to commit our time and resources to an effort that defines any policy debate on our own terms,” he added.
The purpose of the Roger Heacock GAC-HTH Scholarship is to cultivate, promote, and energize member credit union professionals and volunteers in the grassroots advocacy process. Black Hills FCU has announced it will match the association’s existing investment of $5,000 and along with the recent earnings from the online auction fundraiser held during the Summit, the Roger Heacock GAC-HTH Scholarship fund will be established with an initial balance of $15,000. DakCU will be authorized to offer up to $5,000 in scholarships each year and the balance of the fund shall never go below $3,000. Going forward, the scholarship will be supported through additional fundraising efforts generated each year at the Annual Summit meeting.
The scholarships are open to all affiliated credit union executives, staff, and volunteer members. Assistance varies each year and is based on the number of qualified applicants and funds available. Typical honorariums for the GAC scholarship range from $500 to $2,000 and scholarships for the HTH range from $500 to $1000. Criteria for the award is based on financial need and recipients will be selected from the pool of applicants, approved by the South Dakota and North Dakota Government Affairs Committees with recommendations made by DakCU’s President/CEO and Chief Advocacy Officer.
Since its initial establishment in 2009, the GAC scholarship fund has provided financial assistance to 77 credit union advocates totaling $55,000. Most of the recipients have been small credit union leaders and volunteers. Future Roger Heacock GAC-HTH Scholarship opportunities will be announced in the Memo or you may contact Jay Kruse, Chief Advocacy Officer for more information.
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