Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame
When we hear the words Halls of Fame, images of famous people and distinguished landmarks come to mind. We immediately think about heroes like Ernie Banks in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Football patrons visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton recalling the famous Joe Namuth. Basketball fans honor Jerry West in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hockey spectators recall Bobbie Hull when touring the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth. These individuals have become American heroes to their audiences.
The actual locations of these halls of fame have become landmarks. Consider places like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. A trip to New York City is not complete without a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Our wild west heritage is remembered when we visit the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. Each hall of fame has been established to pay homage to those who have made a special contribution in their respective fields.
Hundreds of people have made significant contributions to The Credit Union Movement in Illinois. Many of these individuals have already received numerous honorariums. Their achievements have been noted by their own chapters, by the league and by CUNA. They have given tirelessly to advance the progress of credit unions.
We now have a permanent, prominent place for our credit union champions to be recognized for their lifelong achievements. It is located in the foyer of the Illinois Credit Union League headquarters in Naperville. All of the inductees have their names inscribed on the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame Plaque. A brief biographical sketch of each person is also on continuous display. Credit union supporters may pay tribute to those who have led the way to action.
The concept of the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame was suggested by John Fiore, chair of the ICUL board. It was developed and approved by the Credit Union Support Group, a standing committee of the league board in 1995.
Those who are being inducted into the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame have given of their time, talents and ingenuity. Surely these were very creative human beings who enhanced the progress of credit unions. Many of these pioneers dedicated their lives to organizing and running credit unions, chapters or leagues.
Each person honored in the premier Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame has made valuable contributions to the Credit Union Movement. Some contributed daily by constant efforts in a single credit union. Others organized multiple credit unions. A few led legions to launch credit unions in every part of this state and the nation.
These pioneers have paved the way for new volunteers to continue this important work. They have shown us that a lot of little things can add up to greatness. They did not seek the spotlight or wait for one shining moment. They became volunteers and were involved!
They were ordinary individuals from all walks of life. They were attorneys, bus drivers, printers, postal workers, professors and political leaders. Human beings who did extraordinary things to help people that mattered to them. These credit union leaders were full of zeal and had a passion for credit unions.
As we reflect upon their accomplishments and honor them, let us sense a renewal of our common mission to spread the spirit. The next accomplishment depends on your continued involvement.