ICU Foundation Perpetual Awards
Don Edwards Tribute (2012/2013)
In 2012, The Board of Directors and management at State Farm FCU established a scholarship in Don’s name to recognize his efforts in assisting the credit union to host an educational meeting for the Board and management in Washington, D.C. Don’s assistance resulted in an informative, enriching and highly valued meeting. The credit union also wanted to recognize Don for his many years of hard work on legislative and regulatory issues that impact credit unions in Illinois. His many years of experience, numerous political contacts, and diligence has made him an invaluable resource for the credit union movement. Don has been with the Illinois Credit Union League since 1974 and is currently Senior Vice President of Federal Governmental Affairs.
Additionally in 2013, Don was honored with a Commemorative Tribute Award for his service to the League. Don’s introduction to credit unions was as an Assistant Manager with Laclede-Alton Works Employees Credit Union in 1964.
He joined the Illinois Credit Union League in 1974 as a field consultant in the Southern Illinois area. He was appointed Director of Field Services in 1977 and then moved on to become Director of Resource & Information.
By 1982, Don had moved on to the legislative area becoming Director of Governmental Affairs, which included coordinating legislative affairs for state and federal credit unions, overseeing the administration of CUPAC, and League publications. In 1984, Don became the Vice President of Governmental & Public Affairs, overseeing legislative, compliance/regulatory and political action activities on behalf of credit unions. In 1992, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Federal Governmental Affairs.
Don has been a key player in such issues as the introduction of share drafts, recodification of the Illinois Credit Union Act, the Operation Grassroots Rally, CUPAC, Hike-the-Hill events, Lobby Day, legislative interviews and events, and the building of a strong statewide political action coalition.
Don is well known and respected by lobbyists and legislators both in Washington and Springfield. Throughout his career, he has dedicated his time and knowledge to promote the benefits of credit unions to the legislature, the press and the communities at large.
He has spent countless hours at Chapter meetings, credit union and League annual meetings, legislative events, board meetings, and community events to help educate, promote and support the credit unions that the League serves.
Don was honored in 2013 with a Credit Union Hall of Leaders Award that was presented to him at the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. by CUNA CEO, Bill Cheney.
Don committed a lifetime to the credit union movement and he will be remembered by those he represented and counseled so well over the last 39 years.