NOMINATED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF COMPASS CREDIT UNION
As a member of the Lee Family, Norval Lee was part of group Order of Merit award in 2012. The Compass Credit Union board quite rightly believed that his considerable leadership and contributions as an individual to the credit union system, his community, and the province merited their own award.
Norval was born into a family whose co-operative and community roots run very deep. A farmer by heritage and profession, he has been dedicated to hard work, community service, co-operative values, and family from the time he was a youngster growing up on the family farm near Erickson.
A member since the age of seven, Norval has served his local credit union since 1987, when he was elected to the board of Erickson. He served as board president from 1991 until its merger with Brandon-based Compass Credit Union in 2018, and remains on the Compass board.
Within the wider credit union system, from 2001 to 2007 Norval represented Erickson’s district on the board of Credit Union Central of Manitoba (CUCM). In addition to CUCM board committee work, while there he served as Manitoba’s delegate to The Co-operator’s Insurance, and on the board of the Wasagaming Foundation which, among other things, coordinates the annual Co-op Youth Development Camp, an event and organization for which Norval has long been a major booster and supporter. He served his local pool as member, secretary and chair for more than 25 years, and was its delegate to Manitoba Pool. He was also a director of Erickson Consumers’ Co-op for a decade.
Outside the co-operative system, Erickson and the surrounding area benefitted from his service to myriad organizations including the local Rec Centre, Lutheran Church council, the Minnedosa and Region Training Project, volunteer ambulance service, Lions’ Club, Manitoba Milk Prices Review Commission, and Crown Lands Appeals Board.
Between his community service and his working life — as owner-operator of Lee Island Farms, which he is now turning over to the next generation — Norval also found the time to successfully run for the R.M. of Clanwilliam, where he put in a decade on council and a number of its committees.
Norval has asked that the $1,000 Manitoba Credit Union Order of Merit bursary go to a student from Erickson Collegiate who is pursuing post-secondary studies in the field of agriculture, has been active in volunteering in the community and/or who has worked at our local co-op.
The bursary was awarded to Kyla Brewster, who is enrolled in the Prairie Horticulture program at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon.
NOMINATED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF FUSION CREDIT UNION
Ron Hedley was nominated for an Order of Merit award by the board of Fusion Credit Union, where he ended his career as CEO, in 2020.
Ron started his credit union journey at Rossburn in 1977, moved to St. Alphonsus (Winnipeg) as Junior Loans Officer, back to Rossburna as a loans officer, then on to Strathclair as Loans Manager and eventual general manager. In 2000 he was named CEO of Dauphin Plains Credit Union, which underwent significant growth and change during his time there, including two amalgamations: Dauphin Plains, Ethelbert and Roblin merged to form Catalyst in 2013; and, in 2018, Catalyst and Vanguard merged to create Fusion — a billion-dollar financial cooperative serving 30,000 members from branches in 18 communities.
Under Ron’s leadership, Catalyst was the recipient of numerous national marketing awards from the Canadian Credit Union Association, and Fusion was recognized as one of Manitoba's best places to work by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers in 2020 and 2021.
Throughout his career, Ron reinforced the importance of innovation, creativity, and collaboration internally and throughout the system. He did this by strengthening relationships among leadership teams, credit unions, and system providers. He encouraged the exploration of new methods, new business opportunities, and new products and services, as he knew that working together and thinking outside the box would create additional value for communities, members, employees, and businesses.
Among the many innovations he led and nurtured, initiatives promoting environmental sustainability comprise a major piece of Hedley's legacy. These include special loans for solar panel projects, providing critical support for the construction and promotion of Dauphin's first 'net zero' home, incorporating sustainability into the credit union's corporate strategic plan, the purchase of a Fusion-branded hybrid car for use in the community, and supporting and encouraging thousands of ‘acts of green' performed by employees every year.
He was also instrumental in the establishment of Clipper Credit Union, the second high school credit union in Manitoba, as well as the long-term agreement to name Dauphin’s new arena Credit Union Place.
He was consistently looking for ways to enhance and/or improve service options for members and work experience for staff, and he brought that same attitude to the wider credit union system when serving on the boards of CRI (Valeyo) and CUCM’s Management Advisory and Democratic Control Review committees.
Ron was involved in hockey and baseball, as an association volunteer or coach, in every community in which he worked, in addition to working with community service organizations and sitting on the Dauphin & District Community Economic Development board. He served on the founding boards of both Countryfest Community Cinema and the Almost New store. The Dauphin Chamber named Hedley its Businessperson of the Year in 2007.
Ron has asked that the $1,000 Manitoba Credit Union Order of Merit bursary go to a student graduating from Dauphin Regional Community Secondary School who has shown a commitment to community volunteerism.
The bursary was awarded to Jaselyn Nybo, who is pusuing a Bachelor of Nursing degree at Brandon University.