During Dennis Cutter's distinguished 40-year credit union career, Cutter has promoted financial independence for credit union members on six continents.
This is the video shown at the 2006 Herb Wegner Memorial Awards, where Cutter was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award by the National Credit Union Foundation.
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During his distinguished 40-year credit union career, Dennis Cutter has personified the spirit of volunteerism on all levels of the credit union system -- local, state, national, and international.
During the late 1960s, Cutter began honing skills that have contributed to the success of his credit union today: managing costs, serving members, and developing a safe and sound organization.
In 1971, Cutter became General Manager of Spokane Railway Credit Union (now Numerica Credit Union) in Spokane, Washington. When he was hired, the credit union had just one office; $2 million in assets; 3,000 members; and six employees. After 35 years under Cutter's leadership, the credit union has 14 offices in Washington and Idaho; over $560 million in assets; 63,000 members; and 230 employees. Cutter credits much of this success to his board and staff, who continue to be very progressive in providing superior service to members.
But Cutter's impact has been felt much further. He has spent many nights and weekends away from home doing the work that he loves: volunteering to help credit unions. He has served on the boards of the Washington Credit Union League, Credit Union National Association, National Credit Union Foundation, and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
With WOCCU, Cutter visited 20 countries on six continents. Around the world, he saw first-hand how people's lives are changed through access to affordable financial services. And he found on every continent, credit unions face similar challenges: seeking better ways to add new members, market to existing members, and deal with legislation and regulation (or the lack thereof).
In his travels, Cutter exports his philosophy that everyone should have access to credit union services. His enthusiasm for economic democracy, domestically and internationally, is contagious. He has proven that financial self-sufficiency can lead to global advancement; that putting people before profit can work anywhere. He has set the standards that define successful credit union development for everyone in the movement.
Wherever Cutter goes, his friends say he has an uncanny ability to bring people together in collaborative efforts that result in outstanding accomplishments and rewarding experiences.
While Chairman of what is now the National Credit Union Foundation, Cutter helped launch four programs that are still bringing people together today:
• The People-to-People International Credit Union Society partners U.S. credit unions and leagues with national associations in developing countries.
• The annual international embassy reception in Washington attracts a worldwide audience to share cultures and discuss development issues.
• The Credit Union Development Education program motivates professionals and volunteers to advance credit unions' mission of social responsibility.
• The Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner celebrates achievements deserving the credit union movement's highest honors.
Without a doubt, no one would be celebrating the Wegner Awards today were it not for Dennis Cutter. He has touched the lives of many others in the credit union movement.
But Cutter emphasizes that there are still millions of people worldwide who don't have access to affordable financial services. To reach all the underserved citizens of the world, Cutter feels strongly that "the work of the National Credit Union Foundation and WOCCU must continue and be multiplied."
Video production done by:
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC