MADISON, Wis. (8/18/11)--Invest in America (IIA), a credit union growth and loyalty program that offers members discounts on consumer purchases, has been named the winner of the 2012 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Program. The award will be one of three Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented March 19 at a special dinner hosted by National Credit Union Foundation during the Credit Union National Association’s 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference. IIA was started in 2008 by CUcorp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League. CUcorp is now CU Solutions Group, a national marketing company that manages the program. Through the program, credit unions banded together to promote and support credit unions products and services and those offered by participating American-based companies, such as General Motors (GM) or Sprint. Credit union members were given discounts to the companies, which in turn drove membership growth and loyalty, said NCUF. IIA has since grown into an enhancement program helping credit unions to add vehicle loans, increase debit/credit card transactions/balances and provide non-interest income opportunities. “IIA’s success is a direct result of the support of our 46 state association partners and the thousands of credit unions that promote these offers to their members,” said MCUL President/CEO Dave Adams “We look forward to much greater success for Invest in America as credit unions continue to promote member discounts on the products of great U.S.-based companies.” IIA’s Big Ticket program aims to increase new membership and vehicle loan volume. The partnership with U.S. based companies such as GM also helps credit union members save on new vehicles. Through April, roughly 400,000 vehicles have been sold through the Big Ticket program, generating an estimated $6.4 billion in credit union vehicle loans. The National Sprint discount program from IIA saves credit union members on wireless services through lower monthly bills, waived fees, and discounts. As part of the partnership with Sprint, credit unions receive noninterest income to support their marketing expenses. Another IIA program, Membership Rewards, is designed to increase credit unions’ card transactions and balances by providing discounts on products and services. Partners in the program include Allied Van Lines, FTD, DIRECTV, TurboTax and Shop America, a new web-based mall exclusively for credit union members. Along with NCUF, Invest in America is also one of the largest independent sponsors of Biz Kid$, the Emmy Award winning and credit union-funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship. Nearly 3,000 credit unions nationwide, representing more than 70% of credit union members, support Invest in America.