WASHINGTON (11/19/13)--Credit union movement luminary Harriet May will be rewarded for her four decades of service when she is inducted into the 2014 Cooperative Development Foundation's (CDF) Cooperative Hall of Fame on May 7.
Harriet May is shown here as she addresses the 2012 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference as she prepares to exit the CUNA board chairman post. (CUNA Photo)
May is a former president/CEO of Government Employees CU, El Paso, Texas, and a former Credit Union National Association board chairman. Upon her retirement from GECU, she was named president emerita.
Rural utilities leader Martin J. Lowery, international leader Papa M.D. Sene and cooperative financer Barry Silver will also be inducted during the 2014 Cooperative Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the National Press Club.
"The roster of the Cooperative Hall of Fame tells the story of the U.S. cooperative community through the lives and accomplishments of extraordinary individuals. Induction to the Cooperative Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made genuinely heroic contributions to the cooperative community," CDF Board Chair Gasper Kovach, Jr., said.
May began working at Government Employees CU in 1974 and was promoted to CEO in 1996. During her tenure, May helped GECU double its asset size to more than $1.8 billion with more than 300,000 members. Under her leadership, GECU deployed about $125 million into the community each year.
CDF in a release noted May's "standout cooperative leader at the state, national, and international levels," and her work to make home ownership available to lower income, minority members of her west Texas community. This was done through the establishment of an Affordable Housing Credit Union Service Organization that has provided countless workshops, helped open first-time savings accounts and provided $8 million in total down payment assistance and $23 million in total mortgage loans.
CUNA also looked to May in the past to valiantly defend the tax status of the U.S. credit union movement, CDF added.
Other awards May has received in her career include:
The National Credit Union Foundation's Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Individual Achievement;
The World Council of Credit Unions Distinguished Service Award;
Recognition for her leadership in supporting the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals; and
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions' Annie Vamper "Helping Hands" Award.