Cherry Dale, financial education director for Richmond-based Virginia Credit Union, has been awarded the Virginia Credit Union League’s Eugene H. Farley Jr. Award of Excellence. The award was presented April 4 at the League’s 85th Annual Meeting.
"I am very humbled and honored to join the distinguished list of Farley Award winners,” said Dale. “Twelve years ago, [retired Virginia Credit Union CEO] Jane Watkins took a chance on a Kindergarten teacher and she empowered me to reach out to people who needed our help the most: those members who needed hope in their financial situations and students in grades K-12 who needed help and knowledge in preparing for their financial futures.
“It’s that idea and principle of ‘People Helping People’ which sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions,” said Dale. “That principle is the one key differentiator that makes all the difference. That principle drives us to bring hope to those who feel hopeless by giving them the tools they need to reach their financial goals.”
The Eugene H. “Gene” Farley Jr. Award of Excellence is presented to a credit union professional or volunteer official in recognition of his or her outstanding contributions to an individual credit union or to the credit union movement. The award recognizes achievements that exemplify credit unions’ ‘People Helping People’ philosophy. It is named in honor of the late Gene Farley, who served the League and Virginia’s credit unions for more than 40 years, including more than 30 years as president of the Virginia Credit Union League.
Dale was nominated for the award for strengthening Virginia Credit Union’s financial education programs, which reached a record 27,113 individuals in 2018. During the past 11 years, the financial education workshops, seminars and student-focused money camps sponsored by Virginia Credit Union have reached more than 158,000 individuals.
Dale is also the statewide chair of the Virginia Jump$tart Coalition, which promotes youth financial literacy throughout the Commonwealth. She is a past chair and longtime member of the Financial Education committees for the Virginia Credit Union League and its charitable foundation, the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia.
Using her background as an educator, she developed a curriculum called “SmartStart” to aid school teachers in teaching personal finance basics. The SmartStart curriculum directly addressed the concepts and learning outcomes required by Virginia’s Standards of Learning, ensuring teachers could confidently teach lesson plans that prepared students to meet the state’s personal finance and economics graduation requirements.
Most recently, she was named one of four finalists for the 2019 Credit Union Hero of the Year Award, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The winner will be announced in June.
“Cherry’s impact in financial education reaches far beyond her accomplishments at Virginia Credit Union,” said Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow. “Her work with Jump$tart and in partnership with other credit union professionals has built Virginia-based credit unions’ reputation as a champion for financial education. Truly, she exemplifies and practices our ‘People Helping People’ philosophy in serving Virginia Credit Union’s members, its communities and the Commonwealth.”
Virginia Credit Union League
The Virginia Credit Union League is committed to promoting and protecting the Commonwealth’s 126 credit unions through legislative, regulatory and public advocacy; by providing support to credit unions through training, education, and informational resources; and through strategic partnerships that empower credit unions to succeed. The League maintains offices in Richmond and Lynchburg, Virginia. Learn more.
A financial cooperative serving more than 278,000 members, Virginia Credit Union offers a variety of affordable banking services, loans, mortgages, and free financial education resources, with a focus on helping people be more confident with their finances. Virginia Credit Union is an equal housing opportunity lender and is federally insured by NCUA.