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Spotlight: Harriet May, Co-op Hall of Fame Inductee

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Harriet May is the former President & CEO of the Government Employees Credit Union (GECU)

As CEO of the Government Employees Credit Union, Harriet May understood the power of credit unions to improve the lives of low income and minority members of her El Paso, Texas community.

Harriet May began her career as a teller and rose to become the CEO of GECU ‚Äď the largest locally owned financial institution in El Paso, Texas. She has been a cooperative leader at the state, national, and international levels. May led efforts to make home ownership more widely available by helping to establish an Affordable Housing Credit Union Service Organization. The CUSO‚Äôs results have been dramatic, impacting the lives of thousands in her community. She was an innovator in the area of financial literacy, even participating in a panel discussion with the President of the United States, and she worked across the border with Mexican officials in order to put in place a system of affordable remittance services. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has looked to May to valiantly defend the tax status of the U.S. credit union movement.

May retired in March 2012 and has been the recipient of the highest honors of individual achievement from both the U.S. and international credit union movements, including the Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Individual Achievement and the World Council of Credit Unions Distinguished Service Award. Harriet will be recognized at the annual Cooperative Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. ‚ÄúThe 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,‚ÄĚ said Gasper Kovach, Jr., Board Chair of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) which administers the Hall of Fame.

The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF), the 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) administers the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Nominations are received annually from throughout the cooperative community, with the final selection made by the NCBA Board of Directors on the recommendations of a selection committee of national cooperative leaders. The Cooperative Hall of Fame gallery is on display in NCBA’s offices in Washington, DC and it also can be visited on the web at www.heroes.coop. For dinner attendance or sponsorship information, contact CDF at 202-383-5445 or cdurand@cdf.coop.

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