Hiway Credit Union has been honored with a 2021 Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award. The award, sponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), recognizes credit unions that demonstrate in an extraordinary way the practical application of the movement's principles in serving their members.

Hiway was recognized for their numerous DEI initiatives. The organization has a long-standing commitment to addressing issues of social justice, as well as racial, economic and other inequities, both within the company and its surrounding communities.

Hiway’s DEI efforts include ongoing training and education for all associates and increased collaboration and discussion around DEI among staff, management and the board. Hiway’s leadership has teamed up with its internal, associate-led DEI group, which works to educate associates on numerous topics, from facilitating internal discussions on practices like redlining to bringing in nationally renowned speakers like transgender advocate Ellie Krug. In addition, the DEI team regularly holds events to highlight various cultures, holidays and special events, including India’s Holi Festival of Colors. Most recently, the DEI group participated in the Twin Cities Pride Festival.

More broadly, Hiway’s DEI activities include a partnership with the African American Credit Union Coalition and the creation of its Community Response Team, which on several occasions has distributed water, food and other essentials to those in need while also helping with cleanup efforts following local civil unrest.

“For years, Hiway has invested in making sure our staff and our members know they are appreciated and that their thoughts, beliefs and ideals are valued,” said Dave Boden, Hiway President/CEO. “Our efforts around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are not just a ‘feel good’ initiative – it’s long been part of who we are, and it’s good business, too. We’re better when we make an effort to understand each other better, and when we broaden our perspectives on our communities and our world.”

Hiway’s winning entry will advance to the national competition, where it will compete with financial education projects from credit unions in other states.

The award is named in honor of Louise Herring, an active supporter, organizer and champion of credit unions. She was the Ohio delegate to the 1934 national credit union conference in Estes Park, Colorado, where she signed the original constitution for a national credit union association. Herring believed that credit unions should work in a practical manner to better people's lives. She saw the credit union as more than just a financial institution. In her own words, "The purpose of the credit union is to reform the financial system, so that everyone can have his place in the sun."