WARSAW, Poland—Pete Crear, president and CEO of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), has been named winner of the Feniks Prize awarded by the Foundation for Polish Credit Unions, part of the Polish Credit Union System. The prize will be presented to Crear during a special ceremony June 19 at the Polish system's National Credit Union Conference.
"Under the able leadership of Pete Crear, WOCCU became much stronger in the countries of Eastern Europe, putting emphasis on better utilizing Polish credit union expertise for the benefit of the movements in this region," said Grzegorz Bierecki, president of Poland's National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions and WOCCU board treasurer.
Crear, who worked in executive capacities for CUNA & Affiliates and several state credit union leagues before arriving at WOCCU, was awarded the Foreign Prize, one of five Feniks awards given each year. Crear received the honor for his continuous support and personal commitment to the Polish Credit Union System, according to members of the committee. Judges for the Feniks Prize, first awarded in 1994, include CEOs, deputy CEOs and board members of the Polish credit unions' national association and foundation.
"I'm honored to receive this award from the Polish Credit Union System," said Crear, who served as CUNA's liaison to WOCCU before assuming his current role in 2005. "I have been fortunate to witness the growth of the Polish system and have long been impressed with the expertise and commitment of its chief architects. It's one of the world's fastest growing, most accomplished credit union systems, and I am pleased and proud to receive this prestigious honor."
The Feniks Prize is the latest in a series of honors for Crear. In 2007, the Michigan Credit Union League presented the Detroit native with its Distinguished Service Award and inducted him into the Michigan Credit Union League Hall of Fame. In 2006, the Consumer Federation of America awarded Crear the Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award for his outstanding service to consumers. He received the inaugural African-American Credit Union Lifetime Achievement Award and was further honored by having the award named after him and a college scholarship established in his name. His contributions to the credit union movement have merited his induction into the CUES Hall of Fame. Crear was also recently inducted into the Cooperative Development Foundation Hall of Fame and has received the U.S. credit union movement's highest award, the National Credit Union Foundation Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.