Tim Haegelin, retired CEO of San Antonio-based Generations Federal Credit Union received the Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award in front of an audience of nearly 1,000 credit union executives in Washington DC on Monday, February 24. Hosted by the National Credit Union Foundation and considered the most prestigious award within the credit union industry, Haegelin was singled out for his actions in co-founding Credit Unions For Kids (CUFK).
Founded in 1986 in San Antonio by Haegelin, Charlie Amato, Chairman of SWBC and Jack Finger, former Children’s Miracle Network Director, and launched nationally in 1996, CUFK has raised more than $100 million for Children’s Hospitals across the United States. All money raised within a community stays within that community to support local children’s hospitals.
During his remarks, Haegelin acknowledged the credit union industry itself as the foundation for the successes of his 49-year career.
“I was blessed and lucky to have a Board that understood and embraced the credit union difference and then made sure I had the tools to succeed,” said Haegelin.
In addition to CUFK, Haegelin and Generations were recognized as the first credit union in the region to offer many product and technology initiatives to its members that at the time were considered groundbreaking, including checking accounts, debit cards, and electronic records.
The award also recognized GFCU’s services to the un-banked and under-served within the community, including its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) partnerships with the City of San Antonio and the MoneyExpress program, offered in partnership with Goodwill Industries of San Antonio that is designed to break the destructive and damaging cycle of payday lending.
He joined GFCU in 1980 as Associate Manager and retired as CEO in November 2012. Prior to joining GFCU, he served as the CEO of Central Texas Catholic Credit Union.
Haegelin wrapped up his remarks by urging the audience not to forget the goal and mission of credit unions, “as not-for-profit financial institutions we are here, not for ourselves and not for the almighty dollar, but to build stronger families, stronger small businesses and stronger communities as they strive for the American Dream.” Watch the Tribute Video for Tim Haegelin