2012 Operations, Sales & Service Excellence Awards (OPSSEA)

As operations, sales and service professionals, we are asked to develop solutions to a variety of problems. Often we research situations and develop entirely new and possibly unique practices for our credit union’s operations, sales and service areas.

Identifying these new approaches and recognizing their universal application to credit unions nationwide is the purpose of the CUNA OpSS Council’s Excellence Awards. One of our hallmarks is sharing the approaches to these solutions with our peers.

We know that with operations, sales and service professionals, time is of the essence. Therefore we have created a worksheet and a new streamlined process that will allow you to quickly develop your OPSSEA entry in no time. Click on the link below each category to get started on your entry!

We invite you to submit your entry in four strategic categories:

  1. Sales and Service Management: What innovative approach have you implemented at your credit union to create, cultivate, and sustain a successful sales culture? What sales tools have you designed to assist staff with selling and customer relationship management (CRM)? What unique sales coaching or incentive programs have you developed?

    > Sales & Service Management Entry Form and Worksheet

  2. Branch Design: What non-traditional elements are you deploying in new branch and remodeled branch facilities to enhance member service? What have you done to “push the envelope” and differentiate the look of your branches?

    > Branch Design Entry Form and Worksheet

  3. Call Center Operations: What have you done to provide outstanding performance and set the standard for excellence in your call/contact center?

    > Call Center Operations Entry Form and Worksheet

  4. Miscellaneous: This category is for any operations, sales and service success story you have that does not fit the other categories.

    > Miscellaneous Entry Form

The following measurements are examples to consider. This is not an all inclusive list and there may be other existing metrics that define the results of the project.

  • Sales and Service Management
    • Cross-Sale Ratio or Cross-Sale per FTE
    • Services/Products per Household or Member
    • Deposit Growth
    • Loan Growth
  • Branch Design
    • Member Growth
    • Ratio of Members/Potential Members
    • Branch Profitability
  • Call/Contact Center
    • Abandonment Rate
    • Calls Handled Per Call Center Representative
    • Average time to answer
    • Average talk time
    • Operating Expense
    • Salary and Benefits
    • Transactions per Hour
    • Members Served per Hour
  • Miscellaneous

The Selection Process
A panel of OpSS Council Executive Committee members, past winners, and industry professionals will selec Excellence award winners in the four categories above. Selection will be based on candidates’ strategy, process, application and results. Recipients will be selected without regard to credit union asset size.

Winner Recognition
OPSSEA award winners will be recognized at the 15th Annual CUNA OpSS Council Conference, held October 14-17, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.

Winners are expected to attend and accept their Excellence Award at the membership luncheon during the conference (acceptance speech is not required). Each winning credit union will receive one complimentary conference registration.

Winning entries will be featured in a press release and in CUNA News Now in addition to being showcased on the CUNA OpSS Council website.

Entry Criteria

  • Entrants must be a member of the OpSS Council.
  • The practice must have been initiated prior to April, 2012.
  • Entries must be received by August 15, 2012.
  • The award winner or a representative must be in attendance at the conference to accept their award.

Entry Procedures

  • Download and complete the Entry Form and Worksheet pertaining to your category (Microsoft Word format) located at the links provided above.
    Submit your entry materials
    (in Microsoft Word format) to:

Bobbi Bischke
Credit Union National Association
P.O. Box 431
Madison, WI 53701-0431


Your entry must be received no later than August 15, 2012to be considered.

If you have questions about the entry procedures, please contact Bobbi Bischke, Council Administration at 800-356-9655, ext. 4018 or via email at If you have questions about criteria for the awards, please contact either Robb Keith, VP Relationship Management of Members 1st FCU via email at or Greg Inman, SVP Retail Operations of neighbors FCU via email at



Receiving the award in Las Vegas at the CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council Conference was exciting and humbling.  CUNA provided a very nice luncheon where the award was presented. There are a lot of great credit unions out there and to be counted along side them was a privilege.

This award means to me personally that all our hard work paid off.  The training specialist, branch management teams, and all the staff have done an excellent job of working together, committing to continuing education, and exceeding our member’s expectations by providing the best products and service.  I am very proud of our staff and our accomplishments.

Receiving the Best Practice award is a great honor and enhancement for our credit union that declares we are on the right track for continued success.  We are excited to keep the momentum rolling.

I would encourage those thinking about applying to do so.  You never know what can happen unless you apply.  We had never applied before last year and we ended up winning.  I would also recommend that you provide details, pictures, and even samples of the practices you employ along with specific numbers detailing how those practices improved your numbers.  Good Luck!

Brenda Jackson
1st MidAmerica CU


The opportunity to share our experiences and lessons learned with other credit union folks was great! It was a terrific chance to share with others and hear their thoughts about our project. I actually came away with some ideas for our next project!

The Best Practice Award was a wonderful reinforcement that the time and effort we put into this project was appreciated and recognized. It demonstrated to our board that what we accomplished with this project was meaningful and innovative beyond the bounds of our field of membership.

We have leveraged the Best Practice Award with other awards we won for this project to demonstrate to our community how unique we are in our market—we are differentiating our CU from the competition by being the only “green” financial institution in our market.

You know you are doing terrific things at your credit union…don't be shy! Share what you are doing with other credit union folk…Help them see new ways of doing things; help them find inspiration in what you're doing.

Joni Walker
Missoula FCU

Winning the Best Practice Award really meant a lot to us.  It reinforced that we were doing things the right way.  Having an outside entity respect your work really supported our efforts here at the credit union.  When you don't take the risk of having others judge your material, you find yourself living in a vacuum.  It's important to know you're at least on the same level as others in the Credit Union movement. 

The Best Practice Award really showed our Management Team and Staff that we were heading down the right direction.  When you compete and win anything against your peers, it's an honor.  It was one of the greatest achievements we've ever had as a training team.  The trophy sits in our training room and reinforces to everyone who attends a Sales and Service class that we know what we're doing, and we're one of the best at doing it.  That goes a long way to building credibility within an organization.

Our Credit Union has worked extremely hard at creating a viable Sales and Service culture over the past five years.  It shows the money is being well spent, the staff is being well trained, and the results are being achieved.  You can't really ask for more than that!

Take the time to review your materials from the last year.  Even creating an entry gives you a sense of accomplishment for what you've achieved over the past year.  If you have the honor of winning the award, it will be an experience that is incredibly valuable to you and your organization.  While all of us have the same goal and purpose of “people helping people,” we all also want to be respected by our peers.  An honor such as this could give you and your organization an element of credibility and respect that is virtually unmatched.

Ken Kelly
Red Canoe CU