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Announcing the 2019 Gary Gillam Award Recipient

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VANCOUVER, BC – Alterna Savings and Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1) are pleased to announce Liz Arkinstall, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Libro Credit Union, as the recipient of the 2019 Gary Gillam Award.

Jointly sponsored by Alterna Savings and Central 1, the Gary Gillam Award for corporate social responsibility is presented annually to an individual who promotes credit unions as socially responsible alternatives to banks and other financial institutions.

Liz, the recipient of the award, is recognized for her national and international leadership in sustainable corporate social responsibility. Liz began her journey in social sustainability and corporate responsibility by seeking out research and partnerships with industry experts to truly understand the possibilities. Over the years she has become a true leader in this area.

Her leadership led to Libro’s participation in southwestern Ontario’s first Impact Investing Fund, aimed at supporting community real estate programs, social enterprise and affordable housing developments, with 69 affordable housing units being constructed just this past year.  She also directed the transformation of the credit union’s community engagement strategy to a social purpose business model focusing community investment on regional economic development, youth leadership, and money smarts.

She spearheaded the initiative for Libro to become a Certified B Corporation and a member of the Responsible Investment Association.

Liz helped develop the first-ever Credit Union Community Impact Certificate at CCUA: an eight-week professional development program designed to teach credit union staff and board members how to create positive impacts within their communities, and she continues as a facilitator for that program.

In addition to her many volunteer activities, she is often sought out as a speaker and she willingly shares her expertise whenever possible.

Alterna Savings and Central 1 will contribute a total of $2,500 to be donated on behalf of Liz to two charities of her choice. Liz has asked that her award be split between the Pillar Non-Profit Network (social enterprise support) in London, Ontario and the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre in Windsor.

The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver.

About Gary Gillam
The Gary Gillam Award was established to honour the memory and work of Gary H. Gillam. Gary was the Director, Legal, Governmental Affairs and Administration, at Credit Union Central of Ontario (CUCO; now Central 1) from 1982 to 1988.

In 1988, Gary became CEO of Unicoll Credit Union (now Alterna Savings), where he worked until illness forced his resignation in 1993.

Gary Gillam was one of the leading advocates for social responsibility in the credit union system, long before it became popular within organizations. He vigorously promoted the concept of social investment, calling on credit unions and their centrals to use social as well as financial criteria for their investment portfolios. He supported the development of community loan funds to provide assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. At CUCO and his own credit union, he initiated social audits to measure the social performance of the organization, as a complementary process to the financial audit.

The Gary Gillam Award was established in 1996 and is awarded annually.

About Central 1
Central 1 is a preferred partner for financial, digital banking and payment products and services – fuelling the success of businesses across Canada. With $16.9 billion in assets, we leverage our scale, strength and expertise to power progress for more than 250 credit unions and other financial institutions, enhancing the financial well-being of more than five million customers from coast to coast. For more information, visit

About Alterna Savings
Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited (Alterna) has been the good in banking for over 110 years!  Alterna is made up of Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterna Bank. Together, we have $8.0 billion in assets under administration.

As the first full-service, member-owned co-operative financial institution outside Quebec, Alterna Savings shares our expertise with more than 164,000 members through a network of 33 branches across Ontario, as well as our call centre and digital channels. Our members and customers also benefit from industry leading online brokerage and investment management services and have access to the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Canada through THE EXCHANGE® Network, with over 3,700 ATMs to serve them.

For further information, please contact:

Dorothy Watson
Member Relations Manager
Central 1 | 905.282.8525

Joanna Hui
Manager, Corporate Communications
Alterna Savings | 416.213.7900 Ext. 7663