VANCOUVER, B.C./TORONTO, On, April 25, 2024 – Alterna Savings and Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1) are pleased to announce community leaders Aimee Blyth and Maureen Young as the recipients of the 2024 Gary Gillam Award.

Aimee (left) and Maureen (right)

Established in 1996 and jointly sponsored by Alterna Savings and Central 1, the  Gary Gillam Award recognizes individuals within the British Columbia and Ontario credit union systems who have demonstrated cooperative values and made significant achievements in social impact.

Aimee Blyth is the Executive Director of the Seasoned Spoon, a cooperative café and local food hub on Trent University Campus in Peterborough, Ontario. The café champions locally and organically sourced cuisine, ensuring it remains affordable. Over her 15-year tenure, Aimee has engaged countless youths in cooperative principles and successfully integrated the café into the campus meal plan, offering students a nonprofit dining alternative. A proud Alterna Savings member, Aimee exemplifies the ethos of the Gary Gillam Award through her conscientious banking practices and stringent social procurement methods. Modest yet influential, she stands as a beacon of sustainability, seamlessly infusing cooperative values into the food hub’s procurement procedures. Additionally, Aimee’s commitment extends beyond her own venture as she actively serves on the Local Food and Farm Cooperatives (LFFC) board, furthering the cooperative movement in her community.

Maureen Young is the Vice-President of Social Purpose at Coast Capital Savings headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia. Within this role, Maureen spearheaded the development and implementation of Coast Capital’s inaugural enterprise-wide Social Purpose Impact Plan. This initiative shifted the credit union’s focus from simple corporate philanthropy to embedding social purpose at the very core of the organization. Additionally, Maureen leads Coast Capital’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) endeavours.

Beyond her duties at Coast Capital, Maureen is a tireless advocate for social purpose on a national scale. She plays a pivotal role in empowering businesses and credit unions throughout Canada, co-founding The Canadian Purpose Economy Project in 2022. Furthermore, she demonstrates her commitment to accessible education through her involvement as the co-founder and former Chair of the Youth Futures Education Fund. This collaborative effort between Coast Capital, The Province of British Columbia, and the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth underscores Maureen’s dedication to shaping a brighter future for young minds across the region.

Alterna Savings and Central 1 will contribute a total of $5,000 to be donated on behalf of Aimee and Maureen to charities of their choice. Maureen has chosen to donate $2,500 to the Threshold Housing Society in British Columbia. Aimee has asked that her award be split between the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre and the Kawartha Land Trust.

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 (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 assist socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. At the central 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.

About Alterna Savings

Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited (Alterna) has been the good in banking® for over 115 years. Alterna is made up of Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterna Bank. As the first full-service, member-owned cooperative financial institution outside Quebec, Alterna Savings shares its expertise with over 210,000 members through a network of over 40 branches across Ontario, as well as call centre and digital channels. Members and customers also benefit from an industry-leading online brokerage, investment management services, and have access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE Network in Canada and the Allpoint Network in the US. Alterna Savings & Credit Union Limited operates as Alterna Savings. Alterna Savings is a credit union operating in Ontario. For information on deposit insurance, please ask for a brochure at the credit union or visit the FSRA’s website at  www.fsrao.ca/.

About Central 1

Central 1 cooperatively empowers credit unions and other financial institutions who deliver banking choice to Canadians. With assets of $11.2 billion as of December 31, 2023, Central 1 provides critical services at scale to enable a thriving credit union system. We do this by collaborating with our clients, developing strategies, products, and services to support the financial well-being of their more than 5 million diverse customers in communities across Canada. For more information, visit  www.central1.com.

Media Contacts

Kim Moseley – Vice President, Product and MarComm
Alterna Savings | Alterna Bank
E: Kim.moseley@alterna.ca

Yuan Li, Senior Communications Specialist
Central 1
E: communications@central1.com

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