Ascentra Selected for Philanthropy Award by Association of Fundraising Professionals
Quad Cities area credit union, Ascentra and its foundation, the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation (ACUF), were presented the Outstanding Corporation/Corporate Foundation Philanthropy Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Quad Cities Chapter during its committee meeting on the evening of Dec. 13 at its home office in Bettendorf, IA.
Ascentra was nominated for this award by the Quad Cities Community Foundation (QCCF) for “its contributions to the Quad Cities and beyond in its day-to-day business, in its corporate giving, and in its philanthropic efforts through the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation,” as stated in the nomination summary. Vice President of Grantmaking and Community Initiatives Kelly Thompson added: “In total the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation has granted over $500,000 since it was created in 2013. Beyond all the numbers, the leaders of Ascentra have the biggest hearts we know. They seek the best grantmaking opportunities every year, thoughtfully and with deep respect for nonprofit organizations and community”.
The AFP Outstanding Corporate Philanthropy Award honors a corporation or its corporate foundation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles towards philanthropy and community involvement.
“It doesn’t go unnoticed the impact that both Paul (Lensmeyer, President and CEO from 1993 to 2013) and Dale (Owen, President and CEO from 2013 to 2020) have made on our organization and on all of us as we carry on today,” said Linda Andry, President and CEO, Ascentra Credit Union, in a message to Ascentra staff. “I am very blessed to have been mentored by both of these fine men and will strive to honor their legacy in all that we do here at Ascentra and within the work of our foundation. Congratulations to all! This award is for everyone at Ascentra!”
The Quad Cities Community Foundation is the administrative partner for the ACUF, which was founded in 2013 following the unexpected passing of then President and CEO Paul Lensmeyer. Paul was a charismatic leader, a friend to many, and an astute businessman who spent his life giving to others. He was the heart of the credit union for 20 years and created a culture dedicated to giving back and community service. The foundation was started to continue the service and generosity Paul taught and lived. “Listening, caring, doing what’s right” are words that were genuinely spoken by Paul, who lived and breathed this mantra in his professional and personal life. He instilled these beliefs into the Ascentra organization, which has made a difference in the lives of its members, staff, and the communities it serves. The foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the members of Ascentra Credit Union and further the philanthropic outreach in the communities they serve. Its focus is on funding work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.
“The culture at Ascentra is unlike any other I’ve experienced,” said Jennifer Naeve, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Ascentra Credit Union. “Paul and Dale’s leadership as President and CEOs of this credit union changed our way of doing business and established an environment that encourages and enables our staff to live a “listening, caring, doing what’s right” and “be the light” belief and mindset at work, in our communities, and at home. They definitely left behind a legacy that will continue to have an impact for many years to come and has inspired me and others to someday leave a legacy of our own.”
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Lysa Hegland, president of the IL Quad Cities Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals presents Ascentra President and CEO, Linda Andry, with an award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for being the 2021 Outstanding Corporation/Corporate Foundation in celebration of National Philanthropy Day. Pictured left to right, front to back are Jay England, Ascentra Chief Financial Officer; Kathleen Badejo, QCCF Grantmaking Specialist; Lysa Hegland; Linda Andry; Jennifer Naeve, Ascentra Chief Marketing Officer; Shelly Ridgeway, Ascentra Chief Operations Officer; Brad Knutson Chief Technology Officer; Larry Ridenour, Ascentra Board Chair; Mary Soeder, Ascentra Board Member; Kelly Thompson, QCCF Vice President of Grantmaking and Community Initiatives; Anne Calder, QCCF Vice President of Development; and Angie Owen, Ascentra Foundation Committee.
About The Ascentra Credit Union Foundation:
Established in 2013, to honor the memory of Ascentra Credit Union President and CEO Paul Lensmeyer and to meet the charitable and educational objectives of the Board of Directors of the credit union, the mission of the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the membership of Ascentra Credit Union and further the philanthropic outreach in the communities the credit union serves. The focus of the foundation is on funding work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved. More information can be found at www.ascentra.org/foundation.
Founded in 1950, Ascentra Credit Union, is Iowa's premier credit union with more than $528 million in assets and nine branches serving the communities of Bettendorf, Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, Iowa and Moline, Illinois. Learn more about Ascentra Credit Union at ascentra.org. Follow Ascentra on Facebook (@ascentra), Twitter (@ascentra), Instagram (@ascentracu), TikTok (@ascentra) and on the Ascentra Credit Union YouTube channel.
About the Quad Cities Community Foundation:
The Quad Cities Community Foundation champions generosity. Founded in 1964, it is the place where generous people in the bi-state region make both lifetime and estate gifts of all sizes to support the long-term needs and opportunities of their community and the specific organizations and causes most meaningful to them. Each year, it awards grants and scholarships to organizations and people both in the Quad Cities and through affiliates in surrounding rural counties. The Community Foundation also provides a variety of administrative and grantmaking services to help private and corporate foundations enjoy the benefits of philanthropy. Discover more at www.qccommunityfoundation.org.
About Association of Fundraising Professionals – Quad Cities Chapter:
AFP, an association of professionals throughout the world, advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing and advocacy. Learn more about the Quad Cities chapter at afpquadcities.com.