February 15th, 2011

SMCU CFO Named Finalist for PSBJ’s CFO of the Year

On March 10, 2011, the Puget Sound Business Journal will announce the winners of their 2011 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Year Award at Benaroya Hall in Downtown Seattle. One of finalists is SMCU’s own, Michelle Purnell-Hepburn.

The PSBJ’s CFO of the Year award recognizes CFOs of companies that are headquartered in Washington State who have demonstrated excellence in their roles as financial stewards and have gone above and beyond their regular duties to provide leadership in their companies, industries and communities. This is the fifth year of the award.

When Michelle first heard of the honor she said she was, “overjoyed and humbled. Then I called my family and the colleague who nominated me. Then I took a breath.”

“One can never be sure of the impact that one has on someone else’s life,” Michelle remarked. “Being nominated means that a colleague outside of the Credit Union saw my work as worthy of recognition. Being a finalist means that people who have only read about my work were moved.”

Michelle has been CFO at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union since 1999 and is instrumental to the day-to-day financial management of the credit union. She sees her time with the credit union as a key in her professional development and a valuable testing ground for her education and past experience.

“SMCU has been a font of opportunity for me to further my education, my career and give back to credit union community both locally and nationally. Helping guide the Credit Union through this recession has taken everything I have learned in college, graduate school and post-graduate programs. Moreover, SMCU, through its commitment to education, has also supported me to give back to my alma mater, the University of Washington.”

Michelle earned both her bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and her MBA from the University of Washington and has been extremely active in the credit union industry. She graduated with high honors from the Western CUNA Management School where she won the Charles M. Clark award as the “student who best depicts the traits of loyalty, fidelity, leadership and service.” She has served as Treasurer and President of the King County Chapter of Credit Unions as well as Treasurer of the African-American Credit Union Coalition and the Puget Sound Council of the Credit Union Executive Society.

Michelle also makes time to serve her community and has been on the board of trustees for Zion Preparatory Academy and is a Past Matron of the Mount Rainier Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.

In addition to her professional duties, Michelle is also a talented singer, hula dancer and tri-athlete.

We at SMCU are extremely proud of Michelle for all of her achievements and will be rooting for her to take home the CFO of the year trophy on March 10.

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