Ascentra Credit Union earns Outstanding Corporation/Corporate Foundation Philanthropy Award for 2021

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Ascentra Credit Union and its foundation have earned the Outstanding Corporation/Corporate Foundation Philanthropy Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Ascentra Credit Union 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 last month in Bettendorf.

Ascentra was nominated for this award by the Quad Cities Community Foundation 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,” according to 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,” she said in a Monday release.

Staff from Ascentra Credit Union and Quad Cities Community Foundation celebrate the outstanding corporate philanthropy award.

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.

Linda Andry, president and CEO of the credit union, said in a message to staff that it doesn’t go unnoticed the impact that both Paul Lensmeyer, Ascentra CEO from 1993 to 2013, and Dale Owen, chief from 2013 to 2020, have made “on our organization and on all of us as we carry on today.”

“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,” Andry said. “Congratulations to all! This award is for everyone at Ascentra!”

Linda Andry is president/CEO of Ascentra Credit Union.

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,” Ascentra’s release said. “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,” the company said. “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.

Bettendorf-based Ascentra has branches in Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline, Clinton and Muscatine.

“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,” Ascentra’s release said. “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 for Ascentra. “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,” Naeve added.

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