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Empowering the community

Prospera Credit Union has received a $10,000 prize for its dedication to its community.

The credit union was recently awarded an “Empowering Your Community” award for 2017. The awards are handed out each year by the financial services company Concentra, to credit unions that have demonstrated a meaningful commitment to their communities.

The award is a high honour for any credit union.

Prospera was recognized primarily for its involvement with the social enterprise startup Volinspire, something Angela Burnell is “absolutely thrilled” about.

Burnell is Prospera’s regional director for family banking and wealth, and she says she’s incredibly proud of the work Prospera has done with Volinspire to encourage people to give back to their communities.

Along with being one of the founding community partners with the volunteer-oriented social media platform, Prospera’s staff have logged more than 4,200 volunteer hours through Volinspire.

More than 75 per cent of Prospera’s staff are part of the service, and those staff have contributed to more than 200 different community organizations.

“It’s a pretty big number for so much of our staff to be so embedded in that culture,” she says. “We really have some amazing people in our organization.”

“We are one of those companies where contributing to our community is foundational. We talk about it when we hire, we talk about it meetings, we even talk about it on our lunch breaks,” Burnell explains.

That attitude begins with Prospera’s hiring process, when the company tries its hardest to bring people onto the team that are passionate about giving back to the community.

“You can tell when people are leaning in, and their eyes are lighting up, when we talk about community involvement that they are someone we want on the team,” she says.

Burnell says “community involvement” aren’t just words Prospera uses: it is an action item, and that’s why it means so much to be recognized.

“It’s great when you get awards, but what it comes down to us actually doing it, versus saying you’re doing it,” she says.

Burnell is especially proud of Prospera’s involvement in events like Bats for a Cause—a slow-pitch tournament that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the BC Childrens’ Hospital—and how the company gives back through the Prospera Place.

Prospera Place isn’t just about having their name on the building, she says. The company also has a VIP suite in the centre that it regularly hands over to community groups during Rockets games and concerts.

It’s just one more way, Burnell says, they try to give back.

“At the end of the day, it’s important that we’re supporting our communities. It’s part of the credit union culture. It’s who we are,” she says.

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