Awards and Recognitions

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Hawaii First becomes the first in the nation to offer the Financial Navigator Program 2019

The County of Hawaii was selected by the national non-profit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE) to launch a new public Financial Navigators program. The County selected Hawaii First to deploy this program. To learn more visit here.

2018 Credit Union Hero of the Year Award

The Credit Union Hero of the Year award recognizes those who serve as examples for the entire movement through their service, advocacy, and commitment to credit union ideals. Congratulations to our very own Laura Aguirre , CEO/President of Hawaii First FCU for being one of five Credit Union Hero of the Year finalists in 2018. Read the article here.

Credit Union of the Year graphic

2016 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award

The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) is pleased to announce that Laura Aguirre, President/CEO of Hawaii First Federal Credit Union of Kamuela, Hawaii, is the recipient of the 2016 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award. This award is the highest honor given by the Federation to community development credit union staff and volunteers. Laura received her award at a special ceremony at the Federation’s 2016 Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Laura says she is a true believer in the credit union philosophy of people helping people, “Kindness costs nothing and can change a life. Every day I ask myself whose life did I change today?” Read the full story here. 

Annie Vamper 1
Annie Vamper 2

Blue Zones Project worksite approved 2016

Hawaii First FCU is proud to share that we are the first Blue Zones Project approved worksite on Hawaii Island! To learn more about the Blue Zones Project visit here.

Blue zone approved

2015 National Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action

Members of Hawaii First Federal Credit Union don’t need to search for the end of the rainbow to find their pot of gold. They also are more likely to escape the clutches of payday lenders.

Hawaii First’s members have access to asset building products and affordable, non-predatory loans through the credit union’s Pot of Gold (POG) program. The credit union created the POG Emergency Savings Program to help members gain the benefits of automatic savings.

The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award

2014 Circle of Honor Leadership Award from the Opportunity Finance Network

Hawaii First CEO, Laura Aguirre, accepted the Circle of Honor Leadership Award on behalf of Hawaii First FCU at the OFN Conference. The Circle of Honor Award recognizes a Native CDFI that is successfully increasing access to capital and financial resources in Native communities.

This ceremony is a part of the Annual Native CDFI Convening hosted by Opportunity Finance Network and First Nations Oweesta Corporation.

Woman giving speech

2013 Rockstar Award

A Lion for the Low Income – Laura Aguirre had a humble upbringing involving public assistance and the fear of homelessness.

Laura Aguirre

2009 Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility Theory of Change

The credit union obtained its CDFI certification in 2007 and has also created a 501(c)3 arm to serve the community with free access to job-seeking assistance, credit and debt management, one-on-one financial counseling, and financial education workshops offered by trained and certified staff.

In 2009, Hawaii First was recognized by the Credit Union National Association with the Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility for its commitment to providing responsive products and services.

The Dora Maxwell Award

A Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) since 2007

Hawaii First FCU has been successfully leveraging CDFI award funding to achieve tremendous impacts through innovative, sustainable lending and development activities.

To date, the credit union has deployed over $4.1M back into Hawaii island.

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace


Nationally Recognized Mentor for Babies at Work

More than 2,100 babies have successfully come to work in baby-inclusive organizations. These organizations are in more than 40 states and in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Italy. They are in more than 35 different industries, including credit unions, law firms, consulting companies, manufacturing companies, technology firms, retail stores, schools, dance studios, libraries, and government agencies. Learn more by clicking here.

breatfeeding at work

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