Created jointly by Volunteer Corporate Credit Union and the Tennessee Credit Union League, the Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame recognizes the valuable leadership and contributions of credit union people in the state of Tennessee. Beginning in 2010, the Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame has recognized the commitment, leadership, and service deserving individuals have made to the credit union movement.
The judges considered the following criteria when making their selection:
- Years of service to the credit union system;
- Positions of leadership on the state, local, or national level;
- Demonstrated commitment to the credit union philosophy and services; and
- Credit union system educational accomplishments and support.
The two 2016 inductees into the Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame both reside in the East Tennessee region. This year’s awards were given to Tom Hilton, retired chief executive officer of Y-12 Federal Credit Union, and M. Wayne Hope, retired CEO of Enrichment Federal Credit Union. Both recipients have lived their lives and modeled to others the credit union difference of “People Helping People.”
Tom Hilton served Y-12 FCU for 21 years, growing the institution from $135 million in assets to $650 million in assets at the time of his retirement. Hilton was involved locally with Emory Valley Center, Girls Inc., Girls and Boys Clubs, and March of Dimes. He served as the United Way of Anderson County campaign chair in 2012 as well as board chair in 2015. He is a member of the Oak Ridge Rotary Club, where he was a past president and served as a board member, and past chair of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he was past president of the Methodist Medical Center Foundation and served on the KIF Board to raise money to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
In retirement, Hilton remains active in community affairs, continuing his service with the United Way of Anderson County Board of Directors and the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge.
Hilton served on the Tennessee Credit Union League Board for six years and held the position of chairman from 2002-2003. He has been as asset to the credit union movement and been visible in both Washington, D.C., and Nashville to promote the mission and philosophy of credit unions.
M. Wayne Hope served the credit union movement with strength and purpose and a true servant’s heart for 39 years. Hope grew Enrichment Federal Credit Union from $180 million in assets to $425 million in assets in the 22 years he served as the CEO. During that time, the credit union not only grew in assets, services provided, and customer service ratings, but he also successfully changed the credit union name from K-25 FCU to Enrichment FCU.
Hope served on the Volunteer Corporate Credit Union Board for 13 years and was board chair from 2000 until 2001 and again from 2002 until 2004. He served on the Tennessee Credit Union League Board of Directors and served one term as board chair.
Hope helped organize the Easy Street ATM Network, a regional surcharge-free ATM network with local credit unions, so members could use ATMs of other credit unions in the area with no fees. This network was a tremendous help to smaller credit unions in the area with little or no ATMs.
Hope is extremely involved in the Oak Ridge Rotary Club, where he served as Community Fund treasurer; the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where he served as treasurer for three years as well as a board member and past chairman of the Knoxville Better Business Bureau.
The 2016 inductees into the Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame have truly lived their lives in service to their community, their credit unions, and the members they served. Their years of service in the credit union industry have been a positive impact on the history of credit unions in the East Tennessee Region and beyond. They were an asset to their credit unions and to the credit union industry.
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