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Tracy Slane Award presented

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27 Mar 17

The 2017 Tracy Slane Award for outstanding young people in the credit union movement has been presented to Debbie Smith-Hands.

The award is presented each year to a young person who has made an outstanding contribution to their credit union and/or to the wider movement. It is dedicated to the memory of Tracy Slane, who worked as ABCUL’s Conference Officer until her untimely death in 2004 at the age of 25.

From an exceptional group of nominees, the Trustees of The Credit Union Foundation decided to present the award to Debbie Smith-Hands of Pennine Community Credit Union (pictured with ABCUL President Robert Kelly), who received the award during this year’s ABCUL Annual General Meeting.

Debbie started working with PCCU as an administrative assistant in 2013, and having immediately demonstrated her talent and potential, she quickly took on new responsibilities for credit control and is now the credit union's Chief Operating Officer.

PCCU Chief Executive Kathryn Fogg described Debbie as a “natural leader”, saying: “She is compassionate but firm, understanding while being level-headed and has the important quality of being a friend but also a senior to other staff members who turn to her for help and guidance. She treats people with respect and genuinely enjoys interaction.

“She has been identified as a future leader who is now managing staff and leading by a very fine example. PCCU is very honoured to have Debbie as Chief Operating Officer.”

Debbie, who also graduated as a member of the CU Futures Class of 2017, said: “Trying to juggle a demanding career and three small children is definitely not an easy task, but is an extremely rewarding one; I want my children to grow up in a world where there are no payday lenders or loan sharks and for them to know the values of a community.

“I have achieved so much in such a short amount of time and I am excited for what the future holds for PCCU. I will continue to learn and develop new skills and help push my credit union forward and I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities I have been given so far.”

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