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Austin, TEXAS, January 31, 2022 — UFCU, Austin’s largest locally owned financial institution, has announced it will honor the legacy of retiring employee Laurie Thomas by renaming the former Internal Caring Service Award the Laurie Thomas Award for Caring Service.
UFCU’s longest-tenured employee, Laurie has been the unofficial matriarch of UFCU, well known for her unique way of making everyone feel special, heard, and regarded. Most UFCU employees can point to a moment when they received a personal call or celebration card from Laurie to mark a milestone or achievement in their work with UFCU.
“Through her actions and dedication to UFCU’s values and the credit union movement, Laurie helped create the culture we appreciate today,” said Rhonda Hall, UFCU’s VP of human resources and organizational development. “She is the embodiment of what UFCU means by caring service.”
Laurie has been a vital part of UFCU for more than half of its 85 years of service. She contributed to many important milestones including UFCU’s first ATMs, checking accounts, student loans, and credit cards. Laurie joined UFCU in 1976 in the loan servicing department and was promoted to the position of senior loan officer in 1981. In the 1990s, she pivoted her career to training employees and helped develop and grow UFCU’s department of Learning and Development as the director of training. In the early 2000s, she helped launch UFCU’s first intranet and was instrumental in creating and managing the site. She was then named to the position of senior organizational development coordinator, supporting a variety of employee engagement and onboarding activities.
A member of the Austin Chapter of Credit Unions, Laurie served on the chapter’s board in several positions, including as president. During her tenure, she advocated for education sessions and industry speakers and promoted charitable causes. Because of her board leadership, Laurie helped the Austin Chapter win national recognition within the credit union community.
“Laurie set a shining example for others of developing relationships, growing professionally, and making lasting impact through work,” said CEO Tony Budet. “We hope the Laurie Thomas Award for Caring Service will not only show our gratitude for her contributions, but also help inspire others to continue spreading the caring spirit she so generously shared with us.”
As a Member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, UFCU is passionate about changing lives and strengthening communities. With more than 345,000 Members in Central Texas and Galveston County and total assets (under management and serviced*) exceeding $7.8 billion, UFCU offers a variety of products, services, and education programs to empower Members in achieving financial health.
*Total Assets ($3.934 billion) + Assets Under Management by UFCU Investment Services ($0.616 billion) + Real Estate Loans Sold with Servicing Retained ($3.229 billion)