Pennsylvania Credit Union Association

Montgomery Wins 31st CU Youth Ambassador Contest

5/22/2007 HARRISBURG – On May 18, Toni Montgomery of Mechanicsburg was declared the winner of a statewide contest to serve as 2007 Credit Union Youth Ambassador of Pennsylvania. Montgomery represented the Harrisburg Chapter of Credit Unions and is the Community Relations Coordinator at AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union, Mechanicsburg.  The annual statewide contest was held during the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s (PCUA) 73rd Annual Convention & Expo held May 17-19 in Hershey. 

Montgomery, 25, is a graduate of Central Pennsylvania College and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications.  As Pennsylvania Credit Union Youth Ambassador, Montgomery will speak to credit union officials throughout the state at Association events and regional chapter meetings.

The First Alternate was Daniel Hambleton, 20, of Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union, Lancaster and represented the Lan-Chester Chapter of Credit Unions. 

Second Alternate was Jill Houseknecht, 21, of Cross Valley Federal Credit Union, Wilkes-Barre and represented the Wyoming Valley Chapter of Credit Unions.

The judges for the contest were

Mike Dougal, Principal Consultant for Pennsylvania, HRValue Group, Madison, WI;

Janice Goodling, Vice President, Human Resources, Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union, Middletown;

 Karen Halder, President, Cemark, Midlothian, VA;

Philip Heckman, Director of Youth Programs, Center for Professional Finance, Credit Union National Association, Madison, WI;

Tim Smith, District Director, The Honorable Tim Holden, U.S. House of Representatives.

Eleven finalists won regional contests before advancing to the state finals.  The finalists completed a written exam before presenting speeches about credit union topics.  A panel of five judges selected the winner, tallying scores from the test, personal interview, and speech.

The additional eight contestants were:

Beaver Valley Chapter – Lauren Manzer, Pittsburgh

Delaware County Chapter – Edita Vanover, Boothwyn

Erie Chapter – Andrea Yori, Erie

Greensburg Chapter – Tesa Stynchula, Bradenville

Montgomery County Chapter – Lauren Byowitz, Philadelphia

Philadelphia Chapter – Scott Schmidt, Philadelphia

Shortway Chapter – Michele Straub, Falls Creek

York Chapter –  Breezey Wilson, Hanover

The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association conducts the contest to attract young people to credit unions and to prepare them for leadership roles. Credit union members between the ages of 17 and 25 compete and are sponsored by the Association’s chapters.  The contestants are judged on their knowledge of credit unions and their ability to communicate that knowledge.

Several hundred young people have competed in the Credit Union Youth Ambassador Contest since the early 1970s.  Many of the contestants have gone on to hold volunteer and professional positions within the credit union movement.  

Credit unions are non-profit financial cooperatives that provide affordable financial services to help their owner/members.  The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, based in Harrisburg, provides legislative, professional development, and operational support and services for nearly 600 credit unions in Pennsylvania.  These credit unions have assets in excess of $24 billion and serve nearly three and a half million members.  For additional information about credit unions or to find a credit union near you, visit

Editor’s Note:  Photos available upon request.

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