Emerging Leadership Award

Danielle Combs, Crane CU
Emerging Leadership Award Winner 2018

Danielle Combs
Danielle has been with Crane CU since 2013, starting in the eCommerce Department. She moved to cards where she was instrumental in converting the credit union’s debit and credit card programs to PSCU. After that she was assigned to risk management, a program she has built from the ground up. Most notable is Danielle’s dedication to emerging leaders in her own organization. She was one of the founders of the credit union’s LEAD program – which stands for Leadership, Education, and Development. Employees apply to participate for one-year terms, and the program consists of monthly meetings, speakers and outings during that time. Recently the LEAD group has done beautification and landscaping in Loogootee, one of the credit union’s branch communities. 



Jennifer Horton, KEMBA CU
Emerging Leadership Award Winner 2018

 Jennifer Horton
Jennifer has been with KEMBA CU for the past 10 years. Prior to that she worked in positions with other credit union organizations, and she has always been in a member service role. At KEMBA CU she has been an important member of the management team, training, mentoring and coaching many employees over the years to be member champions. While guiding the professional development of her colleagues has been a focus, she has also spent time one-on-one with credit union members helping them with budgeting, saving, credit repair and other guidance that has proven to be life-changing for them. 

Chris Sipes, Via CU
Emerging Leadership Award Winner 2018

 Chris Sipes
Starting at the credit union as a loan officer, Chris was the first-ever indirect lending manager for the credit union and has been quite successful, growing that department to about 65 percent of the credit union’s loan portfolio. He has been successful at finding more outlets for all of the credit union’s loan products since becoming vice president of retail and consumer lending last year.

Outside the credit union, Chris is active with the Grant County Chapter of Credit Unions where he is president. He is also a member of the League’s Political Involvement Leadership Advisory Group, and he has served on several boards in Marion and Grant County including the Boys & Girls Club and an organization called ‘Let my Light Shine,’ which places solar lights at the grave markers of our buried heroes in the Marion National Cemetery for three to four weeks around Veterans Day. He has served in leadership roles for both of these organizations.


Click here for nomination form

Award Criteria

The Emerging Leadership Award was created in 2007 to recognize the next generation of credit union leaders in Indiana for their accomplishments and for their potential to be an Indiana credit union leader in the future.

METHOD: Individuals are nominated by others from their credit union, or from among their credit union peers. Self-nomination is not allowed. The Awards Committee may select up to three individuals each year, none from the same credit union, based upon the individuals’ accomplishments and their essay-style responses to two questions. Answers should be a maximum of 250 words.

  1. What do you see in the future of the credit union movement?
  2. What have you done to prepare for that future, and how will you lead?

RECOGNITION: The winners will be announced at the League’s annual convention. In addition, the recipient’s name will be added to a plaque in the lobby area of the League’s office that lists winner of this award.

ELIGIBILITY: Individuals employed by League-affiliated credit unions holding managerial positions, with the exception of President/CEO/Manager, are eligible. Current League Board members are excluded from consideration.

CRITERIA: Candidates will be judged by the Awards Committee based on their accomplishments and on their answers to two screening questions.

Past Winners

2018 ​Danielle Combs
Jenn​​ifer Horton
Chris Sipes
​2017 ​Stephanie Snow
Mike​ Wiggington
2016 ​Jason Ford
Brittani Richards
Kerie Sekal


​Meaghan Elpers
Claire Kellems
Amanda Middleton


​Chad Gramling
Charlie King
Cari Palmer

​2013 Deidre Davis
Tara Holloway
Sven Leander
2012 Andrew Spirrison
2011 Bill Hord
Brett Rinker
2010 Kim Stambush
Kim Kniola
Kevin Kosek
2009 Michael Hostetler
Matt Snively
Kevin Sparks
2008 Melissa Comfort
Carma Parrish
2007 Lisa Halboob
Doug True