Likens Award


The James D Likens Award

Each year the prestigious James D. Likens, WCMS Alumni Recognition Award is given to honor WCMS alumni who have had significant achievement in the credit union field after graduation from the Western CUNA Management School.

Qualifying criteria for this distinguished award includes:

  • Significant professional growth in the individual's credit union career since graduation
  • Significant service to the credit union community after graduation

2023 Recipient: Winona Nava

Winona Nava started out on her credit union journey as a collector. She graduated from WCMS in 1985. In 1989 achieved the designation of Certified Credit Union Executive. She became CEO of their credit union while it was in conservatorship. In 2000, she took on the challenge of serving all those living within their field of membership including recent immigrants, and by 2007, one-third of members at the credit union’s main office were doing business in Spanish.

In 2010 she led her credit union into becoming a Community Development CU and they currently serve over 25,000 members. They are well capitalized, growing, and have been recognized with numerous awards, including being ranked as a New Mexico platinum level family-friendly workplace.

Outside the walls of her credit union, Winona has served the Credit Union Association of New Mexico in numerous positions, including Chair. She served on the board of CUNA from 2008 to 2018 and as a CUNA board representative to the National Credit Union Foundation. She has spoken at many conferences and been involved in research studies for Filene regarding ITIN lending. She is a founding member of the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance and currently serves as 2nd Vice-Chair of the National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals and as New Mexico’s CULAC trustee.

We congratulate Winona Nava, our 2023 recipient of the James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award, on her contributions to the credit union world!

Past Recipients

Bob Toohey, 2022
Kent Oram, 2021
Shirley Cate, 2019
Teri Robinson, 2018
Shruti Miyashiro, California, 2017
Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, California, 2016
Mark Meyer, Wisconsin, 2015
Jon Hernandez, California, 2014
Chris Jillson, New Mexico, 2013
Annette Zimmerman, Texas, 2012
Susan Steifel, Washington, 2011
RaAnn Wood, California, 2010
Brett Martinez, California, 2009
Ken Facer, Texas-formerly of California, 2008
Ava Milosovich, Oregon, 2007
John Janclaes, California, 2006

David W. Brehmer, North Carolina, 2005
Shon Wellborn, California 2004
JoAnne LeCouvre Kersey, Oregon, 2003
John Annaloro, Washington, 2002
Diana Dykstra, California, 2001
Terry Parkyn, California, 2000
Marsha Burgess, Nevada, 1999
Winifred Corey, California, 1998
William G. Ferrence, Nevada, 1997
James M. Sasahara, California, 1996
Rick Craig, Utah, 1995
Beverly Dawson, California, 1994
Bernie Ray, Arizona, 1993
David E. Maus, Colorado, 1992
Richard M. Johnson, California, 1991


Nominations are now being accepted for the James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award. This award is presented to the recipient during school each July as part of the graduation ceremony.


Nominees must have graduated from the Western CUNA Management School, or any other name by which it has been previously known, a minimum of five years before the date of presentation of the award on Graduation Night. Members of the WCMS Alumni Association Board, the Western CUNA Management School Board of Trustees and current members of the Selection Committee for this award, are not eligible.

For more information and nomination forms contact: