The Ontario Co-operative Association

The Ontario Co-operative Association

October 08, 2009 08:00 ET

Carlene Frimer of United Communities CU Honored as a Driving Force Toward Youth Involvement

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2009) - Advancing education in co-operatives and credit unions is a passion of Carlene Frimer of United Communities Credit Union, based in Essex, ON, and it is her particular dedication to youth instruction and opportunities that has earned her the title of 2009 Co-operative Youth Mentor from her colleagues. She will be recognized at the 11th Annual Co-operative Spirit Awards Gala to be held at the Burlington, Ont. Royal Botanical Gardens on Oct. 14.

Frimer is her credit union's Corporate Trainer, delivering service quality and other programs to employees, as well as a facilitator of the Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) Co-operative Young Leaders (CYL) program. She promotes Building Youth and Teen Engagement Systemwide, which helps retain youth involvement within credit unions, and has addressed the 2008 On Co-op Annual General Meeting and CUMA (credit union managers) conference about paying attention to young voices. Additionally, she contributed to the in-depth review of the CYL Junior level curriculum this year. She has also been a member of the On Co-op Youth Advisory Committee.

"Not only does she believe in youth engagement and mentorship, but she also acts as a driving force within the sector to bring awareness about the importance of investing in youth and identifying what is important to them," says Sonja Carriere, manager of On Co-op's youth programs.

Carriere adds that Frimer also has a special ability to personally empower people: "Any participant who has gone through the CYL program and has had her as a facilitator can certainly attest that she has deeply impacted their lives."

Colleague Tracey Walstedt, Vice President, Member Solutions, of United Communities Credit Union, attests to Frimer's ability to inspire: "Having worked closely with her for many years, I can say that she has played a significant role in helping me to strive to live (co-op) principles." Walstedt adds that Frimer's enthusiasm for CYL encouraged the credit union to commit to ongoing contribution to the program and support more staff to participate as facilitators. She has also helped raise more than $75,000 for cancer causes through her leadership.

A lifelong learner herself, Frimer is a recent alumnae of the Credit Union Development Educator program in the United States and Scotland, and a participant of the Masters of Management -- Co-operatives and Credit Unions, at St. Mary's University in Halifax.

The Spirit Recognition Awards Gala is part of a day-long conference that draws up to 250 co-operative and credit union directors, employees, and supporters from across the province. Its theme is "Co-ops Work: Exceptional Solutions for Exceptional Times."

Eight other co-operators and co-operative organizations will also be recognized for their contributions to the Ontario Co-operative movement during Co-op Week (Oct. 11-17).

On Co-op, based in Guelph, Ont., develops, unites and promotes co-operatives throughout the province of Ontario. Its mission is to lead, cultivate and connect co-operatives. Visit: for more information on the Association, co-op conference and gala.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Co-operative Association
    Mark Ventry
    Membership and Communications Manager
    1-888-745-5521/519.763.8271 x30