The credit union movement, founded on the simple philosophy of people helping people, was never exemplified more perfectly than in the career of R. Bruce Blackburn. From 1969 to 1984, his work with the Utah League of Credit Unions, first as a director of education and training, and later as assistant managing director and vice president of legislative and government affairs, helped mature and shape the credit union movement in Utah.
He was greatly respected for his knowledge and integrity, both in the Utah legislature and in Washington DC. Dynamic and charismatic, Bruce was a sought-after speaker because of his knack for explaining complex legislation in layman’s terms. His influence was most notable in advancing legislation that promoted credit unions both at the state and national levels.
However, Bruce may be best remembered for his attentive care to individuals. He taught seminars and classes to help high school students better understand effective money management. He worked with the Better Business Bureau to find jobs for disadvantaged youths. Bruce truly cared about helping people succeed. Although his life was cut short at the age of 44, his legacy of personal attention and participation in the community lives on in credit unions throughout the state of Utah.
The R. Bruce Blackburn award honors individuals who continue Bruce’s legacy of advocating and furthering the founding principles upon which credit unions are built.