State Employees Credit Union

State ECU Launches Make a STATEment Awards Program

Recognizes heroes in the community


Santa Fe, NM -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/18/2017 --State Employees Credit Union (State ECU) one of the 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in the U.S. as ranked by in 2017, has launched a program called the Make a STATEment Awards to honor local heroes who provide exemplary service to their community. State ECU knows that there are many individuals in New Mexico who work tirelessly to make a difference—and often their heartfelt efforts go unrecognized. Each month, a New Mexican will be honored by State ECU leading up to a year-end recognition event—where one nominee will be presented with a $500 award, based on a vote by the State ECU membership. Nominees are selected by committee and are not required to be State ECU members.

"It is simply our way of saying 'thanks' and giving these individuals a high five," says Harold Dixon, President/CEO of State ECU. "Too many people make great strides in helping their friends and neighbors envision a better future, but don't get a pat on the back to show them how much they are appreciated. We'd like to do that. It makes us feel good, too."

The Make a STATEment Awards program celebrates New Mexicans for their efforts—which may be the result of a professional role or through a volunteer undertaking. Each selected nominee will receive a Make a STATEment Certificate and be profiled in State ECU's To Your Credit newsletter and on other State ECU channels. At the end of 2017, one nominee will be awarded the $500 Grand Prize. The intention is to honor a group of New Mexicans who are as diverse as the neighborhoods they represent.

The first Make a STATEment nominee chosen in May was Santa Fe's Michael Dellheim, executive director of Outside In Productions. Many locals and visitors enjoy eight weeks of free entertainment on the Santa Fe Plaza due to Dellheim's Santa Fe Bandstand, which is a labor of love for Dellheim, who acts as entertainment booker, stage hand, sponsorship outreach coordinator, promoter, roadie, all rolled into one. He also drives the other arm of Outside In Productions, which brings free live arts to isolated populations such as those confined to shelters, residential treatment facilities, nursing homes, and correctional facilities. Says Dellheim," What an honor to be recognized as the first Make a STATEment recipient. Outside In loves bringing the joy of music to Santa Fe every summer. Our year-round core mission is mostly behind-the-scenes, so it's particularly gratifying to be recognized as an organization that makes a difference here in Santa Fe. Thanks so much to State Employees Credit Union for this special award."

The June Make a STATEment nominee is Albuquerque middle school teacher Robb Janov, founder of Rock and Rhythm Band at Jefferson Middle School, which provides an alternative, hands-on music performance class. It is a model of inclusion and encourages students from every socio-economic, academic, and cultural background to join—with instruments provided at no expense to the participants. "I designed the Rock and Rhythm program, now in its 22nd year, to offer teenagers a unique music experience that sparks their creativity and gives them a sense of empowerment and belonging. Dramatically changing the approach has been essential in igniting a wide range of students who are either intimidated by or can't afford the expense of traditional music programs," explains Janov. Twenty-five kids are transformed into a rock band in just two months—and more importantly find an inspiring channel for their energy which helps build confidence and make positive choices. There is no audition process for the program, and students are not required to have any previous musical training. The power of the program is directly tied to Janov's dedication and passion. His model has been utilized as a template to create alternative music programs across the country in other middle schools.

State ECU welcomes suggestions for future Make a STATEment nominees. Brief descriptions of outstanding New Mexicans that should be recognized for their good deeds can be sent to

About State ECU
State ECU, with nearly $500 million in assets, is the 8th largest credit union in New Mexico. As a financial not-for-profit, State ECU is dedicated to serving its members and the community with integrity and accountability. Founded in 1958, State ECU now provides financial services to more than 41,000 members with local support, decisions, expertise, and convenience.