WASHINGTON – Larry Blanchard, who has spent more than 30 years as a leader in the credit union movement, was honored Wednesday night with the Consumer Federation of America’s prestigious Esther Peterson Consumer Award for lifetime achievement.
In presenting Blanchard’s award on behalf of the CFA, Pete Crear, former CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions, credited Blanchard with “strengthening credit unions and the credit union movement for more than a half century with his committed, energetic and skillful work.”
The group’s highest civilian honor was named for the lifelong consumer advocate who served in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter.
Blanchard, who retired in 2008 as senior lobbyist for CUNA Mutual Group, has also served in leading roles for CUNA, NAFCU, NCUA and was president of a credit union in Newport News, Virginia. He was recognized along with Philip Hart Public Service Award winners U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and Brooksley Born, former chairperson, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award winner, Marketplace, a radio program on business.
Among Blanchard’s national consumer-oriented accomplishments was his key role in Operation Grassroots, the 1991 fight to maintain independence for credit unions and as coordinator for the Campaign for Consumer Choice, which culminated in HR 1151, the landmark 1998 CU Membership Access Act.
Blanchard has also served on the boards of the Consumer Federation of America, the National Cooperative Business Association and the National CU Foundation.