Gary Gillam Award

The Award Program

The Gary Gillam Award for social responsibility, jointly sponsored by Alterna Savings and Central 1, recognizes and honours individuals within the Ontario and British Columbia credit union members who demonstrate exemplary achievements in:

  • Promoting social responsibility and/or sustainability in credit unions; and/or
  • Promoting credit unions as a socially responsible investment alternative

Up to two awards may be presented each year; one to a credit union employee and/or one to a credit union volunteer. Alterna Savings and Central 1 will contribute a total of $2,500 to be donated on behalf of the recipient(s) to a charity, organization or project of their choice. The recipient(s) will also be presented with a plaque and have their name added to a permanent plaque displayed at Central 1.


Nominations are limited to those who have taken credit unions beyond traditional philanthropy and good corporate citizenship.

Achievements may relate to:

  • Credit union projects, programs, services or policies addressing one particularly pressing social, environmental, sustainability and/or economic problem in a local community where other agencies or financial institutions have not been willing or able to help; or
  • Using a credit union to promote community self-help projects or to work with under-served individuals or groups; or
  • A focus on the use of credit unions for providing sustainability/socially responsible investments, banking programs, products and services to members and communities.

All nominees must be a credit union member and a current or past director, volunteer, manager or employee.

When completing the nomination package, please describe how your nominee met, or meets, one or more of the above mentioned criteria. Please provide as much detailed information as you can.

Deadline for Nominations

Nominations must be received by Monday, March 23, 2020 at the below mentioned mailing address. The Award Committee will review all nominations and select the annual recipient(s) with a presentation to the winner(s) in April 2020.

For completed details on the nomination criteria, download the Gary Gillam Nomination Form (PDF).

Questions and nominations should be directed to:

Gary Gillam Award for Social Responsibility c/o Alterna Savings
Marketing, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility Department
2 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8

Gary H. Gillam 1954-1993

This Award was established to honour the memory and work of Gary H. Gillam. Gary was the Director, Legal, Governmental Affairs and Administration, at Credit Union Central of Ontario from 1982-1988. In 1988, he became CEO of Unicoll Credit Union (now Alterna Savings), where he worked until illness forced his resignation in 1993.

Gary Gillam was one of the leading advocates for social responsibility in the credit union system. He vigorously promoted the concept of social investment, calling on credit unions and their centrals to use social as well as financial criteria for their investment portfolios. He supported the development of community loans funds to provide assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. At Unicoll and CUCO, he initiated social audits to measure the social performance of the organization, as a complementary process to the financial audit.

The Gary Gillam Award came into existence in 1996 and is awarded annually.