2023 Pinnacle Awards
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Welcome to the 2023 Pinnacle Awards!

The Cornerstone League's Pinnacle Awards exist to honor the outstanding efforts of credit union marketing professionals in the Cornerstone region. The Pinnacle Award program is led by the Executive Committee of the Cornerstone Marketing and Business Development Council. The Executive Committee is pleased to announce the call for entries for 2023.

This year the Pinnacle Awards include over 20 different categories and are open to all Cornerstone affiliated credit unions from all asset sizes. Category descriptions can be found in the Downloads section below.

Please review all documents to understand the process and review any changes or enhancements. Most questions can be answered by reviewing the Submission Guidelines and FAQ sections below. Please keep in mind that you can enter as many different categories as you wish, but a new application must be completed for each category entered.

The Pinnacle Award winners will be announced at Cornerstone's 2023 IMPACT: Annual Meeting & Council Forums which is scheduled to be held in Grapevine, TX, at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, April 12-14, 2023.

Best of Luck!

Submission Guidelines, Pricing and Payment Information, and FAQs

Submission Guidelines:

  • Any CU wishing to submit an entry for the Pinnacle Awards must be a member of the Cornerstone League.
  • Digital submissions are required for all entries.
  • Pinnacle invoice payments are accepted by check only. Please review the payment information below for specific deadlines and costs.
  • The judges have the right to disqualify an entry for an incomplete submission or change the category of your entry if deemed necessary.
  • The qualifying time-period for all entries is January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022.
  • Each entry submitted must include an Application which includes questions about your entry. Entries will not be submitted without answering the Application questions.
  • Each participant will complete a “basic information” section on each Application form. This includes your name, CU name, contact information, asset size and number of members as of Q3 2022 call report data.
  • You can enter as many different categories as you want, and you can enter the same campaign in more than one category. Just keep in mind that each category entered will require a completed application and answers to questions about the entry. Category descriptions can be found in the downloads section below.
  • All supporting materials/documents/samples will be uploaded on the application page.
  • If you submit the same campaign for more than one submission, complete a separate application form for each category. No cross-referencing categories is allowed.
  • Results are required for Business/SEG/Community Development, Complete Campaign, Digital Marketing, and Direct Mail (e.g. ROI, number of new accounts/loans/members, potential members reached, new checking accounts, members responded, etc).
  • If the quality of entries does not meet the Judges' minimum standards in a category, an award will not be given.

IMPORTANT: The following Summary document questions will be asked and entered on the submission form.

  • What is the objective of the entry? Include goals, defined audience, execution and intent.
  • What were the results? Did you meet your objective?
  • What was the budget? Include production and placement costs and quantity distributed.
  • Was your entry designed by an agency, in-house or other?

Payment information:

Credit Union Asset Size in Millions         Council Member Entry Fee          Non-Member Entry Fee

(As of End Q3 2022)                                                                                 (Includes 2023 Membership)

Less than $100M                                                          $80                                      $110

$101 - $500M                                                              $100                                     $130

$501 - $750M                                                              $115                                     $145

$751M - $1Billion                                                         $130                                     $160

Greater than $1 Billion                                                 $160                                     $190

An invoice will be sent to the email provided within one business day. Please mail your invoice and payment check to:

Cornerstone League

Attn: Cristina Martinez-Pinnacle Awards

6801 Parkwood Blvd Suite 300

Plano, TX 75024

 All entries must be submitted, and payments postmarked by February 3, 2023, or they will not be considered. If you would like to pay by credit card, you can follow the instruction on the invoice.


Q. Who can submit an entry for a Pinnacle Award?
All affiliate members of the Cornerstone League are eligible to submit entries.

 Q. How do I submit my entries?
All entries are submitted digitally.

Q:  What is the qualifying time-period for entries?
Submissions must be newly created during the time-period and have been used for marketing or business development purposes between January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022. 

Q. When do the entries have to be uploaded to the site?
Entries must be uploaded and payment postmarked no later than Friday, February 3,2023 to be considered. 

Q. How do I pay for my submission(s)?
Payments are accepted by check only. Please send your check and payment form to: Cornerstone League Attn: Cristina Martinez-PINNACLE AWARDS, 6801 Parkwood Blvd Suite 300, Dallas, Texas 75024.

Q. Is a credit union allowed to enter the same category multiple times?
Yes, credit unions can enter more than one entry in the same category but only one winner will be chosen from each category.

Q. Can I enter the same piece in more than one category?
Yes, you can enter multiple categories using the same campaign, but each will be a separate submission. Each category entered needs to meet the requirements for that category including completing a seperate Application form and uploading any supporting materials for each category entered. Judges will not cross-reference pieces from one category to another. 

Q. How do I calculate the results on the entry form?
Return on Investment (ROI) can be documented in many different ways. ROI doesn't necessarily have to be shown in dollars and cents but can be.. ROI might simply be represented by the number of people reached, attendance at an event, or number of members responding. Many marketers use MCIF software to obtain ROI results but software isn't necessary. An excel worksheet or word document showing the campaign results is sufficient. When in doubt, ask your accounting manager for help. 

Q. How are the judges chosen?
Judges are selected by the Pinnacle Awards committee. Every effort is made to have a diverse panel of judges. Other than serving as a Pinnacle Awards Judge, the judges have no other affiliation with the Cornerstone Marketing and Business Development Council. The intent is to have judges who are vendors, former and current credit union professionals and/or those who do not specialize in marketing for a Cornerstone credit union. The chairpersons of the Pinnacle Awards committee are credit union marketing professionals but only assist with judging when absolutely necessary. Judges are volunteers and are not paid. 

Q. Is an award given in each category?
To ensure the integrity of the awards, the judges will determine that the criteria for each category are met and the award is warranted. If the quality of entries in a given category is not strong enough, no awards will be given.

Q. How many entries do you receive, and how many awards are given?
In 2022 about 100 entries were received, and judges selected approximately 60 award winners.

Q. Will I receive a write-up from the judges with comments on my entry?
Due to the number of entries received, it would be impossible for judges to include a write-up with each score sheet.

Q. Where will I pick up my award if I win?
You will be recognized at a special reception during Cornerstone's IMPACT: Annual Meeting & Council Forum which will be held at the Gaylord Resort & Conference Center in Grapevine, TX, April 12, 2023. 

Q. Do I have to attend the conference to win?
No. You do not need to be present to win. 

Q. Are winning entries displayed at the conference?
Since all entries are submitted digitally, the winning entries could be shown in a presentation during the Pinnacle Awards recognition.

Q. Are all winning TV and Radio spots played?
Some of them may be played during the Pinnacle Award recognition.

Q. If I can’t attend the conference, how will I receive my award?
Your award will be mailed to you.

Q. Are the non-winners notified after the judging, as well as the winners?
Only the award winners and their CEO’s are notified by email, but they are not told what category(s) they have won.

Q. If I can’t attend the conference to receive my award, can a representative accept it on my behalf? 
The awards ceremony is streamlined by matching the attendee roster to the winners. If someone from your credit union is a registered attendee, he or she may accept the award as your designee. Please contact Sarah Bowman at the Cornerstone League, sbowman@cornerstoneleague.coop, to ensure that your award will be available to your designee during the ceremony.

Q. If I can’t attend the conference, can I attend the awards celebration to receive my award?
Yes. If you are unable to attend the conference, you must RSVP to attend the awards celebration only. To register, please contact Sarah Bowman at the Cornerstone League at 469-385-6423, or email Sarah at sbowman@cornerstoneleague.coop.

Q. If I can’t attend the conference, can a representative from my ad agency accept on my behalf? 
No. The awards ceremony is intended for Marketing and Business Development Council members and paid attendees of the conference only.

Q. Who do I contact if I have questions?
You can contact Sarah Bowman at the Cornerstone League at sbowman@cornerstoneleague.coop or call 469-385-6423.