Gus Hartl, who has led the way in everything from corporate giving to RibFest to youth leadership, is this year’s H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year.
Hartl was announced as the winner of the annual award at the December meeting of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“His love for community, humble nature, strong business sense and strong values make Gus a respected community leader and citizen who is highly regarded by everyone he meets,” said Jack Nicholson, past president of the chamber. “Gus leads by example giving back through his position as CEO of Aldergrove Credit Union, through his work with the Aldergrove Rotary Club, and his long-standing support of local sports teams and events.”
“It really is a big surprise, and a shock, and humbling,” Hartl said. “I feel very fortunate to live and work in probably the greatest place in Canada, let alone the world. Fraser Valley is a beautiful spot.”
“We’ve got a lot of great people in this community, and that’s what keeps us great,” Hartl said.
A longtime Fraser Valley resident, Hartl played Aldergrove Minor Hockey and graduated from Abbotsford Secondary School, before studying business administration at the University of the Fraser Valley – one of the first students to graduate from the program in 1980.
His career has been with credit unions, including the last 13 years as CEO of the Aldergrove Credit Union, and past president of the Credit Union Foundation of BC.
Both in his private role as a Rotarian and his company role as CEO, Hartl has played an active leadership role in the credit union’s Community Involvement Program.
In 2018, the program provided more than 254 people, events, and organizations with donations, sponsorships, and educational awards.
They also helped their employees volunteer, with more than 500 hours of ACU staffer time donated to local organizations.
Programs like free family skating and Movie in the Park are also helmed or supported by the ACU.
Meanwhile, Hartl also rallied three local credit unions and the Aldergrove Rotary Club in work with the annual RibFest fundraiser.
The ACU Young Leaders program was formed in 2016, which allows ACU employees under 40 to work together on community programs, including educating people in financial literacy and distributing sleeping mats to the homeless.
Last year’s winner was Phil Jackman of Valley Traffic Systems, after years of supporting causes from feeding the homeless to cancer research.
The award is named after the late Langley businessman, politician, and volunteer Harold Stafford.