PenFed CEO James Schenck Honored at National Military Family Association Gala for Supporting Military Families

Posted October 25 2019
by Media Relations

TYSONS, Va., Oct. 25, 2019 – James Schenck, President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of the PenFed Foundation was honored by the National Military Family Association (NMFA) as the 2019 Military Family Champion Award recipient at the NMFA 50th anniversary gala on the evening of October 24.

“PenFed is truly humbled by this award and we are very encouraged by NMFA’s results as they work each day to make sure our military and their families are properly cared for,” said Schenck during his acceptance speech. “We gratefully accept this award on behalf of all 2,700 employees and volunteers at PenFed, and our 1.8 million members of the national defense community and all who support them.”

Schenck’s son, James Schenck Jr. surprised his father by traveling to Washington to present him with the award. While introducing his father, Schenck Jr said, “PenFed believes in military families and knows it’s up to us and the community around them to support them, celebrate them and help them succeed. That’s what a military family means and that is what I learned from my dad.”

James Schenck Jr. presents his father, PenFed CEO James Schenck with the National Military Family Association Military Family Champion Award

Schenck is a former United States Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot and grew up in a military family with his father serving in the United States Marine Corps. His father was injured when hit by a grenade while serving in the 1st Marine Division in Korea and lived the rest of his life with shrapnel in his legs.

“My dad had remnants of war inside him his entire life due to his injury and he taught me to respect and honor those who fought for our nation,” said Schenck. “He always reminded me that if a veteran needs a hand, I need to step up and help because their service keeps America free.”

Since 2001, PenFed’s donations to NMFA have totaled more than $10 million. PenFed recently presented NMFA with a $250,000 donation to support military families during pre-game activities at Nationals Park that celebrated children of military families on Sept. 3. The donation is being used to fund NMFA’s initiatives, including an Operation Purple Buddy Camp in Trinity, Texas. Buddy Camp provides young military kids, ages 5-8, an opportunity to reconnect with a relative following a parent’s deployment or injury.

 James Schenck Jr presents his father, PenFed CEO James Schenck with the National Military Family Association Military Family Champion Award

“National Military Family Association is proud to honor James Schenck who has done so much for military families and specifically for the families we serve,” said Besa Pinchotti, Senior Director for Advancement at the National Military Family Association. “We wanted to honor James in a way that demonstrates how well deserved this recognition truly is by surprising him and having his son on stage to present the award.”

Since 1984, NMFA has presented the Military Family Champion Award honoring those individuals and organizations that through their own work or leadership have made changes that positively affect the lives of America’s military families around the globe.


About PenFed Credit Union

Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving 1.8 million members worldwide with $24.5 billion in assets. PenFed Credit Union offers market-leading certificates, checking, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and a wide range of other financial services with members’ interests always in mind. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. To learn more about PenFed Credit Union, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us @PenFed on Twitter. Interested in working for PenFed? Check us out on LinkedIn. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

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