CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Vice President of Retail of the Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) in Chicopee was honored with the Heritage Award during an event at the State House last week.

State Senator Jake Oliveira nominated David Fernandes of (PNCU) as the district’s recipient of the Portuguese Heritage Award. Fernandes is active in community involvement as he serves on the Executive Committee of the Gremio Lusitano Portuguese Club of Ludlow and is involved in the Chicopee Portuguese American Club.

At PNCU, he organizes celebrations to honor and recognize Portuguese culture. A luncheon at the Lusitano Club was held to teach employees and the community about the Carnation Revolution, honoring Freedom Day.

On Tuesday, June 13th, the Portuguese Heritage Award was presented to Fernandes and all the recipients in the Great Hall at the State House on Beacon Hill.

Senator Oliveira said the decision to pick Fernandes was an easy one, “Dave is a dedicated community leader and advocate and has played a pivotal role in promoting Portuguese heritage and fostering cultural awareness within our community. Through his unwavering commitment and passion, he has consistently worked towards preserving the rich traditions and values integral to Portuguese heritage. I’m proud to nominate Dave for his exceptional contributions and leadership in promoting Portuguese heritage. His dedication, vision, and efforts have made a mark on our community, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of Portuguese culture.”

Fernandes said his selection was a proud moment for him, “It was humbling to hear I was the recipient of the Portuguese-American Legislative Caucus Portuguese Heritage Award. All my life, I’ve been influenced and surrounded by Portuguese culture, so to be receiving an award for my involvement in this community is truly an honor. It’s very easy to feel passionate about something that has helped shape my life and is at the core of my being.” Fernandes also thanked Oliveira for the recognition and pledged to continue sharing more of Portuguese culture with the community.

Senator Oliveira also spoke about the response from Dave’s colleagues at the Polish National Credit Union, “It’s telling of who Dave is and the importance he has at the credit union and within the community when you hear that PNCU has rented out a bus to take employees to celebrate with Dave at the Statehouse.”