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The credit union industry’s commitment to diversity is evident from the top down. Currently, four of the top 10 credit unions are run by women — double the number of female CEOs leading top credit unions last year.
They join Mary McDuffie, who heads Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in the world, and Donna Bland, president and CEO of Golden 1 Credit Union, as leaders of the nation’s top 10 credit unions by assets.
Though these credit unions serve different constituencies, they share common challenges. Among those are the impact artificial intelligence is having on the industry, the challenges of managing a hybrid workforce, and consumers’ wariness following this year’s banking crisis.
“A lesson learned from the banking crisis earlier this year is that credit unions are part of the solution,” Bland said. “In many ways, the crisis was about consumers’ trust. Most credit unions, including Golden 1, are federally insured. Overall, I think it affirmed our mission and our purpose, that we were on the path toward helping people in achieving financial wellness.”
Julie Renderos, CFO of Suncoast Credit Union, said the crisis emphasized the importance of communication with the community.
“Creating a culture of transparency and open communication with all stakeholders helps develop, maintain and retain trust and confidence even in the face of concern,” she said. “This was a lesson learned during the great recession, when capital dropped to extremely low levels as a result of significant losses on loans.”