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|World Council of Credit Unions Network Manager Nicole Bice (left) presents the 2013 Athena Award to Ventura County CU Board Chairman Roxanne Ostrem on behalf of the Global Women's Leadership Network at Saturday's GWLN reception in Ottawa, Canada.|
The annual award is named for the Greek goddess of reason, intelligence, arts and agriculture, and honors outstanding achievement in support of credit union development, particularly as it relates to credit union women's leadership development worldwide.
Being recognized with the award represents "a team vision that starts with the Global Women's Leadership Network, and with World Council of Credit Unions Chairman Susan Mitchell bringing women together from all over the world to share our passions of helping people," Ostrem said. "From the World Council saying 'We can help,' to my credit union's CEO Joe Schroeder and board of directors saying, 'We can do this,' it makes me very proud to be a part of this amazing organization."
Ostrem has been a credit union advocate for more than 20 years, and is a founding member of GWLN. She has tirelessly volunteered her time to changing the lives of Hispanic field workers in her community by leading the "Boots in the Dirt" campaign with the World Council of Credit Unions, in which Ventura County CU staff delivers financial services to field workers using iPhone technology.
A total of 114 women credit union leaders from around the globe gathered to network, attend educational sessions, and hear from keynote speaker Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of New York Times best-seller Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. WuDunn presented research from her book and participated in a panel discussion centered on advancement of women leadership in credit unions.
GWLN meets annually in conjunction with the conference, which is hosted by World Council. More than 2,000 people from 61 countries are attending the conference this week, where they are learning from experts in mobile banking, social media and corporate leadership, visiting local credit unions, and networking with international peers.
The conference ends July 17 with World Council's annual awards ceremony and closing night reception at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.