Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2024): Diana Dykstra, President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, was honored with the 2024 Eugene H. Farley League Leadership Award by the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) on Saturday evening.

This prestigious award honors a credit union league/association president who has demonstrated visionary leadership at the state and national levels. This includes delivering superior results organizationally and financially, developing services and programs for credit unions, and focusing on cooperation within the credit union system. It also represents personal values and commitment to purpose and integrity, as well as exhibiting substantial participation as a leader and cooperator.

“I am truly honored by the significance of the Eugene H. Farley League Leadership Award,” Dykstra expressed. “Countless individuals in our movement have paved the way through their dedication, sacrifice, and commitment to our industry. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute and excited to witness future league-association leaders be recognized for their role in fortifying credit unions and shaping our collective future.”

The award was given during a special reception held in conjunction with America’s Credit Unions’ 2024 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) happening this week in Washington, D.C.

“Diana has delegated effectively and empowered her teams to take ownership and achieve the Leagues’ goals on behalf of all credit unions in California and Nevada,” said Geri Lachance, Chair of the California Credit Union League and CEO of SESLOC FCU. “Her strategic agility provides her the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and make decisions under pressure, all with empathy and emotional intelligence that connects with others on a personal level, fostering trust and loyalty.”

Jennifer Denoo, Chair of the Nevada Credit Union League and CEO of Great Basin FCU, said Dykstra has led with strong principles, clearly articulating a motivating vision for the Leagues. “She has utilized core philosophical principles from the credit union movement to build a roadmap for other aspiring leaders to emulate — all for the success of credit unions and their members,” Denoo said.

Dedication to Cooperative Efforts are ‘Seemingly Endless’
The credit union movement has benefited from Dykstra’s leadership for 42 years. For the past nearly 14 years, she has served as president and CEO of the Leagues. Prior to her tenure there, she served as CEO of San Francisco Fire CU, CEO of CoastHills FCU, senior vice president for Patelco CU, and senior vice president for Golden 1 CU.

“Throughout her years of service to the Leagues and credit unions, Diana has championed collaboration. The examples of her dedication to cooperative efforts are seemingly endless,” said AACUL President Brad Miller. “Whether it be her service as AACUL Chair, WOCCU Chair, her leadership on many other industry boards, her dedication to DEI initiatives, her energy for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Credit Unions for Kids, or her devotion to advancing financial well-being and literacy initiatives through the RMJ Foundation, Diana leads collaboratively, boldly, encouragingly, and with a heart for serving others.”

AACUL Chair and CrossState Credit Union Association President and CEO Patrick Conway praised Dykstra. “Diana is an inspiration,” Conway said. “She firmly believes that credit unions’ success is intertwined with the well-being of society at large. Through her passion for innovation and cooperation, she encourages leaders around her to think outside ourselves and focus on the importance of serving the entire credit union movement.”

Leading by Example and Meaningful Purpose
Throughout her years of service to the Leagues and credit unions, Dykstra has championed collaboration among all credit unions to achieve greater efficiencies and provide credit union members with better services and products. This visionary leadership includes involvement with League Networks (chapters) and a decades-long investment in Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) by serving as president and in other capacities. She is a fierce advocate of keeping credit unions hyper-local and independent when it comes to engaging policymakers through on-the-ground advocacy and awareness in Sacramento and Carson City, as well as being a strong voice in multiple legislative and regulatory initiatives.

Her accomplishments wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the spearheading of several credit union industry services, programs, initiatives, and efforts, all in the name of putting “member credit unions first.” These successes include being the founder and inspirational mentor to several unique industry concepts that gained widespread acceptance, including Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL or Origence), Humanidei + O’Rourke, and ViClarity, as well as serving as past chair of AACUL and on the boards of directors for ViClarity, CUNA Strategic Services (CSS), and Plexcity — a cooperative business for credit unions, trade associations, and member credit union leagues. She has cultivated an environment and specific strategies to consistently develop solutions that resonate with fellow state leagues/associations and local credit union leaders.

Whether it’s her work in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN), the Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction, the annual Credit Union Sactown Run or another venture, Dykstra has closely focused on cooperation. This is especially true in the international sphere: the Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito (FENACOAC in Guatemala), National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK in South Korea), African Confederation of Savings and Credit Association in Malawi, and additional work on behalf of the credit union system in Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Poland, and elsewhere. This includes leading as chair of the World Council of Credit Unions, as well as leadership positions in the Global Women’s Leadership Network and the World Young Credit Union Professionals Network (WYCUP). She is also an ally and advocate in financial empowerment initiatives with respect to Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, micro-finance opportunities for women, and partnerships with the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC).

Overall, Dykstra has displayed personal values of commitment to purpose, service to others, and integrity by advancing financial wellbeing and literacy efforts through the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation (RMJ), the “We Own Our Bank” and ASmarterChoice.org initiatives, and collaboration with EverFi (a social and financial impact innovator). As a Certified Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), she doesn’t just preach these values — she embodies them in her actions, decisions, and relationships across the credit union movement. She clearly articulates a compelling mission by defining a meaningful purpose that resonates with stakeholders, as well as leading by example.

Dykstra was also inducted into the Credit Union Women Making History: Herstory exhibit. This unique Herstory interactive display was recently launched at America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, N.H., recognizing the amazing accomplishments and contributions that women leaders throughout history have made to the credit union movement. Dykstra, who has displayed a dedicated lifetime of more than 40 years of service in the movement, was one of the crowning honorees during the exhibit’s inaugural induction ceremony.

Contributing to the Collective Good of Leagues and CUs
Through her work in federal advocacy on behalf of credit unions, their members, and systemwide organizations, she has championed the credit union cause through every opportunity that has availed itself. Whether meeting with legislators and regulators, helping draft bill legislation, collaborating on policymaking strategy, or relentlessly being involved in fundraising for lawmakers who are aligned with the credit union cause, she’s lent her influence to promoting the value of a unified voice at the national level. Her bridge-building is evident as she always seeks opportunities for credit unions to collaborate with institutions and organizations to develop solutions to complex challenges.

Above all, Dykstra recognizes that credit unions’ success is intertwined with the wellbeing of society at large and has leveraged her influence to make a positive impact. She has contributed to the collective good of credit unions, individuals, the financial services marketplace, and the entire national credit union system.

“We want to congratulate Diana on her lifelong contributions to the state-league credit union association system,” said Larry Palochik, executive vice president of the Leagues. “She recognizes that people are the Leagues’ greatest asset, providing opportunities for growth and fostering a culture of open communication where individuals work toward shared goals. For every innovation and sacrifice she has contributed to our movement — thank you, Diana!”

California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues
Headquartered in Ontario, California, the Leagues exist to help credit unions change people’s lives by supporting their operations, guidance, strategy and philosophy. Our trade association helps local credit unions in California serve more than 13.5 million members and those in Nevada serve nearly 400,000 members. Credit unions are for people, not profit!

Karla Davis
Vice President of Communications and Marketing
California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues

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