A record 3,000 attendees from 60 countries packed into the West English Bay Room of the Vancouver Convention Centre at the beginning of last week to kick off the 2023 World Credit Union Conference.
World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Board Chair Diana Dykstra — longtime credit union leader and president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues — encouraged credit union professionals to embrace change and remain open to new possibilities at this year’s conference, which was co-hosted by WOCCU and the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA).
“It is in the spirit of adapting and becoming resilient that we gather this week to connect and learn from one another,” Dykstra said. “You will meet colleagues and friends from every corner of the globe and learn how our peers are addressing credit union issues like expanding membership, developing shared solutions, delivering better services through digital platforms and climate-smart, resilient solutions.”
The WOCCU Board of Directors reappointed Dykstra to a two-year term, as well as Erin Mendez (CEO of Patelco CU), Linda Bowyer (Canada), and Younsik Kim (South Korea).
Additionally, Brian Branch — former WOCCU president and CEO — received the 2023 Distinguished Service Award for his 31 years of service to World Council of Credit Unions — an honor that Dykstra accepted on behalf of Branch, who was not in attendance. Branch was nominated by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
During his career, Branch traveled to and worked in 104 countries, developing programs to start credit unions, conduct management training, expand outreach, build networks, improve regulatory environments and introduce technological innovations. Branch spent his last decade with WOCCU serving as president and CEO from 2011-21.
The opening ceremony was also highlighted by the traditional flag parade and musical performances by members of Canada’s First Nations.
WOCCU Board Welcomes Two New Directors
WOCCU delegates also reelected current Director Rafał Matusiak (Poland) to a two-year term.
Delegates also approved the election of Grace Badilla López, President of the Board of Directors for Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito Financieras (FEDEAC) in Costa Rica, to the WOCCU Board.
Badilla López fills a vacancy left by Jaime Chavez, who steps away after representing the Colombian Federation of Credit Unions (FECOLFIN) on the Board since 2015.
The WOCCU Board also approved the appointment of Helene McManus, a member of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) Board, to serve out the final year of fellow ILCU Board Member Charles Murphy’s term. Murphy resigned his seat on the World Council Board, effective Monday afternoon.
Read More About the World Credit Union Conference
You can read all stories published about this year’s World Credit Union Conference here! Updates and articles include:
You can also see conference activities and event photos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram with #WCUC2023. Presented in collaboration with the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA), the 2023 World Credit Union Conference ran from July 23 – 26.