Credit Union News

The Latest Industry News Coverage

(L-R) Donna Bland, CEO of Golden 1 CU, and Kathryn Davis, CEO of Valley First CU.
(L-R) Donna Bland, CEO of Golden 1 CU, and Kathryn Davis, CEO of Valley First CU.

American Banker: Bland & Davis ‘Most Powerful Women’ in CUs

(From American Banker magazine): 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.

Beverly Anderson became president and CEO of BECU in November 2022, just days after American Banker published its inaugural Most Powerful Women in Credit Unions. Leigh Brady became SECU’s CEO in June and is the credit union’s first female CEO.

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.”

Congratulations to this year’s “Most Powerful Women in Credit Unions”! You can read the full article on all participants here.

No. 4: Donna Bland
President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden 1 Credit Union (Sacramento, CA).  Assets: $20.5 billion. Time in role: 13 years. Time in industry: 29 years.

  • In July, the credit union formally announced its $10 million commitment to the impoverished community of Del Paso. Over the next five years, Bland will support local development projects and launch a new financial resource center within the area. “Working with a community advisory committee made up of local leaders and residents, we asked for assistance in designing a plan to invest in Del Paso Heights. … The group created a holistic agenda that included community, economic and opportunity pathways to improvement,” Bland said.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion are key values for Bland, who said “now, more than ever, companies need to create an inclusive space where all current and future employees feel a sense of belonging.” She aims to create this space within the credit union through its leadership development program, where employees have access to courses and programs for learning new skills. 

No. 9: Kathryn Davis
President and Chief Executive Officer of Valley First Credit Union (Modesto, CA). Assets: $1 billion. Time in role: 4 years. Time in industry: 28 years.

  • Despite Valley First being new to small-business lending, Davis was eager to help a local nonprofit launch a children’s museum. After the nonprofit was turned down by numerous banks due to its status as a startup, Valley First was able to work with the organization’s board members to underwrite a loan that helped support a successful $9 million fundraising campaign. “Had we not taken a leap of faith with them, the project would not have happened. … We had many challenges to address throughout this process because not only was it a startup, but it also was the largest business loan we had done at the time,” Davis said.
  • Delinquency issues have been on the rise within the credit union, as low to moderate-income members saw balances of pandemic-era savings begin to dwindle. But Davis plans to utilize the credit union’s designation as a community development financial institution to support businesses through grant funding while also offering low-cost micro loans to “bridge the gap” between payments, she said.

Related News

Become an Industry Supporter

Get membership information

Please contact me about compliance

Contact me about Credit Union Solutions

Education & Professional Development