August 2023 Newsletter


A Note From Our Chair

Lily Newfarmer

Greetings CUWLA Members,

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and are looking forward to fall as much as I am!

 I’m pleased to announce CUWLA’s partnership with Filene Research Institute. This partnership will include a number of CUWLA members who will be participating in an Innovation Group initiative. The Group’s focus will be on utilizing Filene’s innovative methods to identify solutions to the challenges facing many small credit unions, such as succession planning, development, staffing, talent recruitment and capacity, to name a few; all areas critically important to the success and sustainability of small credit unions.

This Innovation Group initiative will be conducted over a 9-month period and the results will be shared during the September 2024 CUWLA Conference. We are super excited to be part of this initiative and hopeful our research will help find solutions to the issues continually facing small credit unions.

I’m also happy to report that our CUWLA family is growing! We currently have close to 190 members! Thank you for referring us to your peers and for finding value in our mission and purpose, which ultimately is to provide a safe space for open and honest conversations, the sharing of all sorts of things (have you followed the conversations in Basecamp? I mean, Wow!), and assisting with the success and sustainability of smaller credit unions, which are primarily led by women. The CUWLA Board has set a strategic goal of attaining 250 members by year-end 2023. I think this goal is attainable, especially with your assistance! Please continue to share the CUWLA membership advantages. We appreciate your support!

And look for our member spotlight, starting in this issue. It’s our goal to get to know our members so we can continue to build relationships that foster a sense of community, help create a more inclusive association, and improve collaboration. It’s a win for all of us!

Finally, we are looking forward to seeing you at our 2nd Annual Conference next month in California. Our Executive Director, Linda White, has worked tirelessly to ensure those of you attending will have a wonderful, thought-provoking experience, which I’m certain will be the case!

Wishing you all well. Please be safe, be kind, and be your best self!


2nd Annual CUWLA Conference

The countdown is on! In less than a month, we’ll be gathering for our 2nd Annual Conference in sunny California. Brace yourself for a power-packed agenda designed to ignite inspiration and growth.

Stay tuned for an email with all the exciting details. Prepare to connect, learn, and recharge, all while enjoying the beautiful surroundings and valuable networking opportunities. Excited to see you there!


"Herstory" exhibit inductees

A big congratulations to Linda Bodie of Element FCU, South Charleston, W.V., and Kathy Chartier of Members Credit Union, Cos Cob, Conn. for being honored as 2023 inductees in America’s Credit Union Museum’s “Credit Union Women Making History: Herstory” exhibit.

Due to the remarkable response in 2022, the museum has established an annual
recognition program to celebrate outstanding women in the movement. Linda and Kathy’s contributions exemplify the shared credit union mission, reinforcing its collaborative strength.

The induction ceremony is set for September 28th. We couldn’t be prouder of you Linda and Kathy on this recognition!

Linda Bodie, Kathy Chartier


Get To Know Diane

Introducing a brand-new section devoted to spotlighting our members! Our goal is simple but powerful – to get to know each other better. Every quarter, we’ll be putting a spotlight on one outstanding member, sharing their journey, insights, and experiences.

First up, let’s meet Diane, a key member of the CUWLA Marketing Committee.

Name: Diane Kotlewski

CU: Chaffey FCU, Upland, CA

Asset Size: $208M

Membership: We serve primarily education-based field of membership in the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley regions of Southern California. We also have many small businesses as SEGs which allows us to offer membership to the greater community.

Year became a CEO: 2021

Years in the CU industry: 21

How did you get introduced to credit unions? It was a “get me through college” job that started right after I graduated high school. Little did I know that the family friend who I asked for a job was the CEO!

What keeps you in credit unions? The philosophy of “People Helping People” truly resonates with me. I started college with the intention of being a teacher, and now that has translated into a passion for providing financial literacy efforts to my community.

Family: Married to Chris since 2005, two daughters Kyla (11) and Olivia (6)

Pets: Piper and Sadie, my Great Pyrenees pups that we adopted in 2021

Hobbies: I love jigsaw puzzles and reading, but I am also a gymnastics mom so I spend a lot of time at the gym (and love it)!

Something about me that might surprise you: I started college as a Music Education major playing flute, I also spent 8 years in the Santa Ana Winds Youth Band where I marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade every year.


Mark Your Calendars

A special thank you to CUNA and CUNA Mutual for their support of CUWLA.