CUWLA was founded with the intent to create an impactive support system to address challenges that are unique to women CEOs of smaller credit unions.

The idea originated in early 2019 when Lily Newfarmer, President and CEO of Tarrant County’s FCU met with Gerry Singleton, with CUNA Mutual Group, and Tom Sakash, with CUNA, to explore the formation of this type of support system. Once they were able to validate the viability of such a network, they set about contacting women CEOs of smaller credit unions, who are recognized leaders in the credit union movement and in their communities, to seek their insights and input regarding the creation of this support system. These now thirteen CUWLA “Founders” were selected from among this core group, not only to participate in its development, but to help ensure the sustainably of smaller credit unions within our industry.

Once it was determined to move forward, the group was well on their way when life for everyone changed in 2020. That didn’t stop this determined group and in February 2021 at the virtual GAC, launched to public.

Since the inception of this network, CUWLA has established for its members, monthly “Meet and Greet” opportunities and quarterly “Power Hour” events. Our website hosts a community forum that invites an exchange of ideas, best practices and policies, to name a few. Over the past two years, CUWLA has established itself as an effective support system with access to a wealth of experienced credit union leaders working toward a common goal; the need which is evident in its growing membership and through the continued support of various trade associations and business partners.

We are excited to be able to offer such an effective support system to women CEOs of smaller credit unions and are encouraged by the support we continue to receive from our members. We are equally enthusiastic about CUWLA’s future as we continue to increase the areas of support offered to this critically important segment from within the credit union movement and to be able to offer membership to others who can benefit from the support, knowledge, and experience of their peers.