Maddalena urges women to listen to ‘inner coach” at Global Women’s Leadership Network Forum

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk announced as 2022 GWLN Athena Award Recipient

MADISON, WI (July 18, 2022) — A renowned leadership expert and credit union executive coach urged fellow women not to settle for less than they deserve during Sunday’s Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) Forum at the 2022 World Credit Union Conference.

Laurie Maddalena, Chief Leadership Consultant, Envision Excellence, LLC, delivered that message during a keynote presentation entitled: “The Elevated Leader: Determining Your Personal Call to Courage.”

Maddalena explored the reasons women are hesitant to promote themselves and their worth in the workplace.

“I like to turn to what I call my inner coach and not let my inner critic make the decisions,” said Maddalena. “Our inner coach is that wiser self. I like to call it our higher self, our best self, who has our best interest in mind in helping us reach our personal and professional goals.”

Maddalena led attendees on a path to help them ask for what they deserve professionally.

The Forum also featured a panel of women credit union leaders sharing perspectives on how to promote global financial inclusivity. Moderated by Maddalena, the panel featured Joselita Cardona, CEO, Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Philippines) and Karen Bennett, CEO, Enterprise Credit Union (UK).

“It’s very important that we, as leaders, give access to those poor people, those who don’t know what formal lending institutions are,” said Cardona. “As cooperatives, we have to have an empathy and we know that, and we have to act on it. We have to give them livelihood programs, help them earn a living and help them to manage their finances. To me, that’s very important.”

The GWLN Forum at WCUC 2022 was sponsored by PSCUCo-op Solutions and CUNA Mutual Group.

Athena Award goes to Van Ouwerkerk

World Council of Credit Unions’ President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde on Saturday announced Patsy Van Ouwerkerk as the 2022 Athena Award recipient at the GWLN Reception at WCUC 2022.

As part of the inaugural advisory group that launched GWLN in 2009, Van Ouwerkerk has also served as GWLN’s fundraising committee chair and member, providing outreach and active support to fundraising activities focused on scholarships, grants and learning opportunities for credit union women. She also served as co-leader of the Sacramento Sister Society.

Van Ouwerkerk retired in 2014, spending her last 21 working years as president and CEO of three different credit unions. She now serves as a consultant to the credit union industry.

The Athena Award is inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology who stands for strength, courage, and wisdom and is presented to an individual or organization making an outstanding contribution to women’s leadership in the international credit union movement.

Still to come

The 2022 World Credit Union Conference officially begins Sunday afternoon with the opening ceremony, which will feature a presentation by Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine.

Follow conference activities and see daily event photos on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram with #WCUC2022.

The 2022 World Credit Union Conference is presented in collaboration with the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) and is sponsored by VisitScotland National Bid Fund. It runs through Wednesday, July 20.

Laurie Maddalena


Karen Bennett (left) and Joselita Cardona (right)


Patsy Van Ouwerkerk


About World Council of Credit Unions

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach. World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


Greg Neumann
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

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