Smart Financial Credit Union executive Virginia “Jenny” Smith retires

HOUSTON, TX (January 31, 2017) — Houston-based Smart Financial Credit Union’s long-time executive Virginia “Jenny” Smith has retired, effective Saturday, January 7, 2017. Smith held two high-profile roles concurrently within the organization –President/CEO of the credit union’s subsidiary Smart Financial Resources and President/CEO ofSmart Financial Foundation. Smart Financial Credit Union has appointed current Vice President of Smart Financial Resources and the Smart Financial Foundation Jason Deitz as Smith’s successor, effective immediately.

“Leading both the Smart Financial Resources and the Smart Financial Foundation has been one of the top highlights of my career,” said Smith. “I am grateful to Smart Financial Credit Union for the opportunity to take on both of these roles and for its continued support of the Smart Financial Foundation’s ongoing work. I believe we have truly made a positive impact on the lives of the communities in which we serve and under Jason Deitz’s guidance will continue to do so for years to come.”

Smith dedicated her 43-year career to the credit union movement, starting as a branch manager for the San Diego Navy Federal CU branch in Iwakuni, Japan. From there, Smith relocated to Houston to work with the Houston Area Teachers Credit Union, which later changed its name to Smart Financial Credit Union in 2004. For 29 years, Smith was the President/CEO of Key Federal Credit Union, which served 7,500 members across two states and maintained eight branches prior to merging with Smart Financial Credit Union in 2008. Since then, Smith held various positions with Smart Financial Credit Union’s executive team including Senior Vice President of Medical Operations and Senior Vice President of Business Development and Facilities.

For the past six years, Smith served as the President/CEO of Smart Financial Resources – a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Financial Credit Union. Formed in 1996, Smart Financial Resources operates its own board of managers and offers non-traditional financial products such as investments, property &casualty insurance, and supplementary insurance products through its various contracted third party vendors. A highlight of Smith’s time leading Smart Financial Resources included the formation of its own insurance agency – the Smart Insurance Group – under its umbrella.

In addition to her role with Smart Financial Resources, Smith served as President/CEO of the Smart Financial Foundation since 2013 when it was formed by Smart Financial Credit Union with the purpose of giving back to the community. Under her leadership, the Foundation awarded more than $170,000 in scholarships to local Houston high school students through the Smart Financial Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship Fund, funded by the organization’s annual community golf tournament. Dedicated to changing lives, improving communities and achieving dreams, Smart Financial Foundation continues to be instrumental in supporting other local Greater Houston Area charities that further the education of local youth, adult students, and the medical community. As a result of the organization’s ongoing work, the Cornerstone Credit Union League recognized the Smart Financial Foundation with the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Award for the past three years.

Effective immediately, Deitz will take over as President/CEO of both Smart Financial Resources and the Smart Financial Foundation.    With more than 23 years of financial services experience, Deitzspecializes in marketing, business development, public relations, facilities strategy, insurance, investments and philanthropy. Prior to serving as Vice President of the Smart Financial Foundation for the past three years, Deitz held various positons since joining Smart Financial Credit Union in 1993 including Marketing Manager, VP of Marketing and VP of Business Development and Facilities.

“It has been an honor to work side-by-side with Jenny Smith in her roles with the Smart Financial Foundation and Smart Financial Resources. I admire her passion for giving back to others and look forward to building on the strong foundation she has created for our institution,” said Deitz.

Deitz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from LeTourneau University and is a graduate of the National Association of Federal Credit Union (NAFCU) Management Development Institute – an intensive five-day program for emerging credit union leaders. In 2014, Deitz was named a participant of the Filene Institute – a nonprofit, independent think tank for the consumer finance industry – and its i3 program, which gathers transformational leaders together each spring to create new ideas, innovate and implement for the benefit of the credit union system. A native Houstonian, Deitz lives in Southwest Houston with his wife and two children.

About Smart Financial Foundation

Dedicated to giving back to communities the “Smart” way, the Smart Financial Foundation was formed in 2013 with the purpose of giving back to communities that Smart Financial Credit Union serves. A registered 501c(3), the Smart Financial Foundation strives to change lives, improve communities and achieve dreams by donating time, money and other resources to not only individuals but also to organizations that help raise credit union awareness. For more information, visit, call  713-407-1923 or engage with the Smart Financial Foundation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Christine Rigamer
Gambel Communications
o: 504.324.4242 | c: 281.793.3206

More News