Women CEOs of smaller credit unions to launch new support system

Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance to address unique challenges women leaders face

WASHINGTON, DC (February 23, 2021)

Women CEOs from 13 credit unions of asset sizes $300M or less from across the nation came together to launch the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA), a critically important support system to share best practices, offer opportunities for mentorship, better support the communities they serve, and more.

“Access to a trusted support system is a key factor in the sustainability of smaller credit unions, that, I believe, are the backbone of the credit union movement,” said Lily Newfarmer, President and CEO of Tarrant County’s Credit Union, CUWLA Founder and CUWLA Board Chair.

CEOs of smaller credit unions face unique challenges that are often best understood by those in a similar position. Smaller credit unions have all the same responsibilities, bottom line pressures, and compliance mandates of larger credit unions, but with the added burden of having to wear multiple hats. Many smaller credit unions are led by women, who must overcome their own set of hurdles within the financial services sector.

“By creating a support system such as CUWLA, women who run smaller credit unions will not only have opportunities to grow on a personal and professional level, but also have the needed tools to help them grow their credit unions and better serve their members,” Newfarmer added.

CUWLA provides an avenue to help preserve and sustain smaller credit unions. This initiative is an unprecedented effort to recognize and unite women CEOs in the lower asset categories, in an attempt to give voice to their concerns and provide opportunities to leverage economies of scale within their credit unions.

Details on how to join or support CUWLA and to obtain additional information will be provided at the CUWLA booth during the virtual GAC or visit

The CUWLA Founders are:

  • Lily Newfarmer – Tarrant County’s CU, Fort Worth, TX
  • Linda Bodie – Element FCU, Charleston, WV
  • Amy Brodersen – Family Focus FCU, Omaha, NE
  • Debi Keesee – Spokane Media FCU, Spokane, WA
  • Maria Martinez – Border Federal CU, Del Rio, TX
  • Winona Nava – Guadalupe CU, Santa FE, NM
  • Jan Page – Community South CU, Chipley, FL
  • Carma Parrish – NorthPark Community CU, Indianapolis, IN
  • Tammy Passifume – Diamond Lakes FCU, Hot Springs, AR
  • Teri Robinson – Ironworkers USA FCU, Portland, OR
  • Lynette Smith – TruEnergy FCU, Springfield, VA
  • Heather Walter – Advanz CU, Louisville, KY
  • Linda White – Upward CU, Burlingame, CA

A special thank you to Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual Group for their support of CUWLA.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 120 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit

About CUNA Mutual Group:

Built on the principle of “people helping people,” CUNA Mutual Group is a financially strong insurance, investment and financial services company that believes a brighter financial future should be accessible to everyone. Through our company culture, community engagement, and products and solutions, we are working to create a more equitable financial system that helps to improve the lives of those we serve and our society. For more information, visit


Lauren Williams
CUNA Communications

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