World Council of Credit Unions welcomes two new board members at 2021 annual general meeting

Virtual AGM also features remarks from incoming WOCCU President and CEO

MADISON, WI (July 13, 2021) — The World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Board welcomed Joseph Remy (Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions – CCCU) and Linda Bowyer (Canadian Credit Union Association – CCUA) as new Directors during its 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Allison Chaytor-Loveys (CCUA) and Aaron Moses (CCCU) are both retiring from the Board, after respective two- and five-year terms.

Nearly 100 delegates from around the globe attended the July 12 AGM, held virtually for a second straight year due to COVID-19. The virtual AGM also featured introductory remarks from incoming WOCCU President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde, and presentations of World Council’s Membership Growth Awards and the first-ever Digital Growth Award.

Matusiak remains Chair

Delegates voted to have Director Jaime Chavez (FECOLFIN – Colombia) and Chair Rafał Matusiak (NACSCU – Poland) return to the Board, with both winning contested elections for their at-large seats.

WOCCU Board Directors’ Diana Dykstra (Credit Union National Association – CUNA), Carla Cicero (CUNA), and Younsik Kim (National Credit Union Federation of Korea) were reappointed for two-year terms. The seven other current Board members each have one year remaining on their terms.

The World Council Board’s committee officers for 2021-22 are:

Rafał Matusiak, Chair – Poland

Diana Dykstra, Vice Chair/Secretary – USA

Michael Lawrence, Treasurer/Chair of Audit & Risk Management Committee – Australia

Martha Durdin, Chair of Governance & Elections Committee – Canada

Younsik Kim, Chair of COVID-19 Response Committee – South Korea

Joe Thomas, Chair of the U.S. Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee – USA

Incoming WOCCU President/CEO gives first remarks

Delegates to the AGM also got to hear from incoming WOCCU President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde for the first time. Ms. LaBorde will become the first woman to serve as chief executive of WOCCU when she takes over the role from outgoing President and CEO Brian Branch on August 16.

“There is a direct correlation in the level of human development in a country and its level of financial inclusion. So, we are in the right business,” said Ms. LaBorde. “We are at a moment in history where the world is changing, where we need leaders, and I see such an important position that credit unions and cooperative financial institutions have to lead in a way that is both smart for business and shows that kind of human compassion and deep-rooted presence in communities that you collectively represent here.”

Dr. Branch, participating in his final WOCCU Annual General Meeting, was thanked by the Board for his 31 years of service.

“It has been an honor. I certainly have received more than I was given,” said Branch. “I think Elissa’s words about financial inclusion and improving the quality of human life are right on target, and I look forward to Elissa’s leadership of this organization.”

2021 Membership Growth Awards

Credit union associations from three different continents won awards for membership growth. WOCCU’s 2021 Membership Growth Awards, based on data derived from its most recent Annual Statistical Report, went to:

Russia. The Russian Credit Union League (RCUL) experienced a 30% increase to 320,340 members in 2020.

Peru. Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito del Perú (FENACREP) increased its membership to 2.2 million, good for a growth rate of 27%.

Australia. Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) membership increased 10% to 5.3 million.

2021 Digital Growth Award

World Council of Credit Unions’ Challenge 2025 goal is the digitization of the global credit union system. Today’s members require digital service channels and local payments ecosystem interoperability for convenience and—as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us—to alleviate health and safety concerns. Digital transformation is necessary to credit union sustainability and resilience.

To recognize the digital initiatives of member credit union associations and their individual member credit unions, WOCCU established its Digital Growth Award in 2021.

WOCCU presented the first Digital Growth Award at the 2021 AGM to the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), the Philippine Federation of Credit Cooperative (PFCCO) and the National Association of Credit Cooperatives (NATCCO – Philippines) for their collaborative work on the Kaya Payment Platform.

“The main motivation of the NATCCO network and PFCCO in adopting Kaya is to make sure that the cooperatives become the place where all the financial services for the members will be done. We want members of the cooperatives to have access to all types of financial services,” said Sylvia Paraguya, CEO of NATCCO.

WOCCU continues to champion the digitization of the global credit union system through its Challenge 2025 initiative. Learn more by clicking here.

Elissa McCarter LaBorde

Joseph Remy

Linda Bowyer

2021 WOCCU Virtual Annual General Meeting

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

More News