The CUInsight Experience podcast: Brian Schools – Lasting culture (#88)

“Lead with principles first and then get out of people's way.” - Brian Schools

Thank you for tuning in to episode 88 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by our friends at PSCU. As the nation’s premier payments CUSO, PSCU proudly supports the success of more than 1,500 credit unions.

My guest on today’s episode is Brian Schools. Brian is the President and CEO of Chartway Federal Credit Union and is someone I have been looking forward to having on the show. We talked about Chartway’s foundation and how it is one with the credit union and the importance of giving back to the communities they serve. We spoke a lot about the culture and building a team that represents the credit union’s values and mission and the work that had to be done over the years to get to where they are able to execute on that during these interesting times.

Listen in as Brian speaks about the “We Promise Foundation” what it does and who it helps. He also discusses how they have built their culture over the last five years and how that has helped them during this pandemic. Brian believes that the way members are interacting with credit unions now will be the norm going forward, and talks about what credit unions need to do to stay relevant with all the disruption in the financial services sector.

Brian discusses why he took the position as CEO at Chartway and how the inspiration has changed over the years. He always could make hard decisions, but now he knows how to make them better, and he debunks some myths about being a good leader.

During the rapid-fire questions portion of the show, we learn that Brian wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force when he grew up, enjoying the ride has become more important to him as he’s gotten older and his dad is the first person who comes to mind when he hears the word success. Be well and be kind are the words that Brian leaves us with, and I’ll add be safe. Enjoy!

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Brian:
Brian Schools, President/CEO of Chartway FCU
LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at PSCU, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Check out all the outstanding work that Brian and his team at Chartways Federal Credit Union are doing here and the We Promise Foundation.
Shout-out: Chuck Purvis
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Shout-out: Brian’s dad
Shout-out: Brian’s Executive Coach Scott Edwin
Radio station mentioned: Yacht Rock Radio
Group mentioned: Hootie & The Blowfish
Group mentioned: Florida Georgia Line
Shout-out: John Pettit
Book mentioned: Safe Enough to Soar by Frederick A. Miller and Judith Katz
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Chuck Purvis, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64 & 82

In This Episode:
[01:59] – Welcome to the show, Brian!
[02:36] – Brian speaks about the foundation called the “We Promise Foundation” and what it’s all about.
[03:43] – Brian shares how they have built their culture and how that has helped them with the pandemic.
[06:08] – Brian gives some advice for credit union CEOs looking to build a better culture in their credit union.
[07:34] – Brian asks people to be well and be kind.
[08:49] – He believes that the way credit unions are interacting with their members today will continue in the future.
[10:30] – Brian discusses the one challenge he sees with people working remotely versus working together in the office.
[12:10] – What do you think credit unions need to change to stay relevant to the disruption in financial services?
[13:10] – Brian shares how he has grown as a leader through this pandemic.
[14:27] – We took care of people is what Brian will be the proudest of in twelve months.
[15:23] – What inspired you to take the position as CEO at Chartway?
[16:55] – Brian speaks about how the inspiration has changed over the years he has been CEO.
[18:14] – He always could make hard decisions, but he believes that he’s learned how to do it better.
[19:35] – Listen as Brian debunks some myths about being a good leader.
[20:26] – Brian shares some mistakes he made coming up and ones he sees young leaders make today.
[21:25] – You never work for someone, and no one ever works for you, you work with. It is something Brian was told when he was fourteen that he still believes today.
[23:48] – Brian speaks about the mentors he’s had over his career.
[26:16] – Brian shares what he does when he has a day off to recharge.
[27:34] – Listen as Brian speaks about how he was in high school, and the first time he got into memorable trouble.
[28:27] – Being a pilot in the Air Force is what Brian wanted to be when he grew up.
[29:56] – Brian speaks about what he does every day to get his day started.
[30:49] – What is the best album of all time?
[31:56] – Is there a book you think everyone should read?
[32:59] – Enjoying the ride has become more important.
[34:12] – Brian’s dad is the first person who comes to mind when he hears the word success.
[35:33] – Be well and be kind are the words Brian wants to leave the listeners with.
[36:14] – Thank you so much for being on the show!

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall Smith is the co-founder of, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust. As one of the co-founders of CUInsight he looks ... Web: Details