The CUInsight Experience podcast: Larry Sewell – Better together (#94)

“There is no requirement to have a formal title to be a leader.” - Larry Sewell

Thank you for tuning in to episode 93 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by Trellance transforming data into actionable insight for credit unions from coast to coast.

My guest on today’s show is Larry Sewell. Larry is the VP of Corporate Partnership and Advocacy at Together Credit Union and the new Board Chair of the African American Credit Union Coalition. We talk about all the stuff going on at AACUC and the work that Larry and his team at Together Credit Union are doing in St. Louis. He came up through the credit union ranks as a trainer and helped build leaders his entire career.

Larry shares tips on keeping his team connected with creativity and innovative strategies to stay engaged. Weekly virtual conversations assist with maintaining and increasing morale among staff and board members. Larry also discusses his new role with AACUC organization, their trajectory and the accomplishments he and the rest of the team are most proud of. 

Listen as Larry speaks about what inspired him to take the position at Together Credit Union and how it has elevated his outlook on leadership and progression. “Reach consensus,” is Larry’s best known phrase and something his team hears him say many times. 

During the rapid-fire questions, we learned that Larry is a Stevie Wonder fan. He wanted to be a businessman when he grew up, and his grandfather, who adopted him and his brother, is the first person who comes to mind when he hears the word “success”. From playing golf, to spending time with family, and volunteering, Larry enjoys the outdoors and assisting others in his community. Enjoy!

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Larry:
Larry Sewell, VP of Corporate Partnership and Advocacy at Together Credit Union and Board Chair of the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC)
LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn 

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at Trellance, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Check out all the outstanding work that Larry and his team at Together Credit Union are doing here.
While you’re at it, connect with AACUC on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Shout-out: Rev. Jesse Jackson
Shout-out: Mr. Bert J. Hash Jr.
Shout-out: Dan Berger, NAFCU
Shout-out: Sheilah Montgomery
Shout-out: Renee Sattiewhite
Shout-out: Robert McKay
Shout-out: Maurice Smith
Shout-out: Lynette Smith
Shout-out: Shruti Miyashiro
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Shout-out: MECU of Baltimore
Shout-out: Michigan State Federal Credit Union
Shout-out: Schools First Federal Credit Union
Shout-out: SECU 
Shout-out: PSCU
Shout-out: CUES
Shout-out: CUNA Mutual Group
Shout-out: Visa
Album mentioned: Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder
Book mentioned: Anything by Stephen Covey
Book mentioned: Anything by Ken Blanchard
Book mentioned: My American Journey by Colin Powell
Book mentioned: Jackie Robinson: My Own Story by Jackie Robinson
Book mentioned: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Dan Berger, Renee Sattiewhite, Lynette Smith, Maurice Smith, Shruti Miyashiro, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64 & 82

This Episode:
[01:36] – Welcome to the show, Larry!
[02:24] – Larry shares some hacks for keeping his team connected and engaged during the pandemic.
[04:45] – Larry speaks about how they have stayed connected with their community and partners outside of the credit union walls.
[07:47] – Listen as Larry talks about the AACUC organization, what he is proud of and where he sees them in the future.
[11:22] – What are the first steps credit union leaders should take if they want to commit to change?
[13:47] – If you hire someone outside of what you normally hire like people of color or women, you are not settling.
[15:02] – Larry discusses what he thinks credit unions need to fundamentally change to keep up with the pace of change in financial services.
[17:41] – Listen as Larry shares what he will be most proud of a year from now that his team and the board have accomplished.
[19:38] – Larry talks about the conference of Credit Unions Unite Against Racism and the commitment to change series they had.
[21:26] – Larry speaks about places he couldn’t go as a child because of his skin color.
[23:45] – What inspired you to take the position at Together Credit Union.
[24:28] – Larry shares how the inspiration has changed over the last four years.
[25:54] – We need to reach a consensus is something his team has heard him say many times.
[26:21] – Larry says that you need to have a title to be a leader is a myth he wants to debunk.
[27:21] – What mistake did you make as a young leader, and what mistake do you see young leaders make today?
[28:42] – Larry shares some advice for young leaders today, take the advice from someone who has already gone through it.
[29:27] – Larry discusses something he learned early in his career that he still uses now.
[30:59] – Listen as Larry speaks about how important mentors have been in his life.
[33:10] – Golf, spending time with his family, and volunteering are how Larry recharges when he has a day off.
[34:16] – Larry shares the first time he got into memorable trouble.
[35:46] – He wanted to be a businessman when he grew up.
[36:53] – Do you have a daily routine that if you don’t do your day feels off?
[37:50] – What is the best album of all time?
[38:47] – Is there a book you think everyone should read?
[41:45] – Larry’s grandfather is the first person who comes to mind when he hears the word success.
[43:06] – Larry shares some final thoughts for the listeners.
[45:13] – Thank you 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