The CUInsight Experience podcast: Lily Newfarmer – Speak your truth (#133)

“Have confidence, have passion, and go out and conquer where you can.” - Lily Newfarmer

Thank you for tuning in to episode 133 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by Allied Solutions. Allied Solutions is focused on helping clients grow their bottom line, protect their business and members, and evolve to stay ahead of the competition.

My guest on today’s show is Lily Newfarmer, President & CEO of Tarrant County’s Credit Union, and also a founder and the board chair of the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA). Lily shares her unique story of getting into the credit union movement and the many life lessons she learned along the way. After time spent at the helm of Tarrant County’s Credit Union, Lily and others came together to form CUWLA in a collective effort to support women-CEOs of small credit unions.

As we start the episode, Lily shares her belief that the future of the credit union movement is in good hands with so many talented and passionate young professionals. Lily expresses her excitement about the system support that is newly offered to small credit unions (who are mostly run by women) through CUWLA and other organizations. Credit unions of all sizes should invest in training and education for their people, in Lily’s opinion. She provides good ideas for how leaders can find and provide those opportunities to their team members and notes that training is one of her biggest budget items.

When adding a new member to her team, Lily usually looks for skillset, attitude, and willingness to learn in addition to two other critical attributes. Lily and I also discuss being a good CEO, leading by example, and building a culture of vulnerability. She also shares her philosophy around the CEO-board relationship and her ability to keep her cool under pressure. Throughout the episode, Lily also chats about what has impressed and amazed her most lately, both personally and professionally. 

As we wrap up the show, Lily talks about the power of love, the book she read most recently, and the best piece of advice her dad gave her. Enjoy my conversation with Lily Newfarmer!

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher 

Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Lily:
Lily Newfarmer, President & CEO of Tarrant County’s Credit Union
LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at Allied Solutions, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Want to hear more from Lily? Click here.
Shout-out: US Air Force
Shout-out: Lily’s dad
Shout-out: University of Madrid
Place mentioned: Spain
Place mentioned: Texas
Place mentioned: Rapid City, South Dakota
Shout-out: Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA) 
Shout-out: Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
Shout-out: CUNA Mutual Group
Shout-out: The National Credit Union Foundation
Place mentioned: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Shout-out: CUWLA Conference
Shout-out: Gigi Hyland
Program mentioned: Credit Union Development Education (DE Program)
Shout-out: Chad Helminak
Shout-out: Lily’s son and daughter
Album mentioned: What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
Album mentioned: Rumors by Fleetwood Mac
Album mentioned: Hotel California by Eagles
Book mentioned: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Gigi Hyland (episodes 2 & 120), Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64, 82, 101, 113, & 126)

In This Episode:
[00:54] – Lily Newfarmer lived all over the world. She originally didn’t think she would settle in the US.
[02:57] – Lily says she is impressed by up-and-coming credit union professionals.
[05:00] – What is CUWLA?
[07:33] – Lily shares her thoughts on making change in the credit unions with collective action.
[09:46] – Invest in training and education.
[12:40] – Lily discusses communicating to her board the value of investing in training and education for credit union teams.
[14:30] – These two underrated traits stand out to Lily when she is looking for people to join her team.
[16:26] – Lily talks about iterating ideas. Start quickly, and pivot nimbly.
[18:56] – Feedback is part of speaking your truth.
[21:12] – Why is it important to lead by example?
[23:25] – Lily talks about keeping your cool to play the long game when working with board members.
[26:21] – Digital transformation is needed to not miss out younger potential members.
[27:58] – Invest in credit union infrastructure.
[29:58] – Lily talks about the power of love.
[31:27] – Lily talks about why it’s so important to carve out time to actually live life.
[34:00] – Trust your instinct.
[35:42] – You can feel successful by simply living your best life.
[37:21] – Hope is not a strategy, but it can be.

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