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CTC Friday Conversation: "Celebrating the Intersectionality of Icons in the Credit Union Industry"

CTC Friday Conversation: "Celebrating the Intersectionality of Icons in the Credit Union Industry"

Thank you for joining us for our February CTC Friday conversation as we celebrated the intersectionality of icons in the credit union industry with AACUC's 2023 African American Credit Union Hall of Fame honorees and the National Credit Union Foundation's 2023 Herb Wegner Memorial Award winners. 

Our esteemed Hall of Fame panelists included:

  • Tim Anderson, President/CEO, United States Senate Federal Credit Union 
  • Melinda Edmunds, President/CEO, Patent and Trademark Office Federal Credit Union 
  • Todd Harper, Chairman, National Credit Union Administration 
  • Lois Kitsch, Co-Founder, CU Difference 
  • George Ombado, Executive Director, ACCOSCA 
Our esteemed Herb Wegner Memorial Award panelists included:
  • Linda Bodie, CEO + Innovator, Element Federal Credit Union 
  • Brian Branch, Retired President/CEO, World Council of Credit Unions 
  • Bill Cheney, CEO, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 
  • Winona Nava, President/CEO, Guadalupe Credit Union 
Renée Sattiewhite, President/CEO of the African-American Credit Union Coalition, moderated the panel. 

Keep reading to learn more about our participants.


Tim Anderson
United States Senate Federal Credit Union

Mr. Anderson has a long history with the United States Senate Federal Credit Union (USSFCU, serving as the EVP and Chief Retail Officer priorto assuming the role of President and CEO in 2019. He served on the USSFCU Board of Directors for over fifteen years in various capacities, including as Chairman of the Board. He began his career with USSFCU as the Branch Manager of the flagship Hart Senate location. Tim possesses over 30 years of senior executive and management experience at large banks and credit unions. He was the CEO of a local credit union in Washington, DC; a position he held for eight years prior to becoming EVP at USSFCU. Other positions include VP and COO at American Spirit Federal Credit Union; VP and COO at the Treasury Department Federal Credit Union; VP of Operations at Equitable and Independence Banks; and Assistant VP and Financial Center Manager at BB&T and M&T banks in the Washington, DC area.


Linda Bodie
CEO + Innovator
Element Federal Credit Union

Linda Bodie is the CEO + Innovator at Element Federal Credit Union. She began her career with Element in 1998. 

Linda serves on various local and national boards. She is a co-founder of CU Pride, the LGBTQ+ association for credit union professionals. She is active in her community and is involved in projects that promote human rights, equality and justice and ways to serve others in her community.  Linda lives in wild and wonderful West Virginia with her wife Brenda, teenage daughter, and 3 canines. 


Brian Branch

Former President/CEO

World Council of Credit Unions

Brian served as President/CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions from 2011 until he retired in 2021.   Dr. Branch began at World Council in 1990.  During his tenure at World Council Brian worked with credit unions in 106 countries.  He developed programs to update and expand the savings based financial services of credit unions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and The Caribbean.  

While serving as CEO, Brian led the development of the global advocacy program to reduce credit unions’ unnecessary regulatory burden of international standard setting bodies.  He led the charge for global credit union membership growth program and for the digitization of credit union services. 


Bill Cheney


SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Bill Cheney has worked in the credit union movement for more than 35 years. He joined SchoolsFirst FCU in 2014 as CEO after working in credit unions in Texas and California as well as serving as the CEO of credit union trade associations at the state and national level. He is a recognized leader in the cooperative movement and serves on the boards of the Consumer Federation of America, the Worldwide Credit Union Foundation, the Filene Research Institute and the Western CUNA Management School Board of Trustees. Additionally, he was appointed to the CU Direct Board in February 2022. In addition to his work with cooperatives, Bill serves on the Board of Trustees of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors, the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Foundation Board of Directors.  

Bill is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and completed the CUES Directors' Leadership Institute at the London Business School and the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard Business School.  

Bill and his wife, Crissy, live in Orange County, California. They have two adult children and four young grandchildren. 

Melinda Edmunds


Patent and Trademark Office Federal Credit Union

Ms. Edmunds is President/CEO of the Patent and Trademark Office Federal Credit Union headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. With more than 30 years of credit union experience, her dedication, volunteerism, and leadership in the credit union movement continues to progress. She was a previous board member of AACUC for ten years and led the Membership Committee for several years. She is currently a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. Edmunds earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Todd M. Harper


National Credit Union Administration

Chairman Harper was nominated to serve on the NCUA Board on February 6, 2019. The U.S. Senate confirmed him on March 14, 2019, and he was sworn in as a member of the NCUA Board on April 8, 2019. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., designated him as the NCUA’s twelfth Chairman on January 20, 2021. As NCUA Board Chairman, Mr. Harper serves as a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and represents the NCUA on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee. Prior to joining the NCUA Board, Mr. Harper served as director of the agency’s Office of Public and Congressional Affairs and chief policy advisor to former Chairmen Debbie Matz and Rick Metsger. He is the first member of the NCUA’s staff to become an NCUA Board Member and Chairman. Mr. Harper holds an undergraduate degree in business analysis from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


Lois Kitsch


CU Difference

Ms. Kitsch is the Co-Founder of CU Difference and has 40 plus years of credit union leadership, she inspires credit union leaders to live the values of the credit union movement to best optimize our cooperative structure to create and enhance business opportunities. For many years she served as the national program director of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Education program. Lois has worked with credit union leaders from six continents and more than 40 countries to help their movement leaders maximize the relationship between the credit union and its members. Lois has received many national and international awards including the Herb Wegner Award for Individual Achievement and Best Project, the Athena Award from the World Council of Credit Unions, the Life-Time Service award from both the Credit Union Development Education Program and the CUTE Foundation (Mindanao, Philippines), and the distinguished service award for ACCOSCA (the continental trade association for Africa). Recently, Lois was added to the Women’s Hall of Fame for the American Credit Union Museum.


Winona Nava


Guadalupe Credit Union

Guadalupe Credit Union (GCU) has grown from $10 million to $267 million with over 25,000 members under Winona’s leadership. GCU focuses on providing financial empowerment in Northern New Mexico.  GCU strives to meet the needs of those living in their FOM including recent immigrants and Native Americans. GCU provides free one-on-one financial coaching, financial education, asset building accounts, second chance debit cards and alternatives to predatory lending and check cashing.  She serves on the Boards of NLCUP, CUWLA, and the CUANM. She served on the CUNA Board and as the past Chair of the NCUF.


George Ombado

Executive Director


Mr. Ombado is a Development Economist with a keen interest in strategic management and discourse that shapes developing countries to attain financial inclusion and access He holds B.Com (Hons), M.A (Economics of Development from Erasmus University in the Netherlands) and Msc in Management from Strathclyde Business School, UK. He has 17 years of experience supporting financial inclusion and access initiatives. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the African Confederation of Co-operative Saving and Credit Association (ACCOSCA), an institution that supports the development of co-operative financial institutions in Africa. In this role, he has spearheaded strategic planning for a number of financial co-operatives in Africa. George serves as a Board Member of the Africa Co-operative Development Foundation (ACDF) and The CADASTA Foundation. He is also the Current Director of the Africa Development Educators Program and holds an I–CUDE designation. He is a part of the Executive team providing leadership on a Project funded by IFAD in Tanzania, Malawi, and Ethiopia known as “Improving Rural Financial Inclusion through Financial Co-operatives” in partnership with the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and the Irish League of Credit Unions Foundation. George has contributed to numerous financial publications, including the International Co-operative Alliance Book: “The Capital Conundrum for Co-operatives” which was published and disseminated on October 2015.


Renée Sattiewhite


African-American Credit Union Coalition

Renée Sattiewhite is the President/CEO of the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC).  Renée brought both her unique vitality and a forward-looking vision in order to create one of the most dynamic organizations in the credit union movement. Her high energy, high expectations and high touch approach for leading the organization has created a momentum for growth and change and directs a strong commitment towards eradicating racism. Today, AACUC is the leading voice on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Credit Union Movement thanks to Renée. She has successfully propelled the organization forward to offer a credible voice that addressed today’s dialogue on race, equity, and inclusion for all. 

In 2020, after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and with the growing visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement, this momentum galvanized the country against racial injustice.  Renée became one of the most notable catalysts, encouraging the credit union industry to become more aware of the urgent need for change toward true racial equality and economic justice, and launched the Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism initiative.  As a direct result of  Renée’s leadership AACUC received the 2022 Anchor Award from the National Credit Union Foundation which is the equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize of the credit union movement. 

In September 2022, Renée was inducted to America’s Credit Union Museum's newest exhibit “Credit Union Women Making History….Herstory” Hall of Fame.  The exhibit highlights incredible women’s achievements making history in the credit union industry. “Herstory” is an interactive exhibit showcasing women’s stories never heard before.   

Renée is a certified diversity professional, a credit union development educator, a motivational speaker, an executive coach, mentoring trainer, and is a recognized expert on marketing and branding.  Finally, she serves as a Board Member of the World Council of Credit Unions Foundation and a Master Trainer for the United Way of Atlanta’s VIP Board Development Program.  

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