Skip to content

CTC Friday Conversation: Collaboration Between AACUC & Corporate Partners

CTC Friday Conversation: Collaboration Between AACUC & Corporate Partners

Thank  you for joining us for our December CTC Friday Conversation: "Collaboration Between AACUC & Corporate Partners."

2023 has marked an extraordinary and productive year for AACUC, and it's with immense gratitude that we extend our thanks to our invaluable members and Corporate Partners. During this CTC Friday Conversation, we will have the privilege of listening to a few Corporate Partner leaders who deeply believe in AACUC's mission and goals. They'll offer insights into the fruitful collaborations between their organizations and AACUC, shedding light on the shared benefits and unexpected opportunities that have arisen from this alliance. 

Our esteemed panelists were:

  • Bill Cheney, President/CEO, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union
  • Debbie Smith, CEO, Georgia United Credit Union
  • John Cassidy, Directors, Credit Union Systems Relations, TruStage
  • Merry Pateuk, SVP, Industry Engagement, PSCU

Renée Sattiewhite, President/CEO of the African-American Credit Union Coalition moderated the conversation.

Keep reading to learn more about our participants.

Bill Cheney


SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Bill Cheney is Chief Executive Officer of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in California and the fifth largest in the nation, with more than 1.3 million Members and more than $28 billion in assets.

Bill 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, Worldwide Credit Union Foundation, the Filene Research Institute and the Western CUNA Management School Board of Trustees. Additionally, he was appointed to the Origence 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, he completed the CUES Directors' Leadership Institute at the London Business School and the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard Business School.

Debbie Smith


Georgia United Credit Union

Debbie Smith joined Georgia United in 2002 serving in several executive roles before being appointed CEO in 2013. As an advocate of the credit union philosophy and passionate about serving its members, team members and communities, Debbie has helped grow GUCU from $950 million to over $2 billion in assets. Under her leadership, Georgia United has received national and international acclaim for social responsibility, community service, products, services, and for its website. Debbie serves on the board of directors for CUNA, NCUF and Junior Achievement of Georgia. In 2020, she was recognized as LSCU’s Professional of the Year.

John Cassidy

Director, Credit Union System Relations


John Cassidy is the director, credit union system relations for TruStageTM. He develops and implements strategic partnership strategies that promote the company's competitive financial services to the credit union movement by establishing and strengthening relationships with credit union trade organizations across the U.S.

John is a graduate of the spring 2014 Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) class. He serves on the board of directors at Porchlight, a nonprofit focused on reducing homelessness in Dane County. He is also a member of the advisory board at LifeSmarts, an organization that provides real-world education for students who learn about core consumer topics and develop critical thinking skills.

Merry Pateuk

SVP, Industry Engagement


Merry Pateuk, SVP, Industry Engagement, fulfills PSCU’s strategic objective of leveraging the cooperative’s scale to advocate on behalf of the credit union industry. She cultivates relationships between PSCU and local, state and national organizations and works collaboratively with industry partners to ensure there is alignment on key topics and a cohesive voice to ultimately strengthen credit unions’ position in the market. During her tenure at PSCU, Merry has served in a wide range of senior leadership roles at PSCU. She played a large part in taking the company from a start-up with a single line of business to an industry leader, serving hundreds of credit unions nationwide with multiple product lines. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina. Merry also earned the Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) and Africa Development Educators distinction from the National Credit Union Foundation.

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 the America’s Credit Union Museum 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, motivational speaker, 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. 

Powered By GrowthZone