** Video Recording Coming Soon**
Imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Thank you for joining us for our March CTC Friday conversation as we had an open conversation with women leaders in the credit union movement and #BreaktheBias.
Our esteemed panelists included:
Diana Dykstra, President/CEO, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues
Patty Corkery, President/CEO, Michigan Credit Union League
Karen Madry, Chairwomen, Indiana Credit Union League and President/CEO, Afena Federal Credit Union
Tracie Kenyon, President/CEO, Montana Credit Union Network
Caroline Willard, President/CEO, Cornerstone League
Jill Nowacki, Founder of Humanidei, moderated the panel.
Keep reading to learn more about our participants.
California Nevada Credit Union Leagues
Diana Dykstra is a dynamic chief executive with more than 40 years of experience in leading top organizations in the financial services industry. She is currently the President/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
Previously, Diana served as President/CEO of San Francisco Fire Credit Union and CoastHills Federal Credit Union, as well as a Senior Vice President of Patelco Credit Union. During her tenure as Senior Vice President at The Golden 1 Credit Union, Diana led her team to develop the prototype of the now successful Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL) program.
Diana, a certified International Credit Union Development Educator (ICUDE), is a 1992 graduate and current President of Western CUNA Management School. She was awarded the James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award in 2001, the California League’s Distinguished Service Award in 2002, the Phil Greer Lifetime Achievement Award from the CUNA Lending Council in 2012, the American Association of Credit Union Leagues’ highest honor—the Eagle Award—in 2014 and most recently is The National Credit Union Foundation’s 2019 Herb Wegner Memorial Award Winner.
Diana previously served as chairman and board member of the California Credit Union League. She is currently serving on the board of directors of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), CUNA Strategic Services, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Global Women’s Leadership Network, ViClarity, and Plexcity—a cooperative business for member credit union leagues.
Michigan Credit Union League
Patty is the President of the Michigan League and its service corporation, MCULSC. In 2018, she started with the League as EVP/COO and General Counsel before being promoted to CEO in 2021, becoming the first woman to lead MCUL in its 90-year history. At the League, she oversees all operations of the trade association and directly supervises the advocacy, education, marketing and communications teams. Her position includes educating the community and industry on the credit union difference and promoting the financial strength of credit unions in Michigan and nationally. For the service corporation, Corkery works to maximize relationships with credit union partners for the benefit of Michigan credit unions. Corkery received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and her law degree from Wayne State University Law School. She holds an MBA from Walsh College in December 2022. Corkery is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for League InfoSight and a director of national CUSO, CU Solutions Group. She also serves on the board of Spave, a tool to help save and donate to charitable causes. Patty is an active member of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues and helps lead the Michigan Sister Society for the Global Women’s Leadership Network.
Chairwoman, Indiana Credit Union League
President and Chief Executive Officer
Afena Federal Credit Union
Karen Madry is the President/CEO of Afena Federal Credit Union ($92M) headquartered in Marion, Indiana. Growing up, she witnessed the pain and frustration of financial inequality first-hand. As President/CEO of Afena, she’s passionate about working to level the playing field by creating more equitable access to high-quality financial products, services, and resources. Karen’s vision is to create a financial institution that cares about the financial health and well-being of every resident in the communities served, regardless of credit score or income level. In addition to being the CEO of Afena, she serves as the Chairwoman of the Indiana Credit Union League - the first African-American to hold this position - a member of the Redevelopment Commission for the City of Marion, and as an adjunct professor for Indiana Wesleyan University.
Montana Credit Union Network
Tracie is the President/CEO of the Montana Credit Union League where she provides leadership for Montana’s credit unions in advocacy, compliance, outreach and development, education and training, public relations, fee-based services and vendor relationships, and employee benefits.
She is the chairman of Filene Research Institute, Western CUNA Management School treasurer, and CUNA’s Financial Well Being Task Force chairman and previously, chair of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues and National Credit Union Foundation Board member.
Tracie’s 36-year credit union career has included time at two leagues and four credit unions. She was senior vice president of dues-supported services for the Utah League of Credit Unions and oversaw the legislative efforts for Utah's Credit Unions during the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998 (HR 1151) as well as the state-level bank attacks that followed.
She has created two successful collaborative businesses: Montana's Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD) in 2003 and the Montana Credit Union League Group Benefit Trust in 2007. MCUCD, a 501(c)3, provides social mission programs focused on financial capability and asset building. The Trust provides credit union employee benefits through a self-funded, cooperative environment.
Caroline Willard began her tenure as the president and CEO of Cornerstone League, Cornerstone Resources, and the Cornerstone Foundation in April 2017. She is responsible for growing the organizations by offering relevant services and ensuring that Cornerstone credit unions receive excellent support and leadership in government relations at the state level and in Washington, D.C.
As a representative of the Cornerstone League and Cornerstone Resources, Willard is on the Credit Union National Association, Credit Unions for Kids, CU Awareness LLC, and Plexcity boards of directors. On the CUNA board, Caroline serves as the at-large member of the Executive Committee. She is passionate about credit unions and supporting the Michigan credit union industry at all levels. In her free time, she enjoys long walks, rides on her Peloton and traveling with her daughter.
Prior to joining Cornerstone, Willard worked for CO-OP Financial Services as executive vice president, of markets and strategy. During her tenure, she also handled mergers and acquisitions, relationship management, marketing, product development, and strategic planning. Willard has worked at financial institutions, as well: Downey Savings in Newport Beach, Calif., and American First Credit Union in La Habra, Calif.
Willard earned a Bachelor of Arts at California State University, Fullerton, and a Master of Business Administration at Pepperdine University.
Jill Nowacki started her career with credit unions at the Montana Credit Union Network in 2001. She has taken on leadership roles at credit unions and state and national trade associations, including serving as the President/CEO of the Credit Union League of Connecticut from 2013 to 2019. In 2019, Jill founded Humanidei, a human capital strategies firm that helps credit unions build inclusive cultures that attract, develop, and retain top talent—from the front line through the Board of Directors. Long-time executive recruiting firm O’Rourke & Associates serves as the executive search division of Humanidei.