Women in the credit union industry have access to a great professional resource—the Women’s Association of Credit Union Leaders (WACUL). This organization is open to female credit union leaders from Missouri and Kansas.
Nearly five years ago, WACUL was founded by Lisa Ginter, chief operating officer of CommunityAmerica Credit Union (Kansas City), and Glenna Osborn, president of Missouri Central Credit Union (Lee’s Summit). The organization was formed for a number of reasons, but foremost to provide a place for women in leadership positions to network and develop skills to help their credit unions continue to thrive.
“WACUL is a powerful networking forum that allows women leaders to learn, grow, and exchange ideas for purposes of development,” says Ginter. “The greatest takeaway from this type of group is the friendships that get formed. Women in leadership positions are growing, and this provides an avenue to form bonds and learn at the same time.”
The first official WACUL meeting was held on June 24, 2010. Throughout the years, WACUL has grown to 28 members, representing credit unions from both Missouri and Kansas.
“It’s not the intention of WACUL to separate women from men,” says Osborn. “Men hold pivotal leadership roles in the industry as well—leaders from both genders are needed to create a healthy corporate environment. Rather, WACUL’s meetings are tailored to speak to female professionals and help them develop stronger executive skills."
Their meetings are packed with information and often include expert speakers from outside the industry. While not directly linked to the financial industry, these thought leaders present on relevant topics such as executive presence, negotiation, networking and personal branding.
WACUL’s members respect and support each other—this fellowship benefits not only the women, but also their credit unions. For example, WACUL assisted one of their members in paying league dues to the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA), which ensured that that credit union had access to the tools and resources to best serve their credit union members and community.
“WACUL was formed to help women in leadership positions,” says Ginter. “It was a no-brainer when the opportunity arose to help a fellow credit union leader with her league dues this year.”
The next WACUL meeting will be held on Thursday, April 17, from 3-6 p.m. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by April 11 to Crystal Hinck via email.