Let’s Celebrate Inspiring Women in the Credit Union Space

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Announcing the Women On Work Contest

It’s high time to shine a brighter light on the spectacular women in the credit union industry – to recognize the transformational work they do daily to propel the movement forward. And that is precisely what the WOW Contest is all about.

Our mission? To celebrate extraordinary women in the CU space, to bring greater awareness around DEI specifically focused on women in the industry, and to create a movement of leadership driven by women who are doing inspiring work.

This movement is sponsored by CRMNEXT, CU Sol (a Credit Union CUSO), and America’s Credit Union Museum. While this is a contest with real prizes, our hope is that it will open a path for greater recognition of women nation-wide in the CU movement, inspire up-and-coming CU professionals, and pave a way for the future leaders in this industry.

Who are we looking for?

  • Women currently working in the CU ecosystem.
  • Women who have ever worked in the CU space (as a leader or in a capacity to drive change).
  • Women whose work has had a significant impact on the CU movement.
  • Women who inspire, lift up, and motivate other women in the industry.
  • Women who provide new opportunities for growth and development.
  • The women who are coming to your mind right now – those women who you (and others) think highly of.

Have someone in mind? Click below to nominate today.

Our Judges

Our partners hand-picked the best of the best as Judges for this inaugural year of the WOW Contest, and we are honored to be able to announce them here:

Merry Pateuk
SVP, Industry Engagement, PSCU

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 that support credit unions 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.

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.

Julie Ferguson, CUDE
Owner, JRF Consulting Services, LLC

Julie R Ferguson founded JRF Consulting Services in 2009 after spending 16 years at First Tech Federal Credit Union in the Pacific Northwest. Julie is passionate about helping credit unions create and execute focused and results oriented business development strategies that help members achieve financial success. A speaker at credit union conferences, Julie shares her expertise to help our credit union movement grow nationwide and around the world. Julie is a member of the World Council’s Global Women Leadership Network, on the Advisory Board for the Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program for credit unions, an author at CUInsight, and a proud CUDE.

Kristi Arrington
VP, Growth by Design at League of Southeastern Credit Unions

Kristi Arrington is vice president at Growth by Design, an award winning, full-service marketing agency housed in the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates. In this role, Kristi oversees all operations, ensuring a 16-person staff provides creative, high quality and innovative marketing, business development and communications solutions to 100+ clients across the U.S.

Kristi has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business development strategy in the financial services arena. She is a member of the Georgie Marketing Council Board, Credit Union for Kids Activation Board (Children’s Miracle Network), and Credit Unions for Kids Content Marketing Board. She is also a member of the Children’s Miracle Network Greater Atlanta Chapter Committee and the AACUL Communications/PR Advisory Committee.

Anne Legg
Founder, THRIVE Strategic Services

Anne Legg is a recognized credit union business strategist, presenter, author, and educator with an MBA thesis on the credit union business model as well as two internationally published whitepapers on credit union business strategy. She has presented and published twice at the International Cooperative Summit held in Quebec, Canada making her the only credit union professional in the United States to do so.

She has spent 17 years in the C-suite for credit unions and currently is the founder and principal of THRIVE Strategic Services located in Southern California. She absolutely LOVES working with credit unions to create revolutionary member relationships via organizational education, member-centric data strategies, and data maturity.

Nanci Wilson
Marketing & Community Engagement Officer, University Federal Credit Union

Nanci started her credit union journey due to lack of kindness. That fact is what led her to close her bank account and open up at a credit union. Ultimately it led her to want to work at a credit union. The rest is history.

After graduating from Credit Union Development Education at the National Credit Union Foundation and going back as a mentor and graduation speaker, she knew that her heart belonged to the movement. You can find Nanci traveling around speaking about the amazing things credit unions are capable of and how to create member and coworker loyalty through being a relatable human being.

Latonya Allen, CUDE
Director of Consumer Lending and Marketing at Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union

Latonya Allen is the Director of Consumer Lending and Marketing for Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union, where she provides member lending services and product development. Latonya works with members to identify their financial goals and create solutions for members achieving their goals. She also influences the strategic direction of the credit union by providing creative concept development for marketing and strategic engagement to facilitate growth and impact for the credit union members.

Latonya has more than 20 years of experience in the credit union industry. Under her leadership, Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union has received multiple Marketing Trailblazer Awards from the Maryland & D.C. Credit Union Association. She simply lives by the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” in both her professional and personal life. She is a graduate of the Credit Union Development Educator Program (CUDE) from The National Credit Union Foundation and is a proud member of the African-American Credit Union Coalition where she serves as Chapter Liaison. Latonya also serves as Underground Advocate for the Underground Movement, an industry initiative founded by Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates. She is currently a member of the Credit Union Financial Education Network and the Maryland & D.C. Credit Union Association Young Professional Network.

Advisory Panel

As co-sponsors and allies of the women on the judging panel and of those who are being celebrated in this contest, the following will be serving in an advisory and administrative capacity:

Executive Director, America’s Credit Union Museum
Jonathan Taylor
James Gilbert
Head of Marketing, CRMNEXT


We are especially thrilled to announce that the 1st place winner of this year’s WOW Contest will be inducted into the Credit Union Hall of Fame at America’s Credit Union Museum, featured alongside the inaugural class of women being added to the Skywalk.

First Place
  • Skywalk Feature &
    Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Paid trip to America’s Credit Union Museum for the Induction Ceremony
  • Paver carved into history at the ACUM
  • $5K cash or a donation
    to a charity of your choice
  • Donation on winner’s behalf to the ACUM
  • A crystal trophy
  • Something extra cool we’re keeping a secret
Second Place
  • Paid trip to America’s Credit Union Museum for the Induction Ceremony
  • Brick carved into history at the ACUM
  • $3K cash or a donation
    to a charity of your choice
  • Donation on winner’s behalf to the ACUM
  • A crystal trophy
  • Something extra cool we’re keeping a secret (though not quite as cool as 1st place)
Third Place
  • Paid trip to America’s Credit Union Museum for the Induction Ceremony
  • Brick carved into history at the ACUM
  • $1K cash or a donation
    to a charity of your choice
  • Donation on winner’s behalf to the ACUM
  • A crystal trophy
  • Something extra cool we’re keeping a secret (different than 1st & 2nd place, but—you guessed it—still cool)

All winners will be recognized in industry publications such as CUInsight & CUNA, will be feature on multiple podcasts, and will be promoted throughout 2022 and into 2023 – inspiring our next batch of applicants for year #2 of the Contest.

Criteria & How To Nominate

Once you’ve reviewed the criteria above to see what our judges will be looking for, read the instructions below to submit a nomination.

To nominate an inspiring woman you know—you may submit more than one, and if you are such a woman, we’d love for you to submit yourself—in the Credit Union space, click the button below, enter the information requested, and submit. All nominations must be submitted by May 6, 2022 to be considered by our judging panel.

  • Fill out your contact information and your nominee’s (if not yourself).
  • Tell us how many years the nominee has been involved in the CU movement.
  • Tell us what inspires you about the woman you are nominating, and what they’ve done to make a significant impact for other women in the CU ecosystem.
  • Please also provide supplemental materials: articles, press releases, photos of the work a nominee has done, etc.
  • Bonus points for providing all requested information, as well as supplemental materials to bolster the nominee’s case.