Judy Sparrow, board chair of $1.2 billion asset Chartway Federal Credit Union, Virginia Beach, Va., says the challenging economic times require flexibility on the part of the credit union and board. In an interview with Credit Union Directors Newsletter, Sparrow reflects on leadership, the credit union philosophy, and her choice dinner companions.
How does your CU demonstrate the CU difference? Keeping our focus on what's best for the member in all of our decisions.
What does "people helping people" mean to you? Empowering members with ownership of their economic future.
Describe your leadership style: I consider myself to be an idea person, using creativity in the "idea" process.
What one trait has proven most valuable to you as a leader? Enthusiasm for what I believe is a good thing.
What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? A sense that I can make a difference.
How did you learn about CUs? Through the formation of a credit union by the employees at my husband's workplace.
What's the best advice you've received? To recognize and trust in the abilities of those around me.
The worst advice? Accepting "no" as the final answer.
Whom do you admire most, and why? Nelson Mandela because he was able to forgive personal injustice for the greater cause.
If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would you choose? Thomas Jefferson and Amelia Earhart with Larry King to facilitate the conversation.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Book clubs, gardening, live theatre, and enriching the lives of my grandchildren.
This article was featured in the August 2010 issue of Credit Union Directors Newsletter.