In recognition of her dedication to the spreading of the credit union idea worldwide and determination to fostering diverse representation in credit union leadership and membership, the National Credit Union Foundation has named Susan Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, as a recipient of the 2018 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.
Mitchell’s award will be one of four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at special fundraising event hosted by the Foundation at the Marriott Marquis Washington on Feb. 26 in conjunction with the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Registration for dinner tickets and sponsorships will be available on the Foundation website later this year.
"Sue is such a tremendous bundle of energy," said John Gregoire, chair of the Foundation's Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group. “We have all benefitted from that energy focused on enhancing the lives of all those touched by credit unions. I know her as an excellent consultant, but even more for her wonderful work in the founding and continued success of the Global Women’s Leadership Network."
Mitchell currently serves on the nominating committees of SCE FCU, Irwindale, Calif., Ventura (Calif.) County CU and Boulder Dam CU, Boulder City, Nev., to ensure that future leaders represent a diverse field of membership. She works with boards and volunteers to give educational programs and ensure balanced governance in terms of diversity and representation.
She recently asked her clients “What about the loyal savers?” which challenged them to consider initiatives beyond chasing the millennial market. This created programs for members over 70 to engage and tell their children and grandchildren the importance of people helping people, nondiscrimination, diverse representation and democratic control.
In 2009, Mitchell became the founding Chair of the World Council of Credit Union’s Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN). She volunteered her time with no budget and limited resources to create the premiere global credit union program for women, engaging thousands of women from an international network. She has created an initiative to raise $2 million for scholarships, member education, empowerment grants and programming facilitation opportunities for credit union women.
Her contributions also include the creation of the Athena Leadership Award, presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to women’s leadership in the international credit union movement. The Athena Award presents individual impact and recognition of women’s efforts to financially empower each other, women within their communities and credit union members.
Mitchell has created local Sister Societies for the Global Women’s Leadership Network, bringing hundreds of credit union women and men together to promote financial empowerment, provide education, engage in networking and increase awareness of the credit union commitment to changing lives. These Sister Societies are formed by countries and their associations, as well as cities based upon credit union prevalence and reach.
Mitchell also acted as a mentor to Elenita San Roque, the first female CEO of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, who went on to receive the 2016 Athena Award for her execution of building a multi-purpose cooperative in the Philippines that trains female credit union members on enterprise management and one-on-one support to enhance their trade, resulting in a 23% increase in their income. Four Sister Societies have been created in Asia to further advance women’s leadership and connect people to the global network of credit unions.