WASHINGTON (3/11/15)--Credit unions face their Alan Shepard moment, said new CUNA Board Chairwoman Susan Streifel Tuesday at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference general session.
In her introductory remarks as chairwoman, Streifel explained how the astronaut's bravery allowed him to become the first American to travel to outer space.
On May 5, 1961, NASA officials paused the countdown with less than three minutes left to assess a fuel pressure problem--the latest in a seven-month series of delays. Shepard interjected, "Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?"
"What Shepard realized that morning is they could always find a reason to scrap the launch," Streifel said. "The rocket was ready. The astronaut was ready. They needed a moment of boldness, and he provided it."
Streifel will provide bold leadership during her one-year tenure, said outgoing CUNA Board Chairman Dennis Pierce, who lauded the president/CEO of Woodstone CU, Federal Way, Wash.
Streifel inherits from Pierce the challenge of guiding the board through potential changes in CUNA's structure and governance as CUNA examines these issues. She envisions "a future in which all Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."
"Like Shepard stuck in that rocket," Streifel said, "it's our time to press that button and launch."