Outgoing CUNA board chair Maurice Smith (left) hands the gavel to incoming board chair Brett Martinez at CUNA GAC. Martinez is the president/CEO of Redwood CU.

Brett Martinez named chair of CUNA board for 2019-2020

March 12, 2019

For incoming CUNA Board Chair Brett Martinez, his bond with credit unions goes well beyond the 33 years he’s spent working for them. Growing up, his mother was a CEO of a small credit union, and he worked odd jobs there, everything from trimming bushes to stuffing envelopes.

“I’d sit there and watch families walk in sharing these amazing things that were going on in their life. Marriage, birth of a child, promotion, purchase of a house, purchase of a car. Then I’d watch members walk in and share the most devastating things that could happen, a death in the family, divorce, loss of job,” said Martinez, who is also the president/CEO of Redwood CU, Santa Rose, Calif.

“It’s where I learned what a credit union was supposed to be, and it’s where I first learned about people helping people. It’s what drives me today as CEO of Redwood CU, and it’s what will drive me as the chairman of your association.”

Martinez highlighted the benefits that come along with being a part of the CUNA/league system, and how the organizations have matured greatly over the past 10 years. This maturation has brought any wins for credit unions, he said, so many that when he started trying to track even the major ones, his list got too big.

 “I do know that without CUNA and the leagues, we don’t have a future,” he said. “Because they’re out there every single day, telling Congress, the administration and our regulators our mission, and more importantly, the amazing things you’re doing in your communities on a daily basis.”

Martinez asked the credit union system to join him in three things over the next year:

  • Participate in CUNA and league advocacy efforts all year long at home.
  • Support dual CUNA/league membership.
  • Contribute to the Awareness initiative to drive consumer consideration.

“Brett has been on the CUNA board for the last decade,” said Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO. “I want to welcome Brett to his new role. I know CUNA will be well-served by the experience and energy he will bring to the position. I also want to thank our outgoing former-Chair Maurice Smith for his excellent leadership and commitment to moving the credit union industry forward.” 

Martinez is joined by other newly elected executive members, including Vice Chair Troy Stang, president and CEO of Northwest Credit Union Association; Secretary Brad Green, president and CEO of Listerhill Credit Union,Muscle Shoals, Ala.; Treasurer Tony Budet, president and CEO of University Federal Credit Union, Austin, Texas; and At-Large Member Lisa Ginter, CEO of CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Lenexa, Kan.

The newly elected members will serve the 2019-2020 term.

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