CUNA Board Chair Tony Budet discusses connecting with community and making a social impact Tuesday at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo by

Budet: Credit unions’ DNA is social impact

Board chair encourages focus on people, not balance sheets.

March 1, 2022

Incoming CUNA Board Chair Tony Budet says he thinks of himself as a community leader who happens to lead a credit union, he told the audience Tuesday at the 2022 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. Budet, president/CEO at University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), shared his experiences getting more involved with the community surrounding Austin, Texas.  

“I learned that our city has many challenges, and we at UFCU asked ourselves: What can a not-for-profit financial cooperative do to address those challenges?” he says, adding that this meant supporting education, filling middle-skills jobs, and boosting housing affordability.

We changed our vision, which now is simply: A financially healthy community,” Budet says. “We aim to impact quality of life for 1 million people—members and members to be—by 2030.

He encouraged credit unions to focus on the impact they have on people, not on balance sheets.

“Did you book 100 mortgage loans? Or did you put 100 families in homes through which they are better positioned to build financial wealth?" he asks. "Did you book 500 car loans? Or did you put 500 members in cars they need to get to work and save them thousands over the life of those loans?”  

“This is not semantics," he adds. "Our language, our stories matter, and our metrics matter. We’re in the people business, so our metrics must first focus on the human impact, rather than a financial impact.”

The full 2022-23 CUNA Board Executive Committee is: 

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